“The æsthetic of ADEAM is East meets West,” says designer Hanako Maeda, who moved her two-year-old brand from Tokyo to New York last June. The line doesn’t bear obvious visual markers of Maeda’s Japanese heritage, but is a philosophical fusion. “Fashion in Tokyo is more conceptual and the tradition in Japan is about details and subtlety; it’s definitely closer to art,” she explains. “In New York you have a feel that what you see on the runway is close to what you see on the streets. I try to fuse the æsthetic value and more conceptual role of fashion with the wearable, everyday sentiment.”
Maeda bypassed a traditional design education and studied art history and anthropology at Columbia University while pursuing her love of fashion with internships at Allure, Vogue, and Phillip Lim, and ultimately an intensive design course at Parsons in Paris. Following a stint in PR in Tokyo, she took the leap into design and showed her line in Shanghai and Tokyo before setting up shop in the US.
Each ADEAM collection draws inspiration from out- side the world of fashion. “I believe that fashion should be a part of the cultural discourse in relation to music and art and theater, and I value the intellectual approach in that,” Maeda says. The Fall 2013 collection fuses inspirations from the Sondheim musical Into the Woods and Gerhard Richter’s Landscapes photography series of a forest near his home in Germany.
“I thought about a mystical forest and imagined a girl wander- ing into the woods being confused by the forces of nature,” says Maeda. “So the collection starts out urban and structural and slowly progresses into a more organic forest-inspired collection.”
Urban translates into loads of black and leather, but Maeda hits her stride when she integrates the whimsy of her enchanted forest. A deer print jacket layered over a burgundy silk wool romper and moss-inspired embroidery “growing” on a girly mint green cocktail dress and leather leggings hit all the right notes.
ADEAM is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. For more information, please visit ADEAMonline.com.
Suzanne Weinstock Klein is a freelance fashion and lifestyle writer whose clients have included Elle.com, Departures, Shape, BlackBook, and more. When she is not on the move, Klein resides in New York’s East Village with her husband and yorkiepoo.