Designer Hanae Mori, known for her elegant signature butterfly motifs, numerous cinema fashions and the wedding dress of a future Empress of Japan, has died, local media reported on Thursday. She was 96.
Mori symbolized the rise of Japan as a modern, fashionable nation and the rise of the working woman. According to media reports, she died on August 11, but other details were not immediately available.
Empress Masako, then a commoner and former diplomat, wore a Hanae Mori wedding dress when she married then-Crown Prince Naruhito in 1993. Mori also designed uniforms for Japan Airlines flight attendants, bank employees, students and the Japan team at the Barcelona Olympia.
With her motto “You feel decent no matter where in the world you wear them”, Mori wanted to give the wearer confidence and dignity. Their umbrellas and handkerchiefs, often decorated with colorful butterflies, were popular with working women as a kind of status symbol.
She opened her studio in 1951 and was a pioneer of a generation of Japanese designers who became known worldwide. Their first show in New York, held in 1965, was hailed as “East meets West”.
She opened her Paris studio in 1977 and built an international business spanning perfumes and publishing, as well as fashion.
Known for incorporating kimono-inspired Japanese elements, Mori designed costumes for hundreds of Japanese films in the 1950s and 1960s, dressing star actresses such as Mie Kitahara, Sayuri Yoshinaga and Shima Iwashita in some of the era’s most celebrated cinematic plays.
Fashionistas are also familiar with the elaborate costumes she designed for singer Hibari Misora. She also designed for opera, including Madame Butterfly in Milan in 1985, and the Noh Theatre. In 2002 she was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government.
She is survived by two sons who are engaged in her fashion business, Japanese media said. Her husband Ken Mori died in 1996. Her grandchildren Izumi Mori and Hikari Mori are models.
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https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ap-japanese-tokyo-crown-prince-naruhito-japan-airlines-b2147346.html Hanae Mori, designer for films, Empress, dies, reports say