In 1965 MORI Hanae showed her work at the Hotel Delmonico in New York with the result that her dresses began to be sold in New York department stores and throughout the U.S.A. At that time in the U.S.A., in addition to formal evening dresses, there was also a demand for clothes for a hostess to wear when she invited people for a meal in her home, and MORI Hanae’s clothes met this demand for casual, colorful, hostess gowns, leading to her becoming very popular. The jump suit seen here was designed as one of these hostess gowns. A traditional Japanese design of autumn grasses has been printed on an eye-opening bright pink silk. Elements of Japanese kimono design can also be seen in the collar of the caftan that is worn over the jump suit. Despite this stress on the Japanese image, the actual structure of the clothes adheres the patterns of Western Europe. A photograph of this costume taken by Richard Avedon appeared on the cover of American Vogue in November 1966 and it became one of MORI Hanae’s most famous designs.
MORI Hanae developed a new ‘Japonisme’, which was initially accepted in then spread to Western Europe, resulting in her becoming the first Japanese designer to be welcomed as a member of the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture in Paris in 1977. Her achievements were to encourage later Japanese designers to test their work abroad.