Pagong and Paris Collection

Pagong collaborated with fashion designer Ji Haye for her spring/summer 2011 haute couture show for Yumi Katsura.

Michael: So you are back from Paris, what do you think?

Kameda-san: Yes, I just got back to Kyoto and the fashion show was a very moving experience, so, so exciting and I feel great appreciation and gratitude to Yumi Katsura and Ji Haye that Pagong could be part of their fashion show in Paris! Being in an haute couture fashion show in Paris, for Pagong, it is like a dream, I can’t express in words how grateful I feel.

Pagong and Paris Collection Ji Haye Spring Summer 2011 Haute Couture Show for Yumi Katsura - Pagong Uzimaki and Tachinami Dress

Pagong Uzimaki and Tachinami Dress

Kameda-san: Yes, I just got back to Kyoto and the fashion show was a very moving experience, very exciting and I feel great appreciation and gratitude to Yumi Katsura and Ji Haye that Pagong could be part of their fashion show in Paris! Being in an haute couture fashion show in Paris, for Pagong, it is like a dream, I can’t express in words how grateful I feel.

I was very surprised because all all of the sudden it began.

In Japan there would have to be a greeting speech by someone, usually dull, telling the guests where they were and what they were about to see. (Like, they wouldn’t already know.) But in Paris, the style is much better. Suddenly the lights dim, the music plays and before your eyes is a real haute couture fashion show – in Paris!! It was really a dream. I watched the pieces come out, from a orange Japanese ‘torii’ shrine gate, one by one, the models walked down the runway. Many of the pieces were breathtaking… I knew that Pagong’s pieces would be number 14 and 16, out of 22. But I was completely carried away by each piece and then… the first piece make of Pagong’s yuzen fabric came out… (fumbling for words) I still can’t express my feel. At the time, I was just so surprised and excited, I was so full of butterflies.

I remember the first Pagong piece was the Gosho Ningyo pattern, while I was still at the height of excitement Uzumaki and Tatsunami came out, (the most colorful piece in the show) the people around me started to clap. At first, I wanted to clap but had heard that usually people don’t clap at real fashion shows. But, I quickly joined in and started to clap!

Pagong and Paris Collection Ji Haye Spring Summer 2011 Haute Couture Show for Yumi Katsura - Pagong Uzimaki and Tachinami Dress

Pagong Uzimaki and Tachinami Dress

Kameda-san: And then there was the finale, all the models came out one more time and then Yumi Katsura and Ji Haye. I could feel that everyone was very moved which moved me even more. Then, I realized it was all over. In just a little more than 10 minutes, the whole show was finished. I thought, I came all the way from Kyoto, spent several months collaborating with Ji Haye on creating the fabric from our historic catalog of patterns, and I traveled for more than half a day to Paris, and it was over so soon. I wanted to see it again, I wanted to see more. It seemed like such a short time for so much work and effort. But, I was still so happy.

Then, we went backstage after the show. In just a few minutes, all the dresses were on hangers, some were already being packed into boxes and many of the models were already gone. There was champagne being poured and we got some and I got my photo taken with Japanese supermodel Ai Tominaga. It was a little embarrassing to ask her, but she kindly agreed. I then posed for a photo with Yumi Katsura and Ji Haye.

It was really an honor to be one of the few Kyoto brands to be invited to take part in this fashion show. I spent a few days in Paris with my daughter, who also works at Pagong, I was so impressed at what a fashionable and beautiful place Paris is. At Pagong, we are developing a new brand of products and being in Paris made me realize that we are going in the right direction creatively with this new project.

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