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Japanese designer in UAE finds love in abayas
Masataka Hosso a Japanese Artist during an Interview at Oryx Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Designer aims at blending Emirati fashion with unique weaving technique.

A respect for tradition is what both UAE and Japan share in common when it comes to dress designing. That's why Japanese artist and fashion designer, Masataka Hosoo, has fallen in love with abayas and wanted to blend the two unique cultures in Emirati fashion.
On his recent visit to Abu Dhabi, Hosoo told Khaleej Times that his love for art and fashion is deep-rooted in his veins, as it goes back to his own family heritage.
"The Hosoo family once created costumes for Japan's emperors and warriors centuries ago. I'm the 12th generation of the family and this is why it's necessary for me to continue their name."
Hosoo, which was founded in 1688, is in fact still located in its original premises, in a machiya, (wooden townhouse), situated in Kyoto. The city was once the capital of Japan and known as the emperor's residence from 794 until 1868.
Tracing their textile techniques back to the sixth-century Kyoto, the Hosoo family is known for their unique skills within Japanese three-dimensional weaving, which was developed over 1,200 years ago, better known as Nishijin.
The method is a tradition named after a district in Kyoto, which was heavily popularised by the nobles of the Imperial Court of the town and the samurai class. Nishijin is a special yarn dying and weaving technique traditionally used for kimonos and obi-belts.
The unique weaving process has been recognised for centuries for the richness in detail and the depth of opulence, which were certainly represented in Hosoo's fabrics that he shared. The blends of colours, which often change as they hit the light, are magic for the eyes and soul. The process is not that of ease, as it takes place over a number of various and different stages, which helps create the depth of structure itself.
The designing of patterns and dyeing of the yarns are critical stages in the process and the inclusion of gold and silver washi paper shreds, which are woven with silk threads, certainly adds a touch of ambiance.
However, the artist, who has sold work to Christian Dior, Chanel and Graff, highlighted that he started his business five years ago to focus on the domestic market.
His trip to UAE opened up his eyes to new horizons and ideas of incorporating local Emirati fashion, with his own.
"I'm really impressed with the fashion here, especially the ladies' abaya," he said, adding that, "I have spoken to local designers here to look at ways of blending the two fashion cultures into one."
"My idea is to bring Japanese fashion to UAE and create unique forms of abayas made from our traditional fabric and textile," said the 37-year-old. He added that Islamic patterns and calligraphy reminded him of historic Japanese calligraphy. More recently, the designer, who's Hollywood celebrity clients include singer Pharrell Williams, began looking at ways of using biological technology in his fashion, by incorporating the DNA found in jellyfish into the silk of the fabrics.
"It's a noble technique which uses tradition and innovation of science."
Hosoo, who was selected as Japan's top 100-business man in 2014, said he would soon return to UAE's capital and bring his methods here for Arab women to wear and enjoy.
"Both UAE and Japan look at ways of preserving their culture and heritage, and both countries look at ways of blending history with modernity."