Fashion Designer Yumi Katsura Gets Rosy in Tokyo Show; Leading Japanese Bridal Fashion for Nearly 60 Years

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Wedding dresses featuring the iconic Yumi Line silhouette are seen at a show held in Meguro Ward, Tokyo, on March 5.

Bridal fashion designer Yumi Katsura hosted a fashion show in Tokyo on March 5, unveiling about 70 new pieces adorned with her brand’s hallmark rose motifs, ahead of next year’s 60th anniversary of her career creating bridal wear.

Katsura opened Japan’s first bridal specialty store in Tokyo in 1964 and held her first show exclusively for wedding dresses the following year. She has been a leading figure in the industry since then. Roses, a symbol for love and beauty, have been a constant in her designs from the beginning, featuring in embroideries, laces, prints and artificial flowers.

The March 5 show kicked off with a dress showcasing Katsura’s signature Yumi Line silhouette. Introduced in 1981, the design, featuring a slender figure distinguished by its flowing heml, was inspired by a type of kimono with a trailing hemline. The show also featured dresses in glamorous all-over lace and those adorned with tulle.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A model showcases a dress fully adorned with roses made from leftover fabric.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
A dress adorned with delicate embroidered lace evokes a sense of springtime.

Later, dresses adorned with roses were shown on the runway, each differing in materials and designs. One pure white dress, decorated with voluminous roses on the shoulders and skirt, and another finished with delicate beads and frills, took six months to a year to create. A yellow evening dress with delicate embroidered lace evoked the imagery of a flowering field.

A number of suits catering to men’s demand for wardrobe changes during wedding parties were also notable at the show. These suits showcased a rich palette of colors, including a grayish pale pink and deep earth tones.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Men’s suits are also seen at the show.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Models in traditional Japanese attire make their appearance riding a two-seat vehicle with an umbrella.

For her traditional Japanese wedding attire, a striking piece was a uchikake — a long outer garment — adorned with three-dimensional white flowers on the back. The runway was enlivened by models appearing in an “&brella,” a two-seat vehicle crowned with an umbrella. The vehicle, developed by Toyota Motor Corp., added a theatrical touch to the presentation.

The show closed with a gorgeous haute couture dress fully adorned with roses made from leftover fabric in consideration of the environment.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Bridal fashion designer Yumi Katsura is seen at the center during the finale of her fashion show.

When Katsura first opened her shop, only 3% of brides wore wedding dresses. Now, they are well-established in Japan, and she advocates for a coexistence of both Japanese and Western styles. “Today’s show is a continuation of my daily creative activities,” the 94-year-old designer said. “Next year marks the 60th anniversary of my creative activities, so I’ll do my best toward that.”