News in Pictures: Designer Mori brought elegance, functionality to fashion

Reuters file photo
Models applaud fashion designer Hanae Mori, left, at the end of her Haute Couture 2003-2004 Autumn-Winter collection in Paris in July 2003.
Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Hanae Mori is seen at Hanae Mori Building in Minato Ward, Tokyo, in December 1990.

The late Hanae Mori crafted outfits that delivered both beauty and comfort that were loved by people across the social spectrum. Japan’s most-celebrated fashion designer passed away on Aug. 11 at age 96.

Mori became involved with Paris haute couture in the 1970s and began sharing her Japan-inspired creations with the world. She designed a formal low-necked dress that the Empress wore on her wedding day when she married the Emperor, who was then crown prince, in 1993. 

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Emperor and Empress, then crown prince and princess, wave during a parade after their wedding in June 1993. The white dress was designed by Hanae Mori.

Mori’s attire allowed wearers to stand out in style. Her clothing graced a wide range of fields, from theater costumery to corporate uniforms.

Mikako Kotani, 55, wore a Mori-designed swimsuit when she won the bronze medal in synchronized swimming at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Kotani recalled how fellow competitors from other countries were amazed at her outfit, which was embroidered with a large butterfly. “Madame Mori, who was acclaimed worldwide, lent me her power through her ‘champion swimsuit,’” Kotani said.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Mikako Kotani competes in a synchronized swimming event wearing a Mori-designed swimsuit at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988.

Ballet dancer Yoko Morishita, 73, had costumes designed by Mori and still loves wearing a pale-pink Mori stole embroidered with butterflies that she bought about 20 years ago. “She expressed joy and cheerfulness in her clothes and always had respect and consideration for the wearers,” Morishita said of the legendary designer.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ballet dancer Yoko Morishita shows her stole designed by Hanae Mori on Thursday in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

Mori also designed uniforms for various companies and schools. She was responsible for designing the fourth- to sixth-generation uniforms for Japan Airlines flight attendants that were used from 1967 to 1987.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Left : A fashion show in Osaka City featuring school uniforms designed by Hanae Mori.
Right : Uniforms for Japan Airlines flight attendants, the first three from the right, designed by Hanae Mori are seen at a museum in Masuda, Shimane Prefecture, in April 2015.

Miho Komatsubara, 55, wore the sixth iteration as a JAL flight attendant. “The design was feminine, and the jersey fabric made it very functional,” Komatsubara said. “We were all proud to wear the uniform.”


Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Hanae Mori appears with her granddaughter Izumi after her last haute couture runway show in Paris in July 2004.