Roots and Branches:
Yasumi-san’s Lifelong Favorites

Right around the time of 45R’s founding, a certain French picture book was published in Japanese.
The book’s title translated to Patachou Captures a Star, and it quickly became one of Yasumi-san’s favorite works.
Now that story’s inquisitive, mischievous hero has inspired the name of a new collection from 45R,
to be unveiled on September 8: Pâte à chou.

Welcome to the second part of our interview with Yasumi-san! In this installment,
we delve deeper into the Pâte à chou backstory
by learning more about the type of look Yasumi-san loves and the roots of her style.

・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・ ・・・・・ ・ ・ ・

Folklorists in Japan speak of a distinction between hare and ke ー the extraordinary and the everyday.
Combining elegant hare garments with sturdy ke workwear is the distinctive 45R style.
A delicate lace blouse paired with rough work pants, the kind of gathered dress that little girls dream of
and the kind of boots that men wear when they go to sea:
This is Yasumi-san’s unique aesthetic. But what are the roots of this appreciation for contrast?

Elegance and Allure in Everyday Life for Strong, Vital Women

“I recently watched Anne of Green Gables on a streaming service. In the scenes from Anne’s early life, her adoptive mother, as a woman of that period, is always hard at work in the home. Even so, under her dress she wears a neat lace petticoat. That’s the aesthetic I prize. Not the dazzling beauty of royalty and nobility, but the femininity in the everyday.”

A dualistic approach to describing what makes 45R’s work unique could offer oppositions like ocean and mountain, male and female, East and West, US culture and European culture.

45R’s clothing lines combine a diversity of elements, but a consistent “45-ness” is palpable throughout.
Yasumi-san’s unique style is a distinct, and unshakable part of this. We asked her to explain in more detail.

“I love lace, and combining it with workwear for a ‘hard meets soft’ effect is my favorite aesthetic. 45R’s unisex monozukuri means I have a broad range of coordinates to express that through.
“Sometimes I do ponder the exact nature of my taste. I’ve kept a scrapbook of images and cuttings from movies, books, and magazines for a long time. I go through it after five years, then after ten years, and whatever remains is what I really love. Looking through these cuttings, I came to understand that while I do like girlish things, that maidenly soul needs to exist within a certain strength and toughness.”

My Roots

“This is a photo I cut out more than forty years ago. It’s a woman wearing a T-shirt with suspenders and oversized work pants, but also a delicate detachable lace collar. My roots are right here in this photograph.”

[Yasumi-san] has always had a taste for items from past decades. Products that had nothing to offer but their brand-new status struck her as somehow lacking. . . . Even living in the city, she was determined to make clothes that were rooted in the land.

This is how Yasumi-san was introduced in our commemorative 45th anniversary book, 45R.
We had her bring some long-cherished favorites from her private wardrobe, and noticed something mysterious: even when we simply placed them side-by-side, without making any effort to group old and new or East and West, there was a mysterious harmony between all of them.

Things Made with Love Last Forever

“One yardstick I use for choosing pieces is this: I place them on a very old wooden board or stone slab, and see how they blend in with that background. If I am not sure, I imagine a scene like that, and use that as the basis for deciding how valuable things are for me.
“The pieces I have held onto all pass this test. I could go further and say that things made with love stay with me forever.”

Another accessory that comes to mind as one of Yasumi-san’s favorite things is pearls. A T-shirt, jeans, and a strand of pearls: for Yasumi-san, this combination can be a complete look. Pâte à chou also contains a full range of pearl necklaces and earrings designed by her. Where did this love of pearls come from?

“One of the photographs I cut out for my collection was of French architect Charlotte Perriand. The image shows her naked to the waist, wearing men’s wool slacks and standing with feet firmly rooted as she gazes at a distant mountain range. The only item on her toned upper body is a pearl necklace. That is the photograph that made me fall in love with pearls, I think. I have been drawn to them ever since.”

Finally . . . What does Yasumi-san like outside the world of fashion?

A Fan of Sweets and Tsumekirinosuke

“I love sweets. Anything at all, as long as it’s sweet! I don’t feel like I’ve eaten unless a meal ends with dessert. After lunch today I had a Mont Blanc. Incidentally, my current favorite is the koshian dumplings from Mosuke Dango.
“I’m also surprisingly fond of demanding, detailed work. I visited a tea ceremony teacher to make my own shifuku [tea caddy pouch]. If I wasn’t a clothes designer with this company, I might be either a kimono artisan or a weaver.”

“There’s one more favorite thing I wanted to introduce: This set of nail clippers that I’ve been using for decades. The set is called ‘Tsumekirinosuke’ [tsumekiri is Japanese for ‘nail clippers’], and I received it from the bank when I first opened an account to receive my salary from work. The outside has a really cute character on it, and the nail clippers cut so well. Even if my friends do say, ‘Are you still using that?’!”

So there you have it! Yasumi-san’s mischievous side, very different from her image as a clothes designer! Her sweet tooth in particular is just like Patachou from the picture book!
Yasumi-san’s special Pâte à chou collection for our 45th anniversary will go on sale on September 8. Look forward to it!

45R photo book<四十五有>
45RPM Studio Co., Ltd.
April 5, 2022

The limited-edition collection Pâte à chou will debut in September 2022.
Actual products may vary in details.

Pâte à chou – “Ocean” line, available locations outside of Japan,
New York
Hong Kong

Explore more at Pâte à chou Instagram account
Read The Pâte à chou Backstory