AURALEE has slowly gained steam over the past few years, thanks to a growing base of international stockists and a die-hard following in its native Japan. For Fall/Winter 2021, the brand diffuses its core tenets — exquisite custom textiles, effortless silhouettes, a versatile color palette — into a mature assortment of seasonal layers, drawing from its disparate influences to create a collection of intelligent, cohesive apparel.
Anchored by a collaborative New Balance 550 sneaker and leather shoes crafted by foot the coacher, AURALEE’s latest affair is rich with comfort-focused apparel ideal for our uncertain times. Boxy tailoring, generous slip dresses, patterned wool jackets, trim sweatpants and plenty of jersey base layers make for easygoing outfits, as AURALEE prefers to subtly update recognizable garments with extreme quality and relaxed cuts than entirely reinvent the wheel with fashion-forward designs.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that designer Ryota Iwai is resting on his laurels. There are countless subtle tweaks and painstakingly small adjustments that elevate everything in the seasonal milieu, like the high necks applied to fleece jackets or the knitwear that’s cut with minimal seams for maximum comfort. Even AURALEE’s twists on the classic denim trucker jacket and matching five-pocket jeans are cut from a specially-woven cotton and finished with a higher rise and looser leg to heighten wearability.
“Every season, we always aim to never overproduce and avoid waste … Our goal is also to create only the highest quality products that are meant to be cherished and worn for a long time,” Iwai told the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, which hosts Paris Fashion Week. “I directly witness and have my hand in how our clothing is made. In developing our own fabrics, we are able to have control, we try to use natural materials as much as possible … with producing everything domestically, we are able to support and maintain localized craft.”