[Katsushika Hokusai (Japan, 1760–1849), Amida Falls on the Kiso Highway, circa 1833. Color woodblock print. LACMA's collection. Gift of Max Palevsky.]
Maybe it's all because traditional Asian references like obi-style wraps have been popping up on the runways, but I instantly made a connection between a print used to publicize the upcoming Hokusai show at LACMA and a couple of pieces in Billy Reid's spring line.
In the literal sense, Reid's skinny white-on-navy stripes flanked by Asian-style pelicans kind of call to mind Hokusai's simplified white bands on inky blue used to represent Japanese waterfalls. And just as the longest stripes run down the center of Reid's made-in-the-U.S. silk Mandarin dress, Hokusai's vertical bands nearly bisect his 19th-century woodblock print, cutting through a rocky landscape. Another similarity, though, is that the clothes and the art are somehow spare and rich at the same time.