Asymmetry and lace, a high chignon and low heels… In the work of Yasuko Furuta, femininity is expressed loud and clear. This young woman founded her label in Tokyo in 1997, acting entirely on her own. She had just returned from Paris, armed with a diploma from Esmod. “I went to the school to make friends, but I couldn’t speak French,” she recalls with a smile. The name of her label pays homage to the rustic robes of the Amazons, and her creations, twisting from the bust to the hips, evoke the torsion and movement of this feminine archetype. Yasuko appropriates this Occidental symbol, but she wraps it, Oriental style, in the opposite direction. The result blends beauty with simplicity, the concept of the kimono with feminine curves-“effortless,” in the opinion of buyers. “My ideal,” she says, “is a well-designed, ample garment cut from supple materials, something you can wear at home to lounge around in the bedroom.” Urbane and self-assured, the Toga woman strides the streets of Shibuya in a short puffed satin skirt and corseted t-shirt, pleated bermudas and a wavy lavaliere cravat. In the latest Toga collection shown in Paris, the tulle ruff and the outsized bow add a titillating touch to the heavy pleated knit, itself flirting with the turned-back mini-slip. Her colours are subtle and evanescent: pale green, burnished orange… “I create for a complex girl who can only live in chaos,” she admits. But it’s a chaos that has won the loyalty of the many retailers that carry her label, including the finest boutiques from Paris to Tokyo, London and Milan.