Star Light, Star Bright
Harper's Bazaar Malaysia|February 2019

Hikari Mori, Japanese model and It Girl du jour, jumps from appearing as a guest judge on Netflix’s ‘The Final Table’ to starring on Harper’s BAZAAR Malaysia’s cover this month. Here, she shines light on growing up as fashion royalty, keeping her zen, and finding happiness in the Insta-generation. By Amy Yasmine. Photographed by Yuji Watanabe.

Amy Yasmine
“Don't touch my moustache!” Hikari Mori exclaimed, as I was getting her dressed in an origami-esque ’80s cocktail dress by Louis Vuitton for Harper’s BAZAAR Malaysia’s February 2019 cover story. But before you jump to any conclusions, no, the Japanese supermodel doesn’t have a moustache—nor was I touching one. She was merely teaching me how to say “you’re welcome” phonetically in her native Japanese. “It’s actually pronounced dÅ itashimashite, but if you say it fast enough to an English speaker, it sounds like you’re telling someone not to touch your moustache!” Laughter ensued, and needless to say, I’ve been using that phrase ever since.

Such is the 26-year-old’s infectious charm; her sunny disposition was also a welcome contrast to the sobering downpour that unexpectedly enshrouded Tokyo. Fun fact: there was a strange bout of an Indian summer the week before our shoot, with the Japanese capital reaching highs of 28°C despite it being early in December. So when the temperatures dropped, who better than Hikari to liven up the room?

Dressed in an effortless mix of A Bathing Ape fur bomber jacket, slogan Missoni tee, and billowing palazzo trousers, the statuesque beauty was reminiscent of a young Tina Chow, the ’80s pixie-haired socialite whose irreverent spirit made her a muse to designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani. Hikari was all smiles as she entered our Japanese tea house studio, in the heart of Tokyo’s Minato district. “Konnichiwa!” she chirped, bowing respectfully to the crew. I followed suit, because not only was it customary, but I was also bowing to fashion royalty.

In case her last name isn’t enough of a hint, Hikari is the granddaughter of famed Japanese couturier Hanae Mori, the first Asian woman to be inducted into the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Known for her signature butterfly prints, Hanae dressed influential women such as Nancy Reagan, Imelda Marcos, and Princess Grace of Monaco, and was awarded the Order of Légion d’Honneur by former French president François Mitterand in 1989.

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