Gnyuki Torimaru was born in Miyazaki-Ken, in Japan, in 1937. He studied architecture before becoming a textile engineer. He spent some time in Chicago in the USA where he studied Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago, before he made London his permanent home in 1964. He attended the London College of Fashion, graduating in 1966.

He used the professional name YUKI. His first job was as a pattern cutter for Louis FERAUD before going on to work for Michael of Carlos Place, and also for the design houses of Norman HARTNELL and Pierre CARDIN. He acquired valuable training which enabled him to consider branching out on his own.

In 1972, he launched his own label collection at Harvey Nichols. He soon enjoyed a degree of fame for his one-size hooded or draped jersey dresses, often inspired by monastic garb. His dramatic cut often uses panels cut on a full circle - a luxurious technique which gives maximum fullness that can be achieved, without seaming.

In 1984, Yuki discovered a luxurious non-crease polyester, which could maintain long-lasting pleats. Using intricate pleating techniques, he created ever more fantastic designs.

He now licenses under his Japanese name Gnyuki Torimaru and has a shop of this name in Belgravia, London.

In the 80's, Princess Diana was keen to wear dresses made by designers from the countries she would be visiting. So when a visit was planned for Japan in 1986, she considered Japanese designers. Yuki dressed the wife of Lord Drogheda who mentioned the designer to the Princess. He submitted 3 sketches and she took them all.

She wore his dress for the highlight of the visit, a banquet with Emperor Hirohito. It was an uncrushable royal blue dress of pleats, with bugle bead panels at the neck and waist.

Who Wears It

Princess Diana

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