While haute couture has, in recent years, moved toward displaying the textural qualities of embellishment through abstraction, Maison des Perles brooches, pins and necklaces are largely representational. Founding artist Môko Kobayashi uses classical haute couture embroidery techniques to create playful accessories that shimmer and enchant. Kobayashi approaches her subjects with a penetrating attention to detail. Each bead is reminiscent of a pixel; every one critical to the entire image. Each crystal references the color on the tube of paint, and the medium's liquid magic. It is an effect accomplished through the meticulous consideration of the direction of embroidery, the type of beads used, their color and reflective qualities.
Kobayashi brings an artist's eye to the technique she learned at Ecole Lesage—the school opened by Paris' oldest embroidery studio Maison Lesage, to train a new generation in the centuries-old art of embroidery. The art is considered so intrinsic to the quality of haute couture that Chanel acquired the atelier in 2002 in a bid to ensure the tradition's longevity. Upon earning a diploma and working for several years in Paris, Chigasaki-born Kobayashi returned home to Japan to apply her mastery of the art form to the themes and aesthetic of Japan's visual culture. Her aim is "to deliver the fascination of Haute Couture embroidery to a number of people through accessory production, advertisements and embroidery workshops."