IVO MILAN – Radical Fashion Blog

Tag "scuola giapponese"

More than a clothing brand, Cosmic Wonder is a philosophy of life and a conceptual project conceived by the Japanese artist Yukinori Maeda in 1997.

At the very center,  serving as the common thread, as can be intuited by the name, there is total attention aimed at the processes that govern the terrestrial ecosystem, starting from the most basic aspects, such as light.

From artistic installations to publications and musical editions, to the building of a structure, in 2007, where the diverse applications, according to eco-sustainable criteria, were integrated to host visitors for exhibitions and concerts, with Light Source, COSMIC WONDER also becomes a high quality clothing line.

The fabrics, always with low environmental impact, are the products of an entire productive process certified as organic and eco-sustainable. The items are dyed by hand with herbs, plants and algae: madder, pomegranate, gardenia, mulberry leaves, just to name a few. The same can be said for the printing process, which always uses plant based colors.

But, contrary to what usually happens in lines designed around environmental concepts, Cosmic Wonder also places the utmost attention on the design of each single piece. Cuts, seams and the composition of the prints reflect the cultural background of the Japanese school, rich with asymmetrical shapes and unusual forms.

In the conception of an environmental lifestyle, the artist Yukinori Maeda creates an original synchronicity among the ecological directives and Zen philosophy, where harmony and beauty of the cosmos coexist and supply energy to the resources and balance of the single individual, starting with the sharing of those elementary particles that make up the light, the heat, but also dreams and ideas.


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To show once again how the limits between art and fashion are indefinable within the so-called Japanese school, we report the curious installation the architect Yoichi Yamamoto made, for Issey Miyake’s boutique in Tokyo.

A series of blue chairs, where the colourful hats by Akio Hirata, the most important Japanese hat designer, are hung and displayed.

The position of the hats hides an artificial optical effect, that is obtained through a clever combination of three-dimensional elements, the chair backs, and two-dimensional elements, the legs of the playful blue chairs.

When you look at the shop-window from a certain point of view, the apparent plainness of the installation is able to deceive the ingenuous observers. Only from a different point of view, the complicated and surprising optical illusion is revealed.

Another evidence of the essential value that is added by different skills is clear when a shop-window is not merely considered as a transient display of items to be sold, but also as a special place where abstract compositions can be shown and shared with a moving audience.

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Despite having worked with Junya Watanabe and Rei Kawakubo for nearly a decade, Abe Chitose, the young designer of the Sacai brand, was able to distance himself from his illustrious masters and develop an original and personal interpretation of fashion and clothing.

Whilst the so-called Japanese school is more inclined to look at the artistic potential of clothing, Chitose brings it back to its original function of items that must adapt and be compatible with the various needs of everyday life. This absolutely concrete and practical dimension underlines the spaces and times of our social life and tries to find a solution for different circumstances. For this purpose, Chitose employs the classic formal schemes of ordinary, mainly Western clothing, but does not renounce the process of dividing it up and putting it back together, by applying the poetic delicacy that he acquired in his work environment.

In this original mixture of East and West, sheath dresses can be found, along with trench coats, blazers and also an explicit tribute to Chanel, that at the same time is a celebration of an eternal feminine, of an original elegance.

Without being trapped by boring and regular monotony, Sacai breaks the rhythm by introducing carefully chosen devices that systematically betray what our eyes were expecting: rough juxtapositions of fabrics; simple points of junctions between different prints and materials; unexpected gatherings or layers that are camouflaged by the apparent predictability of the forms.

In the delicate balance between innovation and repetition, what prevails is an impeccable, refined and essential female silhouette.

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