Tag Archives: Digital

Innovative Japanese fashion by ANREALAGE

Innovative Japanese fashion by ANREALAGE

My youngest sister is very much into the Japanese culture and as a result some of her interest has poured through to me. We find ourselves watching the odd documentary on NHK Network, regarding various aspects of Japanese life and culture, including fashion.

Today we came across some very interesting examples of Japanese designers pushing the boat in terms of producing something new, innovative, creative and artistic! The design house ANREALAGE has created some very unique collections and is headed by Japanese fashion designer Kunihiko Mohinara.

I want to firstly mention one of his previous collections (AW 2011/2012) where he took the concept of pixel display to a whimsical level in use with outlines and prints on his garments. It looks quite fun, unique and yet stylish. Here are some stills from a video of the catwalk which is available to view here: http://www.tokyofashionfilm.com/pages/anrealage_2011aw_collection.html

AW 2011-12 collection by ANREALAGE, Japanese Fashion
AW 2011-12 collection by Kunihiko Mohinara for ANREALAGE

What really caught my eye and interest was ANREALAGE’s most recent, AW 2013/2014 collection. Part of this collection was based on an innovative presentation of colour on garments. The models walked down wearing head to toe white, walked to the middle of the stage where there was a circular turntable and stood here. The turntable started to rotate 360 degrees and slowly the colours on the garments appeared. The garments changed to become blocks of colour, some containing patterns in pastel shades of pink, yellow, and blue. At first I thought it was just the lighting that was changing as a sort of projection on to the clothes. Then the commentator mentioned that the garments are actually made with photocronic textiles containing compounds which respond to UV light. I guess it’s similar to those reaction lenses you have on glasses where they become sunglasses as soon as you’re in the sun. But this idea is brilliant. It’s responsive and interactive!

AW 2013-14 collection by Kunihiko Mohinara for ANREALAGE
AW 2013-14 collection by Kunihiko Mohinara for ANREALAGE

Watch the video to see the effects in action:

Some of these clothes look cool even in plain white. I think this method of showcasing the clothes in all white at first forces the audience to appreciate the cuts, shapes and styles of each piece before hitting home the effect that colour can have on their appreciation of it. Fashion is an art form which sometimes is taken for granted. We all do it as it’s a bit of a commodity, daily necessity and sometimes a luxury to look for, buy and own new clothes and accessories.

A designer has so much to fulfill, the creation of something that appeals on an aesthetic level as well as in it’s fit to the human body. Therefore the cutting, stitching, wearing of the garments becomes a huge responsibility. This really comes through when you see each piece on the catwalk as a blank white foundation, the basis on which colours enhance the design.

Digital Crystal at the Design Museum in partnership with Swarovski

Pandora by Fredrikson Stallard part of the Digital Crystal exhibition at the Design Museum
Pandora by Fredrikson Stallard featured as part of the Digital Crystal exhibition at the Design Museum

Not everyone is aware of Swarovski’s involvement in a huge range of arts related projects. If there is any medium that you can apply a swarovski crystal, fabric or gem on then be sure it has probably been done. Some are obvious – clothes, bags, shoes, mobile phones, watches, and of course jewellery. And some are not so obvious – lighting, trees, pens, artwork… just be a little imaginative with your googling terms with the addition of ‘Swarovski’ and you may be pleasantly surprised with their collaborations with other huge names across a number of industries.

But let’s cut to the chase and discuss the reason for this post – a current exhibition at the Design Museum in London (05 September 2012 – 13 January 2013). An exhibition of digital art featuring either physical, virtual or theoretical crystals.

The exhibition has works of art by some very well known artists:

Hye-yeon Park
Ron Arad
Hilda Hellstrom
Marcus Tremonto
Philippe Malouin
Fredrikson Stallard
Arik Levy
Anton Alvarez
Paul Cocksedge
Yves Behar
Maarten Baas
Random International
Beta Tank

On the Museum’s web site the description is:

Over the past decade Swarovski’s design and architecture commissions have served as an important experimental platform for leading figures in design to conceptualise, develop and share their most radical ideas. For this exhibition, the Design Museum and Swarovski are collaborating to challenge designers to explore the future of memory in the fast developing digital age. The result is 15 unique installations giving you a glimpse of the future of memory.

Visit the Design Museum website for further details: http://digitalcrystal.designmuseum.org/

I think you’ll know why I’m excited about this merging of art, design and technology once you’ve seen the promo video. It reminds me of the excitement I felt during my Digital Arts MA, the possibilities the new technologies (both software and hardware) allow and how your ideas can contribute to the most unique presentations and output.