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
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!
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.