On 7 July 2021, YUIMA NAKAZATO presented its newest couture collection “EVOKE” at Haute Couture Week in Paris. The celebratory collection marks the brand’s 10th couture collection shown at Haute Couture Week as a guest member. The presentation this time is a combination of three different elements: a physical runway show held at Osanbashi Pier in Yokohama, Japan; a film presentation of the show premiered at the official online platform of Haute Couture Week; and a set of editorial photos shot by the photographer Yasunari Kikuma. This collection came to fruition as a result of a close collaboration with very special guests: stylist Robbie Spencer, having worked previously with Nakazato on an editorial, marking a creative reunion after 10 years apart; and composer, pianist and activist Ryuichi Sakamoto, offering his ocean-related works for the show and video.
“‘To evoke shape from the invisible thing called sound.’, I thought that doing this, in today’s visually-oriented society, would provide a hint for the next era, one, where we understand and empathize more with people that are different from ourselves. Voice makes up a vital factor of one’s character, and hearing someone speak could be soothing—after all, voice contains so much more than the mere physical bodily information of its source. I have hypothesized that if I could extract design from voice, it would lead to an ultimate made-to-measure item that could eventually open up new potential for Haute Couture.
Whales divide their life in two opposite oceanic realms: the shallow, light-filled sea, and the darkest depths where nothing can be seen. These magnificent creatures must rely on vocalization to communicate, to live— and sometimes, even to sing.
The golden record carried by NASA’s Voyager spacecrafts contains various information about the Earth, with the intention to serve as a combination of time capsule and an interstellar message to any civilization, alien or far-future human, that may recover either of them.
Among the contents of the record were the songs of whales, alongside greetings recorded in a number of different human languages. The sound of whales was imagined to help connect us with that which is unbeknownst to us. In this collection, YUIMA NAKAZATO employs the voices of whales as a metaphor for our humanity, our nature, and our planet Earth, its place in the cosmos. Its title is derived from my intention to ‘evoke’ the shape of clothes for the next era from these songs”
Our unique technology has continued to advance since last season. For this collection, Yuima Nakazato conjures the voice as a unique characteristic of individuals, focusing on creating a story centered around a non-visual sensory perception. The Biosmocking patterns are based on the frequency of the whales’ voices and are poetic visualization of their unique song. The graphics of whales that are printed on leather use multiple layers of UV inkjet prints in order to give the print a braille-like tactile feeling.
The use of virgin materials in this collection has been reduced to as low as possible. 30% of the entire collection is upcycled/repaired material, while the other materials are all natural, leaving low impact on the environment. Tradition is combined with innovation; Brewed Protein™ (synthetic protein fabric developed by Spiber.Inc.) is incorporated into Nishijin-ori, the traditional kimono textile from Kyoto, producing new fabric with a never-before-seen metallic blue shade.
Many of the looks from the collection are, like kimono, made only with square patterns provoking the form that covers all genders, body shapes and ages. Figures in Ukiyo-e became the primary source for styling with various obi-belts and layering, giving a strong sense of Japonism to the overall atmosphere.
The pre-recorded show was held at Osanbashi Pier. The main international passenger pier at the Port of Yokohama, which was designed by Foreign Office Architects (Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Farshid Moussavi), has a grand design reminiscent of the form of a whale. Three water related works by Ryuichi Sakamoto (FIREWATER, TOWARDS WATER, and AQUA), were mixed by Senjan Jansen and played at the show, evoking the awe humanity feels to our planet Earth and suggesting a new step to the next era.
Message from Ryuichi Sakamoto
“I gained acquaintance with this young designer called Yuima Nakazato for the first time. He means to democratize Haute Couture. How ambitious! He also tackles environmental and social problems from the point of view of fashion, and with a logical attitude. It came to my surprise to learn that not only does he practice conventional sustainable methods, but he even manipulates synthetic protein fabric through digital printing. I am extremely intrigued by the whale themed collection, just as how this young designer endeavors to change the world.”
A fashion designer. Born in Tokyo in 1985. Yuima founded his eponymous fashion label in 2009, and has presented his collection at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week as an official guest designer since 2016. He holds an M.A. from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, where his graduate collection earned multiple awards in Europe.
Instagram official account @yuimanakazato or https://instagram.com/yuimanakazato/
All images courtesy of Yuima Nakazato
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