Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Japanese Designer Yuima Nakazato's Cosmic Couture

Yuima Nakazato in Paris with a model wearing a long coat created with the designer's new technology and recycled parachutes. Cover picture of and photograph (above) by Elli Ioannou
Japanese couturier Yuima Nakazato was inspired by the Space Age and interstellar travel for his new cosmic haute couture collection shown in Paris last month. The designer continues his exploration of new production technologies and recycled materials to create unique clothes that can be updated and worn for generations, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Photographs by Elli Ioannou

Bomber jacket made using Nakazato's
riveted pieces of laser-cut,
discarded materials
YUIMA Nakazato likes to create futuristic collections that explore new technology in fashion. Astronauts, space travel and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey all inspired his new work. This season, the designer used recycled materials such as airbags and parachutes that are laser-cut and put together without sewing. Instead, they are riveted together with the couturier's special, patented snap connections. The designer uses these modular components to create clothes that fit each contour of the wearer's body and can be quickly and easily repaired or altered in colour and shape depending on changing fashions.

This season, the young designer used other discarded industrial materials to create supple, A-line coats and dresses, banded tunics and stylish bomber jackets. The space theme was also more literal with several models wearing white spacesuits, gleaming, domed helmets and panelled dresses with satellite images of earth. The new collection is part of Nakazato's continuing exploration of fashion and technology. Called Harmonise, the collection was shown last month during the Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris at the Elephant Paname. While the overall look of the show draws on space travel, Yuima Nakazato also went deeply into the technology that is actually used to create garments for astronauts. The designer spoke to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( JAXA) about their ongoing research into creating the perfect spacesuit.

The inspiration for the collection was drawn from the spacesuit research by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

The studies made by JAXA related to Yuima Nakazato's experiments with using units of fabric that are riveted together to fit each individual customer. This technology allows garments to be updated or changed in form and material according to new fashions or changes in the wearer's body shape. Yuima Nakazato calls the production process the 'unit constructed textile' that allows customisation of each garment to the size of the wearer. He has already experimented with 3D printing and body scanners to produce clothes that are a perfect fit. Mr. Nakazato's method is a technology the designer has been exploring for several years along with creating more sustainable fashion. The inspiration for the current collection was drawn from the exterior structure of spaceships and the spacesuit research by the team at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

White spacesuits with domed helmets
captured the Space Age theme 
Yuima Nakazato says it was also important for him to understand how vital a recyclable system is in space to sustain long-term stays with limited resources. This lead to the designer's research and development into using discarded industrial products originally designed to protect humans such as airbags and parachutes, from around the world. Mr. Nakazato dismantled and reassembled the materials using his digital fabrication method and the craftsmanship of his atelier in Tokyo's Shibuya district. He found the materials were able to be repurposed and used to created innovative fabrics. "Our system of putting the finished designs together allows the atelier to make updates to the garment in response to changing environments and the wearer’s body shape, significantly extending the lifespan of the piece to semi-permanent," explains Yuima Nakazato. "With this system, clothing can truly harmonise with each wearer and adapt to the world they live in." While the couturier has a strong vision of the future of fashion, he also looks back to Japanese tradition to inform his work, including kimonos that are reused and kept in families for generations. These precious pieces are not thrown away but repaired and kept for future use

"These are the garments designed for pioneers who dare venture into the new age. This collection is our message to the future."

The designer called the collection Harmonise because he wanted to bring the human body and clothing together in a new way. Yuima Nakazato sees mankind's growth reflected in our way of manufacturing and wearing garments. He uses outer space as a symbol of the future, dreaming of worlds beyond our own. Looking back to Neil Armstrong’s first footprints on the moon and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the designer is inspired by the 1960s, a time when we were fascinated with the future and exploring the universe in a way that is only now becoming a reality today. "We put together this collection with the hope of expanding the possibilities of mankind, even if it is a small step," says Yuima Nakazato. "These are the garments designed for pioneers who dare venture into the new age. This collection is our message to the future."

 Tap on photographs for full-screen slideshow
Yuima Nakazato likes to create futuristic collections that explore new technology in fashion.

Astronauts, space travel and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey inspired Nakazato's new work.

 This season, the designer used recycled materials such as airbags and parachutes that are laser-cut and put together without sewing.
Instead, the garments are riveted together with the couturier's special, patented snap connections.
The space theme was also more literal with several models wearing white spacesuits, gleaming, domed helmets and panelled dresses with satellite images of earth.
While the overall look of the show draws on space travel, Yuima Nakazato also went deeply into the technology that is actually used to create garments for astronauts. 
 
 
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