Saturday 25 February 2017

Yuima Nakazato: Ignis Aer Aqua Terra

Yuima Nakazato's glinting collection Ignis Aer Aqua Terra: Fire, Air, Water and Earth.
Cover and all photographs by Elli Ioannou

Not a needle or thread were used in the creation of Yuima Nakazato's elemental show, Ignis Aer Aqua Terra. We take a look back at his second collection as part of the official haute couture calendar in Paris where Nakazato experiments with the future of fashion construction, writes Paul McDonnell. Photography by Elli Ioannou.

Glimmeringly surreal
YUIMA Nakazato works from his Shibuya studio in Tokyo, creating outfits that look more futuristic than anything featured in a science fiction film. The designer has a unique aesthetic and none of his pieces are the same, each one is custom-made for the wearer, never to be repeated.

Nakazato's latest creations are made from thousands of what he describes as 'units', these follow one of four elements: fire, air, water or earth. The collection is inspired by them and a combination of different aspects of each element. When you see them all together, the pieces have iridescent colours that shimmer as the wearer moves. Nakazato wants us to see the movement of water or fire simulated in the garment.

Voluminous sleeves in fiery hues
"By function, aesthetics, touch, form and other factors, clothing will be able to transform instantaneously," says Nakazato. "Eventually, in fashion, no two pieces will be the same." Seeing the models move under the colourful lights in Paris made the shimmering hues appear to dances over their bodies.

Nakazato has been called a neo-futurist in fashion design, one of the artists and architects who believe in the future of cities, their capacity to offer emotional experiences, experiments with new materials and new technologies to provide a better quality of life. 

The designer's latest presentation is only the second by a Japanese designer at Paris Haute Couture since 2004, as a guest of the Fédération Française de la Couture. A Japanese designer has not been on the event’s official calendar since fashion pioneer Hanae Mori retired 12 years ago.

The designer was born in Tokyo and says he learned much about the freedom of expressive art from from his sculptor father and mother, a metal carver. His family home is filled with giant art objects and made a strong contrast to strict Japanese schooling. With artists as parents, Nakazato was surrounded by art from early childhood and he says that the years of seeing and watching his parents' work, performing arts, stage design, and costumes all have influenced his work. 

Nakazato was the youngest Japanese student to graduate from the Fashion Department Master’s Course at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. So avant-garde were his shoe designs during his degree show that they were acquired by the Antwerp Mode Museum (MoMu) for their permanent collection. He was also awarded the Innovation Award by Ann Demeulemeester for his graduation collection and won the International Talent Support (ITS) Fashion Competition held in Italy, one of the two largest fashion contests in the world.

Nakazato has dressed Lady Gaga and Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas, this latest collection will look spectacular moving on stage and it will be interesting to see which performer he dresses next.

Yuima Nakazato's show appeared otherworldly and mysterious in Paris
 Nakazato's alien-like facial encrustations, asymmetrical hair pieces and transparent platform shoes all added to the Sci-Fi sense of the collection
The vibrant and intricate materials of Nakazato's creations ~ this piece does appear to embody an earthy and fiery quality
Big volumes and shimmering colours added to the impact of the designs in a darkened space
Yuima Nakazato's models appeared to be from an unknown urban tribe that had landed in the centre of Paris
The scintillating facets of Nakazato's materials
Nakazato's new tribe of futuristic urban dwellers dressed in the creations inspired by fire, air, water and the earth
Yuima Nakazato's glinting collection Ignis Aer Aqua Terra: Fire, Air, Water and Earth.
Cover and all photographs by Elli Ioannou

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