TOP > Report > Creative Café features architecture series No 3 Telling a story through dress (clothes) - architecture and fashion 2/3

Creative Café features architecture series No 3 Telling a story through dress (clothes) - architecture and fashion 2/3pict


Hiroyoshi Fukamachi
Studied under Tatsu Nagamori Akira (representative office of Nagamori). Engaged in fashion textile plan development at Marubeni, and Marubeni fashion planning. Also engaged in a local economic revitalisation business, the import and sale (Mitsukoshi, Tan Ise) of womens’ miscellaneous goods, planning factory systems and Department Store brands. In 2005, became independent. Also a representative of Meta art Japan, and a Tokyo University of Art and Design part-time teacher.

●Fashion's History and Nature
sans-culotte.jpgThere is a question of when did fashion originate. Is there someone here who would like to know about the history of fashion? This is just opinion, but I like to think it was after the French Revolution. For instance, do you know the French word 'sans-culotte'? Culotte, or half- trousers, was a symbol of the aristocracy. Sans is the word for without, so that means not wearing the 'half trousers' of the aristocracy. In other words this means the general public opposed to the aristocracy. Even now, clothes can contain a strong political message. After the French Revolution, the people against the aristocracy (the bourgeoisie) took power. Moreover through the idea of democracy, the individual became the priority. From here, the idea of individual fashion emerged for the first time. This was no longer clothing as a political symbol, but an individual symbol of fashion which had lost its political meaning. There is a viewpoint that the reason men's suits are generally grey or black is to reflect this social change and to say that 'we are not nobles, we are just ordinary people'.
In this way, fashion is deeply involved in society's change and also in societal design or architecture.
Just now I referred to the relationship between fashion and societal design or architecture. But you can't just make fashion out of clothes as an item. Various other factors are necessary such as the society and cultural background of the era and the agitation of the media. Fashion which expresses society. Various media developing. Magazines being published. Among these, literary experts started to tell various stories about fashion. For instance, Balzac called it the simple luxury. In other words, although I could have created a gaudy or decorative item, I chose not to. Such words exert an influence on the message that is incorporated in fashion.

●Trend = creating a global market
IMG_0814.JPGFukamachi:Currently, Europe is the main starting point for trends. Basically, this is also true of Art as this has developed into a global structure. In such a world, is there a place where Japan can play an active part in fashion design? For instance, from the 1970s to the early 1980s, Japanese designers made their first shocking European debut. From the Japanese perspective, the context was that they did well, but from the European perspective, they viewed the Japanese as participating just to create a market.
In order to create a new market, or to sell clothes created in Europe, is necessary to have people who recognise the added value involved. These are people who recognise "brand"-the surplus value arising from a strong interest in the clothes. For this purpose we use designers from the country of the market involved. People, while appreciating their own country's designers, turned their attention to European clothes. The appointment of an American designer by France's Louis Vuitton (luxury brand) can be seen as a strategy towards the American market. Also added value is achieved by combining the fashion brand with contemporary artists. In this way, fashion looks at the structures of international politics, society and culture, and implement a market strategy to have itself applied in all these fields- this is my feeling.

●What is the real nature of fashion?
I would like everyone to think about the question of what the real nature of fashion is, and how once, the societal structural changes involving the destruction of the noble classes, gave rise to the current meaning of fashion.
How was fashion born? First we will think about it from the macro viewpoint (that of all society). We all like to share some image associated with people who do interesting things or are of very high rank. (A form of standardisation). Copying or mimicking a person you admire is one source of fashion, it is said. Then the person who is copied will look again for something new-differentiation.
In order for many people to be able to acquire fashion (standardisation), technological developments has been indispensable (science). In addition, in order to differentiate via additional special features, it is necessary for the Art of design to appeal to the emotions. Technology and design innovation continues. The technology industry repeats such standardisation and differentiation, and the design industry brings about a cultural and societal dynamism which promotes economic activity. It can be said that this dynamism is the social design or architecture which has been brought about by fashion. Moreover dynamism which has been established by the apparel industry's fashion in turn affects various other industries. For instance, the car industry.If the appeal of technological development (momentum and power) weakens, package (or external appearance) design is then required. And more new technology is also called for (e.g. from gasoline engine to hybrid). Normally it is not noticed but, even if you think this is the shape of fashion in the past, thread and fabric and technological innovation (sewing machines)'s remarkable evolution, have at various times steadily changed designs.
Now, let's think of it from the point of view of us as individuals (the micro viewpoint). From the age when humans put on cloth just to cover their bodies, to the age of dressing up. This is not just the history of clothes, but this also expresses what kind of relationship we have with clothes. Today's theme is entitled 'telling a story through dress'. First of all clothes can be seen as a thing. Also clothes can also be a symbol expressing your story- in other words clothes as a thing are also expressing an image. Lastly 'dress'. It is important that we discover ourselves what kind of clothing fits with social meanings.
IMG_0998.JPGOnce again what is the real nature of fashion? I believe that one of the important things in our life is how we are regarded by other people (recognition). The clothes we put on ourselves and the things we own, are unconscious symbols of how we want to be regarded by other people. Fashion is an important factor I believe in expressing our way of living, how we are regarded by other people, and what support we get from people.
If we look at the relationship with societal design (architecture), the composition and design of technology making things, and the design, arts and media composition and design creating a story or image, together establish the individual's dress according to the appropriate culture and societal composition and design expressed in fashion. It is an element from which fashion is born. If we grasp the nature of fashion in this way, together with the length of the time cycle, all the things in the world are fashion I believe.

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