2021 marks a double anniversary for Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato. His brand turned 10 this year, and the fall collection is his 10th couture collection.
For this milestone, he wanted to use his full repertoire of techniques, from the ancestral “boro” patchworking technique to his sewing-free Type-1 assembly system and the “biosmocking” textile-modeling method applied to a protein-based biomaterial from Japanese producer Spiber.
The starting point of his designs was the shape of sound waves. “Today, information is mainly visual, especially in fashion, and I wanted to mix the words and voices,” he said during a Zoom preview, explaining that voices can express much about their owner, from the size of their bodies to aspects of their character. This led him to the idea of whale songs, one of the elements included on gold disks sent out on NASA’s Voyager spacecrafts as records of life on Earth.
Silhouettes were dictated by the use of rectangular shapes, in a nod to the construction methods of traditional Japanese clothing. A brand-new metallic version of the biomaterial gave an iridescent sheen to jacquards in tones of blue.
In others, Nakazato applied the high-tech textile-modeling to turn some of these rectangles into flowing gowns echoing the shapes of waves — water and sound alike — while stately coats cut from thick wools or leather were assembled using his Type-1 closures.
The designer said he wanted to express a feeling of universality through his cast, of all ages and genders. The ensemble left an otherworldly impression, heightened by the soundtrack featuring water-themed music by celebrated Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto — Nakazato has admired his work since childhood — and the sky visible through the monumental bay windows of the building in Japan’s Yokohama harbor where the show was filmed.
Nakazato said he would soon start offering clients the possibility of sending their old leather jackets to be given a new lease of life through his Type-1 system. “Not only is it about prolonging the lifetime of a garment, but it was also important not to use virgin materials coming from animals when there is so much existing clothing already,” he said.