Yuima Nakazato is on a path to turn haute couture on its head. Following his creative evolution over the past few years, we can somewhat easily determine that his unique designs are the uniform of the fashionable.
An intellectual designer for whom fashion is a form of fine art, Nakazato, despite the unconventional associations, has a populist appeal. On the quest to democratize haute couture, he concerns with the long term. Yet, fashion is cyclical. After witnessing his Birth, new haute couture collection presented at the transcendental space of École de Médecine Paris Descartes, we visited Nakazato at his Parisian showroom to discuss his futuristic vision of fashion, as well as a trio of disparate elements− fashion, science, and art, that Nakazato believes has the potential to realize a future full of hope.
Humble, unpretentious and kind, he presented us his Fall 2019 collection, pieces shaped and arranged so that they can be worn and adjusted with ease and comfort. „My garments are made to surpass trends“, said Nakazato at the very beginning of our conversation. „They are not designed to be your second skin but to become a part of your skin. They are like an extension of your skin, so to speak, and are made to last. I see sustainability as one of the key principles in my design process.“ This is not surprising, having in mind that Nakazato is a visionary and a creator of revolutionary fabrics.
For the collection, he used innovative and sustainable fabric developed by Japanese start-up company Spiber. The fabric is strong, light and flexible, produced through engineered fermentation of microorganisms. „The designs seen in this collection reflect our effort to expand upon the singular appeal of Spiber’s Brewed Protein, a novel, sustainable material made through a unique fermentation process. The fabrics utilized in this collection are the result of combining this cutting edge technology with traditional hand-knitting methods.“
Nakazato adopted a mathematical approach in his work, creating symmetrical pieces that are both simple and practical: the intricacies remain a mystery, but in layman’s terms this involves a complicated and arduous process of transforming two-dimensional materials into garments that cover a three-dimensional human form.
The designs say it all: Nakazato has managed to combine a clean Japanese aesthetic and avant-garde approach to fashion. „Every single piece you see in this collections has been made from Brewed Protein. Well, aside from the headpieces that were carved out from wood. They serve as a nod to my Japanese background, embodying Japanese culture through traditional shapes.
Oh, and the shoes. They are made of leather substitute“, Nakazato stated. „I have also played with adjustable forms and cuts, designing pieces with snap-closing so that they can be adapted to a person’s size and mood, and different seasons. This is what we call TYPE-1 system. It allows anyone to quickly assemble, customize, and repair the clothes. You no longer need a needle and a thread.
We use these clasps to connect fabric pieces, and they are produced using 99% plant-derived sustainable materials, representing an important step away from current widespread reliance on petroleum-based resources.“ Modern, easy and eternally wearable, Yuima Nakazato’s brand of avant-garde simplicity has worldwide appeal. „I mixed different materials together, experimented with padding techniques and used color palette that matches natural skin tones“, stated Nakazato and added that the red touch was „the hue of blood. Everyone of us has the same color, just inside of us. Thus we made it the symbol of this collection.“
Color-blocked separates are fluid and easy. There is a thoughtful balance between haute couture and comfort.
Eventually, each and every garment will be unique and different”, said Nakazato. For the past six months, I have been traveling between Tokyo, Yamagata and Paris to expand this collection from its core concept, all the while considering the path that humanity should walk moving forward. The inspiration received from each location spans nature, culture, history, and cutting edge technology.
Nakazato mixes cultures, cutting-edge technology and touches of the unexpected in order to design collections that combine modernity and history, tailoring and sculpture. This collection perhaps blends what he does best: wearable haute couture with an extravagant, yet elegant edge.