Do you believe in auras? Or, to put it less new-agey, that some people just have the power to command a room? I had never thought about it until I experienced a cosmic “pull” to turn around in a few crowded rooms in the past and standing right behind me would be a super-famous celeb. I don’t know why I felt the urge to turn towards them, but their presence kind of just washes over you (doesn’t mean every celeb has “it”!). But anyway, I kind of felt that way about a designer recently.
To be honest, I don’t really know how to even introduce this young guy because I know basically nothing… and no lookbook photos, no website, just a few exchanged emails.
It started when Lady Gaga was in Japan for her world tour recently and she wore this really crazy-cool galactic dress made out of mirrors to visit the newly opened Sky Tree. It was neato, and I didn’t recognize it from anything I’d seen before. I found out it was an underground Japanese brand called “Grapeman” with designer Daisuke Yoshikawa from Hokkaido and followed him on Twitter with a request: “Hiya! Could you send me some PR photos to [email protected]? Thank you!”. The designer responded in kind….. by filling my entire inbox with like 40 emails, each one of a single snap of his various pieces on a mannequin taken with a mobile phone.
I went through each one, as they all contained details about how it was constructed or the idea behind the design. I really felt the passion behind the designer and the time he took to do that. After the exchange I had the opportunity to borrow some of his pieces for a job from FAKE Showroom (aka CANDY in Shibuya) although I didn’t get to wear them myself (dang!). It is extremely well constructed and detailed, especially in the pleats and draped stitching.
I don’t know much, and the photos aren’t as pretty as you would expect from this blog, BUT without further ado I present you with “grapeman”:
This dress was made while Yoshikawa was still in school in Hokkaido which makes sense since once you graduate and start your own brand, you run out of time to construct such fantastical pieces (ugh, that system sucks, really). Here is his collection. All descriptions are courtesy the designer(‘s many emails. lol).
This is inspired by “time”. I used real rust on satin.. it’s pretty dirty, but I think it represents time well.
The tubes are hourglasses filed with sand.
This jacket above was made in the image of a manga and flipping through it’s “para para” pages (I asked him if “para para” meant the dance. Oops!)
I made this inspired by the body’s muscles.
I pleated this light blue fabric, dyed it, then did some “backwards pleats” on top of that. The dress below uses the same technique.
A geometric rider’s jacket.
The front of this jacket is simple but the back is crazy detailed.
I made this inspired by the flow of water. The fabric actually changes from white to blue.
This is a geometric coat that is covered in little tucks and pleats.
“I`m hoping to make clothes that will make people happy, and at the same time create costumes that will reverberate in their creativity.”