writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

Ring-a-Round-o’ Rosies,  バラの花輪だ、手をつなごう
A pocket full of posies,  ポケットは花束でいっぱいにして
Ashes! Ashes!  ハックション!ハックション!
We all fall down.  みいんなでころぼ。

欧米では、誰もが知っているこの童謡はマザーグースのものだ。よく、手をつなぎ丸くなって歌っている子供達を見かける。ちょうど日本でいうかごめかごめや、花いちもんめのような遊びと言えば分かりやすいだろうか。そして、国内外にかかわらず古くから伝わる同様には”怖い意味”や”都市伝説”がつきものだったりする。
Ring a Round o Rosies (RRR)も例外ではなくて、実は死を象徴するような意味が隠されていると言われているのだ。イギリスを始めヨーロッパでは、ヨーロッパ全人口の約3割を死亡させたという「ペスト(black death)」が大流行したという歴史がある。この曲はそれについて歌っていて、バラはペストの赤い斑点症状、花束はペスト予防のハーブ、そしてくしゃみはペストの初期症状を意味しているとのこと。

2017ssのリトゥンアフターワーズの展示会に行ったとき、このストーリーで頭がいっぱいになった。赤と黒(死)と白(生)のカラーパレット、まるで死から自分を守るようなサークル状の花…まさにRRRじゃん!!!ってね。

Ring-a-Round-o’ Rosies, 
A pocket full of posies,  
Ashes! Ashes!  
We all fall down.  

It’s a children’s song and rhyme that anyone from Western cultures knows. Children hold hand and sing while moving in a circle. In Japan, they have “kagome, kagome” and “hana ichimonme”. Variations of “Ring around the rosie” is said to have been inspired by the Black Death and The Great Plague in London (the rash that signifies the Plague was a pink ring on the skin, and people filled their pockets with flowers as they thought it would help to ward the sickness off). The Plague took 30% of Europe’s population, in a swift sweep of death.

Writtenafterwards’ 2017 SS collection was filled with appliques of pretty flowers on white, transparent organdy. On the floor of the gallery space was a ring of plastic flowers in yellow, red and blue. And the “main” piece of the collection was a round dress with no armholes, with flower appliques around the edges. Tucked inside some pockets were tiny satchels. Was there any doubt? It HAD to be about the song and the Black Death. This is avantgarde brand Writtenafterwards we’re talking about. Right? RIGHT??!

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

デザイナーの山縣さんがRRRからインスピレーションを受けたのかどうかは置いておいて、一度RRRに占拠された頭ではこのコレクションがもう”死”と結びついたものに見えてしまってしょうがなかった。

オーガンジーやニット(なんと、素材は和紙らしい!) など、透け感や軽さを強調したピースで、死のイメージの”重さ”と対比させているように見えたし、肌と重なると浮かび上がるフラワーモチーフのイノセントさには、無知がゆえにペストの脅威にやられてしまった当時の人々の切なささえ感じたりして。

この解釈は、ブランド側の考えたストーリーとは合致しないかもしれない。でも、自分のフィルターを通して観ることでより一層コレクションが魅力的に映ったりもする。つまり、自由にファッションを”着る”楽しみがあるのだから、自由にファッションを”観る”ことを楽しんでもいいのだ。そしてそれは、いつも山縣さんが話す「装う事の自由や楽しさを表現したい」という想いにも通づるのだとおもう。

そして、ちょうど本日から12月25日まで表参道のロケットギャラリーにて山縣さんによるアートの個展が開催されます。詳細 ↓↓

「Fashion Illustrations by Yoshikazu Yamagata」
会期: 2016年12月16日(金)~25日(日)
時間: 11:00~21:00
場所: 表参道ROCKET
東京都渋谷区神宮前4-12-10 表参道ヒルズ同潤館3F

I literally face palmed and laughed at myself (you know, when cartoon characters throw their heads back 200 deg and laugh? That was me). I excitedly told designer Yamagata that I was *totally* on the same page of the meaning behind it all, and how interesting it was. He looked at me with question marks in his eyes. “Actually, the theme is “FLOWER” and has no meaning behind it at all. I haven’t heard of that children’s song before…”

Even though it wasn’t what Yamagata had intended, he acknowledged that it was a fascinating read of the collection, and it resonated as something deep and thought-provoking. But no matter! The collection is quite pretty to look at, and full of charm and grace. Yamagata, with his brands Writtenafterwards and …Written By, as well as the fashion school Coconogacco that he co-runs with Mikio Sakabe, have made him one of the most progressive designers Japan has produced today. He has staged shows in which children of all creeds walked to Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” while adults rolled around in giant balls painted like the Earth, and his last show was inspired by Ge, Ge, Ge Kintaro, the manga based on Japanese ghosts and folklore. It’s always fun to see what he will come up with and translate it into clothing. I personally own a sweatshirt printed with one of Yamagata’s original paintings, in which a ghost girl with red eyes throws out a ghastly large red tongue. His “Heal the World” show actually brought Colette’s Sarah Andelman to tears. Although Yamagata and his brand Writtenafterwards are not household names, he is a force in the artistic realm of fashion, no doubt.

And speaking of art, he is holding an exhibit of his original artwork created from his time as a student until now, at Omotesando Hills’ Rocket Gallery until Dec 25th.

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection

writtenafterwards 2017ss collection