At the moment, the fashion world seems to place an emphasis on ethical or natural products, but for me this doesn't sound new at all. In my opinion, human beings have always cultivated their civilizations while being affected by nature. I would say that the fashion industry even devises marketing buzzwords and strategies based on this idea.
- shoe designer Masaya Kushino
Known for his baroquely elaborate, yet whimsical, footwear couture, Kushino looks forward by looking back. The iconic Japanese platform / flip-flops known as Pokkuri - originally worn by the courtesans (called Oiran) of the Edo era - inspired Kushino to create a version with glowing, lantern'esque sculptures in the heels. The extravagant, Gothic feel of the Victorian era produced these lavishly-embellished creations, and the medieval period is an ongoing source of ideas. "The golden ages of lost cultures or civilizations have always enchanted me and given me a sense of nostalgia," he explains. "They were produced with the cutting-edge techniques of the age, and cost an incredibly big sum of money to create, not to mention time and the labor of many people — all in an effort to show off one’s prosperity."
And who better to show off elaborate displays of abundance, than Mother Nature, where Kushino finds endless inspiration.
Particularly periods of transition that accompany the changing of the seasons, which Kushino fashioned into floral-festooned beauties (top). On a deeper level, though, he designed them to explore how our natural environment relates to - and impacts - human purpose, as funneled through the lens of the animal kingdom. In particular, the shapes. "These forms change from time to time according to the environment and other factors, but on the other hand they are also final forms in a way," he adds, noting that the look is determined solely by "the forces of the universe, and transcend the realm of human civilization."
- Lesley Scott
NOTE: Honoring the past to help us pave the way forward fashionwise is a signature of the Folkspun fashion tribe. For more of my posts about this tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.