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Yuima Nakazato Couture Spring 2024

Sometimes a fashion show has the power to move the soul. With his spring outing, Yuima Nakazato did just that, transcending analysis and setting his creations against a dance performance and live music created in tandem with choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, with whom he has been working on “Idomeneo,” set to open at the Grand Théâtre de Genève next month.

His powerfully poetic collection was intended to be a replication of nonverbal communication through art, open to a plurality of interpretations. “Fashion is nonverbal communication, and performance is also nonverbal,” Nakazato said. “There are so many meanings in this collection for today. There is not only one answer.”

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The Mozart opera’s storyline, which tells of human suffering during the ancient Greek wars, and a research trip to Crete, led to the discovery of the intricacy of antique armor, becoming the starting point for an exploration of military attire through the ages. Nakazato compared his designs to “ephemeral armor,” contrasting utilitarian elements with the delicate handwork of couture. “Armor has to be very strong, but I tried to make it very fragile armor, which is the opposite of fighting or war,” the designer explained.

Draped and layered silk in graduated black and white formed voluminous capes or sculptural ruffles that surrounded the body, accentuated with bold yet delicate ceramic, glass and platinum jewelry and hardware in organic forms, overlapping silver tails evoking antique breastplates and meshwork nodding to camouflage gear. Reclaimed uniforms and workwear were shredded and woven into new khaki textiles, used to form silhouettes referencing contemporary utilitarian garb like bomber jackets and trenchcoats, but with the poetic, almost ceremonial touch that makes Nakazato’s handprint so characteristic.

Male and female models negotiated their path around a curious red pool at the center of the runway before musician Tsubasa Hori began her piano and vocal performance and dancer Pau Aran Gimeno emerged from backstage, barefoot and all in white. As he entered the basin, the blood-like liquid began to soak the fabric of his costume, then dramatically staining the white carpet as he continued his procession and the models made their finale.

The audience seemed moved with a sense of emotion that was difficult to define, aside from the awareness that it was a special moment, and an equally special collection.

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Launch Gallery: Yuima Nakazato Couture Fall 2024

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