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Landscape reimagined


Perseverance, toughness.

When one visits the craftsman responsible for knit jacquards of Mame Kurogouchi, these are the words that come to mind. Furthermore, it became clear as to why many designers, including Maiko Kurogouchi herself, trusts the craftsman.

This season's key item, the landscape knit, is based on woven art pieces of a lady artist Maiko Kurogouchi met in Hakuba Nagano. The artist hand weaves the beautiful scenery of Hakuba, and Maiko Kurogouchi decided to precisely represent this into knitwear out of adoration and resonance towards the artist and her work. This is a first for Maiko Kurogouchi, to take another artist's piece and include it into her design.

Out of the artworks, four woven art pieces that capture the changing of the four seasons were chosen. Works representing summer and winter are created in a factory in Niigata. Handwoven, the fluctuation of linear patterns brings a unique warmth and layers of texture. As if one can sense the smell, temperature, or atmosphere of the landscape, rich colors of the scenery are applied to the jacquard.

Using an original program, the process of weaving the scenery is the start as well as the heart of the knitwear, requiring rich experience and bold ideas than any other process, combined with delicate techniques and time, such as the process of replicating the free lines of the designed artwork onto the squares of the canvas. The organic lines of the artwork are then converted geometrically, while adjusting the balance to leave a natural feel to the design. It is a process so intricate, that it is as if the maestro of the orchestra is also asked to join in playing instruments. This process is where the knowledge and skills of the craftsman come to light.

The thread used is a combination of multiple threads twisted, and by using this as one, while usually only able to use six threads to express its colors the process expands the use of colors. As the design is intricate yet delicate, slowly and carefully these pieces are woven, limited to one and a half pieces a day.

Through a complex process the landscape knit is created. The winter scenery, the pile of snow in the forest of Hakuba creates a tunnel and the lodge visible in front is portrayed by using concave threads.

For the summer scenery, the highlands lily garden is portrayed on the body of the canvas. On the knitted sleeves are handmade lily motifs. Each flower petal is woven differently, to give a natural blossom, which are then gently woven onto the body.

The scenery portrayed by the artist’s own hands, whom Maiko Kurogouchi adores, is now created into garments using advanced technique. The distinct and detailed expression of the art piece is re-created through the hands, perception, and passion of one.

Learning from the gentle eyes of the craftsman.

Photography: Yusuke Yamatani / Words & Edit: Runa Anzai (kontakt) /Translation: Shimon Miyamoto