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  • The beauty of the moment 05.11.2021

    The mellow light of sunset-red, the sharp midnight moonlight. Entering through the blinds surfacing were extending straight shadows. Staring carefully at the shadows, the edges were blurry, gradations of the shadow dimly spreading.

    Expressing the vaguely delineated edges and colors, are tie-dyeing techniques from Central Asia dating back to the Nara Period. In particular, a technique from 400 years ago called Itajime Shibori, a shaped-resist dyeing technique is used, which are also seen in Ukiyoe from the Edo period.

    Fabrics are folded in screen-like fashion, then sandwiched between two pieces of wood, which are then held in place with string. The shadowed stripes painted by blinds are dyed, by folding the fabric vertically elongated, the boards resist dye except for the fold.

    With adjustments to the strength when tighten the string, to which the fabric’s dye is decided, the technique of each craftsman brings out a one in only pattern. Slight differences or unexpected patterns appearing is the beauty of Itajime Shibori.

    Different use of colors, line weight, or fabric brings out a sense of antiquity in Itajime Shibori. This season the fabric chosen for this technique was polyester, unfamiliar to Itajime Shibori. The shadows the moonlight paints or the bright orange afternoon sun dyed in a delicate line, expressing a faint gradation of light and shadows of our daily balance.

    Photography: Yuichiro Noda / Words & Edit: kontakt /Translation: Shimon Miyamoto

  • Through the sunset to midnight 26.10.2021

    From the reddened sky to a coal-black night. Different shades of light and shadow melt into darkness. Portraying the fusing scenery with time, is the marble print created in a Kyoto factory, the only factory in the world practicing the print technique.

    The Marble Print was invented in 17th century Europe. Out of the techniques, a method adopted for this collection was originated in the early 20th century using starch and pigments, blending them into dough to create the pattern. The multiple colors folded into complex patterns, brilliantly colored, extracting the beauty of the colors combined.

    However, the marble print process is a mastery done by the hands of the craftsman, and today, the Kyoto factory being the only factory in the world that practices the technique.

    The blending of starch and pigments in creating the pattern can only be done from in-depth knowledge and experience of the craftsman manually, the pattern carrying a human touch.

    Multiple colors melting, intertwining intricately, are a combination of marble mold also called ‘Kumo’ and stripes, creating a Mame Kurogouchi original. The unique versatile technique of the Marble Print, combining various aspects freely, allows for an indefinite expression.

    The finished print embodies the intricate gradation of the afternoon sun to the shadows created by blinds, the eye-catching vivid orange, the blue subtlety peaking, the intricate gradation, all symbolic to this season theme ‘The Nocturnal Window’.

    Photography: Yuichiro Noda / Words & Edit: kontakt /Translation: Shimon Miyamoto

  • Curves of lights and shadow 20.10.2021

    The nocturnal window welcomes the moonlight in. Light and shadow loosely ridged streaming through the blinds, continue painting beautiful lines. In ‘The Nocturnal Window’, curved pleats are overlapped with a night’s encounter with light and shadows.

    Generally, straight-lined pleats are created by machines, on the contrary the curved accordion pleats are crafted by the hands of artisans.

    The base of the process for creating curved pleats were double layered pattern paper. As it were origami, the fabric is then folded in and steam pressed. Curved lines created are not in uniform, but are a combined reflection of the designer’s imagination with the artisans knowledge and experience. Countless conversations took place on the width of the pleats, the sharpness of the curve, fabric selection to bring out the beauty of the curve.

    ‘The art of creating the sense of beauty visible, is my job.’

    Based on the image of ‘the curved lines painted by light and shadow through nocturnal window’, various artisans works and conversations made it possible to create the curved pleats, joined by the curved lines on the body, tell a moment of a story of light and shadows.

    Photography: Yuichiro Noda / Words & Edit: kontakt /Translation: Shimon Miyamoto

  • Prologue – The Nocturnal Window 11.10.2021

    Awakened at midnight, looking out the window, eyes met with the staring watery-moon. The cold yet gentle look, shines through the nocturnal window, slowly lightening up the room. The blank wall, furniture, and eventually one is embraced by its light. The straight lines created by the blinds through light and darkness, become bended or twirled, changing its structure in unexpected ways, drawing a unique pattern.

    Silent as if time had stopped, the moon invites one to the mysterious nocturnal window by playing with light and darkness.

    On the night with the moon, Mame Kurogouchi ‘The Nocturnal Window’ shares the surrounding stories related to the collection.

    As a continuation from last season, the window and its look hold the core importance. Newly expressed however, are the colors of sunset or night sky, and the creation by moonlight and shadows.

    The bright orange sunset slowly melting into the night sky is expressed into a marble print. Bended shadow lines on the couch turned into curved-pleats. Changing sceneries with time, are expressed into silk of fabric by mastery of Japanese traditional craftsmen, transformed into a delicate design, and become garments for each one to tell a story.

    Here we begin The Story by Mame Kurogouchi, to take you through a journey of unravelling the collection, ‘The Nocturnal Window’.

    Photography: Maiko Kurogouchi / Words & Edit: kontakt / Translation: Shimon Miyamoto