Picture this : thousands of beautiful antique kimonos in Japan in danger of being destroyed due to a lack of storage space. Along comes noriko collins, woman on a mission, who spearheads a campaign to save these fabrics. And that, in a nutshell, is how project Kimono Kollab came to be.
I first met ms collins through the effervescent suzy lauridsen, and after a couple of hours at Starbucks listening to the ladies, I was sold. What better way to preserve these delicate works of art than by giving them a new lease of life through the loving hands of fellow artists who treasure their craftsmanship and beauty. I rounded up a group of my most trusted fashion designers ( amongst them included iconic names like thomas wee, lionnel lim and vik lim, and new gen cult labels reckless ericka, mashup and revasseur ) and got them to reinterpret the fabrics in contemporary ways. And what an amazing collective it turned out to be, with each designer injecting his or her own signature onto the kimono and churning out capsules of lovingly hand-sewn limited edition fashion pieces, ranging from chic cocktail numbers by thomas to edgy shrugs and vests by lionnel and vik ; circular pleated skirts and deconstructed bow ties by reckless erica and club wear derived from a mashup of different cultural elements by … erm … Mashup !
The pieces were launched to media and fashionistas at a private event that saw the beautiful creations donned by japanese-swedish model Sofia Wakabayashi and singapore new face Jason Tan. And in a moment of unrelated coincidence, almost simultaneously, across the globe at Paris Fashion Week, Alexander McQueen staged their spring-summer 2015 runway show with a collection that leaned heavily upon the use of Japanese fabrics. A case of “great minds think alike”?