I’ve been located in JFFA pathway – don’t know exactly why, maybe my jewellery pieces were more powerful than I considered. Nevertheless, for the first day of unit 5 I was asked to do two tasks: to research into Favourite Designer or maker; and to visit gallery or shop and write a review on the pieces on show.
Designer - Masaya Kushino
Japanese designer Masaya Kushino creates dream couples, blurring the boundaries between footwear and impressive artwork.
The trend toward animal influences that Kushino can incorporate into his designs, is clearly visible. Pairing opulent peacock feathers and attached pony tail with ball round bottom is now engraved mentally, especially the model of rams' horns!
I decided to choose Masaya Kushino because of his powerfull projects. Hi’s not creating casual shoes but working on ones which represent some political, environmental problems, his own attitude to it, he express his thoughts and feelings with his works.
My favourite project is “Reborn”. “As for the process here, it starts out with moss and grows more lush until the buds come to full bloom…then as they are wont to do, the flowers wither and die. These dead flowers represent social downfalls like pollution and degeneration. Then along comes a natural disaster and wipes everything out. And although it seems all is lost, from there begins a small bud of new life that moves toward the future. This is the story behind this piece.” Shoes grow, bloom, die, burn and come back to life.Those shoes made with real plants, and I think Masaya expressed his idea amazingly – I can see that inextricable connection between humanity and nature.
Other collection I want to talk about is Bird-Witched – Collection S/S 2014. Inspired by the traditional drawings of bird artist Jakuchu Ito (died in 1800). Title comes from the words “bird” and “bewitched” put together. Actually those ones look kinda mad but awesomely beautiful at the same time. The claw heels are made by sculptor Atsushi Nakamura, he crafted a completely different leg design according to each shoes personality. I have a feeling like the claw is going to move any second.
Chimera (hybrid of different flora and fauna) is the theme of the shoes, motive of animals. In my shoes, the heel part made of snakes and lions. Cows, rays and sheep’s as material. For the decoration, various animals are fused such as feathers.
Finally new 'chimera' of Masaya Kushino's world is completed wearing by human.
Stairway to heaven
Collection A/W 2013
Material: crow wings, cow leather and American broadtail fur.
This shoe was part of Les R.mond performance at Pont des arts Paris 4th March 2011.
I was thinking a lot about which gallery and shop to choose. The problem was that I had only one day left and it was Sunday so mostly all galleries were unfortunately closed. I looked up for interesting shops – I was willing to find any which are more interesting for me and are closer to my way of designing. I stopped my choice on “Irregular Choice” – honestly I can’t say it’s my favourite shop and I really like designs, but this one is the right one if you are lack of inspiration. For first time seeing those designs people could have a question: “What the hell is this?! Do people really buy it??”, everything looks so much of “too much”, “too complicated” and childish a lot. But, as for me, I get kind of satisfaction looking on those boots and shoes.
The best thing is that you understand that even if it looks crazy, none the one even had a close idea to create something like this, that’s why I think that designers who work for “Irregular Choice” are genius in some way. For example, one pair of boots I really love does look odd a lot cos it has ballerinas in its heels– the same as ballerinas in boxes which start playing classic music when you open them. Heel has the same option – you can turn the wheel and ballerina start whirling to the same music as play in boxes. I had the same box when I was younger, I guess that’s why it really touched my soul. I think this is the main point of designing anything – the design should be able to catch attention and touch a soul. And to prove my point I could add that despite not everybody could spend money on some crazy things like “Balletomane” shoes (175-260 pounds!), all three versions were sold out.
Even the shop itself looks like Walt Disney puked on it. Wall are full of rabbits dressed in circus stile, sofas are made of some fabric with dinosaurs print – actually I’ve seen the same print on one pair of boots; stairs are changing colors, another sofa has a lot of toys below (also reminds me about childhood), the ceiling looks like a sofa!
I noticed that particularly the main point of any pair was heels – there was a huge variety of them including unicorns, rabbits, heads of Elvis, Bambies, little houses, just “simple” heels with color gradient and so on.
I searched in the internet and found some designs I haven’t seen none in the shop, neither on their site. I decided these are previous collections.
There is a surprising combination of incongruous, looks like designer used actually everything he could find – fur, feathers, leather or leatherette, fabric and fabric pieces, cork, rubber, plastic, lace, ribbons, acryl, beads, some toys, rhinestones, glitter, bows, sequins, tinsel and lots and lots more. Looking at those shoes I couldn’t get rid of idea that it could be an amazing "CIRCUS" collection, but somehow it also made me think like if I had appropriate clothes I’d love to wear some of those. And surprisingly it’s true.