Sunday, February 9, 2014


Press Release

超日本 - J BLOW - 2014
12 – 21 February 2014

Photo courtesy of Yoshimi Mita

LONDON, UK - It is London Fashion Week in February and the Embassy of Japan is taking part in this year’s International Fashion Showcase, a collaborative project bringing together the British Fashion Council, the British Council and embassies and cultural institutes across the capital to show emerging fashion talent.

International Japanese superstar designer and producer Kansai Yamamoto (山本 寛斎) lends his genius to the exhibition, 超日本 – J BLOW – 2014, hand-picking six young Japanese designers trained in London at Central Saint Martins and in Japan at Vantan Design Institute. This new generation of Japanese fashion talent continues to uphold the tradition of bold creativity and refinement in Japanese fashion design.

Photo courtesy of Hiroko Masano (Click to enlarge)

Hiroko Masano (政埜 浩子), an undergraduate at Central Saint Martins, is currently on a work placement in Paris at Christian Dior. Her work is inspired by the strength and positive aura of the art of Edward Hopper that coincide with the vitality and dynamism of choreographer and dancer, Pina Bausch.

Atsuki Takahashi (高橋 充揮) of Vantan Design Institute, with sparkling attention to detail in the way that his name in Japanese suggests, takes the inspiration for his designs from what attracts him on the street. His Wonderful Zoo collection gives us original uses of camouflage and tartan patterning: recently worn by Lady Gaga on her visit to Tokyo last year.

Yoshimi Mita (三田 佳実) graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2013. Her designs, in colourful plastic, are expressions of what she calls, ‘delicate grotesqueness’, examining the juxtaposition between the seemingly abominable and the beautiful.

Photo courtesy of Yoshimi Mita

Photo courtesy of Yoshimi Mita

Ayaka Sakurai (櫻井 彩加) was the 2013 winner of Central Saint Martins’ annual undergraduate competition to design an outfit for Grayson Perry. Inspired by Grayson’s attention to detail in his own work, print specialist Ayaka created a wearable universe, Space Age, covered in planets and stars and featuring Grayson’s own Alan Measles.

Central Saint Martins graduate Mao Usami (宇佐美 麻緒) was a recipient of the 2012 LMVH Grand Prix Scholarship and 2013 L'Oréal Professionnel Young Design Talent Award. Her ‘Unisexy’ women’s wear collection presents the idea of the universality of sexuality challenging the formalization of the gender of clothing highlighting what it is to be sexy as a human.

With a highly expressionistic approach and vivid textures, predominantly in knitwear, SEi (Yumiko Sei 清 優海子) of Vantan Design Institute in Tokyo and a winner at the Tokyo Stage Asia Fashion Collection 2013, looks at unique and fleeting links between one moment and another, between you and something special to you.

Photo courtesy of SEi (Yumiko Sei )

Photo courtesy of SEi (Yumiko Sei )

To create the exhibition at the Embassy of Japan, Kansai-san has also hand-picked fashion designer/artist/original creator Yoshikazu Yamagata (山縣 良和), another Central Saint Martins graduate (2005), now working back in his native Japan. Yoshikazu, challenging the definitions of fashion himself and expanding the concept of fashion beyond the garments themselves, is also keen to foster new creative talent. He created a new educational hub called coconogacco and is the designer of writtenafterwards. “yoshikazu yamagata is a fashion activity expressing freely a new kind of fashion”.

超日本 - J BLOW – 2014 can be seen at the Embassy of Japan from 12 to 21 February. The exhibition is open from 09:30 until 17:30 on weekdays with a special opening on Saturday 15 February from 11:00 until 15:00. Admission is free. The exhibition is a part of the British Council and British Fashion Council’s International Fashion Showcase 2014 in parallel with London Fashion Week. It has been made possible with the generous support of Kansai Yamamoto, Inc., Central Saint Martins and All Nippon Airways.
Source: The Embassy of Japan

超日本 - J BLOW – 2014
12 – 21 February 2014

The Embassy of Japan 
101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT

Photo courtesy of The Embassy of Japan

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