FASHION & DESIGN

FASHION & DESIGN (24)

Junko Koshino Featured

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The First Fashion Show in Cuba

August 1996. I was said to be the first to hold a fashion show in Cuba. Then I held another in 2000. Then another in 2009, at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, commemorating the 80th anniversary of Cuba-Japan diplomatic relations. A work of an artist was exhibited at the entrance. The two will be reunited in heaven. The hands of the clock turn slowly, proud of salsa, the sun and the revolution.

Junko Koshino

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Designs Inspired by Vessels

In Japan, a “vessel” is a metaphorical term referring to the sheer size of a building, or even the heart of a person. Throughout my career, I’ve often created designs inspired by a “vessel.” This picture was taken at the Kyoto National Museum on October 9, 2015 at a Noh performance on the opening night of a fashion exhibition celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Rinpa school of Japanese painting. The costumes I designed were based on the Nishijin brocade, a traditional textile of Kyoto, and they were inspired by the “vessel” of the museum venue.

Junko Koshino

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Fashion Design by Junko Koshino

“What led you to hold a fashion show in China?” That’s what Li Zhao asked me at a party after she hosted “China’s biggest fashion show” at the Beijing Hotel in 1985 at a time when her husband, Hu Yaobang, was general secretary of the Communist Party. This was a time when most people in China were still wearing Mao suits and goods were thinly rationed in the market. The thirsty ground started longing for the blessed rain of fashion after the show.

Kimura U

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The Ambassadress of Cute

Kimura U and the Importance of Everything Kawaii

Not many countries can boast of having a kawaii (cute) fashion representative, especially when that rep is as unique as Kimura U. Her official government title is the Japanese Harajuku Fashion Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Put simply, U is an official symbol of cute for Japan and she’s Tokyo Journal’s JapanCon Ambassadress. However, there’s more to U than her sparkly pastel exterior. She’s smart and ambitious — and it took hard work for her to achieve icon status. As her website boasts: “Kimura U does not stop.” Tokyo Journal ’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie is pleased to introduce you to his newest colleague, Kimura U.

Nekomu Otogi

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Cosplay as a Career

Nekomu Otogi: All Dressed Up with Somewhere to Go

In a world where “cosplay” has yet to become a household word, one may be surprised to find that a career can be made from the art of dressing up as a character from a movie, book or video game, especially from the Japanese genres of manga and anime. The only cosplayer represented by Japanese talent agency HoriPro, Nekomu Otogi, has taken cosplay to the professional level. Otogi does photo shoots for manga magazines and was once voted the most beautiful girl in Akihabara, the anime, manga, video game and discount electronics center of Tokyo. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Otogi about her cosplay experiences and her dream of becoming a manga artist.

Life is like a Festival

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Try no matter what happens. Move forward without looking away

Life is like a Festival

I was born in Kishiwada, Osaka, a town surrounding the Kishiwada Castle. It is known for its Danjiri Matsuri Cart-Pulling Festival held the third weekend of September and attracting some 600,000 visitors. The 310-year-old festival has become exceedingly dangerous.

Since I was a kid, I’ve loved hearing the pipes, drums and the loud “So-rya, So-rya” chanting of the festival. I joined the float pullers between my fourth year of primary school and second year of high school. It was the big event of the year for me.

人生もまた祭りのようなもの。

私の生まれ育った大阪府岸和田市は、岸和田城を中心とす る城下町です。岸和田と言えば、毎年 9 月の第 3 土・日 曜日をメインに行われ、60 万人もの人が訪れる「だんじり祭」が有名。約 310 年の歴史と伝統を誇り、危険なまでに白 熱する祭りとして知られています。

私は子供の頃から祭りの笛や太鼓のお囃子、「ソーリャソーリャ」 という威勢のいい掛け声を聞くと何とも言えない高揚感で胸が踊 り、ウズウズしたものです。好きが嵩じて、小学4年から高校 2 年まで、年に一度の晴れ舞台 さながら山車の曳き手として一団に加わるまでとなりました。

Fashion Design by Junko Koshino

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Tokyo's Fashion Queen and Tony Award Nominee Junko Koshino, renowned for her fashion, costume and uniform design, shares the latest in Tokyo's fashion scene.

Junko Koshino

TJ: How did you first get started in fashion design?
Koshino: My mother owned her own clothing boutique in Osaka. Therefore, from early childhood, I was surrounded by design. My older sister, Hiroko, was supposed to take over my mother’s business so I didn’t have to enter the fashion world, and I tried to become interested in other subjects. Before I entered Art College, Hiroko and I went to the same high school. It was a very prestigious one, and we both chose the same art club. I did oil paintings and my sister did water colors. I then went to Art College, but it turned out that the fashion world was my destiny after all. I liked to paint from early childhood, so for me it is very easy to create pictures of design styles. At one point, after I entered Art College, I decided I actually wanted to be a designer instead of a painter. So, I switched my major and I focused on design. This story of my mother and my sisters (who are all fashion designers) was featured on the NHK (Japanese national broadcasting station) Drama “Carnation” in 2011 and 2012.

TJ: Your sisters Hiroko and Michiko are also renowned fashion designers. How often do you keep in touch and do you ever collaborate?
Koshino: We don’t meet very often, about four times a year. Each year, we meet at a very famous festival in our hometown, which is the Kishiwada area of Osaka and also at the Lumiere Vision Exposition in Paris. We sometimes meet for a ceremony in memory of our mother as well. We collaborated for a show for our mother two times a few years ago, but we haven’t collaborated since she passed away.

Junko Koshino

TJ: How did you first get started in fashion design?
Koshino: My mother owned her own clothing boutique in Osaka. Therefore, from early childhood, I was surrounded by design. My older sister, Hiroko, was supposed to take over my mother’s business so I didn’t have to enter the fashion world, and I tried to become interested in other subjects. Before I entered Art College, Hiroko and I went to the same high school. It was a very prestigious one, and we both chose the same art club. I did oil paintings and my sister did water colors. I then went to Art College, but it turned out that the fashion world was my destiny after all. I liked to paint from early childhood, so for me it is very easy to create pictures of design styles. At one point, after I entered Art College, I decided I actually wanted to be a designer instead of a painter. So, I switched my major and I focused on design. This story of my mother and my sisters (who are all fashion designers) was featured on the NHK (Japanese national broadcasting station) Drama “Carnation” in 2011 and 2012.

TJ: Your sisters Hiroko and Michiko are also renowned fashion designers. How often do you keep in touch and do you ever collaborate?
Koshino: We don’t meet very often, about four times a year. Each year, we meet at a very famous festival in our hometown, which is the Kishiwada area of Osaka and also at the Lumiere Vision Exposition in Paris. We sometimes meet for a ceremony in memory of our mother as well. We collaborated for a show for our mother two times a few years ago, but we haven’t collaborated since she passed away.

TJ: You have been involved in the fashion industry for over 50 years. How have you managed to keep your designs on the cutting edge after all this time?
Koshino: I have no plans for retirement. Therefore, I have to keep creating state-ofthe- art designs. It is very important to stay busy and I need to have vision. People always need to be inquisitive and be interested in new things, and we need to keep our curiosity going without the support of others. My mother gave me this advice. She said, “Don’t go back to the previous page. Always move forward to the next page.” My mother did this and she remained very busy up until she passed away. I am very interested in Japan as well as other countries around the world and it is very important for me to share my experience with young people.

We have to do what we believe in very aggressively. Sometimes, if I act on my ideas, my work and my life increase in scope a hundredfold, so I have to keep thinking and moving forward. I hate repetition and grow tired of the same thing. I can’t enjoy repetition. I like questions that cannot be resolved and I constantly quiz myself. I ask and answer my own questions.
My encounters with people inspire me to move forward. If someone unrelated to my field asks me something, it is fascinating Fashion Design by Junko Koshino Tokyo's Fashion Queen and Tony Award Nominee Junko Koshino, renowned for her fashion, costume and uniform design, shares the latest in Tokyo's fashion scene. to me as I need to learn how to think about it. Perhaps the world I wasn’t connected to before will open my world. Because I have a core, I can expand my world. Without a core, I cannot do that. I am interested in many things but I don’t spread myself too thin in other areas.

My designs are not just for fashion. For example, I dreamed about fireworks in an opera, so I created this. I painted fireworks on a black background, and then for the 60th Anniversary of Japan-India Relations, I expressed this painting through music and fireworks. I always express things through my paintings first. This is my core. Whether I paint fashion designs or fireworks, it’s the same thing for me. Usually, fireworks shoot up and then out, but the fireworks I designed shoot out and then up. I asked a technician to match the fireworks with opera music, and it turned out to be a huge moving painting that made people cry. I did a similar event in 2011 for the 40th anniversary of Okinawa’s return to Japan. The symbol was the Rising Dragon, which represents heavy rain. Coincidentally, it rained that day, and the combination of rain with those fireworks was very moving. It was aired on television but it was most moving for people who watched it in-person. The first time this was held, the music was the music from “Madame Butterfly.” Fatima is symbolic for Japan-US relations, so I chose the music from Madame Butterfly. I am involved in an event called “Phoenix” featuring Japanese Taiko Drums, which will be held on Dec. 9th at Bunkamura in Shibuya, Tokyo. This event was held many times in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. This is the second time in Japan.

TJ: Who is your inspiration?
Koshino: There was a painter named Ito Jakuchu in the Edo Period. In the Edo period, culture was divided between the common people and very elite people. A very original culture was formed in the Edo Period and a symbol for this culture was Ito Jakuchu. He is not famous now, but I think we have to pay attention to people like him.

TJ: Can you name some celebrities that have bought Junko Koshino designs?
Koshino: Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and long ago Diana Ross. Beyonce came in my shop to buy clothes for her next music video.

TJ: Do fashion models at your fashion shows need to have a certain “look”? Do you personally select fashion models for each show?
Koshino: I look for height, balance of movement and feeling. The face needs to have a certain look. I Iike very active, vibrant people, so I prefer Latin Americans or others who also look very vibrant. I prefer someone with darker skin or a suntan to very white skin. I choose the models by myself and I know instantly when I see them. Balance is a very important factor for me when choosing a model.

TJ: What do you think your greatest accomplishment has been?

Koshino: Being included in the Oxford History of Art Book on Fashion, and my international Fashion shows. I was also very proud to be a pioneer in having my show at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. They had never had a fashion show there. But, they accepted mine because it was art. I felt that was a great accomplishment. In 1985, I had a fashion show in China for the first time and that was difficult. They did not even have words for Fashion Show. They had no wallpaper, or anyone to put the paper on the wall, so it was very exciting.

Fashion Design by Junko Koshino

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Tokyo's Fashion Queen and Tony Award-nominee Junko Koshino, renowned for her fashion, costume and uniform design, shares the latest in Tokyo's fashion scene.

Junko Koshino

TJ: Can you tell us about your recent projects?
Koshino: In 2012, I did the costume design for The Art of Japan Drum “Drum Tao” and the launch of the Cashmere 2012 Autumn Winter Total Collection Line. Projects in 2013 include the March costume design for the Yuzuru (Twilight Crane) Opera in Vietnam and a museum exhibition in Sao Paulo in November.

TJ: In recent years, what do you think have been the most significant changes in women’s fashion?
Koshino: I think artistic sensitivity has increasingly been freely expressed in women’s fashion designs.

ファッション・衣装・ユニフォームのデザインで知られ、 トニー賞にもノミネートされた東京のファションクイーン コシノ・ジュンコさんに、 東京のファッション・シーンの最新情報を語っていただきました。

TJ: 最近のお仕事についてお聞かせください。
コシノ: 2012 年の活動としては、和太鼓を使っ たアート・パフォーマンス「ドラム・タオ」の 衣装デザイン、カシミヤのトータルコレクショ ンラインのスタート(2012 年秋冬コレクショ ン)などが挙げられます。2013 年には、ベト ナムでのオペラ「夕鶴」公演の衣装デザイン、 11 月のサンパウロのミュージアムでの展覧会 などを予定しています。

TJ: 近年のウィメンズファッションで、最も大 きな変化だと思われるのは?
コシノ: アーティステックな感性がデザインに 現れ、より自由になったと思います。

 

Junko Koshino

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Tokyo's Fashion Queen and Tony Award-nominee Junko Koshino, renowned for her fashion,
costume and uniform design, shares the latest in Tokyo's fashion scene.

Junko Koshino

TJ: What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
KOSHINO: When I was in the third grade I made a skirt. I grew up in a house with a mother who owned a clothing shop; therefore, designing and needlework were very familiar to me. I made a simple skirt that was just arranged with an elastic band and displayed it in the shop without permission.

TJ: What are your favorite colors to work with and why?
KOSHINO: Red and yellow, or white and black; I like contrasts. I also like the contrast between light and shadow, circles and squares and day and night, etc. I believe that the circle is the shape God made and the square is the shape humans made.

ファッション・衣装・ユニフォームのデザインで知られ、 トニー賞にもノミネートされた東京のファションクイーン コシノ・ジュンコさんに、 東京のファッション・シーンの最新情報を語っていただきました。

TJ: 生まれて初めてデザインした服は?
コシノ: 小学校3年生の時にスカートを作りま した。母が衣料店を経営していたので、デザイ ンや針仕事はずっと身近なものでした。だからウエストにゴムを着けた簡単なスカートを自分で作って、勝手に母の店のディスプレイに飾ったんです。

TJ: 一番好きな色は?その理由は?
コシノ: 基本的には赤と黒です。私はコントラスト、バランスを重視します。光と影、丸と四
角、昼と夜など対極のコンセプトです。たとえ ば丸は神が作ったものの形、四角は人間が作っ
たものの形。赤と黒だけでなく、黄と黒、白と黒といった組み合わせも好きです。

Junko Koshino

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Fashion Design by Junko Koshino

Tokyo's Fashion Queen and Tony Award-nominee Junko Koshino, renowned for her cutting edge clothes, costume and uniform designs, shares the latest in Tokyo's fashion scene.

TJ: You are going to Brazil to prepare for an art exhibition. What do you like the most about Brazil?
KOSHINO: It has a future. It creates visions one after another, like the World Cup and the Olympic Games.

TJ: What is important for you when working globally?
KOSHINO: To act from a global point of view.

TJ: What is the most exciting thing you have experienced abroad?
KOSHINO: A show at the Cabaret Tropicana in Cuba and a dinner show in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

TJ:美術館でのアート展のためブラジルに行か れるという事ですが、ブラジルの最も好きなと ころは?
コシノ : 未未来がある。ワールドカップ、オリ ンピックと次々とビジョンが生まれる。

TJ:グローバルな仕事をするときに重要なこと は?
コシノ : 常に世界観を持って行動すること

TJ:最もエキサイティングな海外での体験は何 ですか?
コシノ : キューバ、トロピカーナでのショウ、 NYメトロポリタンミュージアムでのショウと ディナー



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