2022 LVMH Prize: Ryunosukeokazaki, the Japanese label that elevates spirituality to couture creations

On Thursday, March 24, 2022, the LVMH award unveiled the list of eight finalists for the ninth edition, including Japanese designer Ryunosuke Okazaki, who designs clothes that look like sculptures infused with spirituality.


2022 LVMH Prize: Ryunosukeokazaki, the Japanese label that elevates spirituality to couture creations

During Tokyo Fashion Week in August 2021, Ryunosuke Okazaki, recently graduated in graphic design from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2021, he launches his label Ryunosukeokazaki with a first spectacular three-dimensional collection. Although he claims to have drawn on the history of Japan, especially the Jōmon period (which takes place between 4000 and 300 BC), it is in nature and flora that Ryunosuke Okazaki found his inspiration to create these avant-garde silhouettes in compose vibrant colors. from which purity and splendor arise, but also influences borrowed from the world of science fiction. When not adorned with imposing enveloping petals, the Ryunosukeokazaki dresses unfold into beautiful structures, organic and futuristic shapes, all in symmetry that swirl around the body. Ryunosuke Okazaki’s experimental approach questions both the protective and ornamental power of clothing and is at the crossroads of the great creators of conceptual fashion such as Rei Kawakubo, Iris Van Herpen and Craig Green.

NUMÉRO: What is your first memory of fashion?

Ryunnosuke Okazaki: For as long as I can remember I have always loved drawing and making things. My interest in the arts naturally led me to fashion and after that I became more and more involved in this field. I still cherish the first vintage piece of clothing I bought when I was 15.

Which fashion designers (living or dead) inspire you and why?

I am always amazed by Rei Kawakubo’s creations. I remember being shocked when I met him. I have great respect for her for her constant search for novelty and expression in the history of her brand.

2022 LVMH Prize: Ryunosukeokazaki, the Japanese label that elevates spirituality to couture creations
2022 LVMH Prize: Ryunosukeokazaki, the Japanese label that elevates spirituality to couture creations

You were born in Hiroshima, a city with a very special history. How did growing up there influence your approach to art and fashion?

Born and raised in Hiroshima, I have always been aware of the importance of peace. My grandmother was exposed to radiation when she was 7 years old and I am the third generation of survivors. I live my life thinking about the connection between people, from prayers for peace to the connection between people and the land. In my opinion, art and fashion also have an important message to convey and I will continue to create to convey this message to the world through my works.

When you started studying art, did you know it was to become a fashion designer?

From the beginning I had in mind to approach fashion from its most expressive and creative aspect, so I first studied art to expand my own expressiveness and the possibilities of creating clothes. For me, the search for new possibilities is the most important part of self-expression through making clothes. I thought it was more important to keep looking at the creative world from a broader perspective than just learning how to make clothes.

How did you know that launching your brand right after graduation was the right time?

In fact, I have been designing clothes since I was in school and even had my first fashion show there in September 2021. I have been making art for a long time, so the timing of the fashion show right after graduating from the diploma was very natural .

2022 LVMH Prize: Ryunosukeokazaki, the Japanese label that elevates spirituality to couture creations
2022 LVMH Prize: Ryunosukeokazaki, the Japanese label that elevates spirituality to couture creations

What was the inspiration for your first collection?

My theme has always been ‘prayer’. From prayers for peace to prayers for life, and going deeper into this subject, I came to the Japanese prayer for nature. For my creations I take inspiration from shapes and decorations that originated in the ancient history of prayer in Japan, such as Jōmon pottery and Shintoism, and when people wear them, they become a completed form of prayer.

What is the meaning of this collection? And what is the goal?

I used my inspiration which is “prayer” in my powerful creations. I believe that people who see these shapes will feel something and enrich their hearts, even if just a little. By stimulating the imagination, we create a future in which people can live.

How did you come up with these amazing three-dimensional creations? What techniques have you used?

The main materials of my creations are fabrics in the research phase that are in a warehouse made available to me by a fabric company. Taking advantage of the elasticity of knits, fabrics are bent by inserting different types of base materials, which are then joined together to form the shape of the piece. Because I make use of the properties of the fabric, the shape varies according to the elasticity and thickness of the textile. I don’t draw patterns, but create them as if they were sculptures. The act of creation itself is an act of prayer.

How do you see the future of your label?

Above all, I strongly believe in the art and creativity that I make with my hands. So I will continue to create wearable works of art. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do ready-to-wear yet, but I’ll consider it at some point. The most important thing is to convey the message conveyed by the creative power to the world. Therefore, I am ready to face any challenge.

www.ryunosukeokazaki.com

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