Dear Shaded Viewers,
photos by Satoshi Minakawa
I was reading Susie Bubble the other day and followed a link to Susie modeling on fashion 156.com and one of the looks that interested me the most was Central Saint Martin’s Sachio Kawasaki. I wanted to see more of his work so I e mailed Sachio and found out that he was a Shaded Viewer.
SK: I was born in Fukuoka, southern part of Japan, in 1982. I had an interest in fashion since I was little. When I was 12 years old, I started buying second hand clothes from Europe, stocked in one of the most fashionable shops at that time in my home town. At the age of 17, I embarked on an art and design course, and came to London at 20. I then went on to study textile design to learn the importance in the connection between fabric and shape. During the course I worked as knitwear designer assistant at Balenciaga in Paris. Then after finishing the course in 2006, I went straight on to do a MA degree at Central Saint Martins to put all the skills I has learnt together. The MA collection is entitled “Wave of Light” and is all made of Jacquard knitted fabric with printed tights.
When I visited Paris, Milan and Barcelona, I got inspired from various kinds of lights in cathedral and church coming from the outside. There I found sacred, magnificent mood in curved decorative ornaments from medieval period and that made me feeling exceptional. Then I tracked back to fined out the reason why I naturally attracted such things, I realized that it all coming from the memory of my childhood. I recalls the days always enjoyed playing with water in the river near my house, there I saw the continuously flowing, waving lights reflection on the water.
There is a concept I wanted to express through this collection.
photos by Satoshi Minakawa
I wanted to make something like 3-D version of fine art painting by matching 3-D elements of ‘shape’ and 2-D elements of ‘pattern’ in a suitable way, not taking both elements separately and combine in the end.
In this way, I believe that the ‘Shape’ will have a strong reason to be that particular shape convinced by the ‘Pattern’ exclusively designed for it.
I just started this approach and I wish to continue searching this matching of ‘shape and pattern as a whole’ more deeply to grow it as my signature style”
photos by Satoshi Minakawa
DP: Can you describe the light that makes up your childhood memories?
SK: When I was child, the lights I have seen at river and lake had so many different faces. In the morning, it was so hopefull, energetic but in the evening, it became very emotional, mysterious, nostalgic, melancollic. It changes depending on the time of day and my mood.
DP: Which fine art paintings inspire you the most?
SK: Henri Matisse’s cutouts inspired the way I construct the garments. It is most obvious in the dresses and skirts.
In different way with Mattisse, Picasso’s creative energy always encourages me when I try to push forward.
DP: Which artists have had the strongest influence on your work?
SK: Definitely the musician Steve Reich. Especially ‘Music for 18 musicians’ has had a strong influence on me ever since I was born. It’s got a story of emotion, fluidity, and a sophisticated selection of material. I heard this work at the Barbican Centre 2 years ago and right then I was convinced that this was what I had been searching for.
DP: WHat was your experience like working at Balenciaga? Did you have any
direct contact with Nicholas?
SK: Everyday, everything I saw there was so fresh and exciting. I was assisting the knitwear designer and the women’s wear designer about half and half. I was in charge of making the rough samples and intricate details based on Nicolas’s drawings. For knitwear, I was correcting sizes of samples as they came back from factories.
When I was there we were working most of the time on the couture so I had the great fortune to see watch and learn couture techniques by the highly skilled atelier. Excellent embroidery was done by Lesage. Ever since I started watching Balanciaga, Nicolas had a strong impact on me but I did not have any contact with him while making my MA collection.
DP: How do you work? Do you start out by gathering inspirations and work from that? Is everything done by machine?
SK: I didn’t really need to research for the wave patterns for this collection because I based it pretty much on my what is in my mind now and in my memory of the waves of light. It depends on the theme but of course I would normally gather information and images.
All of these patterned fabrics were machine knitted at a factory in Japan, afterwards, I cut and sew them to make up the garments.
DP: How long have you been in business and where could somebody buy your
SK: I studied fashion and textile for about 6 years and now I am trying to set up my own label. I haven’t got a stockist yet so I have to look for it from now on.
DP: Are you still living in London?
SK: I just moved my production base to Tokyo but I am still keeping the collection in London for PR purposes.
DP: What are your dreams as a designer and is there a message that you want to pass on through your clothes?
SK: I often imagine myself enjoying drawing patterns in a house surrounded by the sea, going fishing and diving when I felt like it.
First of all, I do not want to forget to enjoy myself making patterns, constructing shapes and then what would make me so happy is if customer could feel share that feeling and could enjoy and be made happy by my work.