Kei Kagami NVU -10 years of images

Dear Shaded Viewers,

I gave you a preview of Kei’s work a few days ago, we met in Trieste at ITS 7 in the end of July. The interview begins after the images from Kei’s 2007 collection.

photo by Philip Gay
from 1999 s/s collection.
this dress is made of LUMINOUS ZIPS , so it glows in the shade .
in 1998 i signed with YKK for sponsorship with this idea and YKK used the series of clothes made of zips for their promotion .
This idea inspired many designers , as a result YKK has sponsored me ever since .
i thank the designers that made clothes in zips .

photo by Tomas Schelp
from 1999/2000 a/w collection .
a very wearable dress if you don’t open the top zip .
the dress has got 3 way zips which i invented with YKK zips .
i remember that one of managers in YKK Europe ask me ‘ Mr. kagami , don’t you have more practical ideas with zips ………? ‘ .
so i did this .
by the way i make a lot of wearable clothes , too .

rom 2000 /01 a/w collection .
we called it ‘ shoe bag ‘ .you can’t wear it though .
it was made by Paul Murray Watson , only shoe makers could make it .
this is the first shoe bag i designed and i kept doing the idea for next some seasons as a series.
i always wanted a gag which i can put it on ground without any hesitation.

From 2001s/s collection .
it is quite modest and not so strong but very memorable for me because it was the first pair of shoes i ever designed .
a respectable shoe maker and designer Paul Murry Watson made them for me. i always wanted to do shoes and finally …

photo by Aleksandar Andic
from 2001/02 a/w collection ‘ manipulated society ‘ .
this puppet idea goes back to year 1992 when i graduated from Saint Martins College .
originally the idea was presented in my degree show but it did not go well because i did not have enough time to fix strings on the clothes as i have to use a model from one Alex. McQueen used , one of those things in life ………
anyway i wanted to represented the idea one day again .
there is a trick on this outfit . if you pull a string , every single strings are released off , you could be free from the manipulated society .

photo by Aleksandar Andic
from 2001/02 a/w collection ‘ manipulated society ‘ .
this image was scanned from a magazine , so pleas be generous with the quality .
this is my first collection presented as s cat walk show .
the show was held in london and at the Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade .
the image was take in Belgrade .
i like this outfit very much as a wearable one .

From 2002 s/s collection ‘ escape ‘ .
there was a time that i wanted to escape into somewhere surreal pure and beautiful ………

it is simply my favorite shoe but i decided not to produce it because of the weight ……. i originally wanted to make the heel in aluminum and titanium mixed to make it lighter but i had to compromise using mild metal because of a problem with the cost . only a dream was left there ……..
i remember i spent ages to make the model of the heel for casting . the heel was made by a German metal artist Axel Hinterseh . Eversince then he has made metal heels for me . a few years later this shoe was used for YKK poster as well .

photo by YAYOI
from 02/03 a/w collection ‘ anger and sorrow ‘ .
this is my favorite suit which shows my speciality in pattern cutting of tailoring .
the left shoulder was dropped off but it could be brought back and stayed on your shoulder if you wanted .
in this collection i made a few items in wax as show pieces. they had several wicks with fires on them.
i decided not to choose pictures of them because it has a sorrow story behind………

from 2003 s/s collection ‘ erosion ‘.
don’t call it Issey Miyake , a nice commercial piece !
the structure of the pleats were created by the weave , the process is totally different from Pleats Please’s pleats .
the fabric was developed by a Japanese textile designer Junya Nakai , simply amazing and beautiful , expensive though .

photo by Enamul Hoque
from 2004 s/s collection ‘ industrial revolution , good old days ‘ .
an antithese against computer civilization , i wanted to give an hommage to the machine civilization by expressing the coexistence of humans with machines (or something mechanical ).
i love machines because i can physically see, understand and repair them if they go wrong . it means i can live with them but not with computers …………….
this piece has got a winding jack and you can control the hight of a bar .
the series of 4 showpieces were bought by TIGI for their promotion .

photo by Enamul Hoque
from 04 s/s collection again .
another one from ‘ good old days , industrial revolution ‘
i like the simplicity of this outfits.
also a nice photo , thank you, Enamul .
this image was used for an invitation of The Fashion of Architecture ( in london and new york ) organized by Bradley Quinn .


photo by Enamul Hoque
from 04/05 a/w collection ‘ mental disorder ‘
the previous collection put me into depression for a while and ended up doing this ……
this showpiece is not the strongest from the collection but i like this now because it looked slightly healthier than others ( to be honest i could not choose the strongest because they all depress me ) .
the skirt can be open and closed like an umbrella controlling strings on the shoulders .
this image was used a cover of invitations for an exhibition ‘ Body extension ‘ in Swiss .

rom 05 s/s collection ‘ fetishism, pleasure and pain ‘ .
please don’t ask me about this title .
a bird cage is inside the bustle frame .
the main bar on the back holds skirt and it can be swung down to cover the bustle frame.
when i was a kid , a bustle frame looked like a gage …………
what i like about this outfit is it has got many aspects to make me think a lot …… funny to say for someone who made it though.

photo by andy tommo
from 05/06 a/w collection ‘ correction and its paradox ‘ .
this piece could be a device to make your figure straight .
when 2 main arms on front and back are close , the end of the arms hold your head and you have to stand straight .
this collection was presented as a catwalk show by Camera Moda in milano.
an italian paper described the collection as Torture Couture ……..
italians did not get it . it is not a torture device …… healthier than that .
however i don’t blame them ……….


from 06 s/s collection ‘ ecology ‘ .
this is definitely the healthiest show piece i have ever done !!!
fresh watercress growing on the fabric , it has got a water tap on the skirt and a pumping device is hidden inside .
if you open the tap , water is sprayed from the middle of the wig and looks like a tree .
(being careful , you can see it on this photo , i love it . )
by this outfit i wanted to ask people the meaning of ecology and how it should be ……….. creature , nature and their environment .
i wanted to be healthy but i got depressed again when i saw an article and picture of this dress on Hello magazine( a gossip magazine which is worse than tabloid papers in england , it says ‘ a tribute to Kate MOSS


from 06/07 a/w collection ‘ losing the meanings ‘.
no no no don’t say ‘ depressing again ‘ …….. a deep meaning is actually there .
a long story behind it ……… the explanation would take too long .
in this story there was a section which described life of a lady from a noble family and this outfit was for it .
it has a small trick . if you release a string , the 4 bells go down by their weights and pull the parts of skirt hem to make them reach to the end of bars . you can hear the sound of bells and can see the light of candles …….. romantic .

photo by Enamul Hoque
from 07 s/s collection ‘ organic futurism ‘.
speaking of something futuristic , generally people still imagine something simple , plain , in silver , inorganic and post modern .
however rather than that , i can see futuristic images in something organic and biology .
for ex. i don’t think human being are physically able to create Robocop but we might be possible to create Blade runner like clone as a reality .
anyway this outfit has a funnel , glass tubes , clips , magnifying glasses to give something biological .
i named this outfit as ‘ anatomy ‘ , i am not sure it is the right name .

Before designing, Kei studied architecture and he started working part time for Kenzo Tange when he was still a student.

DP: WHat buildings did Kenzo Tange design and on which projects were you involved/?
KK: Yoyogi Olympic Gymnasium (built in 1964 in Tokyo ) is one of his master pieces . It is also his most well known building and the one that made him famous and successful around the world. Another one of his master pieces (Yamanashi broadcasting centre ) is in my home town, Kofu . You could say that i grew up with that building. It looked like a monster to me as a small boy. In .
Paris he did the Grand Ecran (Place d’Italie) , i am not sure it is a good one ……… may be not .

when i was an architecture student , i started working for him part time and was involved in the project Tokyo City Hall . Mainly I was working on making

Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.