Although inspired by mountains of garbage, Yuima Nakazato’s latest Haute Couture presentation was anything but. I am reminded of a graduate art show I once went to that was just street trash and litter taped to the walls of an abandoned church basement. Even that sounds better than the actual installation was. But if they were so inclined to re-think the piece, I would suggest that they take a page from Nakazato’s far more conceptually advanced interpretation of waste. Blown up and magnified images of crumpled trash cover the floor of his latest runway to the point of becoming unidentifiably abstract- a bit like those magnified guess-what-it-is picture games for kids. Giant crumpled paper “trash” hangs from the ceilings like abstract storm clouds, and red light fills the room.
Nakazato’s first looks are adorned with chains of ceramic beading that clink together like windchimes and fill the whole space with their song. The same crumpled effect and repetitive, deconstructed abstract shapes find themselves reinterpreted in Nakazato’s jewelry, draping, and fabrics. I’m struck by how very anatomical, almost gory, and darkly botanical it all is. It’s actually kind of campy, in a very elevated and layered kind of way. Nakazato’s collection demonstrates everything I love about Japanese couture: expertly tailored, architectural, sophisticated yet whimsical, subtly sexy, a little goth, androgynous, innovative, poetic, and always so cool. Can’t wait for next time.