Usually, unrealistic interpretations of how women should look draw criticism. We should all be tall, skinny and eternally wrinkle-free, etc. But in the case of Kunihiko Morinaga, the Japanese conceptual designer behind the label Anrealage, the impossible manifests in ways that challenge conventional notions about the human body and how we dress it. We're too stunned for harsh words.
Plastic inflatables as a material fly in the opposite direction of a shape that offers that svelt look and feel we endlessly pursue, so at first sight we ask, 'Why?' But Morinaga's designs aren't derived from that myopic ideal of looking long, lean and chic. In fact, in many of his previous collections, he ignored the body altogether. The 'clothes' were structured objects that had absolutely to do with the human form. Morinaga likes shapes. Basic, three-dimensional shapes like the sphere, cube and pyramid. He may be an avant-garde designer whose followers likely include the Kawakubo and Margiella set, but he never intended for anyone to try to wear his pyramind hoodie or trenchcoat cube. It's just not possible, no matter how broad the mind:
Photo credit: Paul Barbera of Where They Create
When Morinaga does decide to welcome back established patterns and consider his creations as things people might actually wear, he does so beautifully, with couture attention to detail. His SS 11 collection is a hybrid of the two, in that you can actually put these clothes on, but very few would.
As much as I love feminine, figure flattering dresses with pretty details, I always give time to hearing someone's alternate view of our reality. Isn't it more fun and enriching to try to understand something so incongruent with our beliefs than to dimiss it? (But I hope Tom Cruise isn't reading this.)
Show photos: WWD.com