CONCEPT

During the 7th edition of our pop-up shop, a customer who was interested in the FF collection happily tried on so many clothes, and after her brief contact with them calmly said, “ It reminded me of when I used to be deeply in love with dressing up.”

Though it was the first time we had met, I was happy knowing that I had touched her life for those few fleeting moments.

I once saw a movie about a young dancer who dreamed of success. In the latter half of the story, a series of pessimistic events led her to take the decision to leave the stage. The veteran ballerina, who was meticulously applying her make-up in front of a mirror, noticed the younger dancer as she came up to say thanks and good-bye, and said,

“ When I was very young like you, I imagined a world that was so charming. I could feel that everybody was paying attention to me. Everything I earned on stage was spent on dresses; all of it. Every single month, my salary went on dresses. My closet was filled with a vast sea of them…However, at one point or another, I stopped buying…it happened all of a sudden and I still haven’t figured out why. And now, it’s all so far away in my memories.”

When people are still of an age in which youthfulness is protecting their body and mind, they don’t require much from clothing. They are probably satisfied with a large quantity of clothing. However, I think that once people reach an age where they feel the decline of youthfulness, they tend to become more demanding, and quantity is no longer enough. Good quality becomes important for them. Some also look for stories in a garment, beyond what it actually is. In fact, the indecisive client who not only hesitated over which clothing to buy, also imagined how each piece would coordinate with what she already had. At the same time, she may have been imagining what might happen in her life after she bought the clothing. Could it have represented an opportunity to change her life a little bit, or did it offer the advantage for a better life?

How can we make such meaningful clothing?

I do not think that we can make meaningful clothing if we use a large factory that churns out mass -produced collections. In fact, I believe that we can only make meaningful clothing in small factories, because they give us the freedom to be particular about every element in the clothing: in the making, the sewing, the small details; every single thing that goes into our garments. I realise that this approach can be terribly inefficient, like analogue is to digital, so I wonder: should we continue to take an analogue approach in future generations when Artificial Intelligence will have appeared on the scene and infiltrated our society? Indeed, I understand the fascination for using an automated factory, gaining overwhelming commercial support, being in a stable position, joining the majority; but I also know that diversity is necessary in the world. The world needs people who use an analogue approach to making things, and this too fascinates me. So the ultimate question for the future A.I. generation would be, “What is it that only human beings can do?” The answer, I suspect, lies in the performance and creation of small, independent minorities (in our case, a company.) What’s more, I recognise the merit of belonging to a minority. The mind is probably more free in this minority; there’s a choice of what kind of finishes and processes to use, and there is surely a type of expression and design that we can choose only because we belong to a minority.

The temptation to be part of the majority remains fascinating, but at the moment we are not there yet, so we would like to enjoy the creative process that comes from belonging to a minority.

When is the moment that a designer envies other designers?

The answer is the moment when we see that the clothing has melted onto the wearer, that it fits her naturally, that it enhances her. That is the moment I envy.

I would be thrilled if the day came when the lady who finally ended up coming to our pop-up shop twice, and who tried on so many clothes, so many times, was the one who other designers envy.

Isshi KANAMARU 2017.10

第7回目のポップアップショップで、FFのコレクションを気に入って下さったお客さまが、沢山の洋服をとても楽しそうに試着され、一通り試着された後、静かにこう云いました。「洋服が、好きだった頃を、思い出した 」と。初めてお逢いしたのに彼女のこれまでの人生にほんの少しだけ触れたような気がして、嬉しかったです。

若きダンサーが成功を夢見る映画を以前観ました。物語後半、彼女に降りかかった色々な悲観的な出来事はついに彼女に踊っていたステージを去る決断をさせてしまう。鏡の前で厚いメイクをしながらベテランのダンサーは辞める挨拶に来た彼女に気づき、こう云う。「私が今のあなたみたいにとても若かった頃、世界はとても楽しく見えた。みんなが私に注目していると感じた。ステージで稼いだお金はすべて洋服に消えたわ。来る月も来る月もお給料は洋服に。クローゼットは洋服で埋め尽くされていった。、、でもね、いつからか、買うのをやめたの。パッタリと。それがどうしてなのか、それは今でもわからない、、遠い、思い出よ。」と。

若さに圧倒的に心も体も守られている世代にいる時は洋服に対しての要求はさほど多くはない気がします。数量さえあれば、おそらく、満足かな、と。でもそれに衰えを感じ始める世代になると、数ではなく、違う要素が必要になってくる気がします。物理的に良品であること、それとそのもの自体プラス何かの要素、またはストーリーがあるとか。その迷われていた女性も、実は洋服自体をどれにしようかだけで、迷っていた訳でなく、今持ち合わせている服とのコーディネートはもちろん、多分その洋服を購入した以降に彼女の人生に起こりえる何か、を同時に想像していた気がするのです。それは、人生がほんの少しでも変わるきっかけだったり、人生においてプラスに進む何かだったり、と。

そのような服はどうすれば作ることが出来るのか?

おそらく、大量生産される洋服の生産ラインには乗らないシステムでなければ実現が難しいのでは、と考えることがあります。でもそれは不効率で、完全にマイノリティーな洋服で、これから A.I. が生活の中に溶け込み台頭していくこの時代にそれを目指すべきなのか?軽く疑問です。数を集め、マジョリティーの中で安定した地位でいることもとても魅力的です。でも世の中、多様性も必要かと。そしてこれからのA.I. 時代の最大の投げかけとなってくる疑問「人間にしか出来ないこととは、一体、何か?」その答えも、実は、マイノリティーな仕事やパフォーマンス、クリエーションの中に、その答えがあるような気がしてならないのです。そしてマイノリティーであることのメリットも実は認識もしています。それは、マイノリティーだからこそ得られる自由度が確実にあり、マイノリティーだからこそ出来る縫製始末や仕立て方があり、マイノリティーだからこそ出来るデザインや表現方法が確実にあるのです。

マジョリティーへの誘惑は魅力的です、でも今現状は実際にそうではないので、マイノリティーでいる以上はマイノリティーでいるからこそ出来るクリエーションを逆に楽しみたいです。

デザイナーが、他のデザイナーに一番嫉妬する瞬間とは?
それは、まるで着てる彼女自身のようにその方に自然に溶け込み、彼女自身を代弁して表現するかのように馴染んだ存在の洋服を見かけた瞬間です。自分が一番嫉妬する瞬間です。

その彼女は結局、2日間もポップアップに通い、何度も何枚も試着を重ねた末、購入されたその洋服達が、いつの日か、他のデザイナー達を嫉妬させる日が来るとしたら、、とても嬉しいです。

金丸一志