When avant-garde flower arrangement artist Yukio Nakagawa was approached by Rei Kawakubo to do a display at the Comme des Garçons shop in Aoyama, he asked her how much he could spend on the project. She responded, “As much as you want.”
What fantastic words to hear!
“As much as you want!”

Taking her words literally, Nakagawa ordered two hundred Gymea Lilies. Originally from Australia, the flowers have huge red petals and fetch a cool 100 dollars-plus per stem. I unfortunately never saw the arrangement in real life, but I truly understood the beauty of his masterpiece even in pictures. That was the first time I heard the name Gymea Lily.

Another reason I took an interest in this flower is because it is very similar to Agave Americana, which has been sketched on the price tag we have attached to all of our merchandise since FERAL FLAIR was established. Both flowers are part of the agave family and are similar in appearance in that they spread enormous leaves all around like an aloe. They also both extend their stem straight to the sky, about 6 meters high, and share similar flowering patterns, as both bloom at the top of the stem. The Gymea Lily blooms a huge red flower and the flowering cycle lasts 5 -10 years, while Agave Americana blooms clumps of small yellow flowers. It is said that their flowering cycle lasts 40 - 100 years, which is why it is also called the century plant. When I visited Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, I was excited to see that a lot of Agave had been planted at even intervals on both sides of the pavement on this vast site. I was impressed by the fact that they had been planted one by one in huge pots, looking like a crown made of stones.

I’ve never seen or heard of a flower arrangement artist working with blooming Agave Americana. However, if Mr. Nakagawa were still alive I wonder if he would ever use blooming Agave Americana, which is said to flower for a century and exists all over the globe, and dynamically arrange one hundred of their blooms? It makes me happy to imagine so and I cannot help smiling in spite of myself whenever I do.

Three years ago, a specialist forecasted that, “The world will change dramatically, starting this year.” This was 2015. Therefore, the specialist believed that the world would actually accelerate explosively toward the future. We are currently seeing scientists break new barriers, take every measure for a long time, and make breakthroughs with increasing speed. Of course the repercussions have reached the world of fashion. How far can creation and beauty evolve in the future?

In creating this new collection, I experienced an emotional conflict between two thoughts that are always crossing my mind: that it should be gorgeous and that it should be simple. I finally understood that this was a similar line of thinking as those people who think that they want to live a high technology and futuristic life but also live a simple life in nature.

Feeling at a loss with the creative process one day, I stared at a flower.
I imagined people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago also staring at the same flower I was looking at. A flower blooms without any change for thousands of years. The flower dose nothing special, it merely blooms when it comes to its flowering cycle. That’s it. And it will continue to bloom with the same design and beauty, and captivate people in the (far) distant future.

As a mark of respect for the beauty of our great mother nature, I sketched the Century Plant flower on our FF tags.

Isshi KANAMARU 2018.10

前衛的な華道家 中川幸夫さんが生前、川久保玲さんからコムデギャルソンの青山店のディスプレイを依頼された際、それにかけれる予算を尋ね、彼女は、「いくらでも」と応えたらしい。


その花に興味を抱いた理由はもう一つあり、FF がブランド設立当初から全ての商品に付けているプライスカード、その表面に描かれている花、アオノリュウゼツラン、その花にとても似ているからです。両方ともリュウゼツラン科で、巨大なアロエのような葉を四方に広げる姿もそっくりで、開花する時期が近づくと、その葉の根元中心から空に向けて6mぐらい真っ直ぐに茎を伸ばすところまで似ています。そして両花とも、そのてっぺんで花を開花させる。 ガイミアリリーは真っ赤な巨大な花を咲かせ、その開花周期は5年~10年ほどですが、アオノリュウゼツランは小さな黄色い花をカタマリで咲かせ、その開花周期はなんと40年~100年と云われている。なので別名をセンチュリープラントと呼ばれています。スペインのバルセロナにあるアント二 ガウディが作ったグエル公園を訪れた際、その広大な敷地の遊歩道の両側に均等な間隔でずらりとアオノリュウゼツランが植えられていた姿には感激しました。しかもに石器で作られたまるで王冠のような巨大な鉢状のものに一株ずつ植えられた姿は、まさに圧巻でした。





そんな偉大な自然の美しさに敬意をはらう意味で、FF のタグにアオノリュウゼツランを描きました。