If there was one theme to sum up this Fashion Week that has just passed us by it would have to be “Nature”. After all, the lasting legacy of the events of March 2011, now one year has passed, has been to force people to think more carefully about their relationship with nature. Christian Dada offered a ponderous look at a tribe of people desperate to return to nature, but finding they might not have a place to return to. Yuima Nakazato showed an empowered futurist band of men who had mastered nature with their plastic and largely man-made clothes who only wore organic skulls as embellishments. Likewise, constant Tokyo Telephone favorite Joji Kojima, offered his take on the subject with an accessories collection that hid leather lizards behind chains and undergrowth, the question being asked – who was the one liberated? The viewer of the utopia, or the one animals within it?
Even without engaging with the subject, Joji Kojima presented a rich collection, crammed with the kind of hand-made details that only he seems dedicated enough to achieve. His lizard rings (occasionally made from lizard skin!) are designed to be worn over the hand as a conventional ring, with the obvious proviso that these are no more practical than a fascinator is to a sturdy hat. Their frames were made from metal which were then covered in a leather skin and finally finished with abstract metal detailing of studs, rings, stones and occasionally feathers.
The genius of the setting, in a calm corner above the Mercedes-Benz Connection opposite Tokyo Mid-Town, was that it was so close to the polished world of Fashion Week, but as you got close to the cages, it really did suck you in. Once up close, you could never quite see the work completely as it was always obscured by either foliage or the chains that created the cages. This in turn forced you to walk around the work as light glinted from polished metal and facetted stones.
Join me in having a look inside Joji Kojima’s Utopia:
So there you have it, another wonderful collection from a fantastic artist, whose work seems ever more refined and cohesive with every collection. He may have started with a real mix of creative ideas, but it is clear that he is honing them down, focusing on one thing at a time and his world view is all the clearer for it. This is also probably his most commercially viable work to date, as you could imagine these worn to parties as a compliment to a clutch, and once home, used as a fantastic ornament.
Keep your eye on the homepage for future installations, as Joji Kojima does have a habit of announcing them without warning days before they go ahead, and I am sure we will see more from him very soon.