Yoshikazu Yamagata: writtenafterwards

Japan Fashion and Lifestyle Foundation

A gift to your heart, we express how sweet people wear and essential of fashion.Create something new for contemporary human living.

writtenafterwards
The world fashion scene has been changing dynamically ever since the Internet took off in the 2000s. In particular, the Internet made it easier for a creator to discover how consumers are currently feeling and what they desire. As a result, it has become easier to produce creative fashion that’s relevant to the current times by incorporating what has been identified into silhouettes and prints that resonate with consumers.Another change brought by the Internet is that the face of the brand, which in the past had been controlled by the creator, is now generated by the creator and the customer in unison. This is an almost natural phenomenon in which information is disseminated by the people who wear the brand. Groups of images brought together by social media tags arguably represent small tribes of customers that have been generated by brands.At the same time, these environmental changes affecting the control of information make it increasingly difficult for a designer to answer the question of “Why do I have to create?”Yoshikazu Yamagata is one creator who attempts to address not only this question but also to question the essence of human nature and his own nature.
Yoshikazu Yamagata
Fashion designer Yamagata, who graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2005, was John Galliano’s design assistant while a student. After returning to Japan, Yamagata established Writtenafterwards in 2007, with a brand concept of “A gift to your heart, We express how sweet people wear and essential of fashion. Create something new for contemporary human living.”Looking at the garments that Yamagata has designed, it is apparent that maintaining an intrinsic perspective is key to his work.

Fashion “as a phenomenon”

The theme for his graduation collection, titled “The Everyone's New Clothes,” was the Emperor’s New Clothes, in which the Emperor is isn’t wearing any clothing. This was followed by “4th Collection: Graduate Fashion Show -0 Points,” which showcased garments made with “trash” generated at University and Art School. The next collection was inspired by an idea of Yamagata’s—if gods existed, what sort of show would they present in an age when fast fashion is getting faster and faster? The result was “5th Collection: The Fashion Show of the Gods,” in which he took 50-meter bolts of fabric and simply wound them around the models immediately before the show to represent the ultimate in fast fashion. Yamagata sees fashion “as a phenomenon,” with clothing generated by the mediation of people and society, and he is not beholden to conventional views of clothing.

Coconogacco

Furthermore, Yamagata doesn’t restrict himself to his own brand, but attempts to update fashion itself. In 2008, he launched “Coconogacco,” a fashion design class where students could learn about, and experiment with, fashion. So far, 500 students have graduated from the courses he offers and are working in a range of industries.

Movement created by Evangelist of Japanese Fashion

Yamagata produced “Zetsumei Ten” and “Zetsu Zetsumei Ten” which was held at Shibuya Parco Museum. The exhibit contents were renewed everyday and some of his collection pieces were presented by live models. Yamagata seeks to increase his presence in the field of fashion and art. In 2015, Yamagata became the first Japanese designer to be nominated in LVMH PRIZE SHORT LIST. Yamagata perceives fashion design as a design process of any human aspect and its trend and considers fashion as a communication tool encompassing educational, social, cultural, and environmental views.

He continues to develop his fashion by exploring his personal roots in Japanese identity. Evangelist of Fashion tries to communicate what it means to dress and live in everyday life through creation of his pieces. His vision in fashion gets at the heart of the matter while sampling prevails in fashion.

Yamagata’s roots

Yamagata’s roots are in Tottori Prefecture, where he spent his formative years. Of all the prefectures in Japan, Tottori has the smallest population and the smallest number of cities. Famous for its sand dunes, it is located on the Japan Sea side of the Chugoku region, forming the eastern part of what is known as the San’in area. As hinted at by the name San’in, which means “shadow of the mountains,” clouds tend to converge in this region, and in winter it has some of the heaviest snows in Western Japan. According to Yamagata, this region has a negative image because of its inclement weather, with residents tending to stay indoors much of the time. However, it is also true to say that the mindset generated by the climate has been reflected in creative endeavors, and has inspired creativity. Apart from Yamagata, notable creators from this area include Japan’s leading ghost manga artist Shigeru Mizuki and photographer Shoji Ueda, whose work depicts the boundaries that lie between fantasy and the everyday.

' THE SEVEN GODS - clothes from chaos- '
The story is written by Yoshikazu Yamagata.

The launch of the Seven Gods project

The Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011 was a catalyst for Yamagata to re-examine the history of fashion, including the history of Japanese culture, the history of disasters, and to confront the issues that this disaster generated or exposed, including the economic consequences of the nuclear power station accident. The result was the launch of the Seven Gods project.

Long, long ago, Adam lived happily in Eden with many different animals. Deep inside Eden was a secret place, called the White House, which the animals were told never to peek into. However, Adam was tempted by the serpent and broke that promise, peeking inside.

There, he saw pheasants and other creatures working to create currency notes made from fabric, and called “Zero Writte

After breaking his promise, Adam is expelled from Eden, but in the ensuing turmoil he encounters the overweight Eve. The couple had many children, and the family quickly started making money.

One day, guided by light leaking from the wall of a cave, Adam discovers a hole that seems to lead somewhere.

Naturally, the children also peer into that hole, and feast their eyes on a fashion fantasy.

It is at this point that they realize that they are naked and feel shame and embarrassment. Adam decides to embark on a journey in search of fashion.

During his travels, Adam comes across a turtle being teased by bad children.

As a way of thanking Adam for chasing the children away, the turtle takes Adam to Ryugu Castle.

The children are concerned about Adam who is late in returning, and they ride turtles in search of him.

Although they eventually find Adam, they discover him having an affair with Princess Otohime.

Eve, who was following the children, also witnesses Adam with Otohime, and is so furious that she turns into a red demon.

The long journey comes to an end, and Adam, who had been lonely, makes a decision to become a fashion designer.

He works in a casual job collecting trash every day to support himself while he makes clothes. However, he is never recognized for his efforts. Nonetheless, he perseveres, continuing to design and create.

As the result of the highly demanding process of making clothes, Adam ends up hovering between life and death, but somehow completes his collection, the theme of which is “flea market.” He shows his “Adam Urashima” collection, consisting of 18 looks that he created using items found in the trash he collected as his day job.

Adam Urashima Collection

Adam's funeral

After the whole collection has been shown, Adam dies, leaving the words “Clothes from chaos.” His death is followed by a truly questionable funeral, and the angels take Adam away.

THE SEVEN GODS

Suddenly, seven gods wearing different outfits make their appearance, named the “Gods of Seven Costumes” to reference the seven gods of good luck.

The climax of the show comes when Adam, who was supposed to have died, flies in on a fluffy cloud wearing a fashionable trainer top and shorts.

Subsequently, Adam came to be worshipped as the god of fashion.

According to legend, he’s now running a flea market in heaven.

Behind the scene
“It’s not as though I have a specific target in mind when I produce a collection. The brand itself represents a mélange of ideas and principles. The people who work for me each contribute their own individual approaches, so all sorts of coincidences are incorporated into the final products. Rather than trying to convert what I’m thinking into reality, I attempt to come up with a collection that uses what I find at that particular moment, and I think that’s what makes my work different from brands with clear specifications.

the Gods of Seven

“I created the Gods of Seven Costumes because I wondered what the gods would look like if Japan really had gods of clothing. The design is based on the Japanese tradition of a kumade rake to which is attached all sorts of auspicious objects. I think its origins lie in the fact that Japan has long experienced earthquakes, tsunamis, and every sort of disaster. To ward off all the different dangers, Japanese people have no choice but to pray in all directions.

Zero notes

“The trainer top worn by Adam is made with Zero notes. One of the characters in the Japanese word for a banknote includes the meaning of fabric, acting as a reminder that fabric was once used as money. These days, fabric doesn’t represent as much value as it used to, and so I thought I’d create fabric that represented as much value as it did back in the old days. To develop this fabric I collaborated with one of the most outstanding weavers in Japan, and then I created this item using the fabric we produced.”

According to an urban myth, a message by the Freemasons is concealed in the American dollar bill. Similarly, several messages are said to be concealed in the Zero notes by the “FREE MISSION.”.

On the palm of the hand of God lies Rei Kawakubo,

while John Galliano and

and Martin Margiela sit inside the stomachs of two whales,

Alexander McQUEEN is attempting suicide.

Other hidden images include the three wise monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil), cats being given coins that they can’t appreciate,

and cranes with gold in their beaks, flying through the air. These notes are being woven at the Mint by animals. Above the Mint is emblazoned Rei Kawakubo’s phrase, “Creation from Zero.

This look is an homage to Maison Martin Margiela, and features a plastic shopping bag from TOMATO, a famous fabric shop in the Nippori fabric district frequented by many fashion design students.

This outfit features the actual overalls Yamagata wore when he worked in John Galliano’s studio.

This look features parts from the pachinko machine featured in Evangelion. The song played at the end of the show is “Komm, süsser Tod – Come Sweet Death,” which featured in the soundtrack for “End of Evangelion.”

Finale

The costume worn by the model who appears at the show’s finale features a tiger, to the head of which is attached the divine dragon that appears in “Dragon Ball.” Yamagata has incorporated the divine dragon into this design, as a reference to the story that your prayers will be answered if you can gather all seven Dragon Balls.

Credits: Story

writtenafterwards

Text by Shingo Isoyama

Coordination by GAS AS INTERFACE Co., LTD.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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