Wooden accessories by Shimukappu-based artist Hasegawa used in "Yohji Yamamoto" Paris Fashion Week show
This autumn’s Spring-Summer Paris Fashion Week 2022 featured accessories crafted by Hasegawa Kantaro, a wood craft artist and rock climber at Tomamu in the Northern Hokkaido village of Shimukappu. Hasegawa created black wooden snow glasses and necklaces in response to a request from fashion brand “Yohji Yamamoto” (Tokyo).
Yohji Yamamoto is a worldwide brand launched by designer Yamamoto Yohji. Since debuting at Paris Fashion Week in 1981, Yamamoto has been a regular shower there. This brand was the only Japanese group at the Spring-Summer 2022 show held from September 27 to October 5 this year. For this show, under the theme of “living in nature”, the brand reportedly wanted to incorporate design created by humankind in the past, and wanted wooden items.
Meanwhile, Hasegawa was already crafting
wooden snow glasses carved with ethnic patterns and facial expressions around the eye area and selling them as souvenirs at Michinoeki (Roadside Station) “Shizentaikan Shimukappu”. Snow glasses are light shielding equipment far northern peoples use to cut light reflected from snow. They have long, thin horizontal holes across the middle. In the Tohoku region, Jomon era dogu figurines appearing as if they may have light shielding equipment on their faces have been discovered.
Hasegawa manages “VOCK”, a manufacturer of “hold” protrusions attached to walls for indoor climbing. In August of this year, Yohji Yamamoto Chief Kubo Tadashi found photographs on the VOCK website and called to request production work, saying, “Your products fit the image we are looking for.”
Hasegawa worked on the project for one month, completing it after running through five discarded trial pieces first. He commented, “As a local regional artist, I never expected to get this kind of request. It was a difficult process, partially because it was a totally new design for me, but I am happy that accessories from Shimukappu were displayed at Paris Fashion Week and drew in attention.”
The snow glasses used in the show employed a simple design with no ethnic patterns. Additionally, a necklace with a design inspired by the face of Bodhisattva Maitreya and a necklace evoking the feel of animal bone were also shown. All of the accessories were wooden, and employed the black coloring which is a characteristic feature of the Yohji Yamamoto brand. Chief Kubo praised the works, “Hasegawa crafted items that matched our concept in a short time frame. This is exceptional work.”
Michinoeki (Roadside Station) "Shizentaikan Shimukappu"
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