Fashion Design + Composite Art -b michael Fashion Design Award -

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June 10 – July 23, 2005

Curated by Mie Iwatsuki (Ise Cultural Foundation)


Juror: b michael
Fashion Show: Friday, June 10, 6PM
Curators and Artists Talk: Saturday, July 9, 6-8PM

Finalist Designers:
Joynoelle, Joelle Jean-Fontaine,Gregory Scott
Accessories: Natsuko Hayashi, Candace Blake, Mistie Dawn
Make up artists: Takashi Matsuzaki, Joanna Petit- Frere, Miho Ujiie,
Music: Ed Bennett, Video: Franklin Evans

ISE CULTURAL FOUNDATION is pleased to present the exhibition, ” Fashion Design + Composite Art – b michael Fashion Design Award- “, curated by Mie Iwatsuki. Fashion shows naturally involve the themes of “seasonal change” and participation and interaction of host and guest. A show is also created by choosing the perfect combination of various elements such as models, makeup, sound, and stage design to fit the chosen theme of the show. The exhibition “Fashion Design + Composite Art” is an examination of these complex but harmonious elements, contemplating a fashion show as an eclectic, spatial, and social composite art form. This theme stems from “Ichigo Ichie,” -a Japanese aesthetic and spiritual concept relating to transience, which literally translates to “one encounter, one chance.” Its origin is found in Zen Buddhist philosophy, and is intimately connected to the practice of Chado, “Chanoyu” – Japanese tea ceremony .

“Ichigo Ichie” is a simple yet profound concept, which in the context of Chanoyu, is reflected in how every single encounter between two individuals (host and guest), and the experiences they undergo, never repeat themselves again. The myriad combinations of sound, taste, touch, smell – the way incense rises to the sound of boiling water in the kettle – every imaginable aspect of the participant’s experiences of the tea ceremony will never be reproduced or repeated exactly the same way again. Moreover, “Chanoyu” calls for knowledge in a wide range of fields including tea hut architecture, calligraphy, pottery, clothing, and garden landscaping. In order to construct the proper ambience for the ceremony, appropriate scroll paintings and utensils are carefully chosen according to the season. This emphasis on seasonal change and the appreciation of the transience of nature and experience, is also an integral aspect of fashion, where designs change in accord with the seasons.

For the occasion of this show, a fashion design competition was held as a strategy to best select each element involved in the show, since the combination of elements is like the meticulous preparation of a tea ceremony. Of principle importance were the elements of fashion design, accessories, and make up, so finalists were chosen among these categories and given the opportunity to collaborate to create a composite art fashion show. They each received awards from the juror, b michael, one of the leading couture and accessories designerin NY, and met with each other to plan their collaboration. Aside from the fashion design aspects of the show, a music artist and a video artist were invited to contribute to its audio-visual elements. In Franklin Evans¡Ç video animations, his drawings are used as seeds to set the still image in motion and to offer off–balance narratives on the human capacity to construct its social condition. Inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky¡Çs ¡ÈSolaris,¡É ¡ÈFertile Field regeneration decayed¡É refers to the power of human consciousness to invent interdependent cyclical systems, in this case life¡Çs recycling of death and vice versa. In this show, his meditative, metaphysical, and lyrical video replaces Chanoyu¡Çs hanging scrolls and flower arrangements, while Ed Bennett¡Çs visionary sounds enhance the ambience of the space.

Just as “Ichigo Ichie” finds expression in the composite art form of Chanoyu, each aesthetic element of this show, as well as the social interaction of the coming together of hosts and guests will never be reproduced exactly the same way again.

From the orchestrated selection of the finalists and their collaborators until the day they perform, the show production itself has become the experience of “Ichigo Ichie.” Through this “one encounter”, they have created “Composite Art” which embodies their “chance”, a moment filled with memories that they will hold with them forever.

1st Prize in the Fashion Design Section: Joynoelle’s collection of couture is inspired by classic lines and playful details. The finest new and vintage fabrics are used to create one-of-a-kind or limited run garments.

2nd Prize: Jo«³lle Jean-Fontaine’s innovative style can be described as funky, powerful, intriguing, and sexy. UNIOLOGY by Jo«³lle Fontaine unites a number of different styles and eras into one.

3rd Prize: Gregory Scott’s men’s wear collections blend international influences and bespoke tailoring. Each design is at once innovative in concept and traditional in silhouette.

1st Prize in the Accessories section: Natsuko Hayashi’s jewelry are all made by hand, and have roots to Mother Earth. The designs are inspired by anatomy, nerves, cells, blood vessels, stalks and branches of trees and plants. She worked as a jewelry designer for Kousuke Tsumura from Issey Miyake Group and Masaki Matsushima collection.

2nd Prize: Candace Blake’s shoes provide quality and exclusive contemporary styles. Her purpose is to bring out a woman’s femininity and confidence. She states, ” I believe that what a woman wears can change her whole attitude and view of herself at least for that moment.”

3nd Prize: Mistie Dawn’s handbags reflect her love of good literature, her appreciation of fine art, and her deep connection with nature. They are reconstructed from vintage books and adorned with Asian silks, handmade papers, vintage prints, jeweled accents, and gilding.

Make up artist section: Takashi Matsuzaki studied oil painting, and later majored in fashion design at Kuwasawa Design School in Tokyo. Takashi has worked for Coca Cola TV ads, Maxim Magazine, as well as Gucci and Agnes b. fashion shows.

Joanna Petit-Frere is a Make-up artist, a fashion photographer and an illustrator whose work shows a skilled eye for color and texture.

Miho Ujiie graduated from Shu Uemura School of Makeup and Kita Nippon Hair & Makeup Beauty College in Japan. She was influenced by the work of makeup artist Stephan Maris.

Ed Bennett creates ambient and environmental music. His music was showcased in Vivienne Tam’s fashion show in 2004.

After this fashion show, the show’s own video footage, Franklin Evans’ video, as well as the garments, accessories, and photographs of the make up artist’s work will remain on view at the gallery.

Please contact Ise Cultural Foundation Gallery for further information.

About the Juror – b michael
Launched by legendary PR Guru, Eleanor Lambert, b michael has gained recognition as one of the leading couture and accessories designers in NY. He is known for sophisticated simplicity that is difficult to accomplish. The bland is elegant and timeless with a twist-somewhat architectural in style. b is a design critic for the Fashion Institute of Technology and is a regular guest lecturer. b michael and his business partner Wayne, own and operate a designer studio in Manhattan. His designs currently retail at such fine stores as Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and many specialty stores throughout the country. The timeless quality of his creations has attracted a strong following of celebrities and young New York socialites.

About the curator -Mie Iwatsuki (Ise Cultural Foundation)
Researched and translated Japanese art publication during her internship in the Japanese Art Department at Christie’s Auction House in NY, assisted Julia Meech in researching Frank Lloyd Wright’s Japanese art collection which culminated in the publication of “Frank Lloyd Wright and the Art of Japan- the Architect’s Other Passion” (the book was accompanied by an exhibition introduced at the Japan Society Gallery in 2001). Recently, she curated an exhibition at the Artist Commune in Hong Kong entitled ” Basic Chinese” for the artist Rainer Ganahl.
Models for the show provided by HM.

Image:Dress by Joynoelle, Photo by William Clark Photography

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