>> Let’s say Ryu from Street Fighter was having a chill day at home – no training, no trying to defeat his mortal enemy Akuma and no wearing of the karate gi. Then Korean label R. Shemiste’s S/S 16 collection, presented a few months ago as part of Seoul Fashion Week, would provide a suitable off-duty uniform. Ditto goes for any female cohorts training with said fighter, given that the collection itself, a few skirts and slip dresses aside, is largely unisex.
Katsushika Hokusai’s famous Under the Wave Off Kanagawa is a central motif in the collection, but more than just using the surface of the wave as mere decoration, it’s the East-West dialogue of Hokusai’s work that struck me as interesting. Hokusai, was inspired by late 18th century Dutch and French engravings in his work and was considered an artist going against the grain of tradition, breaking the ukiyo-e (Japanese woodcut) mould of depicting actors and courtesans, with his expansive landscapes. Hokusai’s work would later reverberate in the West, planting seeds of Impressionism, and more directly Art Nouveau, with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec making graphic design and print making his primary forte.
That same to-and-fro relationship is reflected in the collection where Hokusai’s wave is a picture postcard pinned on the back of Western-derived tailoring or on American-originated denim jackets. The featured souvenir jackets are also another result of East-West relations, as in post-war Japan, US servicemen took their tanker and flight shirts to the local tailor to be embroidered with maps, animals and emblems of Japan. R. Shemiste’s versions are emblazoned with koi carp and pearls. Dragons that resemble irezumi body art designs are embroidered onto sleeves , leaving the threads to fray freely and when combined with metal rings cuffed on to jacket lapels, gives you a different twist on tats and piercings – both bodily signs of teenage rebellion.
It’s perhaps yet another strand of fashion-led Japonaiserie but under this youth-fuelled Korean label, the nuances are well observed.
SOURCE: Style Bubble – Read entire story here.