Yuima Nakazato: Spaceship Couture

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At Paris Couture Fashion Week 2018, Yuima Nakazato debuted a space-inspired collection made of repurposed industrial materials, such as parachutes and airbags. The collection, called, “Harmonize,” looks as if astronauts created it after their spaceship crashed on another planet.


Image: Bradly Dunn Klerks

Image: Bradly Dunn Klerks

Nakazato’s composition is even more imaginative. While the word “couture” comes from the Latin consuere, which means, “to sew together,” Nakazato’s designs are made from pinning together pieces of laser cut fabric without stitching. Nakazato uses 3D pins to bind the pieces. The pins look like studs or nails. They allow the maneuvering of thicker fabrics, which cannot be sewn. They also allow the pieces to be rearranged more easily.


Image: Bradly Dunn Klerks


Image: Bradly Dunn Klerks

Nakazato is among the pioneers of fashion technology. In an earlier collection for Spring/Summer 2016, he used 3D printing to make iridescent origami shapes, which were then assembled into garments. He also made 3D-printed arms, which were tailored to fit the models using body-scanning technology.

Body scanning has an interesting function; it is not necessarily employed to engineer a form-fitting piece. Being fitted to the body and being fitted to a fashion are not always the same fit. In the best designs, they work in tandem. But, to work “in tandem,” when it comes to high fashion, need not mean to work in perfect harmony.


Image: Bradly Dunn Klerks

A couture fit does not necessarily mean it “fits like a glove,” unless, we are talking about underwear. But the individuality of couture garments is fast becoming something that every consumer wants. Although we have always desired greater flexibility with respect to sizing, since bodies differ, now we also want greater flexibility with respect to the integrity of a single design.

We want to see not just our individual bodies but also our individual ideas reflected in our clothing. This means that a designer must be able, in a way, to read the minds of his clients. Ideally, a designer could make a single garment that would have not only multiple sizes, but also multiple characters. In mainstream fashion, think of J.Crew’s monograms and mix-and-match purse straps.

While you might think that this will eventually put the creative process out of business—since, it would be finally the consumer who tailors garments to their particular sense of fashion—this is not necessarily so. Even if hand sewing becomes more obsolete on a couture level, you would still need a designer to put together the final product, and to envision how to use fabrics in different ways.

Image: Bradly Dunn Klerks

Nakazato’s designs take this flexibility to an extreme: not only is the fabric itself re-envisioned, but the composition, too, is meant to be amenable to a re-tailoring. Indeed, Nakazato seems to have done the impossible: he has made a full-on spacesuit look beautiful. And he has put it together as if it were itself a spaceship.

Image: Bradly Dunn Klerks

Fashion can often feel like a trip to another planet. I would definitely wear one of the spacesuit dresses—in a way, it’s just an infinitely chicer puffer coat. But I’m not sure about the mock space helmet. Can the models breathe?