Dans La Vie, spearheaded by Wasada University-graduate Rira Sugawara, is a particularly colour-conscious designing vehicle aimed at sucking in the work of contemporary music, fashion and art’s boldest statement makers – Andy Warhol, Madonna, McQueen – and spitting them back in collections no epilespy sufferer would go near. Sugawara showcased her AW12 collection ‘Clash Beauty’ as part of London Fashion Week on Saturday, and spoke to Wonderland just before the event.
Explain the concept behind Clash Beauty in a sentance.
Digital and analogue, real and surreal, daily and not daily, gorgeous and kitsch, eastern and western, classic and contemporary, serious and crazy, material and spiritual, destructive and constructive, new combination of different materials, not normal, a balance of forms. We run a regular called “heroes”.
Name the five people who have informed your style the most.
Andy Warhol, Rei Kawakubo, Alexander McQueen, pop Madonnas who have queen taste.
How has growing up in Tokyo influenced not only your work, but your world view?
In Tokyo, there are many amazing kitsh and complicated elements. The street fashion and street culture produced here is very amazing.
What fabrics did you work with for the collection? Am I right in thinking latex was one of them?
I wanted to use the artificial and glossy material that has both a gorgeous and kitsch feeling by using original, complicated prints. I have used the thin vinyl coating material for it. I’m interested in latex as material of amazing taste, but I have heard about dangerous latex allergies, so I will not use it.
In what way were you affected by the earthquake in Asia? Did you lose anyone you knew in it? How has it changed your outlook?
I have experienced the fear. It was a fear that I have never experienced before. There was nobody whom I know and lost in it, though, but a lot of people died and the city by the sea was destroyed. We (the Japanese) had a deep feeling of loss and from that point we began to be conscious that the strong will recover.
Was working with print difficult or fun?
I want to continue to produce amazing and new prints.
Words: Jack Mills