Monthly Archives: April 2017

Visit artist 013: Kurara Omichi (Designer)

Koto Thouin – as the medium for expressing the power of words

Here is a special interview with Ms. Kurara Omichi who won the grand prize in the 4th of Kokka Print Textile Competition, which has been held every other year. The name of her brand, “Koto Thouin”, is the old Japanese phrase meaning “let me ask” or “there is something I would ask”. At the timing of its debut, Koto Thouin made a good start with working for the spring/summer collection of HaaT of ISSAY MIYAKE. Omichi represents a new style of textile with her avant-garde design and distinct coloration. What cultivated her unique artistic taste? What did she discover through creating textile? With a few interesting anecdotes about her childhood, we will be investigating the mystery of “The World of Omichi” from a variety of angles.

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Kokka-fabric.com (KF) Please tell us about your childhood.

I grew up in Sendai City, Japan. I attended “Kangaroo Kindergarten” that was a unique kindergarten specializing in cultivating students’ sensitivities and creativities under the principal’s educational policy. We often went to a nearby pond to pick up fallen leaves or branches to make something with afterward in the classroom. My first action as “drawing” in my memory is that we laid down birthday classmates on a big paper and traced around their entire body. It was, so to speak, a kind of annual body measuring on birthdays. We additionally illustrated his or her favorite items around the drawn figure. It was the moment for me to become aware of “the act” of drawing. Probably this kindergarten was the starting point of my journey to pursuing artistic expression. I feel gratitude toward my mother who chose the school for me.

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(pic: The hat Omichi made when she was in elementary school)

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Long Gilet (Vest)

Size: Length – about 100cm

The featured project is a long gillet (vest) that comes in a new fabric from the 3min. series. The charm of this air tumbler treated cotton linen sheeting is its soft and fluffy texture. It is a simplistic style vest just like the concept of 3min., yet it allows you to create a mature look.

Design & Work:Anriko


Fabric shown for this sample:3min. JGA20050-1A


Materials:
□ Fabric: 108cm widex1.9m

cs198_long_gillet
*All rights reserved. ©Kokka

We interviewed Anriko about her creation:
KF Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
It is a lovely fabric with large motifs laid throughout on a dense gauze-like soft texture. Rather than making something with a solid shape, I wanted to create an item that looks silky and airy.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
Following the concept of 3min., the design is simple, consisting of only three rectangular pieces. While it is a plain vest, I tried to achieve a look that can go well with a mature styling.

KF: What are some tips for making this long vest?
I tried to keep the sewing process to a minimum. You may find the process slightly different from the conventional way of making a top outer garment. As a first step, please do read the instructions. I think you will find the sewing process easy as it only requires a straight stitching.

KF: How should we use this long vest in everyday situations?
As the shoulder can be flexibly set, how you put this on could dramatically change the look. Off shoulder style can make you look as if you were wearing a shawl (picture shown right). When you scrunch the collar and put it on over the shoulder, you can wear it as a long gilet (vest) (picture shown left).

KF: Thank you very much, Anriko! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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nani IRO Textile 2017

The Poetic World Created by Naomi Ito

Started in 2002, naniIRO textile is a textile brand that incorporates Naomi Ito’s watercolor painting into fabrics. The brand’s name nani means beautiful in Hawaiian and IRO represents the meaning of color and harmony. The 2017 collection offers a new line of colors and materials added to the standard designs.

wild flower JG10561-1A LinenJG10560-1A_1JG10560-1A_2

Keep on walking as you admire the landscape that spreads out right in front of you.
Quietly picking a wildflower blooming on the ground.
Describing the wonders of the small workings of the nature.
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Reversible Skirt

Size: Skirt length 61cm

Perfect for the upcoming season, this light skirt comes in KUPLAN KUKKA (Bubble Flower) from the kuiskaus by the textile designer, Sawako Ura. This season’s two new colors of fabric in salt shrunk #80 lawn, is turned into a reversible skirt. After a silk screen print, the original pattern design by Ura was layered and applied with transparent print and salt shrinking to create this special fabric.

Design & Work: Anriko


Fabric shown for this sample: kuiskaus(Outer fabric)JG31000-2(E)
      (Lining fabric)JG31000-2(G)


Materials:
□ Fabric 106cm wide×2m
□ Elastic tape: Waist size (1cm wide)

cs197_reversible_skirt
*All rights reserved. ©Kokka

We interviewed Anriko about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
I once made a ribbon blouse in this series, and remember that the texture was rather solid for a lawn material. This time, in the new colors, I wanted to take advantage of the character of this material. So, I came up with a full circle skirt, hoping to create a look of a pannier or a hoop skirt.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
By itself, the fabric is somewhat thin and see through, and you may think it’s better to attach a liner. By incorporating two new colors, the skirt can be enjoyed both inside and out. The yellow hem peeking behind the purple front adds a nice spring-like accent.

KF: What are some tips for making this skirt?
To complement this delicate material, a thin (1cm) waist elastic tape was used. If you like, you could be creative by adding other elastic material, like a rib, for the waist in lieu of the tape.

KF: How should we use this skirt in everyday situations?
It is great for a feminine look as well as for a cute and casual styling with a T-shirt, socks and sneakers.

KF: Thank you very much, Anriko! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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Koto Thouin

The brand launched by Kurara Omichi, the top winner of the 4th Kokka Print Textile Competition

The new brand by Kurara Omichi, the top winner of the 4th Kokka Print Textile Competition is finally making its debut! With her avant-garde design and distinct use of colors, Omichi represents a new style of textile. HaaT of ISSEY MIYAKE INC spotted and adopted the unconventional textile for their spring/summer collection. The brand’s name, Koto Thouin comes from the Japanese word of Kotohamu, which means “let’s ask, let’s inquire.” When designing, she gets the inspiration from questioning stares that are cast from the stains, scars and shadows of the things.

Urayama no Shomen  JG29000-1A Cotton Linen Sheeting
JG29000-1A
Urayama no ShomenJG29000-1C Cotton Linen Sheeting
JG29000-1C
Urayama no ShomenJG29000-1D Cotton Linen Sheeting
JG29000-1D

When you close your eyes, you can picture that mountain, your childhood playground, that stood behind your house. Even when you are far away from it, it makes you feel that it is always there, quietly watching over you. The design depicts an existence of such mountain in a bold style.

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