“A New Place, Where Growing-Ups Are Beautiful” is the concept of the newborn fashion floor on the 4th floor of our main building. We are preparing various events for PARK where will be an origin of information, collecting the latest things and offering not only an amazement but also an impression. Little black dresses are featured in the first grand opening event titled “Future Formal for Beautiful Growing-ups” at CENTER PARK / Stage #4. A fashion journalist, Yoshiko Ikoma offers a future formal style with accessories of Japanese traditional craftworks on five kinds of black dresses.
- From March 6 (Wed.) to 12 (Tue.)
- At CENTER PARK / Stage #4 on the 4th floor of ISETAN Shinjuku main building
She worked as an editor in chief or associate editor for fashion magazines such as Vogue Nippon, Elle Japon and Marie Claire and is well informed about a lifestyle with fashion.
She is active in a wide range from writing about fashion and art to holding important posts for projects of culture and contributions to society.
Producing “Future Tradition WAO” is worthy to mention among those projects, which is a part of Cool Japan Strategy. Having various networks, she introduces Japanese traditional craftworks to the world and works with developments of regional resources.
1. Pendant ￥13,650
2. Nishijin Bag ￥29,400
3. Japan Necklace ￥38,850
4. Indigo Stole ￥20,000〜
*prices are different by color
5. Japan Bracelet ￥29,400
Why were you interested in Japanese traditional craftworks in the first place?
Ikoma: It was a start that I helped traditional craftworks in Kanazawa to collaborate with foreign luxury brands in relation to my acting as a chief juror of a fashion competition in Kanazawa two years ago.
CHANEL bought an embroidery atelier and a corsage one for haute couture and HERMES and LOUIS VUITTON are, so to speak, the accumulations of traditional craftsmanship.
Ikoma: Yes, they are. Fundamentally traditional craftworks have a very high affinity with luxury brands. I have been taking part in the council “Cool Japan Strategy” presided by our government and became to realize, as learning the state of it, that it is urgently necessary to revitalize Japanese craftsmanship. Foreign top brands understand very well the quality of Japanese traditional craftsmanship. But we Japanese haven’t realized that it is a treasure-trove. It is very sorry that our own luxury brands couldn’t be born because we didn’t know it.
That led to your “WAO” project, didn’t it?
Ikoma: Yes, it did. We held an exhibition named “Future Tradition” in New York, which was a collection of Japanese edgy craftworks selected among from 153 companies. France, Italy and Japan have the best quality of craftsmanship and Japan has the most sophisticated one. Many visitors of the exhibition said that the beauty of details is very Japanese. The more I concern, the more I believe the future of Japanese craftsmanship definitely because of the quality. So then I heard ISETAN would be reborn as a FASHION MUSEUM. It was a windfall (said she as laughing).
Ishizuka: Discussing what we can do on the forth floor or how we meet the day of grand opening on March 6, my team had an idea that might be interesting if we can offer one kind of item as crossing over the occasions to wear and styles without zoning. Various opinions having come up, I met Ms. Ikoma and wondered if a little black dress might be good as the item that symbolizes a mature woman.
Ikoma: I don’t know why we look unnatural in a formal wear like a cosplay and feel uncomfortable. (Smiling wryly)
Talking in general, it is difficult to show a personality in a black formal dress because of a rule of it.
Ishizuka: I’m sure that most of mature women wear black dresses against their taste. And they are the women to have many occasions to wear them as a semi-formal. Ms. Ikoma and I hit it off each other that that’s why we need to propose “Future Formal” fit to each customer on the 4th floor zoned into taste by taste. But a styling is not completed with only a dress so that the idea to coordinate a dress with accessories of traditional craftwork succeeded with ease.
Ikoma: Mature women have both intentions to chase a trend and to seek and improve their own standard styles. They want to encounter good, real and exclusive things, so to speak. It is the most suitable to offer them a place showing a black dress with Japanese traditional craftwork as a fashion.
Ikoma: I have another to say. I was deeply impressed by the fashion of the first lady of the U.S., Mrs. Obama and The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Catherine. They both appear at a lot of formal occasions in the spotlight, supporting designers in their own countries decently. Top ladies of Japan should wear dresses made in Japan and they are in the class of society who want “Future Formal”.
Ishizuka: I think this project is a statement of the 4th floor. We do not only line up products as listening to customers but also offer them our idea and try them to accept it. We are hoping to offer what you’ve never seen but what you wish to do. As a result, there are few import products on the floor for real clothes. I think Made in Japan became a kind of brand good enough to be asked by Asian customers when they buy something, “Is this Made in Japan?” So now ISETAN is a department store to have a potential to introduce Japanese fashion culture to the world, I believe.
Ikoma: So I think Japan-Made will become a brand even in Japan, especially after the experience of March 11. Having been discussed it if production bases should be moving abroad, but we are here who find a value in the respectful creations by local companies.
Ishizuka: We call it Consumption to Support. Customers don’t feel it expensive to pay for a priceless value such as a maker or a process to make something and a new style of a familiar thing to them.
Ikoma: I agree with you. Supporting them by shopping, it might be like being a fan club member of an idol. Hah ha. A retail shop can be not only the place to shop but also one of entertainments and a media to deliver information. It means a lot that such an influential ISETAN in the market started an action.