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  • 代官山 蔦屋書店 COLLABORATION
  • 小西 康陽 INTERVIEW

VOL.2 人、モノ、ことの研究者



There was a futuristic design in 60s represented by Pierre Cardin or André Courrèges. Items of the time when design was the most advanced and glowing are very important to enjoy DECADE. Where was the design born and how does it come down today.

He is involved in a wide range of activities such as a product development for companies, producing of exhibitions and writing books.
He reads a trend of the time with his extravagant collection and creates a new one. It is said he ignited an airline and a North Europe booms. He wrote a book “DESIGN=SOCIAL” (published by Works Corporation).

1960s was good times, a period of rapid economic growth world-widely. Many companies were born after WWⅡ and a development of technology was abruptly in the wake in the time. The space travel had been a science fiction in 50s but it became realistic in 60s when the Apollo Project of the U.S. and the Vostok plan of U.S.S.R. were published. In those circumstances, motifs reminding of the outer space began to be used in toys, commodity goods and fashion. There were a helmet that looks like a part of spacesuit and others made of silvers with organic curves looking like a rocket. We today call it the “Space Age”. In 1965, a local airline company in Texas, Braniff International did re-branding, which was a campaign called “The End of the Plain Plane”. Emilio Pucci designed the uniforms of cabin attendants, pilots and mechanics and something special worthy of mention was a helmet covering over entire head designed for cabin attendants, which was very space-age design looking like a part of a spacesuits. This helmet was originally designed for keeping their hairstyles from strong winds outside of planes.

In the mid-1960s, fashion designers such as Pierre Cardin, Andre Courreges and Paco Rabanne published space-age designs one after another. It is interesting that they were futuristic but also had historical and ethnic essences very much. The Eskimo glasses that Courreges published in 1965 was modeled on slit glasses the Inuit has used since ancient times to protect their eyes from a glare snowfield. A Paco Rabanne dress made of plastic plates with metal fittings reminds us an armor of the Middle Ages. They looked very space-like and edgy but are said to be just a revival of art nouveau, which was a current early 20th Century, in reality. Art nouveau is a style with a lot of curves inspired by plants of nature and was a phenomenon of return to nature, against the rapid mechanization after the industrial Revolution. The situation in 60s was very similar with those days. In late 60s, the condition of the trend became stronger and hippie movements began. A big social phenomenon of the culture in 60s was of freedom and liberation. People became rich and interested in morals such as racism or sexism. Mary Quant in London created mini skirts and it became a current around the world. Designs in 60s were very pop because the air of the world seeking freedom and liberation pushed them, I think. And this phenomenon moved into the psychedelic and then hippie movement in the mid-60s. Tastes of folklore became stronger while a mannish style such as a pants look was appearing around 70s instead of feminine mini skirts.

In the meantime, the movement of freedom, liberation and recurrence of a race was combining with student activities and national liberation movement in the Middle East and other places. You can’t say the 70s was a bright time when the rapid growth era was ending and problems pretended not to see began to appear, such as the destruction of the environment, ethnic conflicts and the oil crisis originating with them. But in the fashion industry, it was a period when styles became more diverse, unisex clothing became common and some new styles such as COMME des GARCONS were born, those have been continuing up to now.

The time is always woven with trends of an anterior age, such as technology and a condition of society, and then a new current will be born. We are today impressed by the culture in 60s and 70s because the air in this time might be similar with the 60s when art nouveau revived.