Sweaters in the Round
Nicholas Tamarin -- Interior Design, 4/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
The number five is significant to fashion magazine Ryuko Tsushin. The recent February issue of the monthly publication—the Japanese equivalent of W magazine, founded in 1966 by legendary couturier Hanae Mori—marked its 500th issue. To commemorate this milestone, the editors called upon 50 clothing designers to each customize a basic cashmere sweater. Along with a visual history of the magazine, their creations were the subjects of a five-day exhibition at the Wacoal Art Center, the rotunda-like facility designed in 1985 by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Fumihiko Maki.
Ryuko Tsushin art director Kazunari Hattori conceived the show in the center's 2,800-square-foot Spiral Garden. Amid its concrete floor and circular ramp, one-of-a-kind pieces in a panoply of shades clad mannequins and hung via cable at different heights from the ceiling, while oversize versions of the magazine's past covers formed a 22-foot-tall, two-sided banner in the middle.
Among the international designers who contributed were Italian Riccardo Tisci, New Zealander Karen Walker, and Japanese Kamishima Chinami. Triptych, a fledgling Japanese label, transformed an ordinary gray turtleneck into an edgy study of cutouts and fray. At the exhibition's close, all the sweaters were donated to a charity auction to benefit victims of the Niigata, Japan, earthquake.