A new collection entitled Japan // Calm force by UMPRUM’s Fashion and Footwear Design students will go on show in the country of its inspiration. Models created under the guidance of Liběna Rochová will be presented in several slots at Bunka Fashion Graduate University Fashion Week in Tokyo, Japan. The presentation will conclude with a one-day exhibition of fifteen selected models and a short video about the project at the Czech Centre in Tokyo.
This new collection owes its beginnings to the students’ previous work, the remarkable Iconic Recycling, a project helmed by leading Austrian fashion theorist Elizabeth Längle. The students were given the opportunity to present the project at fashion shows in New York and Tokyo, two of the world’s leading fashion metropolises. It was then presented at a sales exhibition in the prestigious Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art Gallery in Vienna, bringing its world tour to a close.
A related fashion show and exhibition took place in Tokyo in collaboration with the Czech Centre. The project caught the attention of Prof. Sanae Kosugi, dean at the famous Japanese fashion school, Bunka Fashion Graduate University (which boasts famous names of Japanese design such as Yohji Yamamoto, Kenzo Takada, Hiroko Koshino and Chisato Tsumori among its alumni) and Director of Bunka Fashion College. Prof. Kosugi subsequently invited UMPRUM’s Fashion and Footwear Studio students to attend the prestigious and high-profile Bunka Fashion Graduate University Fashion Week (BFGU FW).
And it was this invitation that gave studio head Liběna Rochová the idea of choosing a Japanese theme for the students’ final assignment. The resulting work Japan // Calm force sees the students taking on very different ideas to previous collections.
Rochová explains: “Theoretical preparation is essential for the development of any comprehensive fashion collection. That is why we organised lectures given by leading Japanologists devoted to religion, art, literature and the culture of the country of the rising sun. I wanted to give students an insight into Japanese culture and identity so that the collections would reflect the students’ distinctive understanding of this fascinating culture, one that is so distant from ours in Europe.”
Eva Takamine, Director of the Czech Centre in Tokyo says: “Two years ago, the Czech Centre in Tokyo organised a presentation of Iconic Recycling, and on that occasion I contacted the world-famous fashion academy Bunka Fashion Graduate University and Prof. Sanae Kosugi, Dean of Bunka Fashion College. That led to the Czech students being invited to visit the school and to my delight they are now connected, which was our intention.”
The objective for the final work was to create a professional fashion collection with a title, logo and promotional materials, including look-books, pricelists and press releases. Rochová adds: “This kind of collection must be prepared to the extent to be able to survive in the real world and, after the students’ presentation, go on sale.”
Some of the students found inspiration in specific forms of Japanese architecture and clothing. But the most interesting work looks at Japanese themes from both sides of the cultural coin. Michaela Čapková was intrigued by the combination of rap and Buddhist mantras, producing “Hoodie Monks”. Kateřina Hynková was inspired by traditional Japanese martial arts: “I chose kendo and iaido, which is the way of the sword. To understand these arts you have to study both of them. This fashion collection follows a method of training that I tried myself, from student to master.”
The collection – made by UMPRUM’s Fashion and Footwear Studio students in the summer and winter semesters of 2015/2016 – was presented at the exhibition Artsemester and at the fashion show in the National Gallery in Kinsky Palace in Prague as part of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. And now the collection is being honoured with this upcoming presentation in Japan. This unique presentation of Czech fashion is held in collaboration with the Year of Czech Culture in Japan.
30th January – 3rd February 2017
Bunka Fashion Graduate University Fashion Week
3rd February 2017
An exhibition of selected models from the collection Japan // Calm force
The Czech Centre in Tokyo
The project’s partner is the Czech Centre in Tokyo.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Czech Republic and Ministry of Culture Czech Republic.