This collection is officially linked to the opera Idomeneo, which will premiere at the Grand Théâtre de Genève1 in Switzerland on February 21, 2024. Idomeneo is an opera composed by Mozart in 1781. This new interpretation of the classic tale of human suffering from the disasters of the ancient Greek wars is directed by Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui2 and will be presented with stage design by contemporary artist Chiharu Shiota and costumes by YUIMA NAKAZATO. The runway show is also staged in collaboration with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.
[Designer’s statement]

While designing the costumes for this opera, I visited Crete, the Greek island in the Mediterranean Sea where the story of Idomeneo takes place. With a vista of transparent, turquoise blue seas and groves of olive trees spread before me, I imagined the Trojan War as it took place in this beautiful scenery during the Minoan civilization. These reflections led me to reconsider the state of our modern society thousands of years later, which then became the starting point for this collection. During my research, I was struck by the appearance of armour from this period excavated from ancient ruins. It was so beautiful that I could scarcely believe it had been designed for combat. I found myself wondering why beauty was necessary for a garment intended for use in war. Seeking answers, I visited the Musée de l'Armée in Paris to investigate the evolution of men's clothing over the past 5,000 years. I noticed that the decorative elements of battle wear are gradually eliminated as societies grow more civilized and technology continues to develop. As a result, repeated advances in functionality and rationality have culminated in the current style of military wear. Interestingly, these garments have served as prototypes for much of the clothing we wear today.

In the process of creating this collection, I came across the Japanese word utakata, which means “ephemeral”. This word seemed to express the exact opposite of the trend seen in the evolution of men's clothing, where functionality and durability are increasingly valued and prioritized. What I wanted to convey with this collection was a sort of ephemeral armour—much like a delicate bubble formed on the surface of the water, capable of vanishing in the blink of an eye. This approach also represents a release from or renunciation of battle. Through the contradictory existence of delicate, fragile armour created by textiles shredded and reclaimed from worn-out uniforms and workwear and decorated with ceramics, glass, and platinum, this collection shows the evolution of clothing that could have been otherwise. It is also an attempt to fuse the delicate and fragile handwork elements of couture with the evolutionary path followed by men's clothing that has continued since ancient times. The fact that men appear on the stage of haute couture wearing these garments serves to embody our present era through its reexamination of the concept of toxic masculinity. Lastly, this show was created together with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui as sort of a non-verbal communication with modern society. There are no set answers, and the collection allows for various interpretations.

Yuima Nakazato

本コレクションは、2月21日にスイスのGrand Theater Geneve(※1)にて公開のオペラ、「IDOMENEO」(イドメネオ)と公式に連動したものである。IDOMENEOは、モーツァルトが1781年に作曲したオペラである。古代ギリシャ戦争禍の人間模様を描く物語の新版は総合演出をベルギー人の振付家シディ・ラルビ・シェルカウイ(※2)が行い、現代アーティストの塩田千春が舞台美術を、そして中里唯馬が衣装を手掛ける。また、本ファッションショーの演出はシディ・ラルビ・シェルカウイとの共創によるものである。


一連の制作のプロセスの中で、“儚い”という意味を表す「泡沫(うたかた)」という言葉に辿り着いた。機能性や耐久性といった、現代に至るまで重要視されている、男性の衣服の進化においての正解とは対極にあるような言葉だ。私が表現したかったのは、水面の泡のように、繊細で一瞬にして消えてしまうような泡沫な甲冑。それは戦いからの解放や、放棄の意味でもある。使い古されたユニフォームやワークウェアを粉砕、再生したテキスタイルと、陶器、ガラス、プラチナ製の装飾により生み出された繊細で、儚い甲冑という矛盾した存在を通して、別様でありえた衣服の進化を示す。古代から続く男性服の進化の道筋に、クチュールの繊細で儚い手仕事の要素を融合する試みでもある。そして、男性がこれらの衣服を纏い、オート・クチュールという舞台に立ち現れることには、「有害な男らしさ(Toxic masculinity)」を問い直すと言う意味において時代を象徴するような意味を持つ。最後に、このショーはシディ・ラルビ・シェルカウイと共に作り上げた、現代との非言語的な対話であり、答えはそこに無く、多様な解釈を許容するものであることを付け加える