Friday, June 24, 2022

Kunihiko Morinaga

LVMH 2019 FINALISTS

Anrealage by Kunihiko Morinaga is a Tokyo based womenswear brand. He studied at Waseda University and the Vantan Design Institute. Kunihiko then founded the label in 2003 with his signature mantra of "God is in the details." The brand is technology focused and is known for having thematic collections.

Kunihiko has won many accolades. In 2005, Anrealage won the Avant-Garde Grand Prix at New York's New Designer Contest "GEN ART." Then in 2011, he won the 29th Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix for the "best new designer in Tokyo." In 2014, he participated in the Paris Fashion Week, starting with Spring/ Summer 2015. Also in 2015, he was selected as the finalist of the "ANDAM fashion award" sponsored by DEFI. He held "A LIGHT UN LIGHT," an exhibition with clothes of collections in Paris, in Japan. The show traveled to JAPAN HOUSE in LA and São Paulo, and also exhibited at Rothschild and Centre Pompidou-Metz in France. In 2018, he collaborated with AMAZON and presented AT TOKYO collection in Tokyo.

Anrealage is a combination of the words real, unreal, and age. Anrealage was born from a desire to create real clothes for everyday use while utilizing extreme dimensions, original concepts, and unique elements. In addition to being reflected in the fabrics, patterns, fastenings, and other aspects of each of the brand's looks, this attention to detail can be seen in the way that the season's theme and concept influence brand tags, compliance labeling, runway show production, and even the interior design of the flagship store, which is renewed every season.

His collections utilize three essential elements; these are "handcraft work," "conceptual shaping," and "technology" under the mantra of "God is in the details." These three elements found in his Fall/Winter 2019-2020 Collection, which had the premise of clothing details viewed through phone screens, he then enlarged these detail shots by 300% to make actual clothes. A thumbnail-size sleeve of an MA-1 flight jacket became a ruched column dress with the ribbed wristband hugging the torso. The ample sweater is a body-enveloping glove, with the model's arms emerging through the finger holes. The subsequent look features a sock as a capelet and the waistband of jeans as a full-length apron skirt. Between the humongous houndstooth pattern, the exaggerated buttons and zipper-pulls, and the earbuds as big as showerheads, each element was impressively scaled up. But given that this collection marks Anrealage's 10th season in Paris, it should be evident by now that Morinaga's intrepid creative process is far from ordinary. The members of the Anrealage team have a simple faith in the value of working with their hands. They can create something that has never been seen before, and this will always get my attention. I believe Kunihiko's work is progressive, intelligent, and technologically literate. And these three attributes are precisely why he is one of the eight finalists up for the LVMH Prize.

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