Setchu: The most original display in Milan menswear
It’s a five-mile drive across Milan to visit this year's LVMH Prize winner Satoshi Kuwata of Setchu, but worth every meter to meet a designer seemingly destined to be a major force in fashion.
Setchu scooped this year’s €400,000 award, and there has rarely seemed like a more worthy and better prepared winner. His presentation/installation on Saturday was elegant, arty and a rather special method to understand his unique take on fashion.
“I am inspired by our Japanese ceremonies - for tea, flowers or calligraphy. This is my version, of how to wear, how to style and to own a garment,” explained the cheerful 38-year-old designer.
On three screens were projected his multiple mode ceremonies, capturing models putting on his clothes in precise steps. All characterised by his intriguing cutting, unlikely placement of holes and straps and ability to open and close clothes in multiple places to created multi-use garments.
Everything recorded by local filmmaker Massimiliano Bomba in “vintage style” on film before being edited and transferred to video. One could only admire the beautiful pink denim like linen mannish suits or scalloped back white blouses for gals or colonial cotton white safari jackets or striped apron/dresses for men.
“The hidden message is to welcome the AI era even as I create something that I want to last 100 years,” Kuwata explained.
Like the great Alexander McQueen, Kuwata learned his craft the old-fashioned way, working in Savile Row. In Satoshi’s case at H. Huntsman, as well as doing stints at Givenchy, Edun, and Kanye West.
Satoshi showed few physical garments, but they were all great. Like his black leather biker jacket, made in one large piece of rawhide that fully zippers up at the sides; or a ribbed knit that separated into three pieces. Everything presented on tatami mats. One of his conceptual linen sack dresses laid out as if being rolled into a long narrow gift box, ideally shaped so that a dozen of them will fit in a standard transportation consignment.
No wonder he entitled this spring/summer 2024 display: Ceremony Of How To.
These days Satoshi lives and works in south Milan, even if – like his forerunner Yohji Yamamoto - he dreams of fishing more often. And wearing a dinner jacket while out in the ocean in pursuit of black tuna.
“I have always wanted to be elegant when fishing,” concluded Satoshi, proudly pointed to a half dozen linen fishing tuxedos on mats too.
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