Saturday, October 7, 2023

Kiwa Anraku - WA Studio KIWA From Japan - Vancouver Fashion Week SS24 Oct 19 at 6:50-7:10

I have been to Tokyo Fashion Week and would love to go again. Kimono culture, ancient and modern co-exist magnificently in Art and Fashion, there and the craftsmanship is always evident in clothing and accessories. Even the invitations are beautiful. I try my best to see every show and to meet the Designers. Terry Sasaki, in Vancouver, is a local Designer/Artist and many of us wear his work when we know he will be at the shows. When he told me about Kiwa, I was excited to interview her. Here is what she has to say about her designs and her show, Thurs. Oct 19 at Vancouver Fashion Week.

Q: How long have you been designing and where else have you exhibited your work?

A: We started exhibiting and selling our work in West Shinjuku, Japan, in 2003 so this is our 20th year! Until now, we have presented our own stage performances once a year, combining fashion shows with theatre, music and dance. This will be the first time, we will focus exclusively on Fashion, in our runway show.

Q: What is the theme/focus of your Collection?

A: The focus is on Kimonos, which when recycled can be upcycled into custom-made, one of a kind fashion, featuring kimono patterns made into the unique designs that are the KIWA brand. Kimono Culture, like Waka, a classic Japanese Literature, transcends time and space and resonates with people, past and present. Our designs make full use of the kimono fabric and using the techniques of split knitting, slash quilting and patchwork; the fabric and pattern become modern formal and informal wear.

Q: How did you get to Vancouver Fashion Week?

A: Our participation in VFW began when were contacted by Ms Tashiro, Designer Coordinator, VFW MANAGEMENT INC. She was attracted by our website and instagram. We are excited about this great opportunity.

Q: We all know Designer/Artist Terry Sasaki as he often comes to VFW to see Japanese Designers.

A: We met through Yusuka Yamashita, a Jewellery Designer and talked about Vancouver Fashion Week and the possibility of meeting in Vancouver.

Q: What are you looking forward to at VFW and in Vancouver? 

A: I am grateful to be part of Vancouver Fashion Week. First of all, I know I will enjoy seeing the show, myself. Each kimono has a story behind it. I listened to the story and added my interpretation to each design. I hope many people will get to know Kimono culture. I also look forward to meeting many new people and gaining a lot of inspiration.

Sugoi and Arigato, Kiwa. I will also come to the Designer Gallery (Showroom) on Friday, Oct 20 - 4:30 - 8:30 to see your designs up close.

Credit: Shuto Mikio

Credit: Shuto Mikio

Photo credit: Miyoshi Iwesawa
Model: Shino

Photo credit: Yoshiya Yamazaki
Model: @Flairshow

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