Sunday, October 1, 2023

Satomi, El Beso: Japanese Fashion Design for Music, TV, Movies, Animae and Magic

I saw Satomi, El Beso at Vancouver Fashion Week, last season and was astonished by this dynamic package of animation, music, costume and design. The team was at New York Fashion Week, and dazzled that runway as they did ours, in Vancouver. Although Satomi will not be here for this season, Oct 17-22, I asked for an interview as I knew she would tell me more about the brand as well as provide excellent photog. And she has. Here is it, Satomi, El Beso, all the way from Japan. More on her Instagram here

Here is her interview:

Q: What attracted you to Fashion and Japanese idol Culture?

A: From a young age, I  liked music so much and have always been excited about the artists' costumes in  music videos. So I decided to make special clothes, such as full-tailored clothes, movie costumes, artist costumes and commercial costumes.

Suddenly I got  orders for the Stars'  costumes. Since then, I have provided costumes for  many idols .Japanese idols work really hard; they dance and sing like crazy. Apart from singing skills, Japanese idols are very inspirational. When I realized that they are give so much energy to men and women of all ages, .I was impressed and fell in love with these idols.

Q: Satomi El Beso - does that name have a special meaning?

A: I took from the lyrics "a hot kiss like blowing my inferiority complex away". I believe that kissing maximizes a person's sense of affirmation, gives them confidence and  lets them shine. I mean, when people wear my clothes, they can shine, maybe a bit like being in love. They are confident Stars.

Q: How did you meet up with Kenta Matsukuma and Limo, the Japanese Makeup/headpiece Artist?

A: Kenta Matsukuma was a classmate when I was in high school. But I couldn’t connect with him since he had become a very famous music producer in Japan. A runway show of my collection at Vancouver Fashion Week, promised to be interesting and impressive.chance to collaborate. I thought, if I could confidently work with him, this would be my big break. We work really effectively together and that's why the show in Vancouver was  successful. This proved to be true in New York, too.

I met Limo in the photo shooting for my personal exhibition. At that time, she worked as a hair and makeup artist. As I was young, at the beginning of my career,  her talent and her ideas just amazed me. She was initially confused by my direction which goes back and forth. But fortunately, the shoot was a great success .From that time on, Limo has become a contemporary artist. I love her work. That's why I made an offer to her for New York Fashion Week.

 Q: Do you play any musical instruments?

A: I've only played the piano since I was in elementary school. When I was in junior high school, I tried to compose music with a synthesizer, but it didn't work for me. So I respect people who can make music. I don't play the piano now because I am so busy with my work, but I always listen to music at my atelier. My son is absorbed in composing music and playing drums and sometimes I use his music on Instagram.

Q: You have been designing for 20 years? Have you seen a lot of changes over the 20 years?

A: Originally trained as a programmer, I used to work for a TV station. I started making clothes, using my own ideas and have not been to Design school..It's been really hard for me until now. I learned sewing skills from books. I had my children before I became fully professional. When my first child was born, I decided that I would combine career  and motherhood, and  be a woman who makes my family proud. In the meantime, I received an offer to make a costume for TV commercial. In response to that, job offers started to increase. During the day, I used to go to the park with my children and work from midnight to early morning. Now that my children have grown up, I have the opportunity to finally explore the world.

Q: Your designs are for women and men. What are you favourite pieces to design?

A: I think femininity and masculinity are necessary to live.That's when you look inside, not outside. I want to continue making costumes that support confident self expression.

Q: How did you get to Vancouver Fashion Week and what are your best memories of that?

A: I knew it was a big chance for me. I had been nervous all the time because my intention was  to create  music and a stage performance instead of an ordinary runway. My actual goal was to get a standing ovation from the audience. (Colleen says her section clapped, cheered and stood up.) When I can get back to Canada, in the future, I am definitely planning for more ovations for my work.

My best memory in Vancouver is the very delicious food provided by the CEO of VFW. BTW, another of the people I met in Vancouver told me he makes costumes. I also want to work for stage productions and artists as a costume designer and producer in Canada. 

WOWI How lucky we would be to have Satomi here, in Vancouver! Thank you for your story and your fantastic creativity! Here's hoping we see you in 2024.

Here are my favourite photos I took of her collection:

Here Satomi's professional collection photos: Photo of Kenta Matsukuma and me, and Limo, below, is by Yosuke Nakajima( Others by Getty

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