Recent (tragic) events have brought the reality of cheap labour and its devastating effects to the forefront of our minds. As a result, it seems that now more than ever, people are stopping to ask themselves: “Where do my clothes come from?”. In her latest art installation, ‘A Cotton Dress’, art director and designer Rikako Nagashima dissects the origins of our favourite wardrobe pieces.
Before the very first stitch is sewn into your favourite dress, that precious stone set into your favourite ring and the sole glued to the bottom of your best heels, those garments and accessories have been created with the use of raw materials. “All is made of nature” is the main concept behind ‘A Cotton Dress’ and Rikako takes this notion to a thrillingly literal level.
There is no denying that cotton is the world’s most ubiquitous and versatile material. With this in mind, Rikako creates a sculptural, tent-like, high-necked dress by interweaving branches complete with tufts of unprocessed cotton attached. Keeping in line with the concept of breaking fashion down to its cleanest and purest form, Rikako then uses a cotton tree branch as a makeshift shoe horn, whittling the end down to that gentle and sloping shape we all know so well. For her final piece, the jewel of a ring is left in its basic, mineral and uncut state.
Known for her conceptual work in fashion and expertise in multidisciplinary design, Rikako uses handmade techniques to bring us a raw and refreshing look at what lies just under the surface of fashion.