AmnesiA & ParamnesiA Fashion Show with Daisuke Ichikawa and wochi
On June 29, the GO SOUTH brand collective designers Daisuke Ichikawa and wochi held the first part of a three-day performance and fashion event entitled AmnesiA & ParamnesiA. With a theme of “full-metal Victorian,” the fashion show that was the focus of the first day combined music, dance, and avante garde theater to present the collection in a unique way.
In the opening sequence, a woman with a cartoon antelope head emerged, her outfit an artful construction of teal ribbons. As she lay down on a platform, a knocking sound came from behind the stage and a cat-headed man kicked down the back door, stumbling into view of the audience before lying down as well. The smoke machines and dim lighting gave the scene an ethereal atmosphere, and as a monotone voice began to muse on the nature of God, a man in draping, brown, tea-dyed fabric shuffled onto the stage and pulled out a wall made of plastic bags. “I made all the things,” the voiceover said as “God” began to place a variety of knick-knacks on the grocery bag wall. A rusted birdcage, a dinner plate and a broken shamisen were arranged with such care that was at odds with the fact that these items amounted to junk, giving the impression of a ruined, post-apocalyptic world. When the man left, the animals awoke again and danced slowly around each other, the cat appearing to take control as the antelope fell at his feet.
“Everything bleeding must die. I have a contract with you. All living things, all things made of meat, come two by two onto the ark.”
The models emerged in a slow parade, resembling dolls that had been left to rot in an abandoned manor. Their hair was matted and wild, they carried spindly, broken parasols, and wore Victorian-inspired clothing in colors of stained cream and black, One by one, the models violently stabbed at the sleeping antelope with their parasols while the cat writhed, appearing to feel the pain instead, then fell down. As the models left, the man returned to gather the parasols for his collection.
The models then returned one by one to announce a small hope they each had for themselves, from wanting to ride a horse some day to wanting to celebrate a 30 year anniversary. The presentation allowed a closer look at the details of their outfits. Images of objects echoing the plastic wall played an accenting role in many of the collection’s jackets, from a picture frame sewn on a pocket to a door-knocker placed between shoulder blades. Unfortunately, many of the subtle points of the clothing such as the faint patterning and skillful color gradation were lost in the dim lighting but the overall effect was appropriately unsettling.
The cat then began to arrange branches and the stage became a hidden wood as more models emerged to show clothes with a wild edge. One huntress-themed outfit included real fur resembling that of a leopard which was then playfully echoed in another piece that included a stylized leopard-print cat-ear hoodie. A particular standout was a jacket with a real taxidermied pig’s head attached to the sleeve. The animal was decorated with delicate chains in a combination of beauty and beast.
Almost all of the outfits included a subtle element of shine, from golden braiding to a slight shimmer in the fabric that caught the light as the models slowly paced, adding further to the unworldly, fey atmosphere of the forest scene. Taking long ribbons, the models began to tie them around trees, the cat and the audience members. They then tied the ribbons to a door on the back of the stage and pulled it open with a crash, allowing the designers to emerge to a round of applause.
After the show, the collection was brought out for sale and the clothes were quickly snapped up by the waiting fans. Clearly the unique presentation had been effective and it proved that a fashion show doesn’t have to be a walking catalog to sell clothing; it can also be art.
There are 47 photos in this visual kei exclusive.