Atmospheric Reentry, the latest millinery collection from Japanese designer Maiko Takeda consists of a series of headgear, hats and accessories that, more than accents or complements for an outfit, serve as standards of postmodern avant-garde design, individualistic trends that transform fashion into exquisite works of art.
Born and raised in Tokyo but currently based in London, Takeda finds inspiration in the smallest details of everyday life, environments totally unrelated to fashion. She studied jewelry design at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and her work experience includes labels such as Issey Miyake, Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy.
Already a favorite with alternative and quirky artists like Björk, the unique elements included in Atmospheric Reentry are, primarily, structures made of transparent plastic tips painted in different colors, linked to acrylic holders by small silver rings. Interestingly, the combination of these very unconventional materials has resulted in surprisingly fragile pieces that definitely fool the eye.
Loaded with visual effects that defy convention, this striking collection is informed by the ethereal, imaginary nature of beauty. Each of the pieces seems to be made of small feathers, holographic spikes and color explosions frozen in time.
The optical illusion that Takeda introduces with these fabulous pieces—through apparently intangible structures and materials— manages to convey whimsical feelings, textures and even temperatures with frightening ease. Meanwhile, Atmospheric Reentry addresses a sense of aesthetics that test all logic, and that is at the same time, able to capture everybody’s attention.
Through this collection, Maiko Takeda allows herself to create garments that cause stir on the catwalk, and to explore her own social concerns. Seen from the point of view of social reflection, this is a trend that only a few decades ago would have been seen only on the catwalks, where we constantly find references to industrialization and technology. But for Takeda, this collection is based on more profound concepts such as the interaction between the virtual and the digital. We could say this series is a representation of our present life, which takes place inside a “cloud” that is, paradoxically, real and abstract at the same time.
It may be worth taking a moment to remember Takeda’s 2009 Cinematography collection. In it, she took on the task of transforming shadows into accessories and ornaments. The designer created forms that adorned the bodies of her models through the use of wire mesh with handmade holes, which served as ethereal pieces of jewelry. ■