The relationship between fashion and IT has become closer but it is still difficult to find harmony between the two concepts in the world of design. Concepts reflecting the latest trends are required, yet more and more focus is placed on the value of handmade and rare items. This interview consisting of two parts seeks to take a look into the “new” relationship of fashion and IT through the eyes of Fashion Headline.

Michiko Nakayama, designer for fashion brand MUVEIL, celebrating its 5th anniversary, and Yusuke Tominaga of AID-DCC Inc., who suggests new communication styles through the Internet and works in various genres such as advertisement campaigns, get together to discuss the topic in question.

**To faithfully create works based on your own ideas**

“There is no sense of touch in works created through the Internet. This is why I continuously seek for experiences, which each user can relate to.” By Yusuke Tominaga (Web Planner)

Tominaga: Are there clothes that have elements of IT or digital technology?

Nakayama: It’s not exactly digital but clothes made of functional materials such as thermo compression bonded clothes that retain moisture or clothes that maintain cool temperatures exist.

- Recently, people use ink jets to print designs onto clothes. Do you use this at MUVEIL?

Nakayama: I rarely use ink jets. The technique is useful for printing a wide range of colors onto a design but I prefer printing each color by hand. I feel that the slight differences in thickness, texture and layout created by this process add charm to the designs.

- How long does it take for you to create an entire collection for one season?

Nakayama: I take longer on one collection now compared to when I first launched the brand.

Tominaga: The concept of fast fashion is common now but you actually go in the opposite direction of the trend it seems.

Nakayama: Yes true. I want to take as much time as possible on my designs (laugh). I start preparing about 6 months in advance and begin by creating an image of what I want to design and what kind of threads and fabrics I want to use. The concept becomes more concrete around 3 months prior to the deadline.

Tominaga: Listening to your comment now, I feel the urge to show you one of the projects that I have participated in. We call it an interactive music video. The video is viewed from a computer and is slightly different from an ordinary video in that there is more than one visual. To exaggerate, the number of visuals equals the number of viewers.

Nakayama: What do you mean?

Tominaga: This music video is of a band named “androp” belonging to Warner. (Please check - androp「Bell」 ) The video includes a game linking to Twitter and a message can be sent to a desired recipient. Depending on the message, a character is selected to send the message on behalf of the sender. The character runs to deliver the message quickly but on the way gets hindered by several obstacles such as monsters. The purpose of the game is to see whether the message can be delivered safely or not.

(Website explaining the game:

Nakayama: (The game starts and a character of a horse appears) Is this horse running towards the person that we sent the message to?

Tominaga: Yes that’s right. Nowadays, it is really easy to send a message to someone, be it through Twitter, Facebook, SNS etc. The game symbolizes our view that sending a message across is actually not that easy. The horse runs as fast as he can to deliver the message but each time he hurts himself on the way, the structure of the message becomes altered and ultimately the original message does not reach the receiver.

Nakayama: There is no turning back?

Tominaga: Nope. (The game ends…) So the message didn’t reach the receiver in the form that it should have. When we tweet a message to someone, a URL tracking the game that we just played will also be sent to the receiver. The game consists of three elements, the horse (symbolizing the sender) working hard to deliver the message, the horse getting hurt and the message becoming indecipherable, and displaying the original message we had intended to send.

Nakayama: This is a happy concept. I would be touched to find out if the original message included a marriage proposal (laugh).

Tominaga: This is a program but somewhat similar to your comment earlier about selecting the threads and fabrics to be used for your handmade clothes. We also focus on the importance of “touch.” The sense of touch does not exist on the Internet but we try to create experiences that people can relate to.

Nakayama: This is just a game on the screen, but I feel like I’ve got caught in something in a good sense.

Tominaga: Thank you and you are right, clothes have a texture, which we can feel even if we don’t try to, whereas what we do cannot be touched. This is why we place so much importance on creating a sense of “touch,” which allows one to feel emotions, touch and feel like they experienced the situation physically. I guess it is like leaving an impression, similar to the one people have after reading a book.

(To be continued into vol. 2)