A talk session was held between designer Kunihiko Morinaga of Anrealage and media artist Daito Manabe of Rhizomatiks at the short film festival ASVOFF TOKYO held in November. The two young creators talked about their recent contributions.

For its 2013-14 AW season, Anrealage presented transforming colors on clothes using UV rays and for 2014 SS, it presented clothes with dials which can be turned to create gathers and change the forms of the designs. “Attempting to break the common rules of clothes designs is the basis of my creations. I take one step further to add elegance and style to make sure that they can still be called fashion and not just fun inventions,” explained Morinaga.

The designs are made from dyes and yarns which contain chemical compounds called photochromic. Photochromic responds to UV rays by changing color. Having learnt about photochromic from dissertations, Manabe presented documentaries of his experiments. One experiment uses liquids which change their colors with UV rays and one with clear boards to draw programmed pictures. Each board has a film which contains photochromic substance inside.

“I would love to see clothes designed by Mr. Manabe,” said Morinaga. To that Manabe responded, “I like to come up with new ideas for a given theme but it would be difficult for me to incorporate the ideas into clothes design.” “It would be interesting if the design of clothes changed according to a person’s emotions or state of mind, which could be detected using a sensor. For example, if a person’s heartbeat reached a certain speed, the slit of the design could suddenly open, or if a person laughed, the form of the design could change,” he continued.

Manabe also introduced an experiment using a sensor for medical use. Sewing an artificial muscle into cloths, he showed how the shapes of the cloths would change in line with the movement of a hand or a face. With the footage of techno pop idol unit “Perfume,” he described the mechanism of how the patterns and forms of their costumes had changed. Perfume’s presentation at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival came up as a big subject among people. In addition, he demonstrated that a dancer with impaired hearing could dance with electrical stimulation, and that using a programming language, a sewing machine could embroider an original design onto a T-shirt.

The two are close outside of work as well and there are times when Morinaga consults with Manabe about an idea which pops to mind. “I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Anrealage’s installation at its store. Mr. Manabe’s idea of designing clothes which react to a sensor is very interesting as well. I look forward to how the two creators will continue to contribute to the progression of fashion,” said fashion journalist Diane Pernet, who curated the film festival.