Junko Koshino

Published in FASHION & DESIGN  
Junko Koshino Photo Courtesy of Junko Koshino, Inc.

Designs Inspired by Vessels

In Japan, a “vessel” is a metaphorical term referring to the sheer size of a building, or even the heart of a person. Throughout my career, I’ve often created designs inspired by a “vessel.” This picture was taken at the Kyoto National Museum on October 9, 2015 at a Noh performance on the opening night of a fashion exhibition celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Rinpa school of Japanese painting. The costumes I designed were based on the Nishijin brocade, a traditional textile of Kyoto, and they were inspired by the “vessel” of the museum venue.

Earlier in my career when I held fashion shows in China, Cuba and Vietnam, I wanted to show something new to my audience and create something inspired by that country’s traditions and history. I created a fusion of the essence of their heritage with futuristic components. The combination surprised audiences, who could relate to the design because of the changes they had experienced in their own lives.

The tight constrictions of the Kyoto location, which did not allow for any on-stage equipment such as lights or a sound system, ended up highlighting the simplicity of the Noh costumes that defy modern technologies. The combination of the Noh costumes and the opening timbre of a traditional flute with a taiko drum proved popular for the over 1,000 guests who came to the three showings.

Through crafting the costumes for the show, I discovered that a new “vessel” could inspire even more creations, and this realization was in fact the quintessence of the 400-year-old Rinpa school itself. From this show I learned that a new “vessel” could be a source of original creations. Altogether, the pre-event paved the way for the exhibition’s success and brought in over one million visitors.







The complete article can be found in Issue #278 of the Tokyo Journal. Click here to order from Amazon.

Written By:

Junko Koshino

Junko Koshino is one of Japan’s most highly acclaimed fashion designers, best known for her wide array of designs. These include her Junko Koshino line, corporate and sports team uniform designs, and musi- cal performance costumes. She has also been involved in cultural exchanges through her fashion design activi- ties in the U.S., China, Vietnam, Cuba, Italy and France. Born in Osaka, Koshino won the prestigious So-en Award while studying in Bunka Fashion College’s design program. She was appointed by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as the 2008 Yokoso! Japan Ambassador (now ‘Visit Japan Ambassador’).


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