Is fashion art?
The debate continues to rage, even as fashion exhibitions draw huge crowds to museums. Tomo Koizumi, who majored in painting at Chiba University, has seen his colorful ruffled dresses displayed at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.
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Now the LVMH Prize finalist is preparing for his first solo art show in December at the Yukiko Mizutani gallery in Tokyo. For his debut presentation at Paris Fashion Week, following a runway show in Milan last season, he brought some of the pieces he’s working on.
Koizumi used his hands to smear rectangles of ruffled fabric with oil paint, creating abstract floral motifs. He then sculpted the fabric into voluminous gowns that were displayed on mannequins in the atrium of France’s ESMOD fashion school.
“These are dresses, but these are also paintings,” he said, adding that the pieces will be taken apart and shown as tapestries or sculpture in Japan.
“The idea of being an artist and the idea of making art is about creating new categories or new ideas, so that’s why I’m really confident these are worth showing even though they are not completed pieces,” he explained. “It’s still including beauty, my own aesthetic.”
It marked a departure from his signature rainbow tulle creations, which have been worn by the likes of Lady Gaga, Björk and Sam Smith.
Gently draped around the body, these designs had a more organic quality, accentuated by the blots of color ranging from springlike pastels to darker shades hinting at withering blooms. Like flowers, they’re destined to have a limited shelf life. When a dress is an idea, it can only be considered as art.
Launch Gallery: Tomo Koizumi RTW Spring 2024
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