From one season to the next, Kunihiko Morinaga takes on new conceptual and construction experiments, rising to each occasion with astounding results. Exceptional shapes, special optic effects, unexpected materials — once the Tokyo-based designer determines the idea, he then develops variations, mutations and transformations before arriving at a complete collection. Morinaga launched his label in 2003, with “Anrealage” combining the words “real”, “unreal” and “age”.
How do you define the future?
I think that the influence of the pandemic has made the border between physical and digital worlds seamless. So that “massless” fashion in the digital world, such as NFT and Metaverse, will become more realistic in the future.
Why is the future such an important element of fashion?
I think that history and the past are only valuable to what is advanced. Only when there is a future, history and past can be valuable.
What is one global or social issue currently shaping fashion’s future?
The communication distance between people created by COVID-19, and the coexistence between people and nature that has continued since before the pandemic.
How do you imagine fashion changing over the next decade?
The beauty of physical shapes and the comfortably touch of the textures are very important factors in fashion; but more than that, the beauty of virtual data and copyable digital data are used as haute couture. As a unique thing, I think that the feeling of possession becomes important.
How do you imagine your brand evolving over the next decade?
Under the theme of “real” and “unreal”, we are making progress. Up until now, I have been trying to find “unreal” in “real”, but the pandemic has created a world where these realities are reversed. In the next decade, I think my mission will be to find reality in the unreal.
What is one thing we can start doing now that could positively impact our future?
With this collection, we have started the fusion of animation — which Japan is proud of — and fashion. This collection can be experienced at Metaverse and sold at NFT. I believe that these new challenges will lead to the future of fashion.
What concerns you about the future?
I think the digital and virtual worlds will evolve at an accelerating pace, but on the other hand, it is important to strike a balance so that the physical world is not left behind. We must not forget the experiences, emotions, and feelings of temperature that can only be felt in the physical world.
What excites you about the future?
The correct answer for fashion is constantly changing, so for me, the future is always exciting.
Your wish for the future?
My wish is that the values of fashion will change. What is not the correct answer in fashion now, will become the correct answer in the future.
Do you think about the future when creating a collection?
Definitely. I’m continuing fashion to take the present one step further.
What is the most defining idea or look in this collection?
An animation look becomes a physical look, and a physical look becomes an animation look. The costume for Belle in the last look is a bridge between the two worlds that exists both in reality and in the movie.
How does this collection compare to your past collections?
It was a completely new challenge. We have been challenged in the 3D world, but by getting into the 2D world and the screen, we were able to discover new fashion possibilities.
What remains constant across the past, present, and future of fashion?
The fact that fashion is constantly changing is unchanging.