George Lucas has been lauded for his creation of Star Wars, but was he mistaken to not conceive cell phones and tablets in this futuristic world? In his Spring 2017 collection, Japanese designer Kunihiko Morinaga revises this mistake. Educated at Waseda University and the Vantan Design Institute in Tokyo, Morinaga believes fashion and technology should be interwoven and has been combining the two since launching Anrealage in 2003. In his latest show, the designer experimented with perceptions of reality by stationing iPads along the front row. Do we see a business woman or a futuristic solider? Do we prefer viewing the clothes in person or on screen?
Besides the helmets and monochromatic palette, the models were far different from Stormtroopers. Banished were the plastic jumpsuits in favor of square capes, asymmetrical skirts and wide leg trousers that built a new uniform. As separates, the pieces look like polished work basics with their prim collars and pressed peplum shapes, but together their sophistication was a sleek sword. Without color, stripes and patterned shapes become vivid and mesh coherently without battles for attention. The real conflict comes from black sashes wrapped around shift dresses, effectively censoring the text designs. In certain outfits, the blocks dissolved on the screens to give way to words like sound and silence. In a world of tweets, statuses and snaps, do we have more freedom of speech online than in person? It’s a question Star Wars may have neglected to ask, but one Morinaga keenly brings up.