Don’t we just love the drama of a hat? Adorning an intricate piece of art on your head which makes you feel a little better of yourself surrounded by a halo of happiness? Philip Treacy believed that milliners should be regarded more as hat designers. Maiko Takeda is one hatter who broke all the rules of normalcy and introduced a new hat to the world of millinery. I can bet a bottom dollar on the fact that neither Giuseppe Borsalino nor John Batterson could ever portend a hat fashioned from environmental influences like shadow, wind and gravity. Maiko’s art dwells in visual effects and unconventional articles that defy mediocrity. A woman, who has managed to test all logics of aesthetics, has finely carved a niche for herself in the fashion industry.
Takeda, originally hailing from Tokyo, Japan currently resides in London and finds herself more comfortable there as she can be “more Japanese” in a mob of varying aesthetics. Maiko credits her home country, Japan for playing a huge role in inculcating a sense of engrossment in hats. She says that in early Japanese history, the emperor would wear a flat shaped hat on his head which was composed of natural fibres. Her work exudes Japanese elements, though she swears its unintentional!
It is surreal to witness a designer who transforms the intangible into physical. Maiko Takeda transformed natural phenomenon that occurs in the environment such as shadows and gravity into accessories to bedeck. It is almost contrary to reason the fact that a shadowy object can be used to bejewel a piece of design.(Sans the jewels.) The “Cinematography Collection” by Takeda was introduced in 2009, and is fairly about wearing shadows. This collection has befittingly reasoned the old maxim by Leo Tolstoy that all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.
Takeda reveals that each piece is made up of a sheet of metal mesh on which she drilled thousands of tiny and intricate holes by hand of varying sizes, and when the light shines through the sheet the shadow appears on the body making it an avant-garde design having the ability to make a person feel like art herself. This collection, she says, was particularly influenced by mathematical and scientific facts. How atypical is it to fathom a designer dematerialize fashion and even have a successful hand at it!
While a conventional hatter fashions a conventional hat out of conventional substances such as fabric and leather, Maiko Takeda layered printed clear film, brought together with acrylic discs and linked together with silver jump rings. She prepared hundreds of transparent films with translucent colours tinted on their tips. Then one by one, she folded them by 90 degrees upward by hand. Maiko’s collection titled “Atmospheric Re-entry” awakens the futuristic mood of the wearer, making the experience sheer celestial. Maiko’s collection would remind one of a superlative feathered creature fanning out its translucent feathers and nebulous emanation. The structures almost look like the wearer is adorned with a cloud, or a hedgehog (as it can be turned inside out.) How outlandish is that! The headdresses and visors are fashioned in such a way that they blur the surrounding space, which produces a brume and cloud-like aura.
The intergalactic semblance that these headdresses yield is sublime. Maiko Takeda believes in minimalism when it comes to fashioning garments, nonetheless, she has successfully added her bit to the Hat.
Maiko says, “I have always ended up choosing the motifs that had a seductive element to them. So, I picked cats rather than dogs, and roses rather than lilies.” Both of Takeda’s collections have indeed a beguiling and siren element to them, which transforms the circumambient of the wearer from tangible to that of haze, a transmundane familiarity.
This article was written by Anushka Sharma, II year.
Featured Image from https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/lifestyle/culture/maiko-takedas-head-games/
Photographs from https://fishinkblog.com/2013/10/04/maiko-takeda-future-jewellery/; http://www.fubiz.net/2014/04/08/cinematography-by-maiko-takeda/maiko-takeda-lip-hat/; https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/33425222211337279/