Takada Kenzo: the east and the west are crossed on Style.uz

“A live legend” of the world fashion industry and the honorable guest of the Fashion an Design Week Style.uz Takada Kenzo arrived to Tashkent on Thursday. He took part in a solemn closing ceremony of the grandiose fashion project, which was held on 17 October in Samarqand. On 16 October - the fifth day of the Fashion Week the eminent guest answered to the journalists’ questions at the press-conference in the Youth Creativity Palace.

- It’s a great honour for me to be invited to the Fashion and Design Week in Uzbekistan, - the legendary designer said. - Yesterday I got acquainted with a fashion show of national designers of Uzbekistan. These models combine synthesis of modern design, traditional motives and originality of the Uzbek culture in them. I think this deserves a great respect. Else a fact that not only participants of this project, but also all Uzbek people have a great interest to a fashion, style, creativity impressed me. The energy of the young men who are involved in this project is felt and the idea of innovation can be seen. I even had some part of a good envy. Unfortunately the youth in Japan is not so interested in fashion.

- You created a collection “Workshop of five feelings”. What is the philosophy of this collection?

- Taking an opportunity, I would like to tell not only about one concrete collection, but also about my creative activity as a whole. The first success came to me in 1980 when my collection was recognized by a number of known fashion designers in Paris and I opened the first boutique of mine. Then many art critics expressed the opinion that I was the first Japanese designer successfully working in Paris. It was said that I created an original ethnic style and so-called «japanism» existed in my works. There was our culture, national originality in my works. And maybe just this played the important role in my further activity, provided success in my career. It can be seen in my works, on cloths, in a colour choice, in a choice of everything.

- The English writer R. Kipling said: “The east is the East, the West is the West, and they will never cross each other”. But your creativity proves the opposite …

- Although I respect the English literature and this well-known writer, I think this stereotype is mistaken. Style.uz project is a vivid example of a fine combination of cultures of the East and the West. Moreover I think not only in the field of fashion and design, but also in the world there should not be borders at all.

- As a founder of the "diffusion style" in the international fashion industry, you take ideas from ethnic motives of the various people and cultures. What mostly amazed you in the culture of Uzbekistan? Is there any element or a national ornament which will be used in your further works?

- As you know, Japan was always interested in the history and civilizations of the Great Silk Road. This is my first visit to Uzbekistan, but my interest to the Silk Road, to the culture of this region always existed and can be seen even in my works of 70-80th years. Original Uzbek cloths, the suzane embroidery - all these objects of the Uzbek culture interested me for a long time. I’m very glad that my dream to visit your country and particularly legendary Samarkand came true. For these two days of my stay in here I had a bright impression of the architecture itself and modern buildings of Uzbekistan. It is very important that you try to maintain your traditions and historical monuments. Certainly, I’m very glad that Uzbek women wear modern clothes, but else I’d like to recommend using a national element, an ornament or a necklace in clothes. I wish you always keep your identity.

For today I have just good impressions about Uzbekistan, i.e. no traffic jams, no high-rise buildings, the fine blue sky, very quiet atmosphere. This burns just good feelings.

- Mr. Kenzo, recently a world famous jeweler company Chopard declared about the joint project with well-known Uzbek brand Guli. Do you have any ideas on creation of joint projects?

- Unfortunately, I could not see Chopard’s show because I arrived later. I think that in prospects we can realize joint projects too. As Uzbek textiles, an art of sewing with gold serves as a big stimulus and inspiration for my further works.

- Mr. Kenzo, how would you estimate today’s level of Uzbek-Japanese cultural relations?

- I think that a level of development of our relations high enough. These relations were not established in the last several decades, but since ancient times, since the Great Silk Road. A historical exchange between our people always existed. In the ancient Japanese city of Nara there are temples of Buddhism where relics of the Central Asian region are stored. They testify that already 6-7 centuries ago communication between our people existed. Also I’d like to note that Fund Forum of culture and art of Uzbekistan is playing a great role in rapprochement of two nations, deepening of a cultural exchange between our countries. Regular cultural projects organized by Fund make our people closer. I would like to underline that the Japanese people appreciate and respect your country and your people very much. Also I think that the organization of Fashion Week becomes one more impulse in development of cooperation in the field of a fashion and design.

- When our women heard that Kenzo would come to Uzbekistan, they told: “Ah, we know Kenzo only by a perfume aroma!” We are glad to see you, and accept as a guest, welcome to Uzbekistan. And the question is: it is interesting for us to get your opinion on meaning, value of Fashion and Design Week for Uzbekistan.

- My great dream and a wish to people of your country is that Uzbekistan would become the centre of the textile industry of the Great Silk Road. Uzbekistan is a very large cotton industrial country, where silk spinning is developed and I think that Fashion Week should be not so much PR-project, but an important step to economic development of the country. Such factors as presence of valuable grades of cotton, silk, should also help this.

- Your wishes to the Uzbek designers.

- I would recommend them to take into consideration national mentality, to start with traditions and roots, to feel an epoch. Thus, there should not be an overabundance, it is necessary to observe the thin approach and to create harmony between the East and the West.

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