LA­BEL TO KNOW Ja­panese de­sign duo 5-Knot

Fol­low­ing their South African de­but, de­sign duo Ena Kizawa and Taketo Nishino of Ja­panese la­bel 5-Knot talk about their love for travel and all things vin­tage

Elle (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

In a fashion cy­cle so fast-paced and ever-chang­ing, 5-Knot stands out through its cre­ators’ con­sis­tent and tran­scen­dent col­lec­tions in­spired by the past – a rather re­fresh­ing ap­proach. Hus­band-and-wife team Ena and Taketo had their first show­ing on African soil at AFI Joburg Fashion Week this year, which saw their S/S19 col­lec­tion stir the lo­cal fashion com­mu­nity. Packed with un­ex­pected pair­ings of prints and tex­tiles, the gar­ments iron­i­cally chal­lenge clas­si­cism by up­dat­ing vin­tage ideas for the mod­ern woman. The brands’ cre­ators de­scribe it with the words ‘trip’ and ‘vin­tage’, speak­ing to the ease and sim­plic­ity of their in­tri­cate de­signs. This idea ex­tends from their own laid-back life­style in a coastal area of Ja­pan, where their days are filled with eat­ing, surf­ing and cre­at­ing. ‘The way we cre­ate is the same way we live our lives. We don’t fo­cus on cre­at­ing – we just make things that come to our minds nat­u­rally and spon­ta­neously. Our brand is char­ac­terised by a va­ri­ety of prints, tex­tiles, em­broi­deries and mixed styling,’ says Taketo. Travelling and dis­cov­er­ing relics from the past are their main sources of in­spi­ra­tion, which is how the name ‘5-Knot’ came to be. ‘We love the sea. “Knot” refers to the speed of a boat – a con­nec­tion to wa­ter – but it also means “tie”, which to us means knot­ting to­gether some­thing vin­tage and some­thing new. And, of course, five is a lucky num­ber for us,’ ex­plains Taketo. Started in 2013, the pair ini­tially pro­duced ‘tra­di­tion­ally made’ col­lec­tions, but soon be­gan ex­per­i­ment­ing with re­cy­cling tech­niques, con­struct­ing looks from used fab­rics like vin­tage denim to cre­ate one-of-a-kind items. The brand gained recog­ni­tion quickly, hav­ing won the New De­signer Award at the 2015 Tokyo Fashion Grand­prix and the DHL De­signer Award in Tokyo in 2017. The pieces al­ways have some kind of tether to the past, yet feel mod­ern and new. This per­fect bal­ance can be seen in the S/S19 col­lec­tion, Ena’s and Taketo’s favourite one, where dec­o­ra­tive table­cloth prints are con­trasted with glossy trenches, lo­go­cov­ered knits, bright rub­ber gloves and la­tex socks. The re­sult is fem­i­nine, but not girlie; el­e­gant, yet cool. For the de­sign­ers: ‘Vin­tage is vin­tage. It needs to be re­con­structed for the present day and con­text. Our rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of it means we fo­cus on vin­tage styling, or fab­rics that feel as if they’re from a past era, but it must al­ways be mixed with some­thing new and un­seen.’

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