When Japanese artist Teiji Furuhashi completed his multimedia installation “Lovers” in 1994, he intended to make a statement. At the start of his career Furuhashi, the leader of performance art and media group, Dumb Type, kept his focus on pop cultural commentary, but after seeing the devastation caused by AIDS, followed by the homophobia and the lack of response from government leaders, social and political concerns seeped into his work. Addressing the epidemic via an exploration of love, Furuhashi, who would die at the age of 35 due to complications from the disease, created an immersive series of projections where the overlapping bodies on display never quite touch.
For his fall 2022 collection DressedUndressed’s Takeshi Kitazawa sought to pay tribute to the legacy of Furahashi, an essential yet underrated artist whose work few have gotten the chance to experience firsthand. Dresses for winter formal “Lovers” is Furuhashi’s best-known piece, but it sat in storage for two decades before being unearthed and displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017. Still, the internet should allow more people to experience Kitazawa’s loving homage.
Enlisting a founding member of Dumb Type, Toru Yamanaka, to score the collection’s film, Kitazawa infused his clothes with an irreverent sensibility connected to the group’s work. In the clip where model Elena Zinchenko loops across the screen in a pitch-black room, familiar items were updated with subtle twists. Boxy blazers featured detachable collars and trompe l’oeil cuffs. Long sleeve dresses casual Opera gloves went transparent, skin peeking through the material when paired with double-breasted coats. Eveningwear standards like the tailored jacket and white blouse combination were a focal point, but they were amped up with mirrored brooches that shined through the darkness.
As the collection progressed, those reflective add-ons featured prominently, each look receiving more and more until the gray maxi coat of the finale was covered from top to bottom in silver discs. Long sleeve white dress maxi Included to evoke a “sense of uncertainty and the absence of the body,” the shine added to the film’s atmosphere and, perhaps more importantly for fans of DressedUndressed, provided an arresting central motif to unite the season’s elegant separates.