Sunday, 28 October 2012

samurai chic warrior code

”First intention, then enlightment”
from the Hagakure: the Book of the Samurai

Years ago I managed to put my hands upon a copy
of the 'Hagakure', meaning Hidden by the Leaves,
the spiritual guide for members of feudal Japan's
warrior class, the samurai, soon after watching
Jim Jarmusch's movie 'Ghost Dog'.

Penned from 1709 to 1716 by Yamamoto Tsunetomo,
it was published only in 1906 soon becoming the most
controversial (and often mystified) Japanese book and
even if some of the commentaries in it sound eerie,
outdated and male chauvinistic, it comprises powerful
quotes about the bushido, the samurai warrior code.

Hagakure came to inspire a stunning editorial signed by
French photographer and creative director Fabien Baron
with stylist Karl Templer for the October-November issue
of Interview Magazine, the American magazine founded by
Andy Warhol back in 1969 and relaunched in 2008 by
Baron and Glenn O'Brien, in which Canadian model
Meghan Collinson (BTW, all my gratitude to her steadfast
fans for the dedicated tumblelog where I pinpointed 

the pictures) is dressed to kill in the true spirit of Far East
honoring Japanese traditions while evoking the Orientalist
trend for winter 2013 we saw on the runways (here).

Chinese silks provide the basis of covered-up layers and
wrappings emphasizing the male vs. female effect through
an androgynous aesthetic of impressive volumes in which
hard angles and hyperbolic shoulders underline 
the concepts of assault and defense.
Paraphrasing a quote from the Hagakure, I dare say
that style is something that cannot be attained 
except by piling effort upon effort.

all images © by Fabien Baron, styled by Karl Templer

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