Tuesday, 9 April 2013

ikebana-inspired couture

The proverbial Japanese perception of beauty 
is mostly based on space which is not seen as
a background to be filled in, on the contrary,
it's usually arranged to be quite a focal point.
Ikebana is the renowned traditional art of flower
arrangement bringing beauty and harmony, balance
and focus through the proper use of natural elements
and space; the idea of emptiness allows each flower
or leaf to breathe emphasizing the contrast 
within the elements of the composition.

That's why an ikebana artist always leaves room
between flowers and branches to allow a symbolic
breeze to pass through and rustle them, just as in
nature, subtly suggesting that space is emptiness
yet it has shapes and an energy of its own which
is expressed through its design. Ikebana enhances
the natural beauty of the flowers in a way which
no ground could ever achieve.

The sophisticated principles of ikebana came to
inspire the powerful, emotional aesthetic of ILJA's
s/s 2014 collection: launched in 2005, ILJA is the
haute couture line dreamed up by Dutch designer
Ilja Visser to express her conceptual vision and
artistic approach to high-end fashion. Ilja studied
fashion design in Arnhem before moving to Milan
where she learned the ins and outs of 
running her own fashion label.

”Combining her inspirations, of the arts with the
duality of strength and femininity in women, she
creates outspoken designs. The sophisticated
artistry of Ilja is brought to life through impeccable
craftsmanship, fabric manipulation and contempo-
rary innovations. Her collections exhibit an organic
and sculptural distinction in flattering, feminine

 silhouettes” the brand's comprehensive statement reads.

As ikebana strives to reach a powerful balance
through composition, rhythm and colors, Ilja's
limited range of dresses and shoes display her
clean and sophisticated take on wearable art
through slim shapes with geometric cuts,
whimsical frills and floral inserts: black & white or
fading gray pieces are spiced up by intense yellow
touches. Amazing shadows of plants and flowers
are used in the designs as well as in the stunning
lookbook pictures introducing a graceful collection
which is elegantly balanced as ikebana creations.

> all images © by Ilja Visser 2013 <

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