The unapologetically directional designs that strode in Kozuka’s Spring/Summer 2023 runway, “ISSUE #2: FRIDGES IN THE AIR,” wear garments that defy the typical definition of clothing, because Kozuka only barely makes typical clothing.
In fact, Kozuka’s entire practice feels like an experiment in reformatting familiar codes to fit his personal vision of whatever makes a wardrobe. Should no one else abide by it, that suits Kozuka just fine.
Because every great artist is supported by the patronage of believers, it’s thanks to the people who do abide by Kozuka’s imagination that he can put on a runway show of clothing this painstakingly considered.
There’s quite a lot of these people, in fact, and they’re spread out across Japan and beyond.
They sell Kozuka’s twist on the
I even spoke briefly with Kozuka in the latest issue of
Good artists create a world and great artists invite others inside. Kozuka’s exquisitely advanced designs are meant to be imbibed wholesale or not at all and his SS23 collection is a great place to start, though I’d recommend poring over
There’s a lengthy document explaining Kozuka’s inspirations for this collection. He draws in part from the bitter black and white photography of
He even iterated three separate motifs for the collection: “FINE FEATHERS MAKE FINE BIRDS” (uniforms that both express and erase identity; “ARTIFICIAL FOX” (foxes as a metaphor for imitations, which Kozuka calls “wonderful”); “FABLE DRAWING” (Kozuka’s hand-drawn characters are subtly manipulated to create a balanced all-over print).
Kozuka waxes poetic about the beauty in simplicity, deceiving given the time-consuming craft he applies to garment design.
The see-through knit shirts, raw-seamed shorts, Vibram-soled sneakers, and hand-painted jackets (one of the more literally artistic themes in
It’s beautiful stuff and is as challenging to dig into as any other work of modern work. Kozuka wouldn’t have it any other way.