SHOWstudio is delighted to announce our upcoming SHOWcabinet exhibition is devoted to Japanese shoe designer Noritaka Tatehana and launches on 10 September 2014. Lauded as one of the most important shoe designers of our time, Tatehana mines Japan's vast cultural heritage to produce shoes that re-think the very notion of the 'high-heel'. Favoured by Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness, his soaring heel-less shoes shift the wearer's balance forward onto the toes and are elaborately adorned using avant-garde techniques that have emerged out of a mastery of traditional Japanese crafts.
Tatehana draws particular inspiration from the 'Oiran', a group of visually alluring courtesans that were present in Japan's tea houses during the vibrant Edo and Meiji periods. For these figures, appearance was paramount. Their delicately embroidered kimono, elaborate make up, towering geta shoes and mother of pearl hair pins created a veil through which to seduce their clientele. Each piece of apparel was crafted with the finest and most intricate means and each accoutrement demanded the heights of artistry.
For Tatehana's SHOWcabinet exhibition, the designer will showcase his proficiency in these traditional crafts and demonstrate the ways in which he has incorporated them into the realms of contemporary high fashion. The display will include shoes, garments, sculpture and painting that employ the arts of katazome, katakana and yuzen, in surprising and innovative ways. It will also feature new work by the artist Taisuke Mohri, whose photorealist portraits embrace both eastern and western motifs, and embrace the hybrid sensibility of Tatehana's work.
Prior to the exhibition opening, Tatehana will take up residency at SHOWstudio to create a new pair of heel-less shoes. He will demonstrate the intimate making process of his signature design during a live online broadcast. The exhibition will also mark the debut launch of Noritaka Tatehana's range of leather accessories.