DRESS CODE is the entrancing result of the collaboration of two Japanese designers, both now long-time residents of Australia. It marries the minimalist élan of emerging furniture designer Fukutoshi Ueno with the vision of world-renowned fashion designer Akira Isogawa.
DRESS CODE implants several of Akira’s kimono-inspired designs on Fukutoshi’s arresting and acclaimed furniture piece, CODE. In this collaboration, their powerful personalities play off of each other to create a new direction that raises the stakes of design to a level nothing short of the inspired.
DRESS CODE embodies a dialogue between lyricism and minimalism.
Like most Fukutoshi’s other works, CODE and DRESS CODE stretch back into Japanese antiquity whilst looking forward to a cosmopolitan future. CODE was inspired by the series of symbols assigned to the various mistresses of the 11th century Japanese nobleman, Hikaru Genji. Taking the symbols as the physical and philosophical basis of his furniture design, Fukutoshi has given them flesh in three dimensional pieces. At the same time, they can come to symbolize the individuality of their owners and their contemporary lifestyles.
Expertly crafted by Brisbane based furniture maker, each piece of DRESS CODE comes individually numbered with a signed certificate. CODE pieces are constructed of heirloom woods such as rosewood, silver ash, or Tasmanian oak, and the superb finishes and immaculate joinery impart an impression of quiet, yet breath-taking elegance. With striking kimono-inspired designs, DRESS CODE explodes with vivid flashes of the geisha and even manga comic images, while touching the surface of a DRESS CODE piece delivers the sensual pleasure of stroking a bolt of silk.
“Functionality doesn’t have to come at the cost of sensuality, in fact their fusion arrives at the very soul of the classic. At the same time we were able to provide an insight into aspects of traditional Japanese culture.”
DRESS CODE has been developed with the assistance of a special grant to Fukutoshi Ueno from Arts Queensland. It had its first appearance at 100% Design Tokyo in October 2008, then in Sydney as part of the millennial tribute to “The Shining Prince”, as Genji was known in traditional Japanese literature, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (December 2008). Also purchased by National Gallery of Australia and Oriental Museum in UK.