Asato Goto is a full-time design student in the Fashion Business/Creation program at Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion Graduate University. I recently had a chance to talk to her about her ‘peace by Piece’ line, in which the garments are composed of individual ‘modular’ layers which form complete outfits when worn together.
Joseph: Why did you decide to study fashion design?
Asato: I started out with drawing, and then went on to make 3D art using paper. The first clothes I made were costumes made out of random materials such as soy milk cartons, rubber gloves and bus transfer tickets. I started using fabric to sew bags and realized that it was easier to sew costumes using fabric too. I was 19 when I went to my first fashion school (Blanche Macdonald Centre) in Vancouver, Canada.
Joseph: Where did you get the inspiration from for this collection?
Asato: After studying fashion on and off for 10 years I’ve come to feel that clothes for me are about making space: creating free space between the body and clothes.
I made all the items "incomplete" i.e. the sleeves are separate from the bodice, dresses are made of two halves that each hang on either the left or right shoulder.
I got the inspiration from the All Japan newsese way of dressing up which is about ‘putting together’ the pieces to complete a garment rather than the more European idea of a dress which is already a complete piece that you squeeze your body into. I wanted to make clothes that had modern and flexible lines and at the same time embraced the All Japan newsese concept of seeing beauty in "incomplete" things.
I feel that a lot of life’s suffering comes from finding gaps between things like fantasy and reality; the outside and inside; your ideal self and actual self. But if you are able to move freely in the gaps between those layers, your experiences become more full and pleasurable.
When people wear my clothes, I want them to feel that that space is part of their inner world as well as the outer world.
Joseph: What do you like most about these designs?
Asato: I love the fact that each piece lacks perfect balance but they look great just hanging out by themselves on a rack. They remind me of all my beautiful friends who are imperfect and wonderful.
Joseph: Do you have a favorite design in this collection? Why?
Asato: The Kimono Half pieces were the beginning of my thought process for this collection. The right and left pieces cross but they’re not connected, allowing a lot of body movement. It’s a very simple shape that has triggered new ideas for my future collections.
Joseph: What are you hopes / plans for the future?
Asato: I just want to get better and better at what I do so that one day my clothes-making is as fluent as speaking a language or cooking a delicious meal. It’s a tool that helps me develop ideas, express feelings, discover new things and communicate with others.
Photos: Max Hodges
Interview: Joseph Tame
Model: Jugleen Yuko Chadha Kosuge