Anrealage, an Extraordinary Ordinary

Digital native Kunihiko Morinaga, designer for brand Anrealage, should not be taken as a digital naive. Born in 1980 in Tokyo, he is of the generation that saw the emergence and growth of active textiles (otherwise called “smart” textiles). He pulls strangeness from the real and the poetry of the virtual. Exploring the visible and the invisible, he augments our reality. The terms real – unreal – age together compose the name of this brand founded in 2003 and carry these values of the intangible.
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Low, Autumn/Winter 2011-2012
The design is based on visual perception and its illusions, light and its shadows, color and its impermanences. He uses all available tools, from knit wool to laser-cut lace, couture to thermoforming, complex weaving to digital printing. Morinaga moves more and more towards experimentation with the immaterial and with movement.
His first collections, from Suzume no namida (Sparrow tear) to Muchû (mid-dream) are characterized by the amassing of materials, fragmentary assemblage in the spirit of boro (rags) and elementary accumulation. One can also read memory work, between nostalgia and fantasy. Outfits can be found made entirely of buttons, gold embellishments, ivory and colorful pieces.
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Bone, Spring/Summer 2013
These collections question the morphology of bodies by playing with volumes and formal appearances. 凹凸 explores concave and convex forms; ○△□ visits spheres, cubes and pyramids; 「  」balloons with inflated skirts and shirts; Silhouette tricks the eye, revealing a dress in the shadowy trace of sweatgear.
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Time, Autumn/Winter 2012-2013
Kunihiko Morinaga looks at the world around him with a certain exaltation. In an era of the omnipotence of the image, he works to re-enchant with it. His digital manipulations, faults and shifting perspectives are put to the three dimensional test. The collection Low re-imagines rasterization, Wideshortslimlong deals with the crushing and stretching of images, and Time breaks down movement in the style of Italian Futurists.
The precision and creativity of his colorful designs are reflected by his monochromes: the darknesses of Shadow, the halos of Light, and the color games of Shell. The colors, reversible, are revealed through various processes: blacklights for Light, heat for Color, photochemistry for Shadow and phosphorescence for Bone.
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Shadow, Spring/Summer 2015
With its commitment to technology and spectacular runway presentations, one can see similarities between Morinaga and Hussein Chalayan (especially in the show Size). Morinaga maintains a certain distance and claims a real wearability for his clothing. His shows provide an experience. The changes in perspective are pithy, significant and persistent. Face to face with the magic animating his clothing, we hope to never break its spell and unlock its secrets. But it would be wrong to only see concepts and theater here; one must experience time at these shows to understand the importance of the ephemeral, and even more so, of the transient.
Cover Photo: Light, Autumn/Winter 2015-2016
Photo Credits: Anrealage