Fujii + Fushikino, a Colorist and a Seamstress

There are some objects that evoke a soft freshness, a sort that pique curiosity without ostentation, that caress the eye. This is true of the clothing of Fujii + Fushikino (フジイフシキノ). A joyful union of a textile designer, Ryoko Fujii, and a clothing designer, Kaori Fushikino, they have been united for six years by love of a single material: wool muslin.
Imported from France since 1870, wool muslin quickly found a place in Japanese culture. Used for everyday kimonos and nagajuban, the clothes worn beneath kimonos, this material quietly falls into the realm of the forgettable. Essentially a synonym of wool in Japan, muslin is not reserved solely for winter. This light weave combines a dry, warm texture with a depth and vibrant range of colors: a resounding matteness.
Fujii + Fushikino breathe life into this material. Their marino wool muslin is produced in Hamamatsu, mid-way between Kyoto and Tokyo. The duo work in Kyoto in the northwestern neighborhood of Ukyō. The creative process can be broken down into two periods: coloring and cutting.
Ryoko Fujii, 38 years old, works in her studio, where she can gaze upon the stone garden of the Ryōan-ji Zen temple: “The work of dyeing is so short that I spend a lot of time deciding upon the correct colors. The gesture is done in a single plunge with great joy. The dyeing requires a certain drying time between each color, which gives rhythm to my workday.” This brush-dyeing, which can evoke Yuzen dyeing (a traditional appliqué on silk for kimonos) via its tools and pigments, distinguishes itself by its freedom with motifs (no stencils or rice pastes guide the forms). The gesture is free. The result is filled with chance.
In an artist studio situated near the Tenjin-gawa stream, in a renovated Yuzen dyeing factory, Kaori Fushikino, 41 years old, allows herself to be taken by the emotion of these dyed fabrics in order to conceive of clothes as beautiful as they are functional. “I try to maximize the specifics of a given textile. Colors, like forms, produce different effects throughout the life of a garment and throughout the life of the person who wears it.” From a given four meters of fabric, two dresses may be cut. The work of cutting is reduced strictly to necessity and respects the primary material by limiting waste scraps. The gestures are made. The clothes are intense.
It is this encounter between a fabric and a cut that render the outfits of Fujii + Fushikino unique. No two models are identical. No design is fully reproducible. Independent of any seasonal rhythm, new models are included as needed alongside the basic forms (four tops, three dresses, two skirts, one stole). A dozen cuts that together propose an unlimited wardrobe…each model allows a singular way of being worn (front and back are indistinguishable, size adapts to individual body morphology, ties and links are present for cinching). Their stole, in its simplicity, reveals its modularity; the material, fluid and expressive, moves and shifts freely throughout the day.
What also seduces is the “visible hand”, the trace of bristles, the irregular line of color passages, the superimposed densities of different dyes, the richness of the palate, the sensitivity of the cut, the edge cover seamed in gold thread…
Fujii + Fushikino, the alliance of a colorist and a seamstress, propose floating paintings that bring a buoyant spirit to the everyday.