Deep Dive - Engineered Garments SS23 Graphics
Welcome back to "DEEP DIVE," where we look into the inspiration behind some of our favorite Engineered Garments pieces. In this special installation, we take a look at the graphics for the Spring Summer 2023 season.
Engineered Garments designer Daiki Suzuki crafts each season around a central theme—a film, a book, or abstract emotion. This theme is a guiding beacon, infusing the brand with fresh inspiration while maintaining a sense of coherence. For the Spring Summer 2023 collection, Suzuki looks to Issa Samb, the renowned Senegalese artist. Samb's artwork and distinctive personal style inspire Suzuki to create a collection of "folk wear," seamlessly blending vibrant fabrics and traditional silhouettes from around the globe.
In conjunction with the clothing and accessories, Daiki collaborates with artist Manabu "Gaku" Inada to develop a series of thematic graphics contributing to the season's narrative. Their creative process commenced with a dialogue, where they exchanged stories and insights into Samb's paintings, sculptures, poems, and unique sartorial choices, formulating a handful of latent ideas.
Issa Samb famously kept a courtyard studio in downtown Dakar filled with mixed media materials and installations. This location spurred Gaku to create the Twig and Wood pattern, mimicking the courtyard's assortment of found objects and natural materials within the yard.
The text from the "Emotion" graphic translates as "Acclimate to their emotions...come back to themselves gently..." - words describing one of Samb's courtyard installation art pieces in Dakar, Senegal, and printed in a chapter of his book, "Word! Word? Word!", marking a pivotal moment in Samb's artistic journey.
The quoted words encapsulate Samb's path toward self-realization, profoundly impacting both Daiki and Gaku. Like many artists, Samb encounters the familiar struggles that accompany art and life, engaging in a personal and often solitary battle within himself. However, artists must confront their art with sincerity and raw emotion, embracing fear, anger, loneliness, joy, and other emotions to forge ahead.
Drawing on the theme of international unity, Gaku created the Patchwork pattern, skillfully merging African, Eastern European, and Asian styles in an unconventional yet harmonious manner. Additionally, the Islamic Tile design, repurposed from an existing motif, undergoes layout and proportion adjustments to suit the T-Shirt and Bandana.
The T-Shirt featuring phonetic symbols of "Nothingness" reflects the significant transformations witnessed within the international community and society over the past few years. In the face of overwhelming information from the Internet and social media, individuals often find themselves grappling with various issues. Amidst this constant stimulation, moments of emptiness emerge. Within Zen philosophy, "nothingness" symbolizes the ultimate pinnacle of spiritual enlightenment. The intention is to capture the dual nature inherent in this word, as "nothingness" holds a significant place within Samb's artwork, underscoring its profound significance.
The Joe Oukam print continues the interplay of negative and positive space, showcasing "Joe Oukam," Samb's pseudonym, in sans-serif font flanking a flower. The flower, initially sketched by Daiki and inspired by Samb's artwork, is captured in a motion-blurred photograph of an ink drawing executed in a single stroke.
The Engineered Garments' Spring Summer 2023 graphics reveal the deep connection between art, culture, and fashion. By embracing the inspirations found in Samb's work, Daiki and Gaku craft a collection that showcases their creativity and encourages viewers to reflect on their own emotions, the world around them, and the power of unity through diverse cultural influences.