Mr Moriguchi Kunihiko has collaborated with us to create an exclusive, limited-edition capsule accessories collection. A designated National Living Treasure of his native Japan and master yūzen textile artist, his fluid, geometric kimono designs have been exhibited in institutions such as the British Museum and the Met. For his second collaboration with us at Liberty London, the designer has opted to completely deconstruct and rebuild our iconic Iphis motif. The Art Nouveau-inspired buds and stems of Iphis are kaleidoscopically twisted into unexpected new forms, reminiscent of the fractal beauty of Japanese cherry blossoms – marking an elegant meeting of traditional Eastern and Western design sensibilities.
A SECOND COLLABORATION The new accessories range reflects Mr Moriguchi’s own innovative and exacting mastery of pattern and form, elevating everyday objects into miniature works of art. For his first collaboration with us, he aimed to erase the pre-existing iconography of the Iphis design (which he believes resembles “a big-nosed man with a beard”) by recolouring it into a ‘Bonito Stripe’ scheme – inspired by the striated patterning of a tuna’s scales, this is a layout used traditionally in kimono designs. For this second collaboration, he again wanted to use colour to draw out and expand upon the elemental forms of the Iphis motif – he has refracted its stylised design into an abstracted layout, with a geometric pattern that evokes a sense of harmony in motion.
I am honoured that a new page will be added to the history of ‘Iphis’, cherished by Liberty
THE COSMOS IN NATURE Mr Moriguchi chose to take a “direction in given freedom that was geometric and mathematical” for this season’s Liberty London collection, explaining that he “wants to produce the world he has never seen before with his own hands”. Material skill and philosophical perception are given equal weight within his design process – when asked what his favourite materials to work with are, Mr Moriguchi responds simply that he “feels the cosmos that exists in nature and is trying to shape it”. The creative studied in Paris as a graphic designer in his youth, where he developed a friendship with the painter Balthus and deepened his understanding and appreciation of Western aesthetics, before returning to join his father’s kimono workshop in 1966. He explains, “There is no wall between Japan and Europe. Good things have no borders.”
THE NEW COLLECTION The designer's fresh, utterly individual iteration of traditional Japanese kogei (applied arts) techniques are reflected in his intricately-rendered reinterpretation of our classic Iphis print. The range encompasses beloved styles including Little Marlborough and Mini Marlborough tote bags, alongside zip-up pouch and Maddox cross-body silhouettes. The pieces are designed in muted, wearable shades of khaki, navy and white - a palette that Mr Moriguchi explains was inspired by "the fragrance of the flower of the night".