“Iki is the quintessence of seduction – it takes no account of the mediocre certainties of reality, but rather dares to put real life in parentheses, and as, detached, it breathes in that pure, clean air, it indulges in a game all its own”.
Kuki Shūzō, The Structure of the Iki, 1930
In his brief treatise on iki – a Japanese term which evades translation – Eastern philosopher Kuki Shūzō touches upon every facet of the word’s meaning, finally suggesting that its truest expression is to be found in the indescribable charm of the geisha, whose very gait and gestures, flawless hairstyle and elegant outfits all leave whispers of it in their wake. Its enchanting touch is most strongly felt in the amber-coloured geometric patterns which adorn their robes. Finally, this elusive idea has been given shape in the new edition of Kioku’s range of prints and clothes – a collection which travels around the world in search of creatures whose very being suggests a certain grace.
The enchantment opens on Cherry Blossom, a design which, through the lens of an alchemical photographic reworking which is the stylistic signature of Alessandro Cidda, founder and designer of the brand, explores the carpets of cherry blossom petals which, every April as if by clockwork, cover the avenue in front of the Todai-ji temple in Nara, the ancient capital of Japan. Our journey then continues through a selection of eight other patterns, starting from El Cap, which is redolent of the majestic rocks of California’s Yosemite National Park. Closely following the shimmering reflections of that most primary of elements, the earth, comes the rarefied elegance of the wildlife prints which feature the giraffes and felines that made many journeys through the African wilderness magical. At once simple and sophisticated, the twelve looks which star in this adventure through the imagination lend their charm to 108 garments which can be freely combined under a single common element, namely silk, available in two precious styles. On the one hand, the baggy tunics, airy blouses and generous twill trousers whose flowing purity is evocative of an elegant minimalism. On the other, the stretchy satin under-dresses which, as they echo every last movement of the body, seem to be a hymn to contemporary divinities.