Kansai Yamamoto Dazzles with 50,000 Crystals

Kansai Yamamoto - legendary Japanese designer and friend of David Bowie – brought Preciosa crystals into the spotlight on Saturday 9th June, as his fabulous crystal-coated designs took center stage at the Nippon Genki Project 2018 in Tokyo.

The day-long festival was held at the Roppongi Hills Arena and attracted a crowd of many thousands. The event was part of an ongoing effort to lift Japan out of the post 2011 tsunami depression and energize the economy prior to the 2020 Olympics.

For the event, Kansai Yamamoto worked in collaboration with Preciosa’s Design Lab and Application Center to create two unique motifs based around the mikoshi (a divine palanquin) and the kumade (a good luck charm with a face of the Goddess of mirth). Almost 50,000 chaton roses lit up the arena in a highly energized show infused with bright colors, music, and more than a little Japanese culture. “The pieces had to be made by hand as the ornaments are very complicated. It would be impossible to make another transfer that would be exactly the same,” explains Zuzana Mantel, Head of Design Support for Preciosa. Each transfer is made with 40 different components and colors.

“The patterns are so complicated that we had to create a special 3D mold, in which we had to place the stones one by one. This would be too complicated for mass production but someone with an eye for detail like Mr. Yamamoto was the perfect partner for such project,” she adds.

Kansai Yamamoto is a true legend. He rose to prominence in 1971 when he launched his first collection in London, making him the first Japanese designer to present his collection outside of Japan. He later created costumes for David Bowie´s Ziggi Stardust tour, and more recently has designed stage costumes for Lady Gaga. In 2017 he partnered with Nicholas Ghesquière on the Louis Vuitton collection, and he is considered by many to be the father of contemporary Japanese fashion.

“I loved working with Preciosa and covering my designs with their beautiful crystals. And doing this show for the Nippon Genki Project 2018 s was a real honour,” said Mr. Yamamoto.

Needless to say, it was a pleasure for us to work with such a prestigious and influential figure.