You might have seen Björk wearing Maiko Takeda’s surreal jewellery pieces in the past, but it came as an unexpected surprise to see her pieces on the cover of Björk’s new album, which launched yesterday! We talk with the CSM/RCA graduate about how she adopts technology, aesthetics and commercial pieces.
How did you discover your technique? After a great deal of research or did it come to you out of the design haze?
It was both. Initially I wanted to make a hat with blurred edges, like a cloud. Of course, that was not an easy question to answer, so I did a lot of research and experiments with various materials such as fibre, plastic, paper, metal and so on. Then one evening in the studio at the RCA there was a moment when all these elements were untangled and puzzled pieces came together in my head. I love and really appreciate those moments after feeling stuck for a long time!
Is it easy for you to accept new forms of technology, with your work, and also personally?
I am always eager and open to what new technology can do. However, at the same time, in the digital age we live in now — where technology has blurred boundaries between the real and digital worlds — one of my interests is to create work that has almost sci-fi aesthetic, but is made through a completely analog process and materials. I think it’s exciting to betray viewer’s expectations with such a contradiction.
How do you feel about fashion technology?
It is definitely an exciting area still to be explored and developed, yet at the same time, I think technology should be something to help generate good designs with, but never the value of the designs itself. For instance when a garment has electronic cables inside and lightens up, I don’t think it’s beautiful or magical.
Your pieces are very ethereal, is this a constant theme within your work? Would you ever turn to something darker?
I like to create ethereal adornments to the body, and this interest will continue in the future too. However, ethereal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s also pure, innocent or clean. I think and hope that there some mystery and a surreal charm exists in my work too.
Who has supplied you with a constant wave of support?
My mother isn’t a design professional, but she’s one of the only few people who can give me the right and honest design criticism when I need it. I worked part-time for Vicki for 7 years since the beginning at CSM, and she’s my mentor in London. She’s always supportive and understands me well. Stephen Jones is one of the designers I truly admire. Since my internship in 2008 we keep in touch. His work and personality has influenced me a lot.
Your designs are very bespoke, have you thought about creating more commercial pieces? Or do you like the aspect of the unattainable?
I believe my work lives its moments once they’re worn on the body, rather than being displayed static in a museum. In that sense, it would be an exciting challenge for me to develop a line of more wearable pieces for a wider audience.
Were your recreations of hoodies with your aesthetic applied to them a conscious parody of the scruffy uniform?
Yes. I sometimes like to play with an ordinary idea of garment or accessories, but replace it with a texture that transforms the piece to something otherworldly and surreal.
Interview by Eleanor Kirby
Photography by Sasa Stucin