R.I.P. Eiko Ishioka (7/12/1939 - 21/1/2012)

Being a shameless lover of both movies and clothes, it's not really that surprising that I am a complete nut for costume design, be it sumptuous or slick. And the work of the late Eiko Ishioka, one of the most brilliant and original visionaries in the field, has been my favourite thing about the films she did costumes for for over a decade now - even when they were otherwise rubbish, the chance to see her clothes up close on a 70mm theatrical screen alone made it worth the price of the ticket. To those who are unfamiliar with her, here are some samples of her designs in film:

Dracula (1992)
Sadie Frost in Dracula

dracula wedding dress full-length

Below is Lucy's green dress in the film - the detail shot shows that it was embroidered with snakes(a classic Ishioka touch)

The Cell (2000)
Photobucket Photobucket

The Fall (2006). I won't even attempt to hide how happy the butterfly-wing patterned coat made my eyes.Photobucket 
An early illustration of a costume side-by-side with the actual costume itself. 
That headdress would probably make the late Isabella Blow proud.Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

The hyper-theatricality of her work may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying that her twisted, almost surreal take on classical costumes is extraordinary to look at. Ishioka's costumes were often designed to be more evocative of a feeling than a particular period in time (she created the costumes for The Cell without a single literal reference point) and especially perfect for the science fiction, fantasy and horror films she designed for.

Although costume design might have been the field in which she was best known, Eiko Ishioka was a visual artist whose talent was never confined to a single medium , whether it was directing a music video for Björk or designing the costumes for the Cirque du Soleil and the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics. Her latest - and last - work as a costume designer is on the upcoming Mirror, Mirror, a decidedly campy-looking take on the story of Snow White whose costumes do not let their creator's reputation down and are at least 75% of the reason why the film looks like it's going to be a visual treat. I'll be going for this one as soon as I can,mainly because I want a last chance to see her genius blown up on a 70 mm screen. May she rest in peace.
Mirror, Mirror (2012). 

** image sources: The Costumer's Guide, eiko_ishioka.livejournal.com, io9.com.


Night at Vogue said...

An amazing work by her! I am having a giveaway on my blog and wanted to give you a hint as you were one of the first to comment my blog almost five years ago. Thank you!


Anonymous said...

Yes I do remember that bridal dress worn by Sadie Frost. Loved the film and the clothes. Sad to see her go. R.I.P Eiko...

Anonymous said...

I had no idea she was behind all these amazing work. I've seen Mirror Mirror and the clothes are quite amazing. Alexander McQueen must have been a fan of hers and vice versa perhaps. Sad she's gone.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Considering they've both worked with Björk, I would not be surprised at all if they were in fact fans of each other's work :)

Mali Gold said...

she's amazing.. love her swan costume.. farewell..

small business it support said...

very creative.. i love all of her work..

Website design toronto said...

love her masterpiece,farewell eiko

Deep Tissue Massage said...

eiko was such a great artist!she really love her work..

About Me

My photo
Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.