Designer Spotlight: Reiko Fukuda
I never knew I needed pantlets until Reiko Fukuda, a young style aficionado from AUT, showcased a snazzy pair in the 2009 AUT Fashion Rookie show. They were gorgeous and I had to have them. Designer Direction was fortunate enough to talk to the super stylish designer behind these sexy gems.
Hailing from Japan, Reiko Fukuda can put a creative and unexpected twist on anything. For example, her latest collection, “Mr Madame”, a sumptuous cornucopia of sheers and leather was inspired primarily by menswear. Instead of going for the usual androgyny associated with menswear-inspired collections, Reiko looked to the always delightful Alice in Wonderland, drawing on the twisted nature of the beloved tale.
So, who is this Reiko Fukuda and how can you be as marvellous as her, you ask? This Japanese-born sensation grew up in our very own garden city, Christchurch. She is well travelled and considers Antwerp her favourite destination. Reiko is also a gold medallist when it comes to procrastination and, according to many of her fellow AUT rookies, seems to pull out inspiration from nowhere just two days ahead of the due date. Reiko vehemently defends her finely honed skill for cramming insisting that she must be “into it” and that if the assignment is a chore, it is simply impossible. As a student myself, I cannot help but be in complete agreement.
The more we discuss fashion, the more I realise how much Reiko thrives on the idea and the philosophy behind a collection. For her, finding the inspiration behind a collection is both the most laborious and the most rewarding aspect of fashion design. This is not to say that the other steps in the process are easy. Reiko is convinced that one of the most commonly held misconceptions of fashion is that the industry is one non-stop glamour fest. The young designer insists that fashion is totally not glamorous and involves much more than simply thinking of fanciful ideas. One particularly unglamorous aspect which Reiko mentions is the criticism offered up by total strangers on the internet. She details the uncomfortable nature of reading criticism written by people who do not know of her at all. While it is most probably not pleasant for any designer to read negative comments regarding their collections, it is truly bizarre for Reiko who is a total perfectionist and is never one hundred percent satisfied with her work. I must add here that I for one believe her collection, Mr Madame, merits her complete satisfaction.
As for her future, Reiko plans on continuing her studies and ultimately hopes to establish her own label. I can see big things are in store for this sassy gal and look forward to ordering a pair of pantlets myself!
Written by: Kelly Jin
All garments from Reiko Fukuda’s final AUT collection. For enquiries please contact Showroom 22.
Creative Director/Stylist: Jason Tapuai-Kuka
Photography: Tux Hika assisted by Calypso Paoli
Model – Rose
Make-up & Hair – Vee Gulliver using M.A.C & assisted by Tamara Eyre
Footwear courtesy of Chaos & Harmony, Kathryn Wilson. Bag and jewellery from Deadly Ponies & Deadly Pony Precious.