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Eclectic mix creates a dramatic Undercover fall


June 10, 1997
Web posted at: 4:41 a.m. EDT (0841 GMT)

From Correspondent Elsa Klensch

TOYKO (CNN) -- Designer Jun Takahashi uses a fluid silhouette and an eclectic mix of his favorite themes for his fall Undercover collection.

The first theme is ethnic, inspired by Asia, while the second is gothic in nature, taken from some of his favorite horror movies: "Dracula," "The Mummy," and "Frankenstein."

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"I'm always influenced by everything around me, whether it's movies, books, materials, fabrics. In fact, for my ethnic theme, I was inspired by photographs in books, especially a book I saw on the people of Nepal and how they live," Takahashi explains. "But I was also intrigued by some patterns I saw on Indian rugs."

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These patterns were also the inspiration behind his jacquards.


"The jacquards and some men's sweaters, and I've also done some coats with leaf patterns, and I think these coats really carry the ethnic mood that I wanted," Takahashi says.

For the coats, he uses a special fabric.

"I used a woven wool that I shrunk to give that very close, matte look and then I used dye on the fabric or I printed on it."

Mixed proportions

The silhouettes Takahashi uses for his coats come in two styles. The first is close to the body, while the other is a voluminous, looser A-line shape.

Takahashi also enjoys the contrast he can create with shapes.

"The statement I'm making with silhouette in general is that it's okay to mix proportions," Takahashi explains. "In other words, if you have something tight or close to the body on top, then it's OK to wear wider pants or something with volume on the bottom. The opposite can also work, for instance a shoulder-padded top with narrow pants."

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With the gothic-inspired pieces in the collection, Takahashi likes to make a bold statement. He created the outfits with an allure reminiscent of 18th-century dresses, but with a ghoulish twist.

"I printed Dracula faces on the fabric because Dracula is one of my favorite characters from horror films," Takahashi says.

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However, getting the proper effect wasn't always easy.

"I did work hard, but I enjoyed every minute of preparing the collection, from deciding on the makeup to really trying to make a nice shape for the clothes" Takahashi says. "I will admit, though, that the process can be a little like torture at times, but then there's a great deal of satisfaction, too."

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