Monday, July 20, 2009

Creation, not destruction

(Photo Credit -- AP/World Wide Photos)
I was browsing through the Mochi Blog when I came upon the post about fashion designer Issey Miyake's op-ed piece in the July 13th, 2009 edition of the New York Times.

The truth is, before reading the piece, I only knew about Miyake through the labels under his name and his truly fascinating research in design (yes, he does research for garment design!) and technology -- the revolution of the pleat, for example.

I did not know that he was born in Hiroshima, Japan, where the atomic bomb was dropped when he was seven years old. His mother died of radiation exposure shortly afterward.

He wrote:
I have never chosen to share my memories or thoughts of that day. I have tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to put them behind me, preferring to think of things that can be created, not destroyed, and that bring beauty and joy. I gravitated toward the field of clothing design, partly because it is a creative format that is modern and optimistic.

I tried never to be defined by my past. I did not want to be labeled “the designer who survived the atomic bomb,” and therefore I have always avoided questions about Hiroshima. They made me uncomfortable.
In the piece, he urges President Obama to attend Universal Peace Day in Hiroshima on August 6th, as a "real and a symbolic step toward creating a world that knows no fear of nuclear threat."

While reading his words, I realized just how important it is to stay on top of current events -- and to never forget the past. And while that can definitely apply to fashion's tendency to recycle the past and reinvent the present, it also applies on a graver scale -- for the sake of others.

Miss Couturable
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