KUMI SAITO PHOTOGRAPHY #3
ELEY KISHIMOTO Patron Saints of Patterns
Parsnips Archive | parsnips-uk.com
London-based photographer Kumi Saito's third archive photobook "ELEY KISHIMOTO - Patron Saints of Patterns" will be released on September 15th. Founded in 1992 by Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto in London, Eley Kishimoto is a textile design company that provides print patterns to other brands such as Alexander McQueen, Jil Sander and Louis Vuitton. From 1996, they became more active as fashion designers, designing clothes and accessories under their own brand. They are also known for their collaborations with different industries, from interior to automotive.
This book contains documentary-style photographs of catwalk shows and events, as well as still life photography for lookbooks taken by Kumi Saito, who was the in-house photographer for Eley Kishimoto between 2001 and 2016. It also features close-up shots of printed textiles and portraits taken for magazines. The photographs of the studio, which she took before it closed in 2016, are a valuable archive that takes you behind the scene of Eley Kishimoto’s creation. From designing hand-drawn patterns to printing textiles using silkscreen equipment and sewing samples, the brand cherishes the special feeling of handwork and shows their love for analogue techniques. The trajectory of craftsmanship will never fade away, along with the number of printed patterns by Eley Kishimoto, who says, "Fashion trends come and go, but patterns are eternal."
Kumi Saito is a London-based Japanese photographer who passed away in December 2020 from cancer. Her work focuses on fashion, lifestyle, portraiture and more. She was a well-known photographer who contributed to many Japanese magazines, fashion brands, department stores, and a wide range of media.
Publisher: Parsnips Archive
Paperback: Full colour 192 pages, A5 Size (148x210mm)
From the introduction
“Every time I set up my camera in the middle of the photo pit, catwalk photographers would look at me, wondering who this stranger is. That's why I started to carry this bag. To show that I'm the in-house photographer of the brand.” Since then, the crossbody bag with Eley Kishimoto's iconic "Flash" pattern has become the trademark of Kumi Saito, a London-based Japanese photographer who passed away on Christmas Eve in 2020.
Kumi moved to England in 1994 and took photos for various brands, shops and media, including Japanese magazines. In 2001, she started working as an in-house photographer for Eley Kishimoto - a British fashion and design company founded by Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto - documenting their catwalk shows and events, and shooting still life photography for their lookbooks. Besides that, she has also photographed their designs and portraits many times for magazines. “Even at events where she wasn’t in charge of shooting, Kumi was always with us,” said Mark, reflecting on the time they spent together as one big family.
Contents of this book
Chapter 1 PATTERNS
This section contains close-up photographs of 20 printed fabrics that includes: the iconic "FLASH"; "EGG AND DIAMOND", the first design for their own brand; the trompe l'oeil-like "FRILLS"; and the dynamic "GALAXY BOUQUET". It also features patterned socks and printed dolls made in collaboration with Doobydolls.
Chapter 2 COLLECTIONS
From its debut Autumn/Winter 2001 "AT HOME" salon show to its last Spring/Summer 2010 "BEYOND THE CHINTZ" show at London Fashion Week, 18 seasons of collections are highlighted in this section. Along with catwalk and backstage photos, poems written by Wakako Kishimoto, which were handed out instead of the usual press releases, are also included to provide a narrative for each collection.
Chapter 3 EVENTS
Starting with the brand’s retrospective show held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2003, various events such as pop-up shops, exhibitions and seminars are introduced in this section. It also includes collections they have designed for other brands, such as sports brand Ellesse and Cacharel in Paris.
Chapter 4 STUDIO
This section contains documentary-style photographs taken just before they closed their studio in Brixton, south London, which was the base of Eley Kishimoto's activities from 1995 to 2016. The ground floor features screen printing equipment and a vast range of inks and screens, while the upper floors feature a large-sized cutting table, as well as samples, documents, paper templates, mannequins, sewing machines and knitting machines. Collaboration items embellished with Eley Kishimoto’s patterns can also be found. Along with their studio photos, comments from the duo, quoted from past magazine interviews, are included.
Photographer, born in Yamagata Japan, 1962-2020. After studying photography at Kuwasawa Design School in Tokyo, and working as an assistant for Minsei Tominaga and Studio Ebis, etc. she moved to London in 1994. Her work focuses on fashion, lifestyle, portraiture and more. She was a well-known photographer who contributed to many Japanese magazines, fashion brands, department stores, and a wide range of media.
British fashion and textile design company founded in 1992 by Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto. Mark Eley (born in Wales, 1968) graduated from University of Brighton in 1990 with a BA in fashion and woven textiles. Wakako Kishimoto (born in Hokkaido Japan, 1965) moved to London after studying at Joshibi Junior College of Art and Design in Tokyo, and graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1992 with a BA and a MA in fashion print. After first meeting in 1989, while interning in New York, they married and founded Eley Kishimoto in 1992, makings prints for other designers including Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Jil Sander and Marc Jacobs. They launched their first womenswear collection in 1996. The company has also created numerous products featuring their print designs, such as wallpaper, glassware and crockery, launched from their own brand or made in collaboration with different industries.