After having written my first article on Under Castle, Japan: Much Closer than Mars, I received an email from designer Shinichiro Shimojo, stating:

"I have read your article about my 'Cross Wear' and was glad that you understood my concepts deeply. I enjoyed reading it very much, indeed! I will introduce another 'Cross Wear' for my 2009 a/w collection in Tokyo for the week of March 23rd."

Shimojo and I have been in corresponding ever since! Shimojo is not only an extremely talented designer but he is also a leading pioneer in experimenting with innovative fabrics and materials. Here's what he says:

What are the main characteristics of your new collection for Tokyo?
"I would really like to point out that high quality Japanese synthetic fibers are currently leading the world. For my designs, I am using a material called 'hot magic', which was invented by Gunze. It is light yet very strong, and it is considered ecological."

Fascinating! Tell me more about this "hot magic."
"The material actually heats itself up. It's super skin soft and much warmer than other materials—exactly what you need in cold weather."

What is the concept of your new designs?
"The concept of my new designs is about people living in space. I envision the sense of beauty and value that they would have. I named it 'Cross Wear', which is created to provide you comfort whether you wear it as an inner or an outer garment. The look is associated with space, but it covers any parts of your body gently and keeps its form without preventing you from moving. I would like you to feel outer space for yourself. the material is basically for an inner wear."

Please elaborate more on this concept of "Cross Wear."
"'Cross Wear' means a cross between inner and outer wear. I designed it to be worn as outer wear with the idea of using this pleasant texture for your skin."

Finally, what is your ambition for the presentation in Tokyo this time?
I would very much like this 'Cross Wear' to be made fully accessible to the public, and I believe that it provides an opportunity to unfold Japanese techniques and designs.

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