Eley Kishimoto's Fashion Evolution
To describe design duo Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto’s colour schemes as ‘clashing’ would be unfair. More accurate to say that they are sometimes so novel as to have never been combined before – emerald green and mustard yellow, coral, sky blue and navy, al dazzling on the eye, but more often than not, very pleasingly so. Prints too, inspired by a different muse each season – toys, the Mumbai cityscape, air-hostesses' uniforms or nature and the Universe appear to have been thrown together at random, but don’t be fooled – to contrive such a jumbled look is an artful process indeed.
A husband and wife team, Welsh Mark and Japanese Wakako have a reputation away from the catwalk as being defiantly modest and unpretentious people. Despite being frequently pigeon-holed as ‘niche’ and ‘eccentric’ at the start of their career in 1992 and professing never to have been primarily interested in making money, their business has grown exponentially each year, whereas contemporaries have crashed or burned out. They now occupy a place comfortably far up London’s fashion hierarchy, and although the theme of colour and collage remain season on season, individual looks continue to startle and attract many a second glance.
In addition to this, a repertoire of products such as upholstered and printed furniture; wallpaper and furnishing fabrics, glassware, crockery all bearing the signature prints are sold internationally from London to Paris and Japan. Then, between 2008 and 2009 the couple worked as creative directors of French based fashion house Cacharel. Describing themselves as ‘surface decorators’ the designers continue to work and expand their brand under the Eley Kishimoto motto of ‘Fundamentally striving to make the world a prettier place’