Fashion

Heart Of Glass: Ritsue Mishima Talks Glass Art And Her Collaboration With Max Mara

For Fall/Winter 2019, Weekend Max Mara made Japanese glass sculptor Ritsue Mishima the muse of its Signature Collection — with kaleidoscopic results. Here, the artist tells us how her intriguing, organic glass forms see the light of day.
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How was your collaboration with Weekend Max Mara born? 

The Weekend Max Mara team was impressed by my work and they decided to contact me because they wanted to design a collection inspired by it.

Your collection with Weekend Max Mara, "Chaotic Elegance", is based on contrasts. How does it relate to the way you express yourself through your creations? 

I don’t base my work on contrasts. Instead, I try to differentiate a piece from the others. This collection breaks the rules and releases your free spirit and inner child, which is in a way similar to my work. 

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Why did you choose glass as an expressive element of your art? Did you choose to live in Venice and work in Murano as a consequence? 

No, I arrived in Venice for personal reasons and I stayed there. One day, I was looking for a vase for my house to put some flowers in, but since I did not find it, I went to Murano looking to make one from my sketch. That's how it all started. 

You created the "Trasluce" art installation specifically for the presentation of the Weekend Max Mara "Chaotic Elegance”collection. How are the two related?

The collection came first, but there is no connection between it and the installation. The installation is designed as a new, different way to present and connect the clothes.

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Tell us more about the installation.

My installation is a translucent cube within Max Mara’s showroom in Milan. All its components are connected through light, transforming them into something new. The cube contains items and accessories from the collection, as well as my glass works. Inside the cube, I hung sculptures from its ceiling, the central one being in a cross shape that acts as a lay figure. There is a wall sculpture made up of many "eyes of light" in mirrored glass. 

What upcoming projects do you have? 

This year, I would like to write a new book about my work and I am also renovating my house in Kyoto.

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