Fashion inspiration sometimes originates in the most unlikely of places. Like origami, that intriguing ancient art of folding paper.
History of Origami
Paper was originally invented around 105 AD in China, but it wasn’t until the 6th century that monks brought it to Japan. The Japanese word for “to fold,” or “oru,” combined with their term for paper, “kami,” created the term origami. However, paper was still painstakingly made by hand at the time and very rare, a precious luxury and available only to a few, so any paper that was folded was for special ceremonies only, typically religious in nature. But by the 17th century, as paper became more widely available, origami had become a recreational pastime in Japan – with elaborate creations like the “thousand crane folding” becoming quite the trend.
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However, where fancifulness originally ruled, mathematics soon entered and modern origami now incorporates puzzles into the folding, challenging people to manipulate a single piece of paper into elaborate shapes – without cutting or gluing. Origami masters, like the late Akira Yoshizawa, even employed sets of symbols, arrows and elaborate diagrams to explain entire systems of folding patterns.
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Origami has once again been experiencing a comeback of sorts, particularly in art, with the intriguing work of abstract paper folders including Jean-Claude Correia and Paul Jackson.
And in Fashionland, starting with the always avant-garde Issey Miyake. The 132 5 collection of geometric shapes of fabric mysteriously – and marvelously! – unfolds and unfurls into wearable items of clothing. Novel and novelty-driven, certainly, but still impressive and forward-thinking – particularly in our age of jetsetting about while dealing with draconian carry-on restrictions.
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Origami on the Runway
The runway then picked up on the origami trend in earnest at the Spring 2014 shows. Of origami note: on-trend metallics, particularly razor-sharp origami’ish pleating at Dries Van Noten, Antipodium, Celine, Proenza Schouler and Ports 1961; funky origami’esque tops at Christopher Kane; and pleaty-layers at Ferragamo, Victoria Beckham and Alexander Wang.
And who can forget the giant white origami flowers that Karl Lagerfeld employed to dramatic effect on the Chanel Spring 2015 Couture runway – which opened mechanically to reveal a campy, yet undeniably fabulous bloom of color!
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ISHARYA’s Origami Jewelry Collection
Our own designers here at ISHARYA also succumbed to origami fever, in particular, the crispness of the mathematical folds and numerical underlying order. These facets of paper-folding lend creative works just enough rigorous discipline to be interesting, but without crossing back into “the box.” Rather, they seem to cross-over directly into the geometric edginess of Art Deco. Almost, but not quite. Instead, they maintain a hint of their exotic origin that is so prevalent in the zeitgeist right now. Which is another way of saying: “looks great with your LBD, your designer jeans and a sleek white tee, and other fash classics.”
If you’re not sure where to start, we suggest the Blue Chalcedony Origami Stud earrings, which let you take the refreshing blues of the ocean with you anywhere. A stack of the Origami Gold Pyramid Cuffs because…cuffs. And the Origami Gold Statement Necklace which is chic, on-trend and easy to wear with almost everything in your wardrobe right now.
Eye-catching enough to set you apart but crazy-easy to wear, our origami pieces will – most likely – have you reaching for them again and again this season.
Show us how you Origami by tagging @Isharya.