Dazed Digital

Tokyo

Void of Course

January 13, 2012

The cult British fashion brand turns heads in Tokyo

  • Text by Sophie Jackson

With a fondness for latex and endorsement from Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and the Scissor Sisters, Void of Course's dominatrix/fashionista wear has arrived in Tokyo. We met with the brand's founders, Chris Sutton and Sean-Anthony Moran to discuss the brand's origins, fetish wear and what they think of Japan...

Satellite Voices: How did you two meet each other?
Chris & Sean: We met around late 2008 at a photographic exhibition in Dublin. We both were not into the show at all so spent the entire time outside smoking and stealing the free wine. 

SV: When was the brand started?
Chris & Sean: Early in 2010, both of us were in Ireland, Dublin and Belfast doing the 9 to 5 thing. We would meet up on weekend and got out and have fun, making it more interesting taking advantage of Seans domestic sewing machine and Chris's ability to be a magpie and mash our ideas together. it started out as a way of making our nights out interesting and snowballed into, what will we make this weeekend?

SV: The A/W 2011/12 collection, "Impossibility of Love," is very dramatic and theatrical, what was the thinking behind it?
Chris & Sean: To be honest, we are both a little dramatic anyway, so it doesn't seem over the top to us. It's odd, as we don't approach collections with a visual theme. Its always a visceral feeling. This particular collection came from a very real realisation that love is impossible. It's sexy, it's romantic, it's harsh and at the end of the day that particular relationship felt suffocating. So muzzles and sex were very predominant. Seeing who you are and who you love in the harsh light of reality inspired the masks as they are a more literal interpretation. The more subtle ideas where just flirtatious, to show off the sexiness and to tempt the bad influences around us.

SV: How influenced are you by fetish wear?
Chris & Sean: Not as much as you would be lead to believe to be honest, ha.... Bondage and S&M are amazing aesthetically, they are just very honest and raw. We like that... so by that definition we carry on making honest raw pieces. But the fetish changes. The most fetishistic part of our work is probably the choice of fabrics and the sexual silhouettes. But we can be anything you want us to be. Just as long as you aren't shy.

SV: What's been your career highlight so far as a brand?
Chris & Sean: That is a tough question, to be honest every success has been highlight. But the success isn't really a highlight for us, we love to do the work. It may sound a little boring but the highlight for us has been meeting the creative people who are now part of our team. To work with stylist Anna Trevelyan and our PR, Elladror PR made it into a small hard working team. We get so many opportunities because of the people around us who support us. That is the highlight.

SV: How did the decision to launch in Tokyo come about last year?
Chris & Sean: Our friend, Taka Arakawa, saw the brand in London and loved it and made arrangements to do a showroom / exhibition with our work. He runs Showroom Babylon with Kyoko Hashimot, they really gave us a great opportunity to do something creative in another market. But I believe that Japan was always on the cards for us. There is an art to appealing to different cultures, and our experience of Japan is that there are so many cultural influences, it was hard to decide in which direction to move forward, but once we visited, we felt inspired and excited by how diverse we could allow ourselves to be and how much it suited us to be there.

SV: What has the Japanese reaction to the brand been like?
Chris & Sean: The people that we met at the exhibition seemed very genuinely excited by the work. I definitely feel like we were welcomed and fit well within the asethetic of a lot of the street fashion we saw in Tokyo. Specifically the menswear. It was an exciting environment to be in and to get to see the public's reaction to our pieces. It isnt often we get to witness it first hand, so it was a positive thing.

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