Denim clothes, originally developed as coal miners' workwear, became a symbol of youth rebellion after James Dean inspired the world with his iconic style and were widely accepted by the general public as everyday clothes in the 1950's. Trench coats, originally worn as waterproof military uniforms, became iconic items after they were worn by film noir movie stars and are now being consumed as timeless iconic fashion items, while only their "style" remained and their original function was completely lost.

Due to the worldwide spread of "western" values represented by modernism, men's suits became a symbol of homogenization and affiliation with organizations. The unwavering trousers-and-jacket combination generated a more sophisticated aesthetic value of appreciating subtle differences in details.

"Archetypes" are originally conceived based on functions and requirements. When they gain popularity at some point, they gradually deviate from the original meanings while people pay attention only to their superficial styles, and become "stereotypes." Then, "prototypes" are conceived as countermeasures to break away from conventional and boring styles. Fashion take on new meanings and the meanings create multiple layers.

" Dress Code: Are You Playing Fashion?" is an critical exhibition which reframes the history of various "types=dress codes" of fashion based on artistic viewpoints. The exhibition conveys contemporary matters happening not only in fashion but in all other aspects in society.

In designing exhibition venues, we always think about ways in which to convey meanings of artworks and curation by spatially or empirically amplifying them. Because viewers can easily obtain information about artworks and curation by reading catalogues and can also gather related information conveniently on the internet, we focus on creating conditions where information and intentions behind artworks are amplified and conveyed clearly through a carefully planned sequence and various spatial experiences. In this exhibition, we first came up with a strategy to show works in clusters. If a denim dress is displayed by itself, we simply see it as a "dress made using denim," but if it is displayed as an element in a cluster, we can learn various things including "how the meaning of denim clothes changed," "differences between formality of attire," how to enjoy fashion by appreciating subtle differences and intricate details" and so on.

Based on this idea, we made island-shaped display furniture pieces and show works in clusters instead of showing them one by one on individual display tables. Another strategy was to use easily movable display furniture pieces to facilitate changes of layouts, because the exhibition is planned to travel from Kyoto to Kumamoto to Tokyo. In addition, we wanted to use something originally made for other purposes instead of using display furniture designed specifically for exhibitions. It was because we thought it would be better to create a situation where things had lost their original meanings and diverted for different purposes, rhyming with the history of fashion represented by the trajectories of denim and trench coat.

We chose prefabricated floor components of the floor system called "OA Floor" typically used to construct raised office floors. They are composed of 500mm x 500mm square modules and can be flexibly combined. Because they are originally designed to accommodate under-floor wiring, the height can be adjusted easily. They are can be easily disassembled and the floor plates securely hold screws to fix mannequins in place. While they are typically used as subfloors under floor finishes including modular carpet tiles, we use them exposed.

Today, the world is already full of meanings and things. We can probably create new scenery by reinterpreting existing things and ideas without denying ordinary things in front of us.

Moreover, we planned to upcycle the fixtures after the traveling exhibition so that they would not become waste, but would be taken out by those who want to use them. We created a manual for converting them into furniture.
We should thoroughly observe things and redesign styles and relationships. In order to appreciate and enjoy today's diverse values and cultures, we should design the way we look at things, architecture, cities, and society, as well as fashion itself.