26 June 2018: Keisuke Nagami’s Lecture Report

Participants’ Report: “Lecture on Mode” by Keisuke Nagami, HATRA fashion designer, 2018.6.26

-From frontier to Normal – Media and fashion-

(By Marina Yamaha, Media Faculty, Josai International University)

Through this lecture, I had a chance to think about fashion transitions for human beings and life forms from the perspective of fashion design. I found the way of thinking and the view of the world of Mr. Nagami who is the designer of “HATRA” very interesting.

“Read fashion expressions”, based on this big theme as an extension of humanity, Mr. Nagai covered mainly the following three points:

  • Gender resolution
  • Frontier of uncanniness
  • Meaninglessness, irrationality

Here I’d like to introduce these points in order and my ideas.

“Gender resolution”

It was natural for people to wear clothes designed respectively for men and women. However, since the beginning of the popularization of SNS, gender differences began to shake and it started affecting fashion design. In the collection of JW Anderson of 2013, fashion of an entirely new figure which had not been seen before was proposed with the gender borderless design. With that as a start, GUCCI ‘s design for men changed drastically within one year, and the proposal to reconsider about gender in the fashion industry spread.

I caught that the fashion design indicates the gender resolution of the era. In my everyday life I still find a clear difference in fashion design between men and women, but in the future, maybe after ten years, the gap may disappear and the time of selecting clothing design faithfully to their own sensitivity will come. By watching the transition of fashion design industry carefully, I think that the way of thinking of gender in modern times and future will come to be more clearly visible.
“Uncanniness Frontier”
“Uncanniness Frontier” indicates the expansion of the range that human beings can accept, which has been adopted little by little in design from a long time ago. As times and places change, the meaning of things also changes. For example, the aristocratic dresses that showed a big, padded Bustle in the 1870s were regarded as uncanny at first. In a more recent example, in collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Final Fantasy in 2016, Louis Vuitton also showed a challenging and rich creativity, which shows fashion has been and is evolving all the time.

While listening to the story of this uncanniness frontier, I find fresh his description of “new, unprecedented and up to date things” using the word “uncanniness”. The feeling when a person encounters a new thing is not necessarily a positive thing, and it is often negative as it is a threatening and it is uncanny. However, once that uncanniness becomes good for himself and accepted by many people, it will eventually be updated to “normal”. I noticed that the design has expanded and will continue to change through this iteration.

“Meaninglessness ”and ”Irrationality”

The power of imagination that extracts intuition just before the meaning gets into shape by analyzing lots of detailed data. Mr. Nagami expressed them as “meaninglessness” and “irrationality”. I found that this intuition as “meaninglessness” and “irrationality” is to do with individual personalities and that moves people’s mind. A design born in such intuition may make a leap forward in future fashion design.
Based on these, Mr. Nagami says that the users (or recipients of fashion design) can expand their body by updating their own sense of beauty and regarding something uncanny as ordinary and natural design. Understanding a certain fashion design using modern services and freshly making a fusion mean “decoding the body”. And finally, he concluded that the design accepted in the era becomes an ordinary design of that time, and that it would stimulate the generation and the next even if it is not accepted.

Through Ms. Nagami’s interpretation of fashion as an expression, I learned that fashion design is “an area that can be expanded as a self-expression by human beings”. Actually the change fashion in each era represents the male and female images of the time and I felt that modern fashion may slowly be losing its boundaries. In addition, it is possible to fuse clothes fashion with things other than clothes, so in the near future, even the concept of “clothes” may be lost and some digital wearable fashion with a different concept can be born. Also, if you combine media and fashion, which I am studying daily, we can propose various types of fashion to society. Media as a help of smooth cycle of unlocking uncanniness becomes more necessary than ever I think.

For the first time, had a chance to consider about human expansion from a viewpoint of fashion. It was a very meaningful time to know that there are various viewpoints in fashion design as well. I am looking forward to seeing how fashion design will be updated in the future. 

-Uncanniness frontier connects artists, fashion, business-

(By Teppei Fujimoto, Hitotsubashi University)

Until now I always thought that people called “artists” are distant from the business world and are of an unusual people who are pursuing their own sensitivity. But that was a mistake. I learned that they have for a long time played a very important role in the business world. This discovery occurred while I was listening to Mr. Nagami’s lecture and learned “artists are uncanniness adorers.” Mr. Nagami says ” When a person sees something, he sometimes finds it uncanny and sometimes not. Stability is a sense of comfortableness obtained as a result of scraping up pieces of knowledge he already holds about the thing.  Uncanniness emerges when such a stable picture crumbles.” Artists like uncanniness, which general consumers would rather avoid. He however further said using an example in which the sleeve which Vietnamese dubbed suddenly gradually penetrated to general consumers, “Things that modern people find not uncanny used to be taken uncanny before. This frontier, or borderline, which demarcates not uncanny or uncanny, constantly continues to expand.”

Indeed, unless there are artists pursuing uncanniness, the frontier general consumers reach doesn’t move forward. Without them, we would have felt uncanniness looking at the person walking in the city with a T-shirt and a pair of jeans today. In the modern market, companies using IT, including services like Amazon, Google, etc., measure and analyze everything we do in our daily lives and have sophisticated marketing activities. They can suggest what we need even before we do realize what we need. In an “ultimate form of marketing” they can induce people buy things subliminally and that will lead consumption in the future. However, what they can measure and analyze is “the past” at all times. Perhaps it is at best consuming more “jeans” that Google would recommend to people who already wear jeans every day as what they look at as data is always the past.

With the help from artists who pursue and propose uncanniness and spread the frontier, a man who wears jeans everyday might for the first time come up with the idea of trying a new, recently emerging kinds of trousers. “Artists” are not people who are diverting from the business world pursuing their favorite things, but also people who constantly create the way of our self-realization and some seeds for future consumption. I now recognize them as irreplaceable even in the context of marketing.

HATRA ファッションデザイナー 長見佳祐氏講演「モードの輪郭」2018.6.26

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