Erotic Fashion: Nobuyoshi Araki for The Reality Show

The enfant terrible of Japanese photography forays into high fashion with Japan's bright young things
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The enfant terrible of Japanese photography, Nobuyoshi Araki's latest project for Tokyo-based magazine, The Reality Show, combines his usual subversive antics with contemporary high-fashion. For the second issue of this limited-edition magazine (on sale 1 June), Araki photographed ten of Japan's foremost bohemian trendsetters, draped in designer clothes from Western fashion powerhouses such as Dior and Prada. The webzine, Nowness, commissioned director Kensui Arao to film backstage interviews with the models and Araki – set to music by J-Pop band The Plasticzooms the film optimizes the stylish eroticism of the shoot.

Against minimalist black and white backgrounds, Araki’s models mingle their own unique Japanese street-style with the latest Western collections, presenting a fusion of cultures, contemporary and traditional. Araki’s own S&M slant, gives the images an instantaneous sense of intimacy and sensuality. His photographs of model Nakao wearing black Tom Ford underwear and bound with white ropes, displays a striking update of his famous Kinbaku series, which explores the delicate traditional art of bondage.

Araki’s favourite model Kiko Mizuhara, who he shot for US department store Barneys, stands out from the series for both her style and the clear understanding between the photographer and the model. An evident departure from her appearance in the film adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, released earlier this year, where she plays the love interest of protagonist Toru Watanabe, Kiko’s salient dark lips and bobbed hair make her an icon of Japanese fashion.

 

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