Morinaga takes stuffy old-style designs and pixelates them, creating a unique and inspiring look that’s fun and fresh.
Fashion and design have gone digitally back in time at the Anrealage Shop in Harajuku, Tokyo. Ideas like this make us wonder, what are the best sources for inspiration? Past or present (or future)? Weird or classic? Sophisticated and elegant, or childish and playful? Entertainment or art? How about a combination of everything?
Morinaga achieves this combination with designs that give a nod to the childish and playful by reminding one of games like Pac-Man and Tetris, but also fuse odd and classic elements as he uses almost stuffy floral designs and boring varsity jacket looks that, when funneled through 8-bit interpretation, produce something fresh and bold, bringing a trendy edge even to the oriental rug in his shop.
But did Morinaga get his inspiration entirely from videogame culture, or was it perhaps from a more traditional source — the street of Paris? Graffiti artist Space Invader is known for his pixelated tile images of the Space invader video game character, which can be found throughout Paris. It could be that Morinaga was quick to pick up both the past and the present in pop culture — videogames and graffiti, both of which provide ample imagination.
Whatever the source, we love Morinaga’s 8-bit designs, which include everything from t-shirts to dresses to shoes. The pixelated design and bright colors bring a playful and impish feeling to fast-paced urban culture that blends reality and virtual fantasy, allowing the on-screen to easily move into nightlife scene.
Morinaga’s designs don’t stop with his clothes. The trip into this pixelated world is made complete at Anrealage, where the elaborate becomes simple: an oriental rug, wooden table, and plush red velvet chair lose their aloofness and become lighthearted through the pixelated design. Like the idea but not sure you want to venture all the way into video game land? Check out these lights, which look great in a clean white, but could bring forth a more adventurous, yet accented, swatch of creativity if used in bolder colors.
Fashion and design are about re-invention and re-interpretation, and Morinaga generates inspiration here by feeding classic and standard looks into a blurred world of imagination and color, finished with a tasteful gesture to pop culture.