Not quite fit for a queen: Signature Club A Nefertiti collection
Summer 2014 haul (and some half-assed reviews)

Into the MM archives: Shu Uemura BTB24 compact

I was going through my Shu storage and realized I had never posted about this lovely little collection released back in the summer of 2007.  In honor of the 24th anniversary of the first Shu Uemura boutique in Omotesando, Tokyo, the company collaborated with noted Japanese graphic designer Hideki Inaba. 






I just picked up the empty palette, but there were some other items in the collection.

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Hideki Inaba has no formal education in design (he studied mechanical engineering), but that has not stopped him from producing cutting-edge work and collaborating with companies such as Nike, Sony and Levi's, in addition to Shu Uemura.  Says one critic, "[His work] has an amazing sense of lightness and movement, while his use of proportion and composition is spot on, giving it a very Japanese sense of harmony and balance," while another states, "His gestural design evokes both the calligraphic traditions of Japan and the contemporary aesthetic of computer graphics."  He refuses to reveal what software he uses to create the floating, swirling shapes he is best known for, but observers believe it's a combination of computer-generated lines and techniques borrowed from traditional Japanese woodblock printing (ukiyo-e).

Inaba produced his "New Line" series in 2004, which was later used for the Shu collection.


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In 2010 and 2011 Inaba shifted slightly from his earlier colorful, seemingly weightless forms with Burst Helvetica as well as several other works. 

Burst Helvetica (closeup and installation view):


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In 2011 he had an exhibition consisting of several works in a series he called Small Idea. 




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Some of the elements in this series were later colorized and used to adorn the facade of an Agnes B. store.

Agnes B Inaba
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In 2013 Inaba made a return to his earlier work with his "Vecta" exhibition, which paid tribute to the numerous and intricate vector lines used to form his signature shapes.


Overall, I like Inaba's work as I find the swirling patterns to be almost hypnotic.  I just wish there was a little more info available about his technique and the meaning (if any) behind his work.

What do you think of this collab? 

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