In 2015 I was in London and visited the Alexander McQueen exhibition
at the V&A Museum.
This exhibition was simply stunning and very inspiring.
Each room was different and the way Alexander McQueen’s designs were presented was bombastic.
In one of the rooms there were immensely large wooden display cabinets with glass on all sides, so that you could look in from any angle.
That was the defining moment when I thought about my kimono collection of vintage and antique items – these lie dormant, either always neatly folded up in drawers or hung up in a wardrobe.
I want to design a display cabinet for my precious pieces for the world to see… I want to show these collectibles and share them with other connoisseurs.
ART DECO is an epoch that I adore and that I feel also goes very well with Japan art and design.
I sat down with my trusted carpenter and my gilder and we brainstormed the first design sketches.
Due to its size, it had to be on wheels and you should be able to view the contents from all sides – it had to be designed to stand freely positioned in a room.
My intention was for it to be illuminated or rather that the content should be illuminated without the light being too bright.
The wooden side stays had to be stable yet understated and delicate in appearance.
The display cabinet also had to be high enough to hang up a wedding kimono without it touching the ground.
Despite its size, the display cabinet had to appear light and floating, as should the objects presented inside it
– the result was to be elegant and eye-catching at the same time!
After many sketches regarding the shape and proportions, we then decided on the following materials.
The materials: we used high-gloss lacquered black MDF and burnished brass for the feet as well as the corner stays – manufactured by the Gürtler.
The glass plate inserts at the top of the display cabinet under the cornice as well as at the base are made of old white ART DECO glass (this is extremely hard to find as it is no longer in production. It was actually manufactured to be white all the way through and does not get its white appearance from transparent glass which is then coated white on one side in the way it is made today).
The wonderful glass plate inserts are indirectly lit from above and below.
In addition, we have integrated LED warm light into the brass corner stays. This ensures that an even light illuminates the entire height of the cabinet and from all sides.
A drawer was set into the base and the electrical components were stowed in the cornice above, everything is dimmable and can be turned on separately.
There is no door handle on the display cabinet, it can only be opened by means of a glass suction cup.
The rail, which we designed as a clothes rail for the kimonos, has also been perfectly thought out.
The rail, which we designed as a clothes rail for the kimonos, has also been perfectly thought out. It is triangular in cross-section (reminiscent of ancient kimono sticks) with one edge pointing upwards. A steel rail has been integrated into this upper edge to prevent the paint on the clothes rail from getting damaged when the clothes hangers slide back and forth.