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Unlikely Style Icon: Mr Takashi Murakami

February 2019Words by Mr Ashley Clarke

Left: Mr Takashi Murakami after the Sacai men’s show, Paris, 23 June 2018. Photograph by Ms Melodie Jeng/Getty Images. Centre: at the Dior Homme show, Paris, 23 June 2018. Photograph by Splash News. Right: at the Dior Homme menswear show, 18 January 2019. Photograph by Mr Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

Good style, more often than not, is not about wearing clothes at all. It’s about personality. This can be observed most satisfyingly with Mr Takashi Murakami, a man who has personality in bucketfuls and dresses accordingly. The invariably cheery contemporary artist, often pictured grinning and bespectacled in some insanely layered and variegated getup, is rare in that he manages to straddle the fashion and art worlds with apparent ease and joviality – and combines the two rather well in his dress sense, too.

“Only Takashi Murakami Could Pull Off This Tentacle Skirt” applauded US Vogue last summer, after the Japanese artist was pictured wearing an octopus-esque skirt to an art show opening. The artist has also been making cameos on fashion’s front row for over a year now. He has attended some of the industry’s heaviest hitters’ shows including Raf Simons, Off-White, Louis Vuitton and Dior. Oh, and Mr Virgil Abloh’s creative career is at least partly down to Mr Murakami. The artist told Esquire last year: “[In 2017], in Chicago, I had a show at the MCA. Virgil came to see me, and he told me that the reason he entered into this creative world is because he saw my collaboration with Louis Vuitton with the multicoloured monogram.”

Paris, January 2019. Photograph by Skwad Photography/Blaublut-Edition.com