The Talented: Maiko Takeda

Originally from Tokyo, Japanese designer Maiko Takeda recently completed an MA in Millinery at the Royal College of Art in London and is currently working for Issey Miyake on the brand’s line of accessories. Before joining the RCA, Takeda has studied Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins and has worked both with Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy. Her bold and original pieces have been frequently shown in fashion magazines and other pop cultural contexts, where they are appreciated for their sculptural qualities and intricate design.

Maiko Takeda’s design aesthetic is far from traditional and the creation of her latest collection started with a question: “how would it feel to wear a cloud?” The aim was therefore to create three dimensional objects which pushed the boundaries of the wearer’s surrounding space, taking inspiration from Robert Wilson’s 1976 production of Philip Glass’ opera “Einstein on the Beach”. Many of her pieces focuses on the area from the neck up which, seen from a historical point of view, is usually adorned with objects displaying symbols of wealth and luxury. Huge jewelry pieces were symbols of power – showing that the wearer was not afraid of taking physical space or being noticed and looked at. The view on this kind of attention-drawing jewelry has, however, changed from being a symbol of money and wealth to a pop cultural phenomenon. Takeda’s jewelery is the prime example of this shift of focus and re-appropriation of cultural meaning. Maiko Takeda has made a modern version of the old status symbols, where the most significant effect of wearing them is still left intact – they undeniably draw attention.

Hanna Cronsjö