Enter Japanese Master Katsuya kamo's World of Fantasy Headpieces

 Tiffany Godoy
  7th-Jul-2017

There's something distinctly punk about Katsuya Kamo's aesthetic. His otherworldly headpieces, designed for some of the world's most revered fashion houses, seem to disregard the limits of millinery, often combine hair with unusual materials.

"Feathers, paper, butterflies, animals, everything," the Japanese hairstylist and makeup artist said in his Tokyo studio, gesturing to the examples surrounding him, including outtakes from his latest collection for designer Jun Takahashi's Undercover label. On the runway, the butterfly-inspired Undercover designs -- each of which took a day to produce -- fluttered about the models' heads, making them appear half human, half insect. But Kamo isn't just looking to shock; his is a quest to create pure beauty.

Since 1996, Kamo has collaborated with Japanese designers Takahashi and Junya Watanabe on hair and makeup for their collections. His international breakthrough came in 2007, with his attention-grabbing looks for Watanabe's Autumn-Winter 2008 show. Wrapping models' heads entirely in cloth, Kamo transformed them into bulbous sculptures.

Three decades' worth of work has been meticulously recorded in notebooks brimming with Polaroids, material scraps and sketches, but Kamo's biggest inspirations are found in the present, not the past. "I'm always picking up something from the street," he explained. "Not books, not movies. Just from the street."
How remarkable the world must look through Kamo's eyes.

51-year-old Kamo spends nearly every day experimenting, toiling away in his lab with materials ranging from familiar (safety pins) to the decadent (stuffed birds and exotic silks).

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Domain: Afterhours
Category: Fashion
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