The Queen of Costume Design

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The Queen of Costume Design

A look back at one of the underrated sartorial masterpieces by costume legend Eiko Ishioka. Image: Movie Mezzanine.

Eiko Ishioka may be best known to modern audiences for her work creating the costumes in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula or the Julia Roberts retelling of Snow White, Mirror Mirror, for which she was posthumously nominated for an Oscar. However, a walk down memory lane reveals Ishioka’s lesser known yet just as magnificent work in 1997’s Chushingura, directed by Werner Herzog. And we here at NEO have a penchant for forgotten gems.

“Kimonos designed by Eiko for the prostitute characters. As the costume and set designer, Eiko brought her minimalist aesthetic to the lush opera. Her visual tableau was inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e art, the most illustrative cultural source for the Edo era; at the same time abstract touches rendered her design utterly modern. Visually and essentially the opera Chushingura brought a new dimension to this three-hundred-year-old story.” - Source