Friday, January 27, 2012

r.i.p. eiko ishioka

bram stoker's dracula

the fall

the cell

grace jones, hurricane tour

bjork, cocoon

the amazingly talented designer eiko ishioka died of pancreatic cancer on saturday in tokyo. she was 73. she earned both an oscar & a grammy for her work.

she trained as a graphic designer & was considered the foremost art director in the world. she won the academy award for costume design in 1992 for bram stoker's dracula, directed by francis ford coppola.  if you haven't seen her work in this film it's a must - the costumes are beyond brilliant.

ms. ishioka was closely associated with director tarsem singh, for whom she designed costumes for four films. for the cell, starring jennifer lopez, she designed a headpiece that resembled a cross between a rigid neck brace & a forbidding bird cage. "jennifer asked me if i could make it more comfortable," ms. ishioka told the ottawa citizen in 2000, "but i said, 'no, you're supposed to be tortured'." she also worked on the fall, immortals & mirror, mirror with singh.

on the broadway stage, ms. isioka designed sets & costumes for david henry hwang's 1988 drama m. butterfly, for which she earned 2 tony nominations & more recently, costumes for the musical spider-man: turn off the dark.

she won a grammy in 1986 for her design of mile davis's album "tutu". a must see is her work for japanese boutique stores, parco.  they included nude or nearly nude models - a rarity in japan at the time. many of the ads rarely depicted anything sold at parco. she did a GENIUS commercial for them starring faye dunaway peeling & eating a hard-boiled egg.

her other work included designing uniforms & outerwear for the swiss, canadian, japanese & spanish teams a the 2002 winter olympics in salt lake city. she was also the director of costume design at the opening ceremony of the 2008 summer olympics in bejing. she designed costumes for cirque du soleil's "varekai" & was the visual artistic director of the illusionist david copperfield's 1996 broadway show.
she also designed costumes for grace jone's hurricane tour - i saw this show & the costumes were just beyond.  she also directed bjork's music video for cocoon.

a sad loss. 

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