The final page on the Taschen Fashion A History from the 18th to the 20th Century really captured my attention and made me think. Kosuke Tsumura’s ‘Final Home’ Coat, 1994, reminded me of the environmental problems that we are facing today, especially plastic pollution, packaging, deforestation and scarce resources.
The nightmare of the danger to the earth’s atmosphere became a reality at the end of the twentieth century. The coat has more than 40 pockets which I feel could suggest that it could have been used as a survival jacket for urban life. As a result of the decreasing health of the planet, the design could have been a way of protecting the body; a survival jacket for urban life. Homeless people on the streets have used newspapers for protection for many years therefore here it could be a layer of insulation and therefore warmth, becoming a ‘home from home’.
When I saw this coat, I made an instant connection with a post I saw on Finn Harries’ Instagram from November 2018. The short video summarised Rebellion Day which lobbied the government to take immediate climate action. “There is no planet B” which I feel is a quote that could be used to describe the coat seen in the book. We are currently in an environmental crisis. Every day we are seeing increasingly worse storms, floods, droughts, etc, however we are not responding fast enough to limit further destruction.
I do feel the coat shows the environmental impacts which reinforce the damage we as a society are causing. However, on the other hand, I also see a strong connection to consumerism that is impacting the world around us, with consumers being oblivious to the affects they have been contributing to. We are still surrounded by excess packing and plastic pollution, which is not aided by the likes of the fast fashion industry and easy access to e-commerce.
Although the coat was designed in 1994, I feel that it is a visual representation of the challenges we are still facing today. There is a growing awareness of the impacts we are having as a result of increased knowledge, so if we all make every day small changes to our throw-away lifestyles, we could reduce the risk of weather fluctuations and landfill build-ups.