Akiko Shinzato’s newest jewellery collection „Another Skin“ explores how far people would go to cover their identity and attain what they consider as beauty ideal. The idea arouse from the rise in plastic surgery and the society’s obsession with their appearances, enhanced by social networking sites as the perfect platform to make up an identity or image of how we would like to be seen by others. Manipulating our face through make up or any other artificial alteration is a way to improve self-esteem and confidence. Focusing on the face, which is the part of the body that people seem to care most about, Shinzato used the aesthetic and structural idea of a pair of pince-nez, which is a style of glass used throughout the 19th century that pinched someone’s nose to stay in place. Delicately embellished with leather or crystals, they can be easily attached and detached to maintain the self-esteem of the wearer, depicting how easily appearances can be changed.
Her collection is composed of two series. With her crystal series „Wearing makeup“ people adapt the masked features of a painted clown, whereas her leather series „Putting on someone’s identity“ is designed to mix one’s own facial features with that of others; whilst looking at oneself reflected in mirrors at the same time, Shinzato explains. The collection aims to hide certain facial features of the wearer whilst revealing a whole new identity.
Rather than considering the comfortability of the wearer, she prefers seeing her jewellery as artwork in editorial circumstances or in the gallery. Holding a BA in Jewellery Design, Shinzato currently designs for VIVON Jewellery and Art, Japan. For more visit her website www.akikoshinzato.com.