“Combining materials of vastly different properties together can create a romantic vibe,” says Kikko Yumi. Imagine the coldness of metal and the softness of yarn — two qualities seemingly stem from two extremes — can somehow go so well together. Carefully wrapped in delicate yarn, the iciness of thin metal strips is completely offset and even exudes a gentle vibe of tenderness. In the sun, the unyielding piece of metal is glittering and radiates a refined note of elegance. “Accessories are a crucial medium to express oneself.” Upon graduating from a program of dyeing and textile at Kyoto University of Art and Design, Yumi dedicated herself to the art of yarn dyeing and founded the accessories brand KIKKOU in 2010. Today her works can be extensively found in various galleries and boutique shops all over Japan.
When I first encountered the accessories by KIKKOU, I was totally carried away by the natural transition of color shades, which appear so rhythmic. The soulful use of colors simply creates such natural patterns of harmony, that brings along a delicate touch. “The yarn I use is dyed by skillfully experienced artisans. The yarns first came as unevenly dyed ribbons. I was intrigued by the intricate patterns of color transitions and then prompted to disentangle them into separable threads, which I used to make accessories such as rings, earrings, and brooches.” Yumi takes infinite joy in the process of giving poetic qualities to ordinary metal accessories. “When I make accessories, I wish others can feel their romantic vibe and unique characters when wearing them. I would feel particularly blessed if my accessories become a lucky ring or something that can empower the owner. Moreover, I also wish the owners would pay attention to the maintenance of KIKKOU accessories, to ensure prolonged use.”
Besides wrapping with yarns of transitioning colors, Yumi also utilizes natural pearls and crystals to add more elegance to the accessories series. “I am very fond of brooches and earrings for their gradient colors, which are distinctive but in an elegantly subtle manner.” The minimalist designs oF KIKKOU can hardly go out of style, making them very suitable for everyday wearing. Yumi continues, “Although I do not really have a strong preference for fashion style, I am pretty keen on wearing comfortable everyday clothing. I always follow my own instincts when it comes to shopping. Vintage boutiques and thrift shops are naturally my treasure troves. I would also purchase works made by artists I like. I normally would avoid trendy clothes or style that would not last longer than one season.” Indeed, handicrafts are usually full of human touch that is well worth adoration and appreciation. “I love seeing handmade items, as they are always full of characters and sentiments. Imagine the same recipe falling into the hands of different people, I am sure the end products would never taste identical. Isn’t this an interesting thing?”
“Apart from producing accessories for curation stores, I am currently also making wedding rings for friends,” Yumi said, “In leisure time, I really like to spend time on trivial errands such as polishing and shining my shoes, or repairing and maintaining my clothes and accessories. I tend to think twice before buying anything and try my best to prolong the lifetime of the stuff that I own and use.” Life gets easier when you are free of the desire to own more. Learning how to follow her heart is the lifestyle she is yearning for now. “I always try to keep a very open approach to my own time and space management. I tend to follow the natural flow and get immensely amused by things that happen organically. I guess it is pretty challenging to lead a perfect life.”
KIKKOU is now available at ununliving