My London: Atsuko Kudo – Designer

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Japanese-born London-based designer Atsuko Kudo has been producing exquisitely feminine designs exclusively in latex since 2000.

Atsuko Kudo clothing is designed for all those who wish to look and feel beautiful, feminine and strong, and has been worn by some of the world’s most glamorous women including Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Beyonce, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Eva Mendes, Kim Kardashian, Dita von Teese, Janet Jackson, J Lo, Linda Evangelista and style icon Grace Jones.

Atsuko is feted for her pioneering techniques with latex using exclusive prints, filigree and folding techniques to create a signature style. She was the first to win the European Latex Designer of the Year, for 2008/09 and a Special Award for 2012/13 cementing her reputation as the world’s most influential and innovative designer working in the field.

Over the past few years Atsuko Kudo has become the definitive couture latex designer. She has supplied pieces for Hussein Chalayan, Cerruti, Vivienne Westwood, Mugler and Manish Arora for the Paris runways and for Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi in Milan.

She also provided the headline-grabbing black latex look for Kim Kardashian when she won the GQ Woman of the Year award in London in September and the light-brown latex look which also gained worldwide headlines when Kim wore it in Australia in November 2014.

We caught up with Atsuko to talk London life and style.

 

Favourite neighbourhood:

Kenwood House – to call it a neighbourhood might be stretching it a little! But I love the fact that it’s like entering a Georgian time capsule of art, architecture and countryside but it’s right here in London.

Favourite place for brunch:

The gluten-free café in Upper Street N1 is a really interesting addition to London’s increasingly amazing and diverse food culture. The change in what is available since I moved to the city 20 years ago is huge.

Best coffee in London:

La Peche Mignon in Holloway. This is a tiny French deli and cafe just off the Holloway Road. The owner is from Marseille and the coffee is very moreish. Going there is a little like going on holiday to the true south of France for half an hour!

Favourite gallery or museum:

It has to be the V&A – it’s so easy to take it for granted because it’s just there all the time doing great exhibitions year in and year out. But it is amazing. And I have to admit being a little biased as they kindly asked me to make a dress to launch their Ballgowns exhibition a couple of years ago. It was such an honour. But the V&A constantly produces fantastic exhibitions and is also such a fabulous building.

Favourite building:

I would have said the V& A but as a spectacle (from the exterior) it is perhaps just eclipsed by St Pancras Station. In Tokyo we used to go to Disneyland to see Disney versions of buildings like this. In London you just go to King’s Cross. It is absolutely amazing, so complete. I have to mention Old Billingsgate too – we did a show in there and that is very beautiful too. It is full of Victorian fish details in the decorations and adornments.

Favourite place to shop:

SHOWstudio shop and gallery. SHOWstudio should be on anyone’s list to visit both online and in person. The fantastic content which they produce on a daily basis is another one of those treasures only to be found in London. It always has something new to show and say and I cannot imagine how they do it . Please visit! and Ooh La La Vintage – just a great ‘proper’ vintage shop on the lower part of Holloway Road. Don’t be put off that people have now started to describe the area as Lo-Ho!

Favourite place to find inspiration:

Galleries and exhibitions. The 2013/14 Shunga exhibition (Japanese erotic art) at the British Museum was incredible and so inspiring. We are so lucky to have so many great exhibitions in London.

Best London destination for a date:

The pedestrian bridge across the Thames and walks along the river. It’s very romantic and very inspiring both in the daytime and at night.

Favourite park:

Highbury Fields. We walk through this park on our way home each evening in summer time and it is truly beautiful.

Favourite food market:

Crouch End Broadway. It’s not actually a market, but you get lots of good fresh food there. It still has proper independent bakers, greengrocers, fishmongers etc.

Your sanctuary in the city:

Home. There’s no place like it!

What inspires you?

Love and travel.

This season I’m loving:

Juicing vegetables! So it’s all about freshness, taste and colour!

 

Atsuko Kudo: Restricted Love Collection
Photo: Andrew Lamb/ 7 Bar Foundation

Atsuko Kudo: Restricted Love Collection

Atsuko Kudo: Restricted Love Collection