The Italian brand “PLAN C” has teamed up with Milan’s photographic media “PERIMETRO” to launch a special project that expresses the city of Tokyo. During Milan Fashion Week, they presented an exhibition named “TOKYO AND ITS CONTEMPORARY STORY TELLERS.” The Tokyo version of “PERIMETRO” was released as well as a capsule collection of T-shirts.
“Tokyo is always close to me and full of inspiration,” Carolina Castiglioni said, the founder of “PLAN C” and the project’s creator. Her brand’s first flagship store was also in Tokyo. Before the pandemic, she visited at least twice a year and has visited Japan countless times in her 20 years. When she planned the project with “PERIMETRO,” she has decided without hesitation to focus on the city of Tokyo. At the exhibition, eight photographers living in Tokyo were selected to show a unique and contemporary perspective of the Japanese metropolis. I asked her in detail about the project at the exhibition venue, what Castiglioni thinks of Tokyo and how it differs from Milan.
Tokyo is the conflicting elements of silence and bustle
−−How did you start out presenting the project with “PERIMETRO”?
Carolina Castiglioni : I have known the director of “PERIMETRO” for a long time, and when I saw him in July, we decided to do something interesting together. “PERIMETRO” produces a magazine with the theme of Milan, but since I was involved, I wanted to show a special city that was different from usual, then Tokyo came to my mind first. It’s very natural for me. Because I’ve been to Tokyo for over 20 years and it’s the one and only place that inspires me every time.
−−How did you select the eight photographers living in Tokyo?
Castiglioni : With the cooperation of NPO “Tokyo-Ga” founder and curator Naoko Ota, we solicited works that express the city of Tokyo. From about 40 applicants, we selected a photographer who captured Tokyo from a unique perspective. Regardless of nationality, whether it is Japanese or not, it was essential to have uniqueness. For example, Minoru Toratsuki captures the beautiful panoramic scenery seen from inside the building, Flavio Parisi has the theme of an old-fashioned barbershop, Tadashi Onishi focuses on the dark side of the big city, and Ulysses Aoki gave us poetic photographs of everyday scenery. All of the works show the different charms of Tokyo from various angles. I myself feel that I have rediscovered the diversity and unique culture of Tokyo.
−−Why do you think Tokyo still fascinates you?
Castiglioni : The most considerable charm of Tokyo is that many elements are mixed. Even when walking around the city, either fashionable people or not always find it interesting to mix new and old things. I like the cityscape, which is a mixture of long-established buildings and futuristic skyscrapers, and it is constantly evolving, with conflicting elements such as silence and bustle. I think I’m attracted because it’s so different from Milan, where I was born and raised.
−−What is the most significant difference between Milan and Tokyo?
Castiglioni : There is something secretive about Milan. For example, you can’t imagine that you can discover a luxurious courtyard and a plaza inside from the appearance of buildings, even if it is an ordinary building. It’s a little different from a city like Tokyo, where you can be inspired just by walking.
−−Do you feel that Milan is evolving like Tokyo?
Castiglioni : Well, I feel there have been positive changes in the last few years. The city became greener and people transport by bicycle more and more. Milanese are becoming more open-minded and international, and I think there are more Asian restaurants such as Japanese and Korean in the city.
−−Looking at both the other issues of “PERIMETRO” and this special project, we can rediscover the charm of each city.
Castiglioni : I definitely think so. The capsule collection, which printed each photographer’s photo, was also special to me. “PLAN C” has been developing T-shirts since the first season, but it is different from the usual work; I normally chose playful graphics and photos I took. I am pleased to be able to create a Tokyo-themed T-shirt in collaboration with “PERIMETRO.” In the future, I would like to visit places other than Tokyo and discover more about Japan.