Making of Hajime Sorayama’s giant robot for Dior revealed in exclusive video

This video, exclusive to Dezeen, reveals how Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama created the giant female robot that took centre stage at Dior‘s Pre-Fall 2019 menswear show in Tokyo.

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Kim Jones, artistic director of Dior menswear, commissioned Sorayama to create the giant, retro-futurist robot. It took the form of an “idealised woman”, with details embossed to resemble mechanical joints, nuts and bolts across its body.

As shown in the movie, the figure was carved from a block of styrofoam and then coated in multiple layers of aluminium paint, which took 20 days to apply.

Sorayama is famous for designing the original Sony AIBO robot dog, which was rereleased by the Japanese tech giant last year.

The artist explains in the film that the project marks 40 years since he first started drawing designs for robots.

“I’ve never created a statue this big before,” he says. “I got excited by the idea of doing something new.”

Sorayama based the design on the characters from his 1983 book Sexy Robot. The book is filled with illustrations featuring hyperrealistic “fembots” – a term used to described robots with a human female-like form.

Sorayama’s robot weighs just under a tonne, so took 16 people to assemble.

Its head resembles a helmet with a single illuminated rectangular slit for an eye and antennae for ears.

A gold garter detail runs across its right thigh. Here, the Dior name is carved out in a bespoke, futuristic font designed by Sorayama, and illuminated with an in-built light.

The structure was displayed with graphics of pink cherry blossoms on the surrounding floor – a Japanese twist on the image of a rose frequently found in Dior’s collections.

This tied in with the rest of the show, which was intended to reference “the hypermodern reality of Japanese culture today”.

It is the first time that Dior has showed a menswear collection in Tokyo, in tribute to the late Christian Dior’s love of Japanese culture.

“Christian Dior was fascinated by the country, examining its culture of dress and utilising this study to inspire his own work,” said Dior in statement.

“Jones chooses to explore not the historical myth of Japan, but its modern actuality, referencing both the country’s storied past and its often-imagined future.”

The new menswear collection mirrors the high-tech, futurist vision set out by Sorayama’s centrepiece. Models wore garments printed with Sorayama’s illustrations, metallic blazers, steel caps created by milliner Stephen Jones, and jewellery resembling robotic nuts and bolts.

Dior follows a slew of brands choosing to collaborate with artists and designers to create Instagram-friendly decor for runway shows.


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