Biography: Yoshiki Hishinuma is a rare designer in the world of fashion. Like Mariano Fortuny, whose focus has been the creation of innovative fabrics, Hishinuma creates clothing that serves as a medium by which to showcase the results of his textile experiments. The textiles themselves have such depth and visual interest that they become the primary focus. Hishinuma's contemporary creations also share a lineage with the traditional textiles of Japan. Like kimonos, for example, a Hishinuma garment does not depend on an interaction with the body to bring it to life. This stand-alone independence is a primary attribute of Japanese textile and garment design, which often focuses attention away from the body and towards the materials and/or silhouette. Hishinuma was born in Sendai, Japan, in 1958, studied fashion design at Bunka College, and worked as an assistant to Issey Miyake in the late 1970s. He then became a freelance designer, specializing theater and stage costumes. In 1987, he opened a studio and in 1992 began designing under his own name. When Hishinuma was unable to procure textiles that were to his liking, he began experimenting with natural and chemical processes to alter the finish and form of synthetic fabrics. He "combines new technology with traditional Japanese techniques such as shibori or tie-dying to develop textiles with effects like pleating, puckering, and crinkling that provide texture and volume.” His work has been celebrated in his native Japan—he was awarded the Mainichi Prize for Fashion 1996—and overseas. In the Netherlands, an exhibition of his work went on view in 1999 at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, while the following year, he designed costume for an original ballet production by Nederlands Dans Theater entitled "Arcimboldo 2000."