Monday, January 30, 2012

Eiko Ishioka

by Arnie Fenner

Part of creating memorable fantastic art has to do with designing costumes for the characters that will seem both "right" for the story and unique. A shirt is a shirt, armor is armor, a crown is a crown, without the artist's contribution, without their vision.

So it's with sadness that I note the passing January 21 of Eiko Ishioka at the age of 73 from pancreatic cancer. A designer of everything from album covers to set designs for stage plays to costumes for Cirque du Solil and a host of Hollywood films, Ms Ishioka's style was instantly identifiable. Her work on The Cell was appropriately surreal and eerie while her recent designs for the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Broadway production were a definite highlight. Eiko received the Oscar in 1992 for her stunning costumes for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Director Francis Ford Coppola collaborated with her on a gorgeous book of her designs for the movie that can be ridiculously difficult to find in the collector's market.

Blending a heightened sense of the dramatic with an arresting color balance, Eiko Ishioka's work was inspiring and influential, particularly in our field. She will be missed.


  1. Her design work from "The Fall" was amazing. Such a visual impact!

  2. THAT'S SAD, SHE HAD INCREDIBLE DESIGN SENSIBILITIES, I LOVED HER WORK on Dracula, and her work on The Cell was the ONLY reason to watch that movie. Great Loss!

  3. It's amazing how I didn't realize she did designs for certain things, but I was drawn to them, regardless! Such talent. The world will be less bright and creative without her.

  4. So very sad to read this. I was so fortunate to have seen her at a Design Conference in Aspen back in the late '80s and it is truly a loss to the design world. Thank you for posting.


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