30 Years of FabulousNESS!
Every once in a blue moon you will see something that puts a smile on your face for days, apart maybe from somebody that you're absolutely mad about. But just like that person it will keep you thinking about it for weeks on end. That's exactly what happened me at The Barbicans exhibit of Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion. The exhibit offers a unique insight into the avant-garde works of some of Japans most influencial designers of the last few decades. They include Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe (Rei Kawakubos' armed and dangerous protege) and Kenzo Tekada.
Trust me, it will feel like you're on a rollercoaster that won't slow down and you're getting dizzy, not because of the twists and turns but because there is just so much to take in and be inspired from. My mind was going 90, notebook in one hand, hidden camera in the other. It was worth getting caught not once but twice by the very strict, very large members of security for the sake of a few personal images. Up until then robbing just one piece of Issey Miyake's 'Pleats Please' Collection was a distinct possibility! AS IF! So I just said "Bitch Pleaaaaase"
The collection begins with some of the earliest works of the 'big guns' - Yamamoto, Miyake and Kawakubo. A puffed taffeta parka/dress adorning chunky gold chains by Watanabe and a tulle skirt with slashed leather jacket by Kawakubo look like they are part of the one Comme des Garcons (the brainchild brand of Kawakubo) collection when actually they were years apart. It then winds quickly through some jaw dropping designs and concepts to the upper decks display of the modern wonders of the 'Japanese Masters' and their successors. Split into very distinct sections and showing complete runway collections it truely is a brilliant space. The shear silver draped backdrop even makes you feel like you are being taken on a journey. Head spinning from all the info, images of models turning dresses inside out halfway down the runway and feeling weak with the thirst, I forced myself to leave the exhibition. Smiling and thinking how they did it!
Whats more the garments are described in one section as 'practicle'. Mind blowing considering that in one dress made from winding discs of sealed organdie and gold tulle, I wouldn't have fit through the set of double-doors beside me. Hmmmm.... One thing I will say however is that these designers have being doing for the last 30 years what most are struggling to do now! So maybe it is true that Japan are light years ahead, not only in terms of technology but it seems in fashion too. These clothes are like miniscule pieces of architecture, they defy any limitations and they're built from the core, the foundations upwards. Issey, Yohji, Rei and Co. We salute you!
The photographs below are some of my highlights from the collection, including Issey Miyake's 'Pleats Please', THAT gold disc wired organdie dress, the blanket dress from Kawakubo and Yohji's finest!
Picked a favourite because I haven't??