Exhibition: 30 Years Of Japanese Fashion At The Barbican

October 24, 2010

We went to see the above exhibition at The Barbican yesterday and it provided a very mellow few hours. It contains work from three of the masters of Japanese fashion – Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. The early work from all three designers still looks amazing. Garments made from flawed or aged fabrics are show to express the Wabi-Sabi concept – Wabi meaning without decoration, and Sabi meaning old and withered. As well as mannequins featuring these designers work (and others including Mintdesigns, Next Generation and Jun Takahashi) there were some lovely films. The clip below is from one, Wim Wenders ‘A Notebook on Cities and Clothes’ which follows Yohji Yamamoto on the run up to a show in Paris.

There were also some refreshingly fun and colourful clips from Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please fashion show which were (sorry) super-balearic. All the models wandered out to the centre of a large white space at the same time, smiled to camera (when’s the last time you saw a model smile on a catwalk?) and then wandered randomly around with the soundtrack sounding like something from Look De Ibiza. All in all, well recommended.


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