Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Clothes

Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:45 pm

The end of World War II and the Allied Occupation saw the influx of American troops, culture and clothing into Japan. Western films, magazines and photographs permeated Western fashion throughout the country making American and European ('international style') clothing extremely popular. Even as the demand for western ready-made fashion grew, clothing also remained traditional in some ways, in the 60's many women still made their own clothes or patronised a local tailor. The best-known Japanese couturier of the time, Hanae Mori, worked in a decorous Parisian mode.

The postwar period of poverty, humiliation, and, until 1952, Allied occupation was finally over, and the boom years of the economic miracle had begun. - Ian Buruma, Inventing Japan.


The avant-garde Japanese designers of the 1970’s and 1980’s, including Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo, all belong to the generation of these boom years.

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We are the generation who lived in limbo, and the first really raised with Western culture, the first who must look in another direction to search for a new identity. - Issey Miyake

Similarly, Yamamoto describes himself as part of a ‘lost’ postwar generation, educated to look to America or Europe and ignore Japanese tradition. So when his experiments in pushing the boundaries of shape and proportion were hailed as ‘Japanese style’, he was confused. Acknowledging their defeat after the Second World War, the Japanese in that particular generation had become introverted and insular. Yamamoto explains his frustration with working only in Japan.

Japanese are not concerned about what the rest of the world thinks about them. They are concerned about how other Japanese think about them . . . I thought it was just stupid so I decided to go overseas.


Other Japanese designers had already had similar motivations. In 1970, Kenzo was the first Japanese designer to open a boutique in Paris and to be accepted into the European prêt-a-porter world. But the first Japanese designer to establish an avant-garde, Japanese/ Western hybrid fashion on an international level was Issey Miyake. After spending five years in Paris and New York working for Givenchy and Geoffrey Beene, Miyake returned to Japan and founded the Miyake Design Studio in 1971. During the same year he showed the first “Issey Miyake” brand collection in New York and showed his first collection in Paris in the 1975 Autumn—Winter season.

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Smiling Issey Miyake


Issey Miyake's first New York show, 1975.



Yohji Yamamoto established his women’s ready to wear (prêt à porter) label ‘Y’s’ in 1972 and in 1977 he presented his first collection in Tokyo. Following his success in Japan, Yamamoto presented his women’s ready to wear collection in Paris and launched his ‘Yohji Yamamoto’ label in 1981. His first menswear collection was shown in Paris in 1984.

just hangin' out!
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Yohji Yamamoto show at Den-En Colosseum, Tokyo, Japan 1981.
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Yohji Yamamoto S/S 1983

In 1981, Kawakubo also brought her first collection to Paris. Both Kawakubo's and Yamamoto's first Paris collections (A/W 1981-82 and S/S 1982) were quiet affairs and only seen by a handful of people. It was not until their A/W 1982-83 collections, where they presented in catwalk shows, that Kawakubo and Yamamoto caused the media sensation referred to as 'Japan shock'. The reporter for Le Figaro wrote that their collections sent a chill up her sine. She said of Kawakubo: "her apocalyptic clothing is pierced with holes, tattered and torn, almost like clothing worn by nuclear holocaust survivors."

sknss wrote:Smiling Rei
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She was nearly forty and preëminent in Japan but largely unknown in the West. Mugler and Versace were the harbingers of a new moment: of a giddy, truculent materialism embodied, in different guises, by Margaret Thatcher, Madonna, Princess Di, Alexis Carrington, and Jane Fonda, and by legions of newly minted executives who wore block-and-tackle power suits to the office and spandex stirrup pants to the gym. These women were tough and glitzy and on the make without apologies, and so was fashion. Then, the following year, a collection that Kawakubo called “Destroy” hit the runway. It was modelled by a cadre of dishevelled vestals in livid war paint who stomped down the catwalk to the beating of a drum, wearing the bleak and ragged uniforms of a new order. Few if any spectators were left blasé, and some went home dumbstruck with rapture, while others lobbed back at the invader what they perceived as a blast of barbarity, tagging the look “Hiroshima’s revenge.” Kawakubo has never quite lived down (she has at times played up) that show of audacity, whose fallout is still being absorbed by fashion’s young, yet which was much more Parisian than it seemed—a piece of shock theatre in the venerable tradition of “Ubu Roi” and “The Rite of Spring.” - Judith Thruman, The Misfit


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Comme des Garcons items from 1983-84

Comme des Garcons S/S 1984 video


The successes of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo together came to be know as ‘Japanese fashion’, characterized by off-black garments, the use of holes in the material as a form of decoration, asymmetrical cuts and crumpled textiles which were treated to look as if their colours had run. This “Japanese” label has been rejected by Yamamoto and others, as the post-war Japanese generation were, he says, “rootless grass” without a clear culture or perception of themselves as distinctly Japanese. “I’m not very happy to be classified as another Japanese designer,” Kawakubo told Women’s Wear Daily in 1983. “There is no one characteristic that all Japanese designers have.” And Miyake has stated that “I have been trying to create a new fashion genre that is neither Japanese nor Western.”

What the Japanese designers of the 1970s had presented was not the 'east' as once expressed through the eyes of such Western designers as Paul Poiret, but clothing that blended Eastern and Western cultures. Although they were throughly aware of European culture, Kawakubo and Yamamoto presented clothing that dared to impress on audiences an aesthetic that was far removed from this context. Robbed of a scale or point of reference by which to evaluate the results, audiences seemed disoriented. This was the genesis of what would become Japan's shake-up of the fashion world. - Akiko Fukai, Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion


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Two outfits from the 1982 Comme des Garcons collection that Western critics labeled the "bag lady/post-hiroshima look".

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Yohji Yamamoto 1984 1986

As news came of these bold new ventures in a Tokyo then dominated by imported European Brand names (fake and genuine), fashion was forced to rethink its position. One after another its conventions were challenged, not only by rational ethnographical arguments (what we regard as desirable, practical and sensible is based on no more than a set of cultural assumptions) but also by the ruthless irreverence of a younger generation. Shock value alone, rarely the chief goal in the fashion world, could not explain success on this scale and its continued influence both in the industry and on the street. - France Grand, Comme Des Garcons
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Rosenrot » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:20 am

Thank you for starting this much needed thread.

For a little more insight there's a lovely book to start with: http://www.amazon.com/Future-Beauty-Yea ... 1858945461
The book paid a homage to 'In Praise of Shadows', a short story that touches on the concept of wabi-sabi which can be found here: http://dcrit.sva.edu/wp-content/uploads ... nizaki.pdf

The exhibit that goes by the same name and theme is currently making its round worldwide, hopefully some of you guys will be able to catch it.
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:50 pm

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Published in the 1984, and close to the rise of avant-garde Japanese fashion in the West, New Fashion Japan has some great photos of the early avant-garde designers. Let's explore! (Full album for big pictures here)

The book starts with some general musing on clothes and fashion in general and details the 'Japanese' approach to clothing. It includes some photos from around Tokyo.

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Top Right: A woman at a wholesale buyers' exhibition of Comme des Garcons clothes. Rest: Women at a wholesale buyer's exhibition of Yohji Yamamoto clothes.

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Pre-street-style street style photos of Japanese youths. Bottom left looks very cool/ soundclip-ish

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Various Tokyo hair and non-hair styles.


New Fashion Japan goes on to profile each of the big Japanese designers working at the time of its publication.

Issey Miyake

Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Miyake received a design education in Tokyo before spending five years in Paris and New York working with and learning from a number of established fashion designers. In New York Miyake was inspired by the mass popularity of plain, cotton, worker clothes-- jeans and t-shirts. Subsequently he looked back into his own cultural heritage and adapted ideas from worker clothes and textiles, the kimono, and historical costumes to create a repertoire of modern forms. Oversized, little-cut, rectilinear pieces of material that loosely wrap and hang on the body leaving the wearer considerable choice in tying and adjusting are the traditional elements of form that Miyake most frequently uses in his clothes. Miyake's original, sensual talent for texture and volume is legendary.


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Yohji Yamamoto

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Yohji Yamamoto, the most eloquent and philosophical of the contemporary Japanese fashion designers, tries to incorporate the "quiet" Japanese aesthetic ideals and a deep, human feeling into the clothes he designs. Yamamoto is ambivalent about his own role as "fashion maker". He sees fashion more as part of a powerful, generative force in nature, a point he emphasized in his Spring/Summer 1984 show by a display of the moods of Japanese summer--a rainstorm, cicadas, silence, and then a burst of green fabrics. Formally his clothes are over-sized, original shapes based on 20th twentieth-century European clothes archetypes. But like most designers, he picks and chooses flintstone for supplementary motifs from the varied fashion traditions of the world.



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French painter Jean Degottex photographed in his Paris studio for a Yohji Yamamoto men's clothes catalog.

"People talk about the Japanese as if they're all together in some kind of designer's mafia. In Japan, maybe they're popular somewhere at the far edge of things, but it's got nothing to do with ordinary people" - Yohji Yamomoto


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Yohji's (old?) design studio in a concerted house in a quiet residential area in the middle of Tokyo... The upstairs pattern-making area has the earthy, natural feeling Yamamoto likes to surround himself and imbue his clothes with.


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Rei Kawakubo

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Of all the Japanese designers to come to prominence in the 1970s, Rei Kawakubo has the purest, most uncompromising, and strongest avant-garde vision. Kawakubo's sophisticated sense of irony, image juxtaposition, and whimsy springs from a point of view determined to remain free of conventional fashion mentality... Kawakubo sees her clothes as being worn by men and women who are mature, self-aware, and earning their own way in the world.


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In Kawakubo's at-home boutique in Roppongi, the usual hierarchy of merchandising good sense is stood on its head. As you enter the shop you see neither merchandise nor the one salesperson. Only after walking behind the frosted glass of the far wall is the sparse, neatly folded selection of clothes visible. The clothes, he environment, and the salesperson all express exactly the same sensibility. If self-enlightenment were possible in the context of a clothes boutique, surely it would happen in this one.


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One of a series of black promotional postcards drawn by G. K. Kamitaki for Kawakubo's men's line, Comme des Garcons, Homme.


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Spoiler:
Lots of the photos in this section were from a promotional booklet photographed by Peter Lindergh. They're all over the web but here are some anyway.

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Last two photographs are by Hans Feurer, who photographed two Kawakubo outfits on the streets of Paris for a 1983 CdG promotional booklet.


Some other Japanese designers if you're interested.

Spoiler:
Takeoi Kikuchi
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Kikuchi was born in 1939 and started his company called Bigi in 1970. Bigi became one of the leaders in the Harajuku-centred movement to make Japanese young people more fashion conscious. The name "bigi", though amusing to Western ears, is just a sound that Kikuchi liked--it has no real meaning... Because Japan has not had a tradition of selling used Western-style clothes (until very recently [in 1984]) Kikuchi's nostalgic reworkings seem unique and wonderful in the Japanese context.


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In 1984 Kikuchi commissioned the 70 year old fine arts photographer Shoji Ueda to document his Men's Bigi collection.

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Shin Hosokawa

Born in 1949, Hosokawa worked for many years as Takeo Kikuchi's assistant at Men's Bigi before starting his own company, named Pashu, in 1979. Responsible for running the business and all the design, Hosokawa manages to to maintain a totally integrated operation from fabric to final ad image. There is a consistent warmth and humor to his work.... In particular, his unique cutting and jigsaw-assemblage techniques for constructing basic men's clothing shapes turn some of his designs into an extremely wearable kind of clothes sculpture.


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From an ad series in Ryuko Tsushin magazine


A Few Tokyo People And Their Clothes

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Naoko Sue, a 19 year old student at University of Tokyo, on a side street in Harajuku is wearing a combination of clothes from Y's and Comme des Garcons.

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Michiko Kitamura, a 35 year old clothes stylist, wearing all Comme des Garcons clothes, except for antique men's shoes and black sunflower.


New Fashion Japan was written and edited by Leonard Koren.
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby blanket » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:49 am

Fashion; Loose Translator, Bernadine Morris, 1983
We must break away from conventional forms of dress for the new woman of today. We need a new strong image, not a revisit to the past. I have been trying for three years. This time, I think I have been most successful.''

Rei Kawakubo, a small woman wrapped in black, is sitting in her new, as yet unfurnished, workroom in Tokyo. She speaks through an interpreter, her associate Stella Ishii, but her words seem as powerful as her designs. She is the most articulate of the new breed of Japanese designers.


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lol at this paragraph
The long-range possibilities are staggering. Since most of the Japanese styles can be packed flatly, elaborate closet facilities could become unnecessary. And perhaps some day, a person will have to carry only a toothbrush and some books when visiting a friend for the weekend; the friend will have a supply of easily stored clothes for borrowing.


article posted by Faust, copy/pasted from the SZ CdG thread
Fight Club, Sarah Mower, Sept 2006 Vogue

We are the Comme des Garcons army," says designer Rei Kawakubo fiercely. "Staff is too boring a word. We are co-combatants."

and
When Junya Watanabe joined as a pattern-cutter in 1984, Kawakubo remembers, she was impressed by his decisiveness: "He could have an idea and act on it." Watanabe, a good-humored character, reacted with astonishment to that information, since, perhaps apart from the moment she told him he could do his own collection in 1992, praise from the boss has never come his way in more than 20 years. "Sometimes," he grumbles good-naturedly, "I would like a little more feedback. Criticism would be better than silence."


Spoiler:
We are the Comme des Garcons army," says designer Rei Kawakubo fiercely. "Staff is too boring a word. We are co-combatants." This is how she describes Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara, the two designers she trained in Tokyo and brought to the Paris front to show their poetic, destabilizing, often incendiary clothes alongside hers. Kawakubo, the most revered, notoriously impenetrable mind in avant-garde fashion, sees herself as a symbolic leader of allied forces-the people who work for her, like-minded _creative friends, and the freethinkers who buy her clothes-engaged in a perpetual war of independence. "When I began, I was fighting the resistance to change and fear of new things. It was more about a personal struggle. But through the years it's become more, bigger, wider," she declares. "Now the fight is against the outside system."

Kawakubo's lifelong hatred of conservatism in all areas is being provoked by what she sees as the evils of "the multinational corporations, and the way that society moves and is motivated solely by money." The clothes and ideas marshaled under her taciturn leadership this fall can be read as an attack on complacency and conformism, seething with sociopolitical crosscurrents and vivid individuality. For her own collection, she took her audience to a room in the Sorbonne, where she bent their minds around a masked treatise on "the persona: what we choose to show the world about ourselves, and what lies within." Each outfit involved a splicing of traditional formal gentleman's clothing and romantic feminine puffs, ruffles, and corsetry. The show struck an unforgettable note of complexity and psychological wholeness while also dealing out many clothes that, off runway, are possessed with a chic wearability.

Junya Watanabe, meanwhile, mobilized a head-on attack on political numbness, interpreting the militarism of our war-torn times in a collection of cropped camouflage parkas and bondage pants, each disturbingly topped with duct-tape balaclavas studded with steel spikes. Afterward he uttered three words, "Anti. Anarchy. Army," before disappearing backstage.
For her part, Tao Kurihara-who at 33 is the latest recruit to rise through the Comme ranks-quietly rolled out a carpet at Comme's Place Vendome showroom and held her third micro-show, this time based upon a single conceptual hybrid that she describes as "stoles and flowers. My idea was not to make a garment. I wanted to do something shapeless-and a stole is just a piece of cloth." Kurihara's vision combines tender femininity with intellectual rigor. But although Tao clothes appear nonaggressive, they have powerful implications; says the designer of her intensely focused offerings, "When things get very concentrated, they get stronger."

In the meantime, Jun Takahashi's Undercover label made its own waves across town. Not part of the Comme household but one of its closest independent allies, Takahashi staged a disconcerting performance in which models dressed in coolly edgy translations of parkas, tuxedos, and bombers walked haltingly around a small space, their faces covered by cloth hoods. "The idea came from covering the body from top to toe. It looked very scary but beautiful at the same time. That is the Undercover kind of beauty," he says. "There are two ways of eroticism: to cover up or to show. Undercover is anti-showing off." It was thanks to Kawakubo's encouragement that Takahashi first showed his collection in Paris, in October 2002. The evening before that show is branded forever in his memory. "She invited us to dinner at Dave. It was Undercover on one side of the table, Comme des Garcons on the other. Then she raised a glass, saying, 'This is for the beginning of Jun's fight in Paris!' " He laughs. "It was very heavy."

Among all these images of armies and collaborators, the weirdest thing of all is that the obvious common denominator among three of these collections-the masks-came as a complete shock to the designers themselves. Kawakubo, Watanabe, and Takahashi never share their design thoughts. Nor is it possible that flintstone could have somehow welled up from the streets they walk daily. Hang out anywhere in Tokyo now, and it's obvious that young Japan is in the grip of a major big-hair wave. Girls trip about in high-heeled mules, shorts, and plunging T-shirts, topped with bird's-nest bouffes trailing waist-length extensions. Boys push it even further, strutting like a horde of rock stars, their locks colored, chopped, processed, and spiked to fabulous extremes. No living person from Ometesando to Harajuku would possibly consider wearing a hood. The gulf between their pop-trash look and the edgy Comme aesthetic is so vast as to be unbridgeable.

Of course, these disconnects only serve to make the creative processes of Comme des Garcons all the more exceptional and mysterious. On a hot Tokyo morning, Kawakubo agrees to talk about the way she works, although providing explanations-even to her colleagues-is one of the things she dislikes most. Sitting at a stark meeting table at the headquarters of Comme des Garcons' utilitarian offices in Aoyama, she wears a deliberately rumpled navy polyester jacket, a white T-shirt, and a wary expression. "From the beginning it was not just about making clothes," she says after a long pause. "I wanted to design a company that expressed my inner values because I wanted to be independent and free of any moneymen."

That was in 1969. Now Kawakubo owns a unique company with twelve lines while also presiding over a string of creative collaborations with similarly minded designers and retailers around the world. However, never has a command or design directive passed from her to Watanabe or Kurihara, or to the constellation of artists and architects who help make her stores. That would violate her first principle: "I know how demotivating it is to have anyone intervening in the details," she says, shuddering.

Until she watches their show rehearsals, this unique proprietor sees nothing of her proteges' collections; afterward, she utters not a word of what she thinks. But what would happen, say, if Watanabe's sales figures plummeted? She looks taken aback. "Well," she comments tersely, "he'll think about it himself, won't he?" Far from being lax and laissez-faire, Kawakubo's hands-off attitude reflects a culture of strictly internalized ethics and rigorous devolution of responsibility instilled by wordless example. Before anyone can join her design team, he or she must pass a one-on-one interview with her, and then sit in the office and make a white shirt, unaided, between the hours of 10:00 and 6:00. Personality counts more than talk about fashion, though, as Kurihara recalls: "I had a portfolio, but she never looked at it. And," she giggles, "I never finished the shirt."

When Junya Watanabe joined as a pattern-cutter in 1984, Kawakubo remembers, she was impressed by his decisiveness: "He could have an idea and act on it." Watanabe, a good-humored character, reacted with astonishment to that information, since, perhaps apart from the moment she told him he could do his own collection in 1992, praise from the boss has never come his way in more than 20 years. "Sometimes," he grumbles good-naturedly, "I would like a little more feedback. Criticism would be better than silence." By now, though, he knows what's expected. "Fundamentally, the idea is that we should make good things here. Because of what she's done, standards are high. So every season, doing a show is a totally horrible experience. It's like rock climbing," he says. "I've spoken to rock climbers. They say every time they climb the same peak, there's always a different way up. It's like that for me."

Tao Kurihara graduated from Central Saint Martins in London in 1997. According to her boss, she passed muster because "her sense of values is similar to my own." But how could Kawakubo tell, since according to Kurihara, she never asked a personal question? For the first time, a flash of amusement crosses Kawakubo's face. "It could simply be that she likes pleated skirts and white shirts," she says with a shrug. "I don't know." She put Kurihara on Watanabe's team

in 1998. "It's hard to guess what's in his mind," says Kurihara. "He doesn't talk much. All he'd say to me was 'Use your imagination.' " Then, three years later, Kawakubo entrusted her with designing Tricot, the company's biggest-selling brand, without, of course, ever giving her a brief. "I sort of sense how I should work it out," whispers the bespectacled young woman, who analyzes the sales figures for herself. In 2004, Kawakubo called her in. "She said, 'Why don't you think of doing a collection in Paris?' I still can't believe I'm doing my own collection!
I feel I'm a little egg here, protected by the company."

Kawakubo's eye for talent has so far been unerring, and so has her choice of designers whose work she bought for her multibrand store, Dover Street Market in London, and the joint collaboration with Corso Como in Tokyo. Still, for all her seniority, and despite the awe she inspires inside her company and in the wider world of fashion, she is a restless woman, contemptuous of resting on laurels and constantly urging her troops on. "I am always telling them: Things change, things change." Asking whether that gives her time to exit the battlefield for the pleasures of leave proves to be the question that finally brings down the shutters on communication. "I don't do that kind of talking," she announces dismissively. "Now I have given you enough."
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby qalandar » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:25 pm

Spoiler:
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Yohji Yamamoto Coat 1980s.

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Yohji Yamamoto Coat 1982.

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Yohji Yamamoto Ensemble 1983

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Yohji Yamamoto Tunic 1980s

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Yohji Yamamoto Shirt 1980s

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Yohji Yamamoto Trousers A/W 1983/84

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Yohji Yamamoto S/S 1984

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Yohji Yamamoto Jacket S/S 1984

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Yohji Yamamto Coat 1984/85

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Yohji Yamamoto Hat A/W 1986/87

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Yohji Yamamoto Trousers 1988/89

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Yohji Yamamoto Coat ca1989

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Yohji Yamamoto Dress S/S 1989

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Yohji Yamamoto Ensemble S/S 1990

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Yohji Yamamoto Felted Wool Coat W/ Gold Metal 1990s

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Yohji Yamamoto Dress 1991

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Yohji Yamamoto Dress S/S 1993

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Yohji Yamamoto Suit 1993

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Yohji Yamamoto Hats S/S 1997

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Yohji Yamamoto Hat ca1998

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Yohji Yamamoto Secret Silk Dress S/S 1999

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Yohji Yamamoto Cotton Muslin Wedding Dress 2000

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Yohji Yamamoto Dress S/S 2005

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from AW98

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YYPH AW 2001-2002 -- "Gangsters at a Heart"

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photographs: David Burton

Autumn/Winter 1988, Ad Campaign.

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Works of illustrator Mats Gustafson, Yohji Yamamoto, Vogue Nippon.

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Photography by Richard Avedon.

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Milla Jovovich, Hat and Shirt by Yohji Yamamoto, New York, March 1998

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Malgosia Bela, Coat by Yohji Yamamoto, New York, March 2000

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Malgosia Bela, Dress by Yohji Yamamoto, New York, March 2000


Autumn/Winter 1998 AD by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh MatadinImage

Spring/Summer 1998 AD by ?
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Spring/Summer 1990 AD by Nick Knight
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Yohji Yamamoto Dress 1988-89
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AW 91-92
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SS 93
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SS 98
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AW 98-99
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AW 99-00
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Photography by Max Vadukul ...

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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1984/85.

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Yohji Yamamoto Spring/Summer 1985.

Photography by Paolo Roversi ...

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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1996/97.


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Yohji Yamamoto Spring/Summer 1997.

Photography by Alfredo Albertone ...

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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1993/94.


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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1995/96.


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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1997/98.

Photography by Jean-François Deroubaix ...

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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1985/86.

Photography by Eddy Kohil ...

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Yohji Yamamoto Spring/Summer 1985.


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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1985/86.

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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1986/87.
Photography by Nick Knight.

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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1995/96.
Photography by David Sims.

Photography by Yukata Yamamoto ...

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Yohji Yamamoto Spring/Summer 1993.

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Yohji Yamamoto.


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Yohji Yamamoto.
Photography by Jeremy Stigler.

more scans

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Spring/Summer 2005, backstage, by Donata Wenders

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Spring/Summer 2005, Pleated red silk dress, in honour of Madame Grès

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Spring/Summer 2005, Black pleated silk dress, and Fall/Winter 1997, Harlequin coat

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Spring/Summer 1998, Tuxedo-dress in black silk with train

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Spring/Summer 1999, Wedding dress in mother of pearl coloured silk and hoop skirt

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Fall/Winter 1999 and Spring/Summer 2005, shirts in white poplin

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Fall/Winter 1995, Long evening dress in black silk

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Fall/Winter 1998, Wedding dress with crinoline in bamboo and petticoats in wool jersey

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Guinevere Van Seenus by Paolo Roversi

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(Spring) 1982

from tumblr[/quote]

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* * *

AUTUMN-WINTER 1995
The theme was 鹿鳴館 (Rokumeikan; Meiji-era Western-style building in downtown Tokyo, constructed in 1883 for entertaining foreign diplomats and dignitaries). From wiki: "In the ballroom, Japanese gentlemen in evening dress imported from tailors in London danced the waltz, polka, quadrille, and mazurka with Japanese ladies dressed in the latest Parisian fashions". At the same time, Yohji also seemed to contrast this cultural blend against an american backdrop from the same time, ended up with some urban cowbow amalgamation where cowboy hats were juxtaposed with japanese prints from this era while at the same time doing his take on european formal wear I guess. Basically a suits collection, many takes on informal and formal suits. From what I've seen, a fucking great collection.
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SPRING-SUMMER 1996

"Flowers and boys". He used several 12, 13 year old models for this show. The cuts were very wide, looking at the pics it almost feels like a teenage boy wearing his father's clothes and making them his own in a way. Didn't he have a section in "My dear bomb" alluding to his? The concept I mean, not this particular collection. He did a lot of clever cutout patterns on jackets, coats, Aberdeen shirts as well as shoes. The other big theme was flowers, lots of flower prints on shirts, shoes and jackets. The stage was lined with flowers like sunflowers and tulips

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AUTUMN-WINTER 1996


For this collection he did a lot of layering with bulky knits, complicated inserts, object dyed suits (similar to y's for men aw03), huge velvet coats, corduroy suits, etc. A lot of good stuff in here, imo.

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Old Yohji French ads from the 1990's

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credit goes to eBay user paris-le-chat
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:32 pm

Yohji Yamamoto at the Victoria & Albert Museum (2011)

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(Photography Nick Knight, Art direction Peter Saville)

Yohji Yamamoto became internationally renowned as a fashion designer in the early eighties for challenging traditional notions of fashion by designing garments that seemed oversized, unfinished, played with ideas of gender or fabrics not normally used in fashionable attire such as felt or neoprene. Other works revealed Yamamoto's unusual pattern cutting, knowledge of fashion history and sense of humour. His work is characterised by a frequent and skilful use of black, a colour which he describes as 'modest and arrogant at the same time'.

Central to Yohji Yamamoto’s work are the textiles. ‘Fabric’ he said once ‘is everything’. Each one of the fabrics used in his collections are made to his specifications by different craftspeople in and around Kyoto in Japan.

Over the years Yamamoto has also worked with a number of collaborators in different fields. In particular his work with now famous fashion photographers such as Nick Knight, Paolo Roversi and Craig McDean has resulted in now often iconic fashion imagery.

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Sleeveless white felt dress with large collar, Yohji Yamamoto, Autumn/Winter 1996-7.

Yohji Yamamoto installation in Gallery 38

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Yellow strapless silk dress and oversized coolie hat covered with draped silk, Yohji Yamamoto, Spring/Summer 1997
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"Painting is my passion. Thanks to the V&A they let me put my dreams on their walls!" - Yohji


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(Right) Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter (2007)

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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter (2008)

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Hintze Sculpture Gallery, Room 24

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Black suit jacket with back made from lace, white shirt and black trousers; Black suit with white embroidery, Yohji Yamamoto, Spring/Summer 2009

'When I started a men's line in Paris, my message was very simple: let's be outside of this. Let's be far from our suits and ties. Let's be far from businessmen. Let's be vagabonds'.

The menswear silhouette Yohji Yamamoto introduced from the mid 1980s onwards - loose black suit jacket, wide trousers and white T-shirt - became almost a uniform for the well-dressed man in the creative industries.


Paintings Gallery, Room 81

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Long off-white sleeveless dress in homage to Pina Bausch, Yohji Yamamoto, Spring/Summer 1992

This is my idea for a woman's body. I like the curve of a woman's back. I always watch her silhouette in the streets'.

One of Yamamoto's most inspiring encounters was with German choreographer Pina Bausch. To Yamamoto, Bausch represented the perfect silhouette. Also, both their work allowed space for the viewer and wearer's interpretation. Yamamoto designed a number of collections in homage to Bausch, including this silhouette.



Tapestry Gallery, Room 94

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Long red coat with netting, long black gathered dress with front pockets and black mesh top, Yohji Yamamoto, Autumn/Winter 1995-96

'Fabric is everything. Often I tell my pattern makers, "Just listen to the material. What is it going to say? Just wait. The material will probably teach you something"'.

These three silhouettes, with coats in red carded wool and structured dresses reminiscent of late 19th-century fashions, mirror the frequent appearance of red in the 15th-century Devonshire Hunting Tapestries.


Norfolk House Music, Room 54b

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Long white dress with open back and black skirt; Long white dress with high collar, Yohji Yamamoto, Autumn/Winter 1996-97

'I'm searching for a new proportion. What interests me is the 'space' between the person wearing the clothes and the clothes themselves - the airiness, the movement, the silhouette'.

The space between the garment and the body is of great importance to Yamamoto. It allows the wearer to inhabit the garment naturally, without being constricted by its shape. The structure of these two sculptural white felt pieces, determined partly by the material itself, offers such a space.


British Gallery landing, adjacent Room 125

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Black jacket with over sized pockets, white shirt and black cropped trousers, Yohji Yamamoto, Autumn/Winter 2004-05

'For me, a woman who is absorbed in her work, who does not care about gaining one's favour, strong yet subtle at the same time, is essentially more seductive. The more she hides and abandons her femininity, the more it emerges from the very heart of her existence'.

Yamamoto designs outside gender stereotypes, at times in direct opposition to them. He is particularly known for his white shirts and dark suits, all carefully tailored yet androgynous in shape.


Contemporary Ceramics gallery, Room 141

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Purple screen-printed shirt and blue denim with white painted stripe, Yohji Yamamoto, Spring/Summer 2002

'I wanted people to wear my clothes for at least ten years, so I asked the fabric maker to make a very strong, tough finish. It's very close to designing army clothing'.

A key flintstone for Yohji Yamamoto is military and utility wear because it is designed for a very distinct function and made to last. These three menswear silhouettes also reveal the humour in his menswear creations through the placement of prints and words.


The Wapping Project

As part of this exhibition, two further satellite installations are on display across London.

Yohji Making Waves

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Oversized white silk wedding dress with bamboo crinoline (A/W 1998)

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Yohji's Women

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And some videos from exhibition (including an interview with Yohji)
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby rjbman » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:03 am

Let's be vagabonds

Found a new signature!
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"Let's be vagabonds." - Yohji Yamamoto
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby qalandar » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:48 am

syed from sf was kind enough to post some snaps of a new book, Yamamoto & Yohji. There's also a blurb on SZ Mag.

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Spoiler:
A few photographs from Yamamoto & Yohji for people who have yet to be able to flick through a copy. Definitely recommend buying it - remarkably comprehensive, covering everything from licensing projects, to hair and make up.

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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby qalandar » Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:39 am

yohji yamamoto women's fall/winter 2014-15 backstage by elise toide

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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:23 pm

Yohji at a widely acknowledged peak.


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The collection is quite beautiful, serene and playful. Instead walking quickly, each model comes on unhurriedly, mostly one at a time, and remains on the 'runway' for about a minute. I like that Yohji was unafraid to go slowly and ask the audience to focus on one thing at a time.

Things seem a bit cloud-like. The models are calm but not sneery or aloof. Trails of gossamer and fabric billow behind them. They toss off their gloves and throw away their beautiful hats. It's sort of the opposite of the 'standard' fashion show. Someone in the front row is wearing a jumper with the five pointed red communist star. She claps a lot, justifiably I think.
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby blanket » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:34 am

sorry, saved this as a draft ages ago and completely forgot about it but this recent retrospective in the NYT reminded me

Issey Miyake's 50 Years of Making Connections by Liza Foreman
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Issey Miyake, now 76, has been exploring the connections among fashion, art and technology for close to half a century. Credit Brigitte Lacombe

TOKYO — In one of the six Issey Miyake boutiques that line a small, unnamed street in the Aoyama district, a sales assistant got ready to work some magic. She pulled a loop attached to a piece of silvery material that had been carefully folded flat and suddenly, like a puppet in an experimental theater for cloth, an angular dresssprang to life, one of the latest styles for the Miyake 132.5 brand.

Clothing, the word that the designer prefers to “fashion,” has been at the heart of Issey Miyake’s work since he established the Miyake Design Studio in 1970. “I am most interested in people and the human form,” Mr. Miyake said in an email interview. “Clothing is the closest thing to all humans.”

But in an increasingly interconnected fashion world, Mr. Miyake understood far earlier than most the value of incorporating the disciplines of technology and art in his work. Indeed, he has been exploring the connections among the sectors for close to half a century.

Posters on display in the Miyake boutiques actually told some of the story. One highlighted the designer’s collaboration with the Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, the Paris institution where he has shown his own work and that of others several times. Its website, which introduced the Hiroshima native as “the most fascinating fashion designer of our time,” included a photograph of the designer’s “Vivid Memories” show earlier this year, a display of his artful IN-EI shadow-sculpture lamps made from recycled materials and based on research by Jun Mitani, a computer scientist and associate professor at the University of Tsukuba.

The second poster advertised 21_21 Design Sight, Mr. Miyake’s own seven-year-old museum in Tokyo, and its current exhibition “The Fab Mind: Hints of the Future in a Shifting World,” the work of 24 groups of artists and designers trying to resolve social issues through design.

“Today, it is accepted that all design intersects, there are no boundaries between art, design and other creative activities and they all intersect,” Mr. Miyake wrote. “All of my work stems from the simplest of ideas that go back to the earliest civilizations: making clothing from one piece of cloth. It is my touchstone. I believe that all forms of creativity are related.” (The designer wanted an email interview because, his secretary said, he prefers making things to talking.)

Noriko Kawakami, a design journalist and associate director of 21_21 Design Sight, is just one of the many people who see Mr. Miyake as much more than a fashion designer: “He is a true artist who teaches us what really is important for society, by constantly questioning, and also being socially active.”

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Mr. Miyake's IN-EI shadow-sculpture lamps, based on research by Jun Mitani of the University of Tsukuba in Japan, displayed at the "Vivid Memories" exhibition earlier this year at the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain in Paris. Credit Luc Boegly

Mr. Miyake spent most of the 1960s studying and working in Paris and New York, returning to Japan to open his design studio in 1970. Art played an important role from the beginning: His first Issey Miyake collection, for fall 1971, featured a dress with a Japanese-style tattoo print of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix created by Makiko Minagawa, an artist who joined the studio staff. It is now in the collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute, Japan’s foremost fashion institution.

Mr. Miyake actually played a role in founding the costume institute. In 1975, he was instrumental in bringing Diana Vreeland’s “Inventive Clothes: 1909- 1939” from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, an exhibition that set off the institute’s creation. (As co-founder in 2012 of the Society for a Design Museum in Japan, Mr. Miyake now is working toward yet another museum.)

Throughout the ’80s, as Mr. Miyake added labels and the roster of store sites grew, he worked beyond cloth to create garments from plastic, paper and wire. In 1982, a gown made of rattan vines from his Body Works collection was shown on the cover of Artforum magazine: “It was unheard of for a piece of clothing to be featured in an art magazine,” Mr. Miyake said.

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From the 1998 exhibition "Issey Miyake Making Things," at the Fondation Cartier in Paris: "Morimura's Doll," by Yasumasa Morimura. Credit Raymond Meier

His work has been featured in a long list of exhibitions, too, with his first show at the Fondation Cartier — “Issey Miyake Making Things,” in 1998 — also breaking new ground. “Showing the process of making things and even the title was avant-garde,” said Hervé Chandès, the Fondation’s general director, who has gotten to know the designer over the years.

Mr. Chandès recalled being fascinated that the exhibition involved not just Mr. Miyake but the entire studio staff. “It is a whole community of people,” he said.

The designer said group enterprise is a key element of his creativity. “My work has always been a team process: made up of collaborations with the staff within the studio,” Mr. Miyake wrote. “I feel that you always see things in a different way when you allow others to become part of a creative process.”

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The 21_21 Design Sight museum in Tokyo, designed by Tadao Ando for Issey Miyake. Credit 21_21 Design Sight

The “Making Things” exhibition, he continued, “provided an opportunity to showcase my collaborations on Pleats Please with artists such as Yasumasa Morimura, Tim Hawkinson, Nobuyoshi Araki and Cai Guo-Qiang, who staged an actual explosion at the Fondation Cartier’s glass building.”

(Pleats Please, introduced in 1993, is a collection of polyester garments heat-treated to create permanent pleats. And, Mr. Cai explained, the blast was an experiment to see how gunpowder would affect it.)

Mr. Miyake’s “one piece of cloth” premise grew into A-POC, a special collection first shown for spring 1999 and added to the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in 2006. It involved clothing cut from a single tube of fabric, an idea the designer developed with Dai Fujiwara, a textile engineer and designer in the Miyake studio, and played with in 2000 when the renowned artist Yayoi Kusama embellished it with her trademark polka dots.

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The artist Yayoi Kusama added her trademark polka dots to Mr. Miyake’s A-POC collection for this 2000 event at the Fondation Cartier in Paris. Credit Sylvain Bélan

Mr. Miyake also has worked with dancers, architects and photographers. “My ultimate collaboration was with Mr. Irving Penn,” the designer wrote, referring to the more than 10 year exchange that began in the late 1980s. “I would send him my clothing in New York and he would photograph them as he saw them. Seeing my clothing through Penn-san’s eyes always inspired me beyond my wildest dreams and gave me courage to go further forward.”

The designer certainly has been a pioneer in matching fashion with art, said Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “Long before Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton began doing this, Issey Miyake was collaborating with artists,” she said.

And he has been part of the broader discourse. “At least since Warhol, there has been no clear consensus as to what constitutes art,” she continued. “There is nothing physical that says this is or isn’t art. What has evolved is the idea that anything can be art if there is a consensus by the art community. That is where fashion has not yet received parity and is where, say, jazz was 30 years ago.”

Akiko Fukai, director and chief curator of the Kyoto Costume Institute, sees it a bit differently: “His work is art. It gives us pleasure and surprise visually, as well as convenience physically.”

Since Mr. Miyake stepped back from designing the main Issey Miyake line in 1999, younger designers now are in charge, with Yoshiyuki Miyamae doing the women’s collections and Yusuke Takahashi, the men’s. But Mr. Miyake still oversees the creative output of all 11 design studio brands, is director of his museum and has a direct hand in the Reality Lab, a group he created in 2007 to develop, according to the company website, “environmentally friendly and resource-conscious materials to remake and recreate even better things.”

Its results have included the 132.5 line, folded and creased clothing of recycled polyester created with computer graphics applications developed by Mr. Mitani, and the IN-EI lighting collection, made in collaboration with the Italian company Artemide.

At 76, Mr. Miyake takes a broad view of the future. “I never really analyze what I am doing or how it fits in,” he said. “However, I do always try to go forward and for that end I train my mind and constantly work on research and development.”


Spring/Summer 1993 (the year the pleats please line was introduced)

Spoiler:
really like the last part






But Is It Art? by Holly Brubach for NYT
November 17, 1996
Spoiler:
''I am not really interested in clothing as a conceptual art form,'' says Issey Miyake. So much for the vast majority of recent collaborations between artists and designers. At a moment when fashion seems eager to ingratiate itself to galleries and museums, Miyake's decision to inaugurate a ''guest artist series'' for his Pleats Please collection might at first glance be mistaken for just another high-flown attempt to immortalize the ephemeral. Which in fact is not the case. The first project in the series -- a pleated sheath printed with an image by Yasumasa Morimura -- has just been released, and it announces a different, more interesting intention.

A 45-year-old artist living in Osaka, Japan, Morimura has acquired an international following on the basis of his self-portraits, which are often compared to Cindy Sherman's. In his photographic recreations of famous paintings, he inserts himself as one of the figures. His new work (at the Luhring Augustine gallery in New York, Nov. 23 to Jan. 4) is a compilation of imaginary film stills in which he dresses and poses as famous Hollywood actresses. The incongruity of an Asian man as a Parisian odalisque in Manet's ''Olympia,'' or as Vivien Leigh in ''Gone With the Wind,'' along with a certain playfulness in trying on such far-fetched roles distinguish Morimura's art and also underlie his commission for Miyake -- a female nude by Ingres entwined with a male body, Morimura's own.

The dress is the image of these two bodies worn on yet another body -- a prospect that intrigues Morimura. ''On a hanger on a wall,'' he says, ''Pleats Please is two-dimensional, like a painting. When it's worn, however, it becomes three-dimensional.'' As the pleats conform to the body's contours and adapt to movement, the design changes.

Miyake, too, talks about ''the three-way relationship'' among the artist, the designer and the wearer, who participates in the result. ''In the past,'' he explains, ''art was admired and revered from afar. Today, there is more of an interactive relationship between the art and the person who admires it.'' What sets Miyake and Morimura's joint undertaking apart from others of its kind is its determination not to dignify fashion by abstracting clothes from their usual context and elevating them to the status of art, but to integrate art into our lives, as one of the many things -- clothes among them -- in which we delight on a daily basis.


x post from the material science thread
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Spoiler:
From designboom
what is 'a-poc' ?
overlength sweaters, dresses off the roll -
'a-poc' is based upon miyake's first design concept, a piece of cloth, is a new and unique suggestion
for everyday life, which goes far beyond the
boundaries of fashion.
it is made using an industrial knitting or weaving
machine programed by a computer.
this process creates continuous tubes of fabric
within which lie both shape and pattern.
the customer cuts sleeves and skirts
exactly to the length he wants.
it is an idea that totally overthrows the existing
standards for making clothes.
'a-poc' is made in a sequence in which thread
literally goes into a machine and re-emerges as
a piece of clothing, an accessory, or even a chair.
this interactive new method not only reduces
leftover fabric but also permits the wearers
to participate in the final step of the design of their
clothing: they determine the final shape of the product.
mass production and custom-made clothing,
seemingly opposing ideas, become compatible with
each other through the wizardry of technology and
the fire of imagination.

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Seamless, by Jessie Scanlon for Wired
Spoiler:
When the runway started to seem like a treadmill, Issey Miyake left Paris for good.

The 65-year-old Japanese designer had shown nearly 100 collections and won almost every fashion award in existence. Long admired for his innovation, Miyake had boiled and melted fabric and played with bamboo and ultrasound. He had invented the science of wrinkling and perfected the art of surprise. But Miyake no longer wanted a designer label; he wanted a design lab. Before turning his eponymous line over to a protégé, he sent one final zinger down the runway: 23 models wearing a single dress. Not 23 dresses sewn together, but a single banner of fabric embedded with 23 dresses - connected like a chain of paper dolls.

It was both a grand finale and a preview: Miyake was leaving to focus on A-POC, an experiment he began in the mid-'90s and turned into an independent line in 1999. An acronym for "a piece of cloth," A-POC refers to both the fashion label and the manufacturing process behind it. That process breaks one of the fundamental laws of fashion physics: cut and sew. Normally, clothes are made by weaving thread or yarn into fabric, which is then snipped and stitched to create, say, a dress. The A-POC method requires no sewing. Thread goes into the loom, the dress comes out. Specifically, a flattened tube of material emerges that contains the finished shirt, skirt, or pants, which need only to be cut out along the faint outline already woven or knit into the fabric. Moreover, the material can be snipped anywhere without unraveling, a feature that allows for complete customization. A pair of scissors and a flirtatious spirit can turn a turtleneck into a plunging V-neck.

Miyake has so far kept the patent-pending process a closely guarded secret. But fashion insiders recognize that the technology behind A-POC - the process of melding thread into clothing, seamlessly - represents an entirely new way of making clothes, one that has less to do with the needles and bobbins of a garment factory than with rapid prototyping methods used in manufacturing. The real effect of A-POC has yet to be felt.

Textile manufacturing has a long history of sparking social and technological change. Joseph-Marie Jacquard's automatic loom, introduced in 1801, caused riots among the hand-weavers it began to displace, and later inspired Charles Babbage's Difference Engine and Herman Hollerith's punch cards. Likewise, the demise of cut-and-sew could have significant impact, allowing manufacturers to save time and money by eliminating work usually done by skilled laborers. "Miyake is weaving garments that don't need to be sewn," says Jack Lenor Larsen, an internationally renowned textile designer, "and that is the wave of the future."

But A-POC isn't just a new way to make clothes - it's a process that can be used to create all kinds of goods. Any material that can be turned into a fiber can work in the A-POC process, which gives Miyake the opportunity to produce anything from shoes to portable shelters. The A-POC team already has developed a series of colorful beanbag-like chairs and sofas that will come to market this year. The studio is also interested in a new corn-based fiber that could be used to construct other types of furniture, and it recently developed a resin-linen blend that a University of Tokyo lab found to be as strong as steel. To branch out, Miyake is looking into partnerships or licensing agreements.

Toshiko Mori, an architect and professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, sees A-POC as a prototype for the future of design and fabrication. "I think we can make houses and building components with this technique in a way that will be both economical and offer enormous design possibilities," she says. "It's a high tech, high design, low-cost solution."

On a hot afternoon in September, Issey Miyake is overseeing the final installation of an exhibition of A-POC clothing at the Axis Gallery in Tokyo. Since leaving the runway, the designer has ignored the inflexible calendar of the fashion world, which demands a new collection be shown every spring and fall in Paris or New York. Instead, Miyake has debuted his 11 A-POC collections whenever he wants, at museums and galleries like this one.

Miyake has always been a maverick. He started the Miyake Design Studio in 1970 with the mission of finding new ways of making things. That has included everything from laser-printed fabric patterns to reinterpretations of traditional Japanese textile crafts. Such experimentation is unusual in the fashion business, where most people make their money by imitating. Many mass manufacturers say they're innovative, but that's mostly talk. "It's the smaller companies like Miyake that have done most of the research," says Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Take Miyake's Pleats Please line, a fashion case study. After five years of R&D, he launched a collection in 1993 featuring pleats so thin the material looked more crinkled than creased. The technique was quickly copied, and Miyake's pleats rippled through Saks and beyond.

For all his innovation, Miyake didn't attempt to move beyond cutting and sewing until 1995, when Dai Fujiwara arrived at the studio. Now A-POC's design engineer, the 36-year-old Fujiwara offers a counterpoint to his mentor's easy charm. He is quiet and serious, with a moonlike face and velvety eyebrows. Miyake is, at heart, an artist moved by the beauty of the human form and the clothes that enfold it, while Fujiwara is a born tinkerer: A-POC's single-form creation process sprang from his mind.

On the lower level of the Axis Gallery, the anatomy of that process is laid bare with structural diagrams, yarn samples on view beneath microscopes, and a 3-foot-long plasticine model of threads, all created by graphic designer Taku Satoh. The stockinglike tube is made of double-knit fabric whose yarns are linked in a fine mesh of chain stitches. If the fabric is cut, the stretchier fibers in the bottom layer shrink, tightening the chain-stitch mesh and preventing the fabric from unraveling. A second model displays what Miyake calls the union - where the top and bottom of the tube are knit together, forming what are essentially seams.

Had this exhibit been staged in New York or Paris during the shows, Calvin Klein would have been elbowing Stella McCartney for a closer look. But here the crowd lingers upstairs near the cocktails and the noise, where Miyake denizens in Pleats Please or A-POC Baguettes mix with hip designers wearing telltale black and extreme eyeware - all unconcerned with the innovation on display downstairs.

Makita Shoten, one of four manufacturers turning out the A-POC line, occupies a cluttered, unremarkable building in Minamitsuru, a small town at the base of Mt. Fuji. Makita was founded in 1869 to make silk for kimonos. But as the small weavers of this region gave way to IT companies, Makita brought its looms into the digital age.

The Miyake studio has been working with this family-owned company for five years to refine the A-POC process, though it has never publicly mentioned the factory by name. So this is a first for Makita textile designer Chiemi Tamura: showing an outsider how the clothes are made. Most of Makita's business involves producing fabric that's sent elsewhere to be sewn into garments or products like umbrellas. A-POC represents just 10 percent of Makita's volume, Tamura tells me, and 120 percent of its angst. "Every time Dai and Issey-san asked 'Could we do X?' and we said 'yes,' they'd say 'Oh, so can you also do Y?'" She laughs. "You never know what will come next."

By now Tamura does know enough to expect what she calls "the notorious yarn attack," when Fujiwara sends Makita the newest yarns to be tested. The Miyake design team searches out fibers and filaments the way other designers hunt for new fabrics. Nearly all of their findings end up in Makita's test swatches. The good, the bad, and the truly bizarre results (polyurethane gauze, anyone?) are returned to the studio, where they serve as a springboard for the next generation of A-POC clothing that will spill out of Makita's hulking Staübli loom.

The machine itself is amazing: Computer-controlled levers move the warp threads into the up or down position according to the digitized pattern instructions, and an automated shuttle pulls the weft thread through a dizzying 200 times a minute. Your eyes can hardly follow the shuttles as they fly back and forth, accompanied by the pounding of an army of needles. Brilliant yellow and pink threads - 12,280 strands - run from an oversize spool toward the needles, which bob up and down like marionettes. And Miyake has figured out how to use it to weave finished clothes instead of fabric. The key to the whole process is the digital Jacquard machine overhead, a loom attachment that automates the weaving of patterns. Instead of using the machine as it was intended, the A-POC team co-opted it to create the embedded seams that make its clothing possible.

In addition, the Miyake studio employs the Jacquard to produce more complex designs and experiment radically with all of the possible variables: the thickness of the thread, the density of the weave, the shape of the garment. The designers are able to specify the placement of every yarn - to make, say, the cuffs of a shirt more elastic than the neck. These details are specified in the pattern data Miyake sends to Makita, where the 0s and 1s become Miyake's patented creations.

"Clothing has been called intimate architecture," Miyake says. "We want to go beyond that." Meaning furniture and building components. That A-POC aims to blur the distinction between fashion line and industrial product surprises few who know him. "He is a true design pioneer," says Sherri Geldin, director of the Columbus, Ohio, Wexner Center for the Arts, which just awarded Miyake its prestigious Wexner Prize in recognition of his impact across creative fields. "I don't think of him as a fashion designer," says Richard Koshalek, the president of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. "He functions on a very high level with regard to new ideas. A-POC has the potential to transform many design disciplines."

Miyake Design Studio is eagerly pursuing opportunities in furniture and architectural design. Early last year, the Japanese VC firm Taurus approached the studio about the Iso Truss, a patented grid structure to which Taurus had exclusive rights. The Iso Truss, which looks like a woven helix, has a remarkably high strength-to-weight ratio, offering a lightweight, low-cost alternative to traditional building components like wood, steel, and aluminum. The Miyake designers see the Iso Truss as a way to take A-POC's weaving technology to an architectural scale. The studio hopes the results can be used in the construction of pillars, walls, and furniture.

Last spring, Harvard's Toshiko Mori invited Fujiwara to the university to talk about these possibilities. His lecture and student workshop - attended by such design heavyweights as Museum of Modern Art curator Paola Antonelli and Tate Modern architect Pierre de Mueron - explored a range of ideas, from clothing as a form of micro-architecture to the potential of weaving techniques to create refugee shelters, boats, and other structures.

Meanwhile, technologists are interested in weaving computational devices. Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe ponders a day when the patterned circuitry of computing devices might be woven from flexible, high tech fibers, instead of etched on rigid substrates. He wrote in a recent InfoWorld column, "Why not sprinkle nanocomputers - smart sand - on substrates of woven power filaments and communication fibers? Imagine a yarn conducting on one side and insulating on the other."

The concept hinges on the ability to precisely control the properties and placement of each thread - something that sounds a lot like the A-POC method. For now, though, Miyake is content to explore new, more efficient ways of making furniture and clothing. But if those experiments are successful, we may see A-POC weaving its way through a broader range of manufacturing.


x post from the fashion ad/campaign thread
Irving Penn and Issey Miyake collaborated from 1983 until 1999, when Miyake stopped designing the men's and women's collections to focus on R&D.
“I was looking for the one person who could look at my clothing, hear my voice, and answer me back through his own creation. I searched long for such a person and found in Penn-san. […] Through his eyes Penn-san reinterprets the clothes, gives them new breath, and presents them to me from a new vantage point — one that I may not have been aware of, but had been subconsciously trying to capture. Without Penn-san’s guidance, I probably could not have continued to find new themes with which to challenge myself, nor could I have arrived at new solutions.”


Irving Penn's sketches
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby qalandar » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:14 pm

Yohji and embroidery

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/24722693[/vimeo]

An old one that perhaps many have already seen ...

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/6568236[/vimeo]
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby KLF » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:41 am

not sure if it's been mentioned in here yet or not but i'm currently reading this: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Fashion- ... gy_b_img_y

pretty neat so far. i've never known much about the history of issey miyake, so the first section has been really informative and enjoyable.
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby KLF » Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:14 am

@natural.log: definitely worth checking out when you get the chance

@iliam: i'll try and scan a few of the photos in it, some really awesome old stuff in here
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby thephfactor » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:51 pm

Rec'd a Comme Des Garcons book published in 1986 via inter-library loan. It contains the Hans Feurer and Peter Lindergh photos in the third post, and others from 1982-1986. It's pretty big. I love the photos a lot :3
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby qalandar » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:37 am

YOHJI YAMAMOTO
WWD (Jul 8, 2002): 7.
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YOHJI YAMAMOTO: Haute enough for you? You bet. The collection Yohji Yamamoto showed on Sunday evening provided a high chic entree to the couture season -- even if it was ready-to-wear.

But then, the distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear has blurred for some time -- the once-staunch Chambre Syndicale rules now a quaint memory; designers talking about selling from their boutiques -- and there was little doubt that a Yamamoto effort would fit right into the week's leisurely schedule. Nevertheless, his announcement last month that he would show his spring collection on the eve of the fall couture took the fashion world by surprise. "In this contemporary age, I felt that there was no difference between haute couture and ready-to-wear," Yamamoto said then. He attributed the move to multiple factors: a desire to show in a quieter context than the ready-to-wear season provides, emotions felt over Yves Saint Laurent's retirement, being "lazy about trends" and his belief that "I'm not a standard fashion designer."

He has a point. However one defines "standard designer," it is surely not someone who reins in a flock of peers for his show, but Marc Jacobs, Kenzo Takada and Martine Sitbon all turned out, along with Azzedine Alaia, who co-hosted a post-show book party for Yamamoto's "Talking to Myself," and Donna Karan, who has been in Europe so long she's practically living in exile.

They all settled in for an exquisite ode to discreet drama and stellar craftsmanship. Yamamoto departed dramatically from his most recent efforts in his embrace of deliberate high chic over athletic and street themes, while leaving plenty of room for yin and yang. He deftly glammed up militaristic and utilitarian references -- every coat and jacket a delight of construction, the billowing, faux-rugged suspender skirt and delicate lace strapless a dream -- and not surprisingly, saluted Saint Laurent in soft looks that wrapped and tied at the neck. For evening, Yamamoto struck a masterful chord between Penn and zen with a group of black evening dresses, each uniquely off-kilter. Throughout, he worked in a palette of navy and black, only digressing with a spectator motif as simple as a crisp shirt and sober skirt or as flamboyant as sweeping frocks with illusion tops and bold photo prints -- bumble bee, frog, fish. Nature's bounty and then some.

Word count: 388
Copyright © 2002 Fairchild Publishing Inc.



Women wear the trousers for Yamamoto's show-stealer.
24 January 1998
The Guardian
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THIS season's Paris menswear shows had barely kicked off when Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto sent out a collection - modelled entirely by women. Among the all-female cast were fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, actress Charlotte Rampling and former supermodel Ines de la Fressange, writes Alix Sharkey.

Yamamoto undoubtedly gave Paris a mighty jolt on Thursday night by turning his men's collection, shown off with a 20-strong cast, into a celebration of the feminine. In a showroom near the Pompidou Centre, the show kicked off in a low-key way with some androgynous types. But then former Chanel muse, Ms de la Fressange, appeared - to roars of approval.

Next came Ms Westwood in her own towering platforms, wearing a Chaplin-style black suit and bowler outfit. She camped it up for all it was worth, rolling her hips suggestively. "As soon as he called me, I agreed to do it," said the grande dame of British fashion. "Yohji is one of the few real originals in fashion."

Gliding along the catwalk as if to the manner born, it was Ms Rampling who stole the show in a fake ocelot-trimmed, white alpaca coat and baby blue ski hat. Unlike some of the other "beginner" models, who failed to make the routine pause at the runway's end for the cameras, Ms Rampling hit the mark every time.

Yamamoto's oversized garments were less formal than normal; largely big and black, but with the sharply tailored lines of recent years replaced by a more funky "hobo" style. Still there were the trademark minimal and military influences and eccentric details such as pleated seams. Indignation featured when Yamamoto's use of real fur, including wolf, was spotted cunningly passed off among the fakes.


Tailoring and Sportswear Merge to Make the Classic Cool
Suzy Menkes
24 January 1998
International Herald Tribune
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When Yohji Yamamoto sent out his entire fall menswear collection worn by women friends albeit mostly androgynous types like the beanpole former model Ines de la Fressange and the skinny actress Charlotte Rampling it marked a fashion moment.

After years of gender bending and role reversal, fashion seems to have reached a balance between the sexes that may be easier to achieve in the wardrobe than in the workplace.

Now men can wear fluffy sweaters and velvet suits as nonchalantly as women can don male tailoring. And with nothing less to prove about how outrageous men's clothes could be, the French fall shows, which run through the weekend, are about discreet luxury and a return to traditional tailoring values as seen through a prism of modern sportswear.

For new generation designers, it is now cool to be classic providing that the eternal male wardrobe has absorbed evolutionary fashion changes in fabric and ease. The result? A revival of tailoring that incorporates the sportswear revolution and the overwhelming "casualization" of fashion. Read comfort fabrics, a super-light construction and athletic details.

Paul Smith, once a streetwear designer, continued his love affair with the aristocracy that he began last season. Smith grabbed from milord's dressing room the glen checked suit, swankily cut with a single vent at the back, a terra-cotta tweed jacket and a pair of shrimp-pink cords, a chalk striped city suit and an embroidered velvet evening vest.

Those elements were mixed together to give an insouciant touch to the classics and to create from the traditional a modern-romantic wardrobe. Although the first, countrified part of the show, with its leafy backdrop, bird-embroidered vests and Duke of Windsor-style tailoring was the strongest, the urban velvet suits and short fitted coats were stylish.

But Smith insisted that seeing the show was only the half of it.

"You have to look inside!" he said, referring to the handmade shirts, the hand-stitched purple silk lining to a black velvet jacket and the ribbon of crimson velvet inside the waistband of Prince of Wales pants old-style tailoring details that are now cherished.

In his own hard-man fashion, Thierry Mugler was also on the English gentleman tack, giving traditional men's suitings a witty spin by using dog-tooth check and herring-bone for sweaters; gray flannel boots completed the total look. Touchy-feely fabrics like chenille and boiled Shetland softened Mugler's military cut, and moved the line forward in a strong show.

To prove that young designers are into tailoring, the Transylvanian Udo Edling opened his show Friday of sleek modern suits with tailoring patterns drawn on the bodies of his models, jackets made out of the canvas toile or just a pair of gray flannel lapels. Dirk Schoenberger from Cologne gave the traditional a twist by making tailored cargo pants with open pockets and putting thick knits over jackets.

Men's fashion is now about not statements but details hence Hermes encapsulating discreet luxury by using its legendary silk prints just on the under-side of a pocket flap on a sweeping highwayman's coat. Everything in this show was ultra-subtle, from the symphony of grays lighted with a flash of sky blue, primrose yellow or spring green, through the sportswear details: the crisscross underarm gusset on jackets, the leather toggle on the zipper of a cashmere cardigan and the glazed-kid sneakers.

The designer Veronique Nichanian played gracefully with Hermes signatures like butter-soft leather, and if the parade seemed whisper quiet, it was also ultra-classy.

At Lanvin, Dominique Morlotti was also into discretion, adding only colors like wine-dreg red and bruised-plum to his palette of grays, chocolate to tobacco browns and beiges although variety came with interesting textures from felted wools and alpaca through tough leathers and padded cottons. Since modern fashion is in the mix, Lanvin caught that in gray parka matching the suit underneath as though sport and city had melded into one look. Morlotti is strong on outerwear, especially well-proportioned short, sporty coats and the occasional sweep of long.

Just when you thought that the short topcoat, from car coat to knee length, was the height of fashion, the fall collections are coming up with a challenge. At Issey Miyake, the designer Naoki Takizawa gave long coats his best shot, making them modernist in silicone-glazed cotton, as soft as jerseys when the fabrics were washed in an alkaline solution, or luxurious in cashmere, with funnel necklines. They also came as beige scarf coats with fringing at neck and hem. Those neutral colors in inventive fabrics contrasted with the eye-popping batik prints that opened the show, but worked only when the pattern was reduced to faded dots on a shirt.

Joe Casely-Hayford showed a collection as if, in the British designer's words, a "hidden camera" had filmed tough guys in a public housing project. If you forgot the knickers (especially in fluffy mohair) and the low-slung pants with flopping front flaps, there were strong tailored pieces. The designer saw double, putting a short sleeved sweater over a long version and using the double shirt as a signature. Casely-Hayford also endorsed the zippered cardigan that is becoming the alternative jacket of the new fall season.

The absence of color, with a predominance of gray, is putting designers with a strong palette out on a limb. Christophe Lemaire handled color well for his close-to-the-body, French schoolboy silhouette, playing with bordeaux and purple for a felt coat and its scarf.

When you think of the subtly of Claude Montana's past palette with its tender gradations of tone, his colors seemed out of sync not just with current fashion, but also with his own aesthetic. He showed orange mohair coats, a brown sweater licked with a pattern of glowing flames and striped or window-pane checked suits in red and orange, although there were a few marginally quieter pieces in beige dog-tooth checks with the new softer shoulder and rounded neckline. And the designer was defiant about his get-out-your-sunglasses colors.

"It's time to wake up with color," Montana said.

Ignore the women models and Yamamoto's show was still appealing. Taking a generous silhouette, he created long coats and his signature square-cut suits, but gave them a spine of overstitching at the back to emphasize the straight cut. Tailors' basting stitches were used as random decoration.

Modern romantic was also the story in this collection, spelled out in the tactile fabrics, including the furry collars on coats, fleecy jersey jackets, clotted-cream or khaki cottons and damask-woven pattern.

But why those women, of different ages and types, to show the clothes?

"I started by thinking about who is my customer," the designer said backstage. "My customers are not businessmen and I know that many women wear my men's clothes and it seemed very normal."

SUZY MENKES is fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune.


WWD 1997
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WWD 1998
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WWD 1999
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Yohji Yamamoto
The Observer, Oct 7, 2001;
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby qalandar » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:43 am

also was lucky to pick up a ss00 suit


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the collection is really beautiful and perhaps my favorite. a lot of the usual archives don't capture the garments well (obviously motion is one component) because 2-3 looks were sent out at once so they didn't bother taking pics of everything. worth a look if you've not seen and are interested
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby oneseriouslady » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:06 pm

not sure if this has been posted before, but:

the japanese revolution in paris fashion by yuniya kawamura http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Revoluti ... 185973815X is a fairly easy read that discusses how yohji and rei (and other japanese designers) were able to enter the western fashion system and the different factors that came into play in order for them to gain legitimacy as designers. it's an interesting argument/perspective... kawamura is essentially arguing that in order to become successful on a global scale, these designers had to conform & reaffirm the french fashion system and that they would have never become internationally successful if they merely stayed in japan.
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby odradek » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:13 pm

that's an interesting thesis - my understanding was that it was only by reflection and reimagining of the french fashion system (in an aesthetic sense) were they able to build something notable, though I guess I should read the book before I make any real statements.
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby nevergreen » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:13 pm

hey guys i wrote a small report on yohji and was wondering if anyone was interested in reading it! i felt like i could have wrote a ton more, but i was limited to 5 pages with specific topics about the designer. let me know if there's anything that could be improved as far as sentence structure, grammar, etc. i've read it over a couple times myself but i wrote it so it's like..

Spoiler:
Yohji Yamamoto, born in 1943, is one of the most influential Japanese fashion designers of all time. He was born in the city of Tokyo, Japan and soon after his father was sent off to fight in the war and killed in action. His mother Fumi Yamamoto, in an effort to give her son the best possible life, went to the Bunkafukuso Gakuin (“Bunka”) Fashion College to learn to sew. and consequently ran a dressmaker’s shop in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. Often he was in the company of his aunt who raised him while his mother worked to pay the bills. Since a young age he was good at art, and at only 12 years old he borrowed his neighbor’s guitar and taught himself how to play (Menkes). Ever since then he has played and collaborated with other musicians; the music of his autumn/winter 2008-09 show was even provided by himself.

Yamamoto did not always want to be a designer, however. In the early 1960s he attended Keio University for a law degree in which he graduated with in 1966. During his time of schooling he worked for his mother in her shop, though not always with excitement. According to Yamamoto, his mother copied designs from European and American magazines in a way that he opposed— he was never a fan of feminine style dresses with loud prints and since this time “was determined at all costs to avoid creating the cute, doll-like women that some men so adore” (Independent). Still working with his mother at the time, after graduating from Keio University, he studied fashion design at Bunka Fashion College which lead to a degree in 1969. With his graduation he also received the So-en and Endo fashion scholarships allowing him to go to Paris. During this time he attempted to sell fashion sketches to magazines, but unfortunately to no avail. At that time he recalls, “I felt I was totally useless. I was sinking… to the bottom of River Seine. It was very tough training. The disappointment was very hard” (Blanchard).

Returning to Tokyo with new dreams and aspirations and with the help from his mother selling her shop, in 1972 Yamamoto opened his own ready to wear label “Y’s.” Five years later in 1977, he launched his first collection in Tokyo. From here it was natural progression expand and in 1981 under the label “Yoji Yamamoto” he debuted his first collection in Paris to an audience who was not prepared for what they were to see. Yamamoto and his then girlfriend, Rei Kawakubo of Comme de Garçons, presented clothing that resembled nothing else at the time, with large shapes, wide brimmed hats that hid the models’ faces, and rips and tears in the garments. The reaction to this collection was not at all like he expected with such phrases like “Hirochima chic,” “suicidal,” and “intellectual bag ladies” being thrown around in the fashion world. For Yamamoto, he claims he never meant to say anything against the current fashions; he just wanted to open his small shop, which he did end up doing the same year (Blanchard). However, with this first collection being shown in Paris, he and Kawakubo, intentionally or not, already did begin to challenge the norm. The next year his first collection was shown in New York and in 1984 his first menswear collection in Paris.

While at first the audience was not fond of the new designer, they did warm up to him. He remembers initially that the audience was 70% booing and 30% understanding or welcoming. Over several years with the help of different magazines, designers such as Yamamoto, Kawakubo, and Issey Miyake, were beginning to be understood. When the audience was split 50/50 he remembers being comfortable, but soon it began to shift more towards understanding than not and he says he felt very comfortable. “They started to call me master, maestro. So I was shouting in my mind, ‘No I’m not, I am just a dressmaker, fighting’ (Blanchard).

Since then Yamamoto has been designing clothes for four decades and has no plan for stopping now. He has done collaborations with a handful of different brands including Adidas, Mandarina Duck,Doc.Martens, Hermés, and others. His work with Adidas turned into a full-blown line, titled “Y-3,” which premiered in 2003 and is still today one of the most successful collaborations between a fashion designer and sportswear brand. He worked with Wim Wenders on a film portrait of himself in 1989 and during the 1990s and early 2000s designed costumes for various film and operas. He has received several awards throughout his career including the Fashion Editors Club Award, Tokyo; Mainichi Fashion Award, Master of Design, and more. There have been many solo exhibitions of his work around the world just as there are stores worldwide. Outside of fashion, Yamamoto is a black belt and briefly created a rock music group in the first half of the 1990s which recorded and sold a few albums in Japan (Duncan). Towards the end of 2009 his business became in debt around 65 million dollars, but with the help of investment firm. Integral Corporation. the company was restructured and approximately a year later completely out of debt. He released an autobiography that year as a way to say, after all that happened with the business, “I am still here and I feel 10 times stronger!” (The Talks).

Yamamoto’s designs have always been very “anti-fashion,” though not intentionally. During the early 1980s in Paris when he presented his first show, fashion, at least as far as women’s is concerned, was about clothes that formed around the body, sexualizing it for the male eyes.. His clothing, however, was quite the opposite with oversized, asymmetrical silhouettes and holes in the garments. He sought to challenge the traditional femininity that was so popular in the western world, and even Japan, and felt the solution was more discreetly erotic than overtly sexual. His clothes, Yamamoto describes, are designed to be worn by the people who dress to please themselves (Independent). However, this is not to say his designs are not about sexuality, but more along the lines of protecting sexuality. Since the beginning of his career, Yamamoto claims. “I wanted to protect the clothes themselves from fashion, and at the same time protect the woman’s body from something—maybe from men’s eyes or a cold wind” (The Talks). The female body when worn in Yamamoto’s clothes is enveloped in fabric rather than drawing attention to her form. For the most part, his clothes are androgynous and play upon the preconceived notions of femininity and masculinity. On this topic he remarks, “In my philosophy, the word androgyny doesn't have any meaning. I think there is no difference between men and women. We different in body but sense, spirit, and soul are the same” (Duncan). When he first started designing he stated that all he wanted was for women to wear men’s clothing; he says that to him a woman absorbed in her own work without the intention of gaining one’s favor is far more seductive (The Talk).

Color and fabric are also a crucial part of his design philosophy. Yamamoto’s most often used color is black, and very often monochromatic, with white and off-white being thrown in along with the occasional red, purple, blue, etc. With black he is able to rely on the shape and fabric of the clothing, rather than having emotions assumed based on colors. One of his most famous quotes describes his reasoning on the color, “Black is lazy and easy—but mysterious. It means that many things go together, yet it takes different aspects in many fabrics. You need black to have a silhouette. Black can swallow light, or make things look sharp. But above all black says this: ‘I don’t bother you—you don’t bother me!” (Menkes). For fabric, he desires for his clothes that stand the test of time, or at least be worn for ten years at least. He uses durable materials, almost like army clothing; this ranges from cotton to linen to wool to polyurethane (Duka).

Over time Yamamoto’s designs have remained similar to when he started, but have changed in a few ways. In both his men’s and women’s line, in recent collections it is easy to tell he is still inspired by the same casual tailoring as when he started. Asymmetrical, oversized blazers and his staple wide-legged pants and fedora are still common in his men’s line, but there is more to that now. He does work with different silhouettes now and, while ranging from slimmer tailoring to A-shaped design, they are almost always exaggerated in order to play with proportion. For his women’s line, however, 1999 was important year; he began to move away from the oversized silhouettes and into a more romantic approach with curved silhouettes of the female body. Today he incorporates both styles in both his lines in various ways. Looking at his collections sequentially, it easy to tell that other colors appear more frequently. Starting first with colors such as tan, orange, and red, he now often uses bright colors like pink and yellow with patterns and graphics.

Growing up after the Second World War with only his mother was tough for Yamamoto and effectively formed his views on women through being “pushed to see society through his mother’s eyes” (Gaudoin). Originally he was inspired by punk, completely opposing what French fashion stood for (Menkes). This along with the hatred of the bright colors and sexualization of the female body that accompanied designers in Europe led to the dark, indeterminate shapes of early collections. It appears at first he also valued traditional Japanese philosophy that prefers the asymmetry of nature over the synthetic. He desires the imperfections that make people human and believes perfection to be ugly. Eventually his style did change into a more fitted looking with a more western aesthetic and turned onto a romantic path by tailoring fitted silhouettes for the women’s body (Duncan). “I like the back curve line of women. I am always watching the silhouette in the streets. The rib cage and the hip is very important for me. The image represents the back of a woman. I’m always following her. Don’t go! Don’t leave me!” (Menkes). Yamamoto has never been influenced by just one aspect of his life; in each collection it is easy to tell he experiences different ideas that play separate roles in his designs.


also if you haven't seen his ss99 collection you need to
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby une_impasse » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:47 am

@nevergreen

I don't wanna reply in a rep because I am very long-winded naturally but I think it's good, I don't know the prompt or guidelines but as an English major who is also a middle child desperate for attention I want to help!

I think the beginning is a little clunky, as biographic portions tend to be, and there are a few sentences that seem clipped/blunt/incomplete, I think you could combine a few sentences or phrases to make them feel like finished thoughts and ideas. It's usually the intro sentences that seem abrupt for me. The phrase "and has no plan for stopping now" also reads a little too informal and when you set up his famous "black" quote you don't need to say that you're about to quote him. I think you can cut the guitar bit from your intro too and bring that up later, it feels a bit like a throw away when it could be woven into his story later.

Anyway, I think it's a great intro and overview for someone not familiar with him without getting too introspective as we can get on this website, but still presents the information needed to understand Yohji and his design history/philosophies. I think your writing is at it's strongest when you're working with his own words and supplementing them. Don't let my nitpicking bother you! It's very hard to get a good biography of a designer, especially a non-Euro or non-American, so I think it's an excellent summation of his career and overarching design aesthetics.

(im also fully aware my response is poorly written, but go you! It's hard to describe or discuss someone who's medium is so flagrantly visual and tactile!)
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby yoyobeat » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:56 am

This is one of the most beautiful items I've come across in a while.

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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:25 pm

feel like this thread
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:25 pm

really needs a new
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:25 pm

page. i always feel
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:27 pm

intimidated and scared
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Last edited by Iliam on Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:28 pm

clicking on
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:28 pm

the thread bc there are
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:29 pm

so many jpegs
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Last edited by Iliam on Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Black is A Piece Of Cloth Meets Dress

Postby Iliam » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:30 pm

to load and scrolling becomes complicated.

need the fresh hope of a new page.
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