Ornament Magazine

VOL37.1 2014

Ornament is the leading magazine celebrating wearable art. Explore jewelry, fashion, beads; contemporary, ancient and ethnographic.

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22 ORNAMENT 37.1.2013 are a subtle meeting of light and darkness, though shadows are neither entirely dark nor entirely light. Though the garments here are all either black or white, the artful draping and deconstruction of fabric makes for visual subtleties that are not always quickly detected. Yamamoto's black silk taffeta, jacquard and satin off the shoulder evening gown from 1999 is the most traditional looking piece; but its dramatically fashioned neckline resembles folded black paper, and the bronze-dotted underskirt would create a trompe l'oeil shadow every time the wearer took a step. The gown is gorgeous. The art of origami seems to be implied in many of the outfits, including some of the earliest ones from Yamamoto and Kawakubo. A white cotton dress from Yamamoto's Spring/Summer 1983 collection resembles a big cotton bag delicately cut into a shift and sheared here and there to expose another cotton layer underneath. The cutouts give the dress a lightness. It appears to float. Also explored are themes such as the relationship between tradition and innovation in Japanese design and the idea of sculptural volume in Japanese fashion. Miyake, the godfather of contemporary Japanese fashion, had a following for his Fortuny-like pleated clothing as early as the late 1970s, and by the 1980s he had pushed his interest in pleating into more experimental directions. A transparent, hot-pink pleated dress made of polyester monofilament made by Miyake in 1995 is certainly eye-catching, looking like a high-tech sail for a racing yacht. Wildly impractical as clothing, the dress nevertheless represents Japanese designers intrigue with unorthodox materials and three-dimensional form. Watanabe's 2000/2001 red and yellow polyester organdy ensemble surely is the apex of such experimentation—the yellow skirt is a brilliant yellow honeycomb that puffs out like an exotic sea sponge. ISSEY MIYAKE (NAOKI TAKIZAWA) + AYA TAKANO, Kaikai Kiki, Autumn/Winter 2004. MINTDESIGNS/HOKUTO KATSUI AND NAO YAGI, Autumn/Winter 2008. Photograph by Taishi Hirokawa.

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