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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JUNYA WATANABE, Autumn/Winter 2000. Photograph by Takashi Hatakeyama. YOHJI YAMAMOTO, Spring/Summer 1998. Photograph by Takashi Hatakeyama. 23 ORNAMENT 37.1.2013 There is quirkiness to some contemporary Japanese clothing design that is readily visible in "Final Home," a see-through vinyl rain jacket entirely covered in large pockets. The idea is to stuff the pockets with paper or trash to create a quilted, theoretically warmer, coat. Created by Kosuke Tsumura in 1994, the coat is no doubt a fashion nod to the importance of recycling and minimizing our impact on the environment. One gallery, Cool Japan, featured Japanese street fashions of recent decades. These life-sized manga and animeinspired outfits were based on the fashion tastes of Japanese teenagers. But despite their influence on youthful pop culture, and the fact that some were created by well-known designers, it is hard to see the influence of these Astro Boy and Hello Kitty costumes on the larger fashion world. It is a different story as the exhibition concludes with mini-retrospectives of Kawakubo, Yamamoto, Miyake, Watanabe, and Jun Takahashi, the youngest of the featured designers. These rooms demonstrated how clothing changed the way younger western designers thought about design, construction and apparel aesthetics. Yamamoto's cream wool felt dress worn over a black wool felt skirt from the Autumn/Winter of 1996/1997 remains a classic of bold design and tailoring that looks deceptively simple. The generation of European designers that included such minimalists as Ann Demeulemeester and Jil Sander was influenced by the elegantly austere, sculptural work done in the 1980s and 1990s by Miyake, Kawakubo and Yamamoto. And if you are not convinced that these Japanese designers have influenced how we think about style, just take a look at an Eileen Fisher shop, filled with minimalist, monochromatic, asymmetrically hemmed clothing. Japan's fashion innovators have changed what it means to be stylish, whether you are in Los Angeles, Paris or Tokyo.

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