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10-03-2006
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I'm obviously not Japanese, but this might be a good place to start?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wa_(Japanese)
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikiver...ese_Philosophy

The concept of wa really appeals to me...

But you know, I'm not so sure they are all that deep and conceptual. Obviously their creations can be considered as such, but that lies in the eyes and mind of the beholder. And we want to view them as cerebral, we want to find meaning...

I think great stuff can be created without a clear concept or intention thought out beforehand, or the need to reflect on society. It's just dress-making, after all... :p

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10-03-2006
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^ Good point, tott

I think artists in general often aren't fully conscious of the meaning of their work when they create it ... some do start with a premise, or an idea they want to express, but many just create spontaneously out of the swirling mass of all their thoughts, ideas, influences, memories, passions ...

It's not too unusual to hear authors talk about writing some of their books as though dictated by another, although I've never heard a designer cop to this ... of course, novels perhaps tend to be a tad more original that your average garment Arguable, I know ... but so often we can *see* the inspiration ...

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10-03-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runner
the current issue of SWITCH contains a special feature on the ties that bind parent and child where Yohji and Limi are talking about each other.
it's written in Japanese. but found the pic from the magazine

http://www.switch-pub.co.jp/switch/2006/01/index.html#


Wow...thanks for posting this pic, runner...i love that image, with Yohji and Limi standing there in black and white, holding cigarettes. Yohji looks so cool it hurts and Limi has an ethereal beauty to her.

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10-03-2006
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thanks staticglamour!

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21-03-2006
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Hmmm are the Japanese really conceptual? It's a good question, but think Tott is right...it really depends on the individual. Looking at this particular group of designers, in my humble opinion I think Rei is the only truly conceptual one (i.e. defies gender and structural norms intentionally) but I think Issey's forte is innovation of form and texture (creating anew as opposed to defying the past) and Yohji is more just instinctive and sculptural. I think people maybe see them as all conceptual because they all use a language that is radically different from the traditional Western attire. It may also be that since Western attire is not part of Japanese history, we feel free to play around with it drastically. It may also be this conformist society which causes artists to want to rethink tradition in one way or another.

I do think that the somber beauty of wabi-sabi plays a part in these particular "avant-gardists' "design, as seen in the austere colors and aesthetics. However, looking at Tsumori Chisato or even Tao you can clearly see that there is more to Japanese design than the conceptual.


Tott asked me if the Japanese value of perfecting presentation and aesthetics is deeply ingrained in the culture; I would have to say yes. Even today, almost all correspondence, from the smallest business e-mail to the most personal hand-written letter, begins with a line of poetic contemplation on the season composed by the writer. Almost everyone is dressed very neatly and coordinated at the very least, almost all the food is highly professional, you simply don't dream of giving a shabbily wrapped present...just little daily things are very aesthetically done and noticed.

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21-03-2006
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^^ damn she's smart

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21-03-2006
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Also, like it or not, we cannot exclude from our discussion of "Japanese designers in general" Hanae Mori, Kenzo, Junko Shimada, Yuki Torii, Kansai Watanabe, et.al as Japanese designers who have been showing in Paris for decades. None of whom are conceptual or austere in the least.


Last edited by Melisande; 21-03-2006 at 12:40 AM.
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21-03-2006
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that's hot

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21-03-2006
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... thanks electric!

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21-03-2006
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I agree with electricll.....great post(s) Melisande. Your distinctions between the three "big" Japanese designers seem very valid to me. Comme has traditionally been expresly conceptual. Almost none of their advertising has any pictures of the clothing..rather it's just seemingly abstract images of some sympathy with the thinking behind the particular collection. It's more often than not very difficult to see any connection between the clothes and those images. You see this still in the store flyers for the new collections, and in the show invitations. You really couldn't guess what the clothes are going to look like just be looking at these. YY and IM have never really been like that, and are not concerned with that level of conceptualism.

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21-03-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melisande
Also, like it or not, we cannot exclude from our discussion of "Japanese designers in general" Hanae Mori, Kenzo, Junko Shimada, Yuki Torii, Kansai Watanabe, et.al as Japanese designers who have been showing in Paris for decades. None of whom are conceptual or austere in the least.
Oops I just realized what I typed in...I mean Kansai Yamamoto of course (and I don't think he showed in Paris many times either...but he's been active internationally is what I meant)

Thanks Johnny, I'm so glad you agree! I think Junya Watanabe is conceptual too, but really, now that I think of it, perhaps conceptual designers are actually fewer in Japan than one may think. Japan has too much of an ingrained tradition of highly perfected romantic aestheticism and spirituality for us to be really conceptual as a whole culture...we highly value "kansei"--what may be described as artistic sensitivity or instinctive sense--as opposed to "risei", or logical thinking.


Last edited by Melisande; 21-03-2006 at 05:05 AM.
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21-03-2006
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Loads to catch up...interesting



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21-03-2006
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Great posts, Melisande! Thanks for posting, it's so nice to get an "insider" point of view!

And I really agree with your assessments about the different designers...

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21-03-2006
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Melisande, thank you for such great posts. I feel I have learned alot from you. Thank you

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21-03-2006
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Aww, thanks everyone! So glad my ramblings were of interest...
it's a very interesting topic after all.

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