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22-03-2005
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agree with astrid's sentiments - amazing thread. thanks everyone - esp. softgrey for starting it (& travolta for that first article)! I wish I could have contributed but it just sprang up out of no-where last weekend. Its a great source of information and inspiration. should we have a belgian version since the belgians have also been so influential (albeit their influence derived from the japanese)?

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22-03-2005
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i think we should have separate threads because each is its own distinct movement in fashion-both being prolific and deriving so much from their own cultures.

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22-03-2005
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Exactly,Travolta.

I think Belgians have a slightly different aesthetic in terms of their rich,romantic, voluminous roots. Kindred spirits in terms of creativity,yes! But the Belgians were such an incredible force in bringing back a sense of old-world craftsmanship which was not quite as prevolent in the work of the Japanese...

That's actually probably the biggest difference.

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22-03-2005
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^^^i beg to differ about the old world craftsmanship scott...if you take a look at the s/s 05 yohji thread you will see how we've been discussing the fact the it is precisely yohji's use of old-world techniques that drives his prices through the roof and that he is practically keeping some of these techniques alive by himself...
http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums...?t=9383&page=3

what i think what might be true is that they are specifically japanese textile techniques that most westerners may not be as familiar with and therefore appreciate less...

i agree with you guys about starting a belgian thread...i just think that it is appropriate to talk about the belgians here in terms of how strongly the japanese avant garde obviously influenced them ...since they changed the way the world looks at fashion and how a woman should dress...and opened the door for the next generation of designers...the belgians seem to be doing what the japanese did in the eighties...but with a european perspective...i think the differences and the similarities are fascinating...

you are very welcome helena...

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Last edited by softgrey; 22-03-2005 at 12:55 PM.
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22-03-2005
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i think one of the reasons both were so significant is because they don't represent being novel for novels sake-they are alluring because they both represent purity and romanticism without being retro or ironic...and that is why the early designs of miyake, kenzo, comme des garcons are still considered desirable. from what i know the belgians definately represented the 90's search for authenticity and individuality...call me a dork-but this has driven me to research about the parallels between fashion and postmodern art..which is pretty much falls under that umbrella--because fashion is functional and seen as an artform.

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Last edited by travolta; 22-03-2005 at 01:04 PM.
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22-03-2005
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Well,in terms of the dynamic they brought,craftsmanship was there from the get-go and always has been a part of the Belgian way. Which is why I say that because it's the way they've been described since....craft and creativity. But the baroqueness of the Belgians is probably another extreme difference.

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22-03-2005
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actually i would call them more clothing instead of fashion...its funny how they are percieved as avante-garde when they are using like you guys said-old world techniques...and a lot and the plantation line pieces of miyakes reflect almost all aesthetic decisions coming from a functional point of view-for instance, the white dress with the holes under the arms, and the webbed knee on the pants which turns into a graphic.

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22-03-2005
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It's funny though because I was always thought Belgians were kooky in a romantic and organic way than the more technological approach of most Japanese designers. Especially,Rei and Issey. I mean,alot of the Japanese there for quite a while were very extreme in comparison. That's another bit too....Belgians are slightly more accessible.

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22-03-2005
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Don't Forget Issey's line ' HAAT ' ( Sanscrit for ' market place ' ) , which uses and preserves Japanese , Chinese , Indian etc. techniques and crafts and ancient traditional materials and textiles , for workwear etc.

I saw some pieces in the Brompton Road , London , Issey flagship , and they were truly wondrous . They come with a little booklet/label that explains all about the craftsmanship and artisanship .

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i think the belgians are accessible because they are european, and aesthetics are different in japan-i'm referring to what yohji said about the allure of a big baggy shirt on a woman...and those sensibilites comes from buddhism<--but you know this scott.. i really don't know a lot about belgian history..i'm sure i'd appreciate the clothes more if i knew...but now the japanese aesthetic/belgian aesthetic is very mainstream--one of the skirts i posted looks exaclty like a skirt at urban outfitters...the functional-"plantation" aesthetic definately has more lasting power than the trend of pared down ultra minimalism...it reminds me of the robert ryman paintings and why that movement was so short lived.

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Last edited by travolta; 22-03-2005 at 01:34 PM.
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22-03-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travolta
this has driven me to research about the parallels between fashion and postmodern art..which is pretty much falls under that umbrella--because fashion is functional and seen as an artform.

...that is a whole other discussion which we've had here before and seem to keeep having...there are varying opinions on whether fashion is or can be art...

apparently issey thinks of what he does as art...
don't know about yohji or rei...i don't think they do really...i think rei is too practical for that and yohji is too modest...

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22-03-2005
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i love issey

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i also believe that we can consider much of the belgian designs 'accessible'...precisely because the japanese avante garde re-trained our eye and our concept of an acceptable silhouette...

they were the biggest proponents of androgyny or UNISEX clothing...and made it mainstream and popular...the belgians all grew up in a world where this was already true...so they took these ideas and are now expanding on them...look at ann demeulemeester...she is the queen of androgyny...which can clearly be traced back to the 80's influence of the japanese...


even though YSL did le smoking earlier...it wasn't a unisex look...it was women in men's clothing that had been tailored for a woman's figure...

comme is truly unisex...and androgynous...it is not dictated by the body that wears it...which gives the wearer more freedom in terms of sexual roles in society...

think about what else was going on at the time...

look at the bands...
depeche mode, the cure, boy george, chrissie hynde... duran duran...men in lipgloss and long hair...strong tough women...gender lines began to blur at this time and these clothes were a huge catalyst...it was a revolution of sorts...ANDROGYNY>>>


i think the belgians have picked up the same flag and are waving their own version of what the japanese started...challenging convention...and bringing a different perspective to the same aesthetic the japanese originally brought forth......i LOVE this..!!!...

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22-03-2005
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i mean...it's no coincidence that the person who wears comme and yohji also wears demeulemeester and margiela...it's a natural and logical progression...

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22-03-2005
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I think that is why I disliked Tom Ford so much .

There is NO cocept behind his ' creations ' , save that of figure - hugging sexual exhibition - the total antithesis of the Japanese and the Belgians .

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