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18-03-2005
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1970s-1990s The Japanese Avant-garde
Inspired by travolta and all the great articles and quotes from these brilliant designers...i've decided to create a space to discuss these fashion geniuses who have helped shape the fashion landscape and whose influence can clearly be seen ...especially in the fall 05/06 collections of younger designers working today...also to discuss those who have been influenced by and have worked with the fashion giants...

ISSEY MIYAKE, YOHJI YAMAMOTO AND REI KAWAKUBO

It was in the beginning of the 1980s that a new generation of Japanese designers became key players in the international fashion arena. Rei Kawakubo, working under the label Comme des Garçons, and Yohji Yamamoto began to present their collections in Paris along with the already-established Issey Miyake, who can be considered as the founding father of the avant-garde fashion. Those three together formed and started a new school called the ‘Japanese Avant-Garde Fashion’ although it was never their intention to classify themselves as such. Kawakubo (Séguret, 1988: 140) says: ‘We certainly have no desire to create a fashion threesome, but each of us has a strong urge to design new, individual clothes which are recognizably ours. The common effect of this group of individuals, lumped under the label “Japan”, did the rest.’ Miyake (Séguret 1988: 141) also explains the phenomenon: ‘In the Eighties, Japanese fashion designers brought a new type of creativity; they brought something Europe didn’t have. There was a bit of a shock effect, but it probably helped the Europeans wake up to a new value.’

from throughthesurface.com

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18-03-2005
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the whole article...
http://www.throughthesurface.com/sym.../kawamura.html


excerpt...love this... ...
' Kawakubo’s clothes were deliberately designed to look unfinished and worn, defying common sense and challenging notions of perfection. At first she was regarded with revulsion, but this eventually gave way to amazement and admiration (Baudot 1999). Kawakubo (in Ayre 1989: 11) says that ‘Perfect symmetry is ugly…I always want to destroy symmetry’, and it is a perfect summing-up of post-modernism applied to fashion. She wants to question the notion of perfection as something positive and beautiful (Sudjic 1990: 80):

machines that make fabric are more and more able to produce uniform, flawless textures. I like it when something is not perfect. Hand-weaving is the best way to achieve this, but since this isn’t always possible, we loosen a screw on the machines here and there so they can’t do exactly as they are supposed to.'

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18-03-2005
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Excelent thread, Softgrey:-)

Although I think that the "Big Three" refused to think of themself "japanese fashion":-) Should we start threads for each of them? I am just thinking loud.

If we will talk about the japanese phenomenon, not just about designers, this one is the place, tho:-)

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18-03-2005
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soft u just never stop do u.

thnx for the info..as always

sayan

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18-03-2005
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Nice article...

thanks softie

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18-03-2005
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Many thanks for the thread , Soft .


Although I love Rei and Yohji to bits , and have some of their pieces , I REALLY love Issey , the best .

I think he differs from Rei and Yohji , in that although he is essentially Japanese , started the whole Japanese invasion of Paris in the late 70s - early 80s and uses traditional shapes ( like my beloved kimono-style - batwing -sleeved black nylon raincoat ) , he has also an element of western influence in his work , gained from his experience with Guy Laroche in Paris , and Geoffrey Beene in NYC .

Let's not forget , also , the similar influence of Kenzo in Paris for well over 20 years .

Rei and Yohji ( together with their disciples like Junya ) have completely subverted and reinvented western forms of dress , whereas Issey has absorbed it into his own inimitable style , for which nowadays , Naoki carries the responsibility and the banner . Issey aso has his disciples , such as Kosuke Tsumura and Tsumori Chisato .


http://library.osu.edu/sites/humanecology/miyake.html

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18-03-2005
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When I saw Issey Miyake I wanted to ask him about his connection to Kawakubo and Yamamoto but he had expressed that he didn't like being lumped into a group as a "Japanese" designer.

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18-03-2005
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great idea for a more lasting discussion.

Also, I think its important to get the context on this style and point of view. So often our fashion history classes and books focus only on Western fashion...certainly not much on post-modern. I for one dont feel that I know nearly enough about Japanese avant garde.

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18-03-2005
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thanks softie for the thread good idea!

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18-03-2005
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welll...thanks for the article and the inspiration travolta...

ngth...we can surely have individual threads for each designer...but even though they don't necessarily like to be classified as a group...it is undeniable that together these designers were a FORCE in the early 80's which forever changed the fashion scene...
i don't know if any of them would have had the same impact if they had not all sort of started at the same time in paris...similarly to how all the belgians exploded onto the scene in the mid-late 90's...

whether their similarities are cultural or coincidence...i believe that it was the combination of the three at once which made it impossible to ignore this alternative aesthetic...

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18-03-2005
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I think this thread requires input from our Japanese members. There is a lot to be learned about Japanese traditional and modern culture, Western influences, post WWII influences, and (woo, I get to throw a big, fashionalbe word!!!) the Zeitgeist. I believe that the Zeitgeist influences any artist. Indeed, it is one of the fundamental influences along with personality of an artist, and frankly, I don't think we Westerners know much about it. Without this, our view will be incomplete (although that shouldn't stop us from speculating ).


For now, I can only throw in a few words about the big 3 (not 4, because Mr. Takada is way too old for me to remember what Kenzo was like under him).

Yohji Yamamoto - what can I say, I respect him the most. There is an incredible force that attracts me to the wise, reserved, harmonious sage type. And you can see Yohji's personality through his clothes. And one of the things that I love about him is that he does not taut black as a color of agression, edge, or rebellion - for him it is a color of calm, mystery, harmony. As I get older (and I'm in the transitional age in which one part of me is a young radical and another part of me is a buddhist monk), I can relate to Yohji's creations more and more. He builds his clothes, like an architect. The shape and volume, the folds, the flow of fabric, the movement of the silouhette - I don't have to tell this to those who've seen the clothes in person. Now, if only he would not cut his menswear so loose!!!

Rei Kawakubo - a tireless innovator and experimenter. She is the equivalent of the modern artists of the turn of the 20th Century, who broke away from the norms prescribed by the rigid, stagnant society. Imagine the amount of courage it must've taken her to show her clothes at first? She is the definition of the avant-guarde.

Issey Miyake - I don't have much to say about him. I only paid attention to him during his last few years, and I can't say that I have found them very interesting. Maybe I was too young and did not know better? What I do love about him is his obsession with fabric innovation. I think his successor is doing a wonderful job, but that's a subject for another thread.

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18-03-2005
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kit, i have to agree-at least from what i know about miyake-i haven't seen yohji's clothes or rei's actually, but i've seen miyake's and he is one of the only designers now i that i think about it that i would devote an entire wardrobe to if i could. for example his pleats please line offers everything you would want in a garment: its easy to store, it has its own lightweight flexible internal structure, its machine washable...not to mention his highly innovative A-POC line...he also was smart enough to patent his process which can be used for other products..that is where the future of fashion lies-in the manufactoring...and he's also a realist. he is one of the few designers which can cross the boundry between high fashion and functional ready to wear clothing. I said it before-he needs to do athletic wear!

"Miyake is, at heart, an artist moved by the beauty of the human form and the clothes that enfold it" http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.04/miyake_pr.html

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18-03-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faust

Issey Miyake - I don't have much to say about him. I only paid attention to him during his last few years, and I can't say that I have found them very interesting. Maybe I was too young and did not know better? What I do love about him is his obsession with fabric innovation. I think his successor is doing a wonderful job, but that's a subject for another thread.
no...it's appropriate for here...the intention is to discuss the designers' works and their influence thoughout the worl of fashion...issey's successor is obviously a big part of that ...

personally i love issey's work in the 80's and early 90's the best...
he lost interest in design mostly after that and focused more on fabric innovations and textiles...but his APOC (a piece of cloth) is a brilliant thing...
anyone have any info on APOC?...

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18-03-2005
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softgrey...that link i posted above talks a lot about the A-POC line...also i think i may be repeating myself, but he is very smart to look at textiles and manufactering...you can only design so many blazers and play around with patterns...but if you create a whole new vocabulary(the material) then you don't even need the traditional patterns..as with any fabric it creates entire new possibilites..but the fact he is trying to eliminate it and go to the actual source shows what a true innovator he is...

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Last edited by travolta; 18-03-2005 at 01:31 PM.
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18-03-2005
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off topic: i really believe we need a superflat thread.

anna karina?

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