Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tradition, Innovation and Translation

The fashion of tomorrow has always seemed more lovely than the fashion of today to the “king of fashion”, Paul Poiret  in the 30s. Poiret would find the upcoming show in Barbican endeavoring to convey the same type of loveliness. The oxymoronically titled exhibit—Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion—opens in London this week featuring designers including Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto and Junya Watanabe, etc.

The galleries are arranged into four sections: In Praise of Shadows; Flatness; Tradition and Innovation and Cool Japan.

Do not expect a delivery of Japanese tradition as interpreted in Paul Poiret or Alexander McQueen or Quentin Tarantino who employed the language of orientalism. The non-Japanese designers inspired by the kimono create theatrical possibilities of visual effects, but the translation seems, insistently, a bit word-for-word. Rei Kawakubo’s monochromatic black may not indicate much Japanese revitalization. In her ingenious world however, Kawakubo is holding a Hattori Hanzō sword of creation and fighting the battles she wants to fight.

Reference: interviewmagazine

 Paul Poiret's kimono inspired dress, and kimono coat
Björk in McQueen's kimono
Photo credit: xolondon

 Quentin Tarantino in tuxedo-kimono

Irving Penn's queen Amidala in kimono


  1. Interesting gallery!

    Classic piece with subtle modern touch is my current fav, not sure about the future is Japanese classic for reasons~~~I still like their tradition much more than their interesting innovation

    ---A NON-Japanese^_^

  2. I guess this is a "the grass is greener" thing:)
    Bo, you always have refreshing ideas for outfits, just when I am about to be too bored. Classic piece with a modern touch--I may have to steal this...

  3. The truth is that your awesome blog always inspires me more~!

  4. I am not really into the Japanese fashion, but it is interesting to see how it has been changed. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Qiuyue: I admire the young Japanese who have no fear to present their street fashion, it's almost like Halloween for them all the time :)