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