Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion

I recently went to this exhibition at Seattle Art Museum & fell in love with Japanese designers. This exhibition allowed me to get up close to some extraordinary garments & ideas that push the traditions of commercial fashion out the window.


Curated by Akiko Fukai, director of the Kyoto Costume Institute, the exhibition showcased almost 100 gowns by designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe & Jun Takahashi.

These are a few of my favorite garments that were on display….


Koji Tatsuno AW 1993-94. Golden-brown nylon


’The Wizard of Jeanz’ by Hiroaki Ohya for ‘Ohya’ SS 2000 – garments are stored as a series of 21 flat books which when unfolded form these voluminous shapes of actual clothes.

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Rei Kawakubo for Comme Des Garcons AW 1995-96. Pastel pink dress. Acrylic knit with embroidery, knitted bustle, tulle petticoat.

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Junya Watanabe dress SS 2002. Washed blue denim dress with train & waterfall frills. Often described as ‘techno couturier’ for frequent use of modern, tech Fabrics – his unusually structured designs are underpinned by understanding of traditional cutting techniques.


Jun Takahashi for ‘Undercover’. ‘Melting pot” AW 2000-1. Wool, Mohair, Synthetic leather, painted, printed & embroidered with tartan design. Fuses luxurious fabrics and trimmings with an anarchic punk style.



Rei Kawakubo – this iconic collection was nick-named ‘lumps & bumps’ however the official title is “Body meets dress, dress meets body” SS 1997. Stretch nylon, down padding, gingham prints.



Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi for ‘mintdesigns’ AW 2008-9 – white and blue silk screen printed poly, shredded magazines.



Rei Kawakubo for Comme Des Garcons AW 1990-91 – white non-woven fabric with white ribbon.


images by Tuffer Harris


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