November 18, 2013

Fashion In Motion: Kansai Yamamoto

Kansai Yamamoto has been absent from the fashion scene for over 20 years, instead turning his creative hand to show production. Consequently, this Fashion in Motion was more like a celebration of his career, with as strong an emphasis on the production as on the clothes; models didn't strut, they danced in this life affirming show.

Psychedelic colours, traditional imagery, and camouflage print all combined to create a  rainbow army of urban dancing warriors. Basara, an ideal of beauty, which means to be stylish to the point of flamboyance, differs considerably from the pared back aesthetic that we associate with Japan and it was nice to see an alternative aspect celebrated. Yamamoto's use of bright colours and patterns galore clearly recalled the spirit of basara and the show, which contained elements of kabuki, was as much of a celebration of Japanese culture as it was Yamamoto's work, with trumpet player Toshinori Kondo being afforded the same status as the designer himself.

There was absolutely nothing po-faced  or "cool" about it and there were a couple of more unconventional elements to the show -- the child mannequins for example were delightfully odd -- but the audience were enraptured and the air was fizzing with joy. While it might not have tickled the fancy of a jaded fashion insider, by the end it was difficult to spot a face which wasn't sporting a grin to rival the Cheshire Cat’s! 

I left the V&A feeling uplifted and more than a little second-homesick.


I wanted to steal Kansai Yamamoto's mermaid shoes and tiger jacket, so I stole some sneaky snaps instead. 

And it's all over..until next time V & A

Jumper: Boy London
Fur Jacket: Charity shop
Sandals: Topshop sale (similar here)

This was our second outing to Fashion in Motion, see the pictures from Fyodor Golan here.

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