[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Wednesday, May 28th, 2008|
this was an interesting lecture. this woman woke up with a stroke and found her left side functioning almost obliterated. she eventually recovered and she now speaks about her experience as a right brained spiritual awakening.
ted talks are pretty awesome. my new little obession.
I'd like to go to this
----------------------------------------Come join the festivities!
Wednesday, May 28th 9pm
at Studio B
Soft Cirlce and Daniel Leeb
Simone Pace (from Blonde Redhead) and Jorgen Leth
Thursday, May 29th 6pm
Dear Velo ART SHOW
at Partner's and Spade
40 Great Jones Street near Bowery
Friday - Sunday
at Anthology Film Archives
Check out the website for details
|Sunday, May 18th, 2008|
|Thursday, December 8th, 2005|
it turns out this girl i went to school with is on project runway. her name is diana eg, and i skimmed through her blog. she is an uber nerd and i hope she manages to not get kicked off! she recently worked on this seamless show consisting of risd, mit, harvard and parson students. i wish i would have had the opportunity to have participated! i haven't until recently realized what a nerd i was, until i realized all i really could talk about these days was the evolution of plants and cognitive science. i never was good at mastering the bunsen burners in science class (too linear, not abstract enough)anyways, i'm inspired by the fashion/ geek hybrid and it would be cool to dabble experimenting with textiles.
anyways, i sometimes regret i didn't take the nasa studio or the mit studio at risd, for the vain and silly reason of being able to boast that i never completed algebra, and really couldn't measure until i had to with a micrometer at risd, but i still managed to design space ships and collaborate with the future scientists of the world. Current Mood: creative
|Wednesday, November 30th, 2005|
|comme des garcons, issey miyake, yohji yamamoto archived articles
Daily News Record; 2/2/1993
MIYAKE'S GOURMET MEAL
"This is going to be like a home-cooking show," said designer Issey Miyake before his Sunday-morning breakfast presentation. Miyake sat with the small audience at his first show, following his "script" -- a run-of-show that described the various dip-dyeing, crinkling, crumpling, shrinking, enzyme-washing, electro-cutting, laminating and lacquering processes he'd used to achieve special-effect fabrics. And special they were -- for reversible quilted nylon bombers, blue or black "splash" swing coats, twisted striped-tie-silk vests and tri-color tweed sport coats. Miyake is what one would term a special-niche designer, creating high fashion for the few, not the masses. Perhaps the normal, run-of-the-mill man won't understand his lightweight electro-cut coats, which have no hems, no linings and are somewhow sealed where the fabric is cut, but the customer he designs for will. Miyake says he wants things to be clean, comfortable and lightweight -- for travel, for the modern man -- and he calls his clothes as he sees them.
COMME DES GARCONS' ONE-WOMAN SHOW
One doesn't have to be an art critic to understand Rei Kawakubo's fall collection for Comme des Garcons Homme Plus. In homage to "artists in their studios," Kawakubo painted a purple strip down the runway and stirred in several well-known artists -- among them, Robert Rauschenber, Mike and Doug Starn and Shakespearean actor Alan Rickman -- and sculpted her painterly designs about them. It was a theme and concept that pleased Rei greatly; never have her collection, her choice of music for the show and her colors been more upbeat. In fact, the designer -- known for her stoic, frozen facial expression -- cracked a small smile on the runway after the show.
Rei the painter dip-dyed pinstripe shirts, jackets and pants, and juxtaposed just-shades-off plaid jackets and pants. Rei the sculptor took artistic license with hook vents, hers being the kind with hook-and-eye closures, pushed flap pockets on jackets from the hips to the back, added on knit "hems" to rayon suit pants and vests, and molded vests over cardigans worn long and untucked. She crinkled, wrinkled and washed wool tweed, and mixed up batches of shirts part knit, part woven. She ended on a very happy note, indeed -- to the tune, "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime." At that moment, most in the audience did.
Comme des Garcons
OPINION: She may not be everybody's cup of sake, but Rei Kawakubo's showed one of her best collections.
DIRECTIONS: Kawakubo is obviously feeling the recession in Japan. Her show was a parade of lack, which took its tone from the opening song, "The Boulevard if Broken Dreams." But, despite all the bleakness, the clothes were full of hope and new ideas. Kawakubo tied men's white shirts around waists, replacing the skirt, stitched swatches of fabric to hang off the backs of blazers and sent out a parade of beautifully cut, long, black, sheath dresses, all accessorized with bright cotton-candy wigs and black rubber platform shoes. The destroyed look, which Kawakubo pioneered years ago, is now a staple on other European runways, but season of practice have left her as the mistress of unfinished hems, ripped necklines and shredded chiffon.
FIXATIONS: Baring the bosom, but most of the big models managed to cover up before they reached the photographers' nest at the end of the runway.
COLORS: Black, black, and more black.
BEST NEW IDEA: The stitched swatches of contrasting fabrics attached to jackets and evening dresses.
DIRECTION: Paris's Queen of the Culotte appeals to the wench in a girl. Her Venice-Carnivale-inspired collection would be perfect for the players in a bawdy period bedroom comedy, with all the redingotes, crinolines, beads, satin corsets and pushup bras in harlequin prints. Thomass's dresses and bodysuits give a lady many opportunities to unzip here and unsnap there. She sent out a series of blazers and coatdresses with strategic round cutouts over heart or cheek, the better to show off her signature black lace dainties. One of the best ideas: a series of raincoats in black or white lace, embedded in clear vinyl. All in all, it should make for a steamy scene in Thomass's big new shop on rue Vivienne, opening in May.
BERNHARD HITS THE CATWALK: She may be a regular stage hound, but when Sandra Bernhard made her runway debut at Comme des Garcons, she appeared somewhere between nerve-struck and terrified. Of course, it didn't help that her first entrance was in the ugliest dress in Rei Kawakubo's collection. But by her second pass on the catwalk, Bernhard--who flew in from London where her show is a sellout--was in typical saucy from, making faces at the photographers and barking at Linda Evangelista. "Me? Nervous?" she said later. "Of course not. It was great, I'm addicted. Yeah, I'm a fashion addict."
COMME DES GARCONS: Rei Kawakubo promised kitsch and more color than she's had on the runway in her seven years of showing here. She also obviously tried for a lighter touch with Marlon Brando biker caps and jaunty satin top hats. But with few exceptions the show was nothing but her old complex layers -- only in Day-Glo greens and pinks instead of her usual blackout.
Still, Rei must be doing something right since Comme des Garcons' annual volume is $95 million, according to the company. Most of that comes from Japan, where Kawakubo is a big star. Perhaps underneath all those fashion bundles were a few good looks. It was hard to tell. Possibilities included the white plastic Eisenhower jacket, bright patchwork bubble skirts, plaid pants and vests with pieces of jagged mirrors like a New Age Paco Rabanne.
Bernie Ozer, senior vice president of Associated Merchandising Corp., said: "It didn't look like the Nineties. I respect Kawakubo's talent, but this show was like a retrospective."
YOHJI YAMAMOTO: Yamamoto used to be trendy; now he's just old-fashioned. Does the world really need another malproportioned sheath, or pants that look like a special order for Ringling Bros.? Probably not. But YY keeps turning them out anyway. The only news is that some of his stuff is getting Romeo Gigli-esque.
After a few seasons of feminine, soft clothes, Rei Kawakubo was up to her old tricks again in the Comme des Garcons collections, which opened the second day of fall ready-to-wear shows here.
Jackets and coats were the big victims of Kawakubo's gimmickry. Some had no backs. Others had cutout armholes to allow the blouses beneath to peek through. Or mannequins slipped their arms through them with sleeves dangling loose at their sides.
Some were fitted in front, with exaggeratedly flared backs, and there were the usual asymmetric cuts sending jackets askew. And for those who may not want a jacket at all, Kawakubo's solution is to just simply throw on a lapel or two.
All this business went over easy flaring or gathered skirts that were midcalf or longer, wide pants cropped at midcalf, or tight pedal pushers.
When she forgoes her gimmicks, though, there are details and items here that look good.
Among them: high waistlines done with subtle shaping or cropped boleros, some so short they look like yokes; longer lengths and easy fluid shapes; chemises, redingotes and pants, and the black satin strapless evening dress that flares out over crinolines.
The only time she veered away from her limited color scheme of red, black and cream was with a group of colorblock jerseys in primary brights.
On hand to watch the Kawakubo antics were her longtime friend Yohji Yamamoto, who showed later in the day, and Italian designers Romeo Gigli and Franco Moschino. But Kawakubo did not bother to take her bows at the end of the show.
Mercifully, the audience was spared the gimmicks at Yohji Yamamoto's collection later in the day. They weren't spared, however, a tedious, slow-paced show with blank-faced mannequins walking to the monotonous sound of piano exercises.
A half hour into the show, one photographer shouted, "Shoot the piano player!"
As for the clothes, the message here is deadly serious, with suits, dresses and coats following an easy line. Many caress the body at the top, curve in at the waist and either flare or round out over the hips.
Except for a handful of shorts and a few above-the-knee skirts, lengths here are midcalf and longer. Yamamoto sticks to somber colors -- black, navy, brown, dark green, bordeaux -- and the effect is stark, almost to the point of bleak.
He does play around with his signature asymmetric cuts: jacket hemlines dipping forward, skirts dipping backward or into long points at one side, or one side of a jacket or skirt a cut few inches longer than the other.
But the look, as with most of the collection, remains pure. Cropped jackets and boleros, which are showing up all over the European runways, are most effective at Yamamoto topping long slender skirts or very wide midcalf pants.
Another of the season's favorite themes -- high waists -- show up in suspendered skirts that start at the knee in front, then dip to the ankle at back.
Daily News Record; 9/9/1986; Fressola, Peter
Although Rei Kawakubo's classic tailored clothing is still the core of her Comme des Garcon's Homme collection, which is sold in the showroom, the showing of her spring/summer 1987 collection presented the designers more experimental views toward tailored men's wear.
There is always the feeling with Kawakubo's collections that the designer is trying to solve certain intellectual problems. For next season it is the current men's wear debate over the proportion and shape of tailored garments. Consequently, Kawakubo's collection for next season explored all the possibilities.
There were loose fitting, baggy jacket models with dropped shoulders that contrasted with other tight, body-hugging jackets. There were long, eight-button, double-breasted jackets with peak lapels. Another long silhouette peak lapel jacket featured one-button like a morning coat.
Other, close to the body sport coats included a three-button notch lapel model and a short, hip-length, two-button version. All the jackets were paired with loose-fitting trousers.
Kawakubo's gave her fans a respite from her characteristic black with a group of tailored jackets and trousers shown in shades of peach, pink and pale banana. The season' prominent trend toward monochromatic dressing was well represented at Comme des Garcons with another group of tailored garments that was shown in slightly non-matching shades of beige and rose beige. The slightly off feeling was carried out further by the jacket being tailored in striped fabric, while the trousers were in a smallish windowpane check.
Under the jackets, Kawakubo showed knit polo shirts, zip-front polo shirts, and zip-front mock turtleneck, as well as the designers trusty white T-shirts.
Other highlights of Comme des Garcons included: Unconstructed dusters, hip-length tube jackets with knit collars; color blocked or pieced jersey knit tops inspired from bicycle shirts, and loose fitting baseball jackets.
Daily News Record; 2/4/1986; Fressola, Peter
Yohji Yamamoto's innovations with fabric, along with his mastery of shape and styling, made his fall 1986 collection a knockout. Yohji reaffirmed the strong trend in Paris toward knitwear as anything but a sweater.
In the collections of Gaultier, Kenzo, Cerruti and Girbaud, jersey or doubleknit fabrics have been featured in casual trousers and as a jeans alternative for the fashion customer.
What was so extraordinary about Yohji, however, was that for the first half of his show the mannequins were dressed head-to-toe in jersey or sweater knits. Sport jackets and their variations, long and short vests, trousers and tops were all offered in a melange of lightweight jersey, doubleknit, ribbed knit and jacquard-patterned sweater knit.
For example, a four-button, long-and-slim sport jacket in jacquard-patterned black knit might be worn with a bottle green long vest in the same patterned knit, with black ribbed knit slim trousers, and a V-inset button-up jersey turtleneck shirt. The jackets and vests were lined with a striped cotton interfacing that allowed these to be reversed.
Toward the middle of the show, Yohji introduced a group of doubleknit outfits in dark colors that looked like they were inspired by old William Morris prints from the turn of the century. These highly patterned jackets were often paired with dark argyle-patterned trousers.
Yohji's statment of tailored knits as the ultimate masculine sweater set was further reinforced by his stying treatment of jackets. Softly constructed, collarless and lapel-less knit jackets had the look of a soft, comfortable cardigan, but the woven linings held the jacket shape.
The return of 1960s as an inspiration for men's wear, which has swept Paris this season, was also visible at Yohji. Beatlesstyle crew-neck collar jackets and Edwardian cutaway frock coats were reminiscent of late 1960s London style.
Other highlights of Yohji's collection included a gray knit suit with oxford gray mini-cable shadow stripes, diamond motif knit cardigan vests and jackets that reversed to quilted linings in the same pattern, jersey trousers with a cable knit tuxedo stripe, a group of jacquard knitwear in China blue and white that took its inspiration from Oriental porcelain, origami-collared woven shirts and tunic jackets, which, like other portions of the collection, reaffirmed the move in Paris toward a long, lean, body-conscious silhouette.
Issey Miyake's collection was also strong in its use and interpretation of knit fabrics. There were numerous variations on the theme of cardigan jackets and entire knit outifts, such as one abstract, oversized, herringbone-patterned cardigan jacket worn with jacquared jersey trousers and a loose-fitting jersey sweatshirt. Striped knit cardigan jackets were also shown with notched-lapel, double-breasted vests. Miyake's cardigan jackets were offered a notched lapel, shawl collar and zip-front mock turtleneck, always with very baggy, fluid trouser models.
Unlike Yohji, however, Miyake's jersey trousers were dropped crotch and very baggy, which made them look slightly beachy. Like last season, Miyake showed his brightly colored striped oversized sweaters with block-checked knit slim pants. The knit look was also presented for evening with an olive-colored, crew collar cardigan jacket, which was worn with a black turtleneck sweater and celadon heavy nylon trousers. Also for evening, black or navy blue wool gabardine classic tuxedos were styled with an inset lapels that resembled those of a karate jacket.
Also of interest at Miyake was a cafe au lait-colored, serge wool suit that featured a long, slim jacket and slim trousers, and split mock turtleneck sweaters.
COMME DES GARCONS
Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo can't seem to win for trying. Since most people associate her men's wear with the color black, when she introuces color, even bright color, people still see only black. The same applies to her styling, which people call severe when it is simple and too much when she tries to get tricky.
For next season, the audience seemed to prefer Kawakubo's classic men's wear to the fashion models. The classic gray or dusty brown-colored, pinstriped, soft suits and the classic topcoats may have been a repeat of past seasons, but Kawakubo's silhouette is still more advanced than most, and therefore, still acceptable. Even more important, retailers interviewed after the show said that they sell these classics very well.
Some of Kawakubo's combinations of garments, while not pushing any fashion message, were sophisticated in their shapes and colors. For instance, a black and white abstract checked sport coat was worn over a shorter-shaped, black sport coat, white T-shirt and black trousers. Another plaid sport coat in bordeaux was also worn over a shorter black sport coat, and a gray polo collar shirt and minichecked trousers.
While a double-breasted, peaked-lapel khaki jacket with elastic back treatment looked fresh with a white T-shirt and baggy blue trousers, the numerous jackets with four rows of elastic puckering were not at all. Equally unsuccessful were the outrageous plaid outfits.
The overall impression of this collection wasn't as strong as the last two, but Kawakubo is a designer with a consistent aesthetic. Most likely she will grow within that aesthetic and evolve to something else next season, continuing to move forward.
Daily News Record; 2/5/1985; Buckley, Richard
Yohji Yamamoto played the Grande Artisite in a collection that somehow suggested romantic notions of artists in studios and the Bohemian life associated with Europe at the end of the 19th century. Perhaps it was the pasted-on goatees and moustaches that started one's imagination working, for this was by no means a nostalgic or fancifully thematic collection. Rather, Yohji's designs looked positively modern, and while modernity usually implies spaceage technology and streamlined efficiency, Yohji's modern offerings were infused with a poetic spirit.
He opened his show with loose, satin striped wool jackets, worn with short, straight trousers, embroidered shirts, and polka dot or Swiss candy floral printed ties. Soft, felt-like flannel cardigan sport coats in chestnut brown were layered under Yohji's important draped-front reefer coat. This straight-lined, double-breasted top coat was cut with extra fabric between the buttons, which created a supple, ripple or draped effect.
Liner coats in plus wool flannel topped shawl collar red vests and short plants in the same fabric, and for a monotone look. Yohji showed a wool/cotton long-line double-breasted blazer, with buttons placed almost six-inches apart (similar to a style seen at Gaultier), matching trousers and shirts in the same color, with accented band piping on the placket or collar.
While colors were often drk and neutral, Yohji also offered bright grass green velvet jacks, shown with black wool trousers styled with a dropped, Dr. Denton-style back-buttoned rear. He also featured vinyl coats and jackets lined in flannel, which he accessorized with velvet scarves, white wool shirts and fluid rayon trousers.
But the spirit of the new/old artiste really came through in Yohji's knit suits, styled in long, two-thirds length cardigan jackets worn over lapelled knit vests and fluid knit pants. One was left the impression that a major change in masculine silhouette might indeed be in the making.
COMME DES GARCONS
It goes without saying that Rei Kawakubo's highly thought-out and austere approach to men's fashion doesn't appeal to everyone, on the other hand, those who aren't threathened by her continued submersions into the dark underworld of fashion, or for those who can afford it, Kawakubo has built up a highly loyal and enthusiastic Comme des Garcons clientele, and her underground classics -- for that is what she designs -- exert a definite influence on the men's fashion scene.
Kawakubo said she was thinking about the working man when she designed this collection that combines the simplicity of functional work clothes with a more Bohemian aura. Loose baggy suits in the designer's workedover wool and winter cotton fabrics featured a short trousers silhouette, and were shown with two new signature Comme des Garcons items: the roll collar, clerical dress shirt, and the big buttoned pajama shirt.
There were plush wool liner coats, with Comme des Garcons Hommes Plus labels affixed to the front; short, cropped, above-the-knee topcoats; long, knit collared jackets and a full range of outerwear sport coats, often buttoned all the way up. There was more visable pattern interest in this collection, which featured railroad stripe brushed flannel; small dobby patterned wool for trousers; patterned shirtings; plaid knits for cardigan sport coats; shadow striped and jacquard wools; ribbon satin striped or window pane suitings, and large wool blanket plaids double-faced in wool.
Knitwear was more fully enphasized as well, with key items including flushy, Tyrolean cardigans with wide (approximately three-inches or more) conventional narrow accent edging; pullovers, tunics in crewneck or turtleneck models falling to just above the knee (worn with rolled up sport pants); double-cardigans, and some reversible knits.
The silhouette for jackets and coats was extremely diverse, with both long and short looks in two-, three-, four- and more button versions offered. The longer four-button coat/jackets in black satin striped wool struck many as looking Massidic, but in this as well as some other looks, Kawakubo seemed to reflect the growing stylistic interest in Eastern Europe that has begun to emerge this season.
This was the first season that Issey Miyake formally presented his men's wear in Paris, and what a delightful presentation it was. For Miyake isn't content to just show clothes. This seems to have little interest for him. He prefers to display clothes in motion, and in new visual and sensory contexts where his mastery of volume and texture can be actively demonstrated.
Employing the sensational Momix Dance Co, and a group of models who danced, mimed and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, Miyake showed his voluminous tent and trench coats in nylon with an inner vest attached, as well as in smooth-backed sheep leather, cotton/nylon with a detachable wool liner, and black artificial leather. It was difficult to identify the designer's favored jumpsuits, as they were layered under jersey shirt coats of belted and zippered sweater jackets.
Spongey styrofoam-like wool jersey and bonded jersey were styled in action-oriented tops and bottoms, utility vests or trainers, as Miyake calls them, and for other new knit look like they were painted, and ribbon-like knits in artificial leather and woven and wool.
Miyake also offered fluid, easy jackets, car coat blazers, tailored evening cardigans and an interesting longer Spencer-style jacket with a pointed V front in supple black wool, beefy houndstooth tweeds and a blanket-like lambswool/linen coats.
Artforum International; 12/1/1996; Als, Hilton
The fashion show for the Spring/Summer 1997 collection of Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo featured models wearing gowns attached with bumps, making them look like hunchbacks. Unlike her peers, Kawakubo does not attempt to show what is supposed to be the 'natural.' Instead, she enables people to approximate the 'actual.' In Kawakubo's dresses, individuals feel that they are weird but perceive that the clothing does not represent the 'natural' and, by extension, themselves.
Kim Novak's protuberances in Hitchcock's Vertigo, Godzilla pores, pus flowering on top of pimples, nineteenth-century bustles and false fronts, Veronica Cartwright's bug-eyed expression of horror in Ridley Scott's Alien, prosthetic cocks or a "real" erect one, cellulite and diagrams on how to combat it, the male/female character in Silence of the lambs regarding his image in the mirror, dick tucked between his legs - all these tabulae non rasae sprang to mind as I watched models garbed in Rei Kawakubo's Spring/Summer '97 collection walk down the runway this fall, their backs, shoulders, and hips made ecstatically, imagistically associative by the down humps planted in Kawakubo's wool, polyurethane, and organdy gowns.
In a season characterized by a turn to "democracy" - Calvin "Just Be" Klein and innumerable ad campaigns that have mined, in ways too vulgar and injudicious to recount here, photographer Corinne Day's rethinking of fashion photography in terms the press has called "realistic" - Kawakubo's engorged garments for Comme des Garcons stand apart from her contemporaries' race to embrace the fiction of an empirical real as "new." This "fashion" is a smoke screen; in actual fact, fashion, as practiced by any designer but Kawakubo, does not exist, especially if the practice of making clothes can be defined as an idea that has been given form - the configuration of a thought, or several.
Kawakubo does not design clothes but events in which people appear. On the videotape of the collection shown in Pads this past fall, the audience's verbal reactions to the work functioned as the soundtrack; there was no music accompanying the models as they - one at a time - walked down the short white runway, their skirts rustling beneath their funereal faces, lips bleak, eyes greasy. The first outfit exhibited a woman in a white skirt, its hemline gathered in a bunch just beneath her knees. She also wore white stockings, flat white shoes, and a transparent white stretch top with white ribbed sleeves. The pods, also white, were attached to her back, beneath the nylon, polyurethane, stretch tulle top; her breasts (the frontal view) corresponded to the pod shapes. Further along, another girl: rainbow-colored polyester, polyurethane, and organdy stretch top, a slight opening at the chest, and a right shoulder of Quasimodo-like proportions, a shoulder stuffed with pods. (The beauty of the fabric will further confuse potential customers. These bumps are hard not to like. At any rate, it is hard not to find Kawakubo's imagination attractive, given that it is somewhat invidious.) Yet another girl sported a pod placed directly on her stomach; when she stood in profile, she looked as if she had been defeated by pregnancy, or was simply disinterested in the effect her cosmetic pregnancy had on us. In these clothes, people exist for better or for worse. The exact opposite of "fashion," which does not demand that its wearer infuse clothing with individual style, but takes the short, ugly view: that women do not know what they look like at all, so they might as well look like Everywoman. Versace, whose fashions-as-fantasy subscribe to this thesis, has made a great deal of money banking on the fact that women see themselves as men see them, which is to say as whores in repose, mouths in motion. His fiendishly bright colors are not as Mediterranean as one might think. Could they be the palette in which men paint a woman's interior self - violent, aggressive, "bitchin'"?
Buffalo Bill, the evil tailor in Jonathan Demme's Silence of the Lambs bitches because he is unable to distinguish between what he is and what he would like to be: if not exactly the bleak-lipped, greasy-eyed woman held captive in a blood-stained pit, then some kind of woman. But before becoming the woman he envisions himself as, he must wear her body like fashion: he stitches a bodysuit together from the skins of his victims - complete with breasts, fuller hips, larger thighs. The complicated emotional charge of this male/female's way of being lies in his nonresolution. Like many men who consider themselves female-identified, he relegates maleness to metaphysics: his corporeal self is incorporeal because no definitions, least of all as they pertain to the body and what constitutes the "natural," apply. Like the moth and butterfly larvae he so carefully tends in his basement garden, this man/woman will never metamorphose into a full-blown woman, will remain frozen somewhere between reality and desire, just as Kawakubo's designs exist somewhere between our acceptance of them and horror at having marshaled "acceptance" or "rejection" as the criteria for looking at anything. If Kawakubo is asking us anything, it is to see. A dick is a bump, a fact the female-identified male viewer may (again) realize with grotesque glee when looking at Kawakubo's bumps. He/she may also ask, What kind of man am I to love the way women would look in Kawakubo's bumps? And, What kind of thinking woman would I be if I did not eventually wear these bumps myself? These questions do not demand a response since the questions (and the added strain of trying to determine how one resembles Buffalo Bill) are enough to place one close to the heart of the bumps' essence, an essence very few men, or even women, will understand - a sartorial, gynecological, emotional freak-out.
The chrysalides Buffalo Bill cherishes bear more than a passing resemblance to Kawakubo's bumps or pods. While watching the collection on video, it was difficult not to be pulled into the vortex of isolation each of the models wore, like the weight of makeup - an isolation that raised questions beyond the banal or expected.
What would I Iook like in these clothes? What does my body mean to me? Knowing that what constitutes most social interaction or conversation is self-criticism ("I'm miserable!") and criticism of others ("They're miserable!"), Kawakubo, a most astute social and political reporter, provides metaphors made of fabric that represent how "awful" we assume we look: large bumps or pods that have very little relationship to the body even as it comments on its incongruities. A head is a bump, an ass two even bigger bumps. Would anyone want either if, in their misery, they were not occasionally deemed "cute" by someone we assume is distant from our various selves? The validation we seek from others is often the first and only attempt we make to gain perspective on who we are - but just for a moment. That moment is subsumed by our wish to be part of the social world, and that demands self-hatred.
Once a woman decides to be, on some level, fashionable, she submits to the strictures of fashion editors, generally female, who above all want to ensure that no woman ever look "lonely," or in a pucker, or too isolated by power - in short like themselves. "Lonely" is a favorite fashion-world adjective these days. Fashion editorials fight against this perilous state of mind by creating photographic spreads in which women are encouraged to be anything but lonely, hence the grueling omnipresence of images in which women luxuriate in atmospheres of elegance, their faces ghoulishly frozen by their relaxed and pretty lifestyles. Kawakubo offers the buyers of her work no options whatsoever except clothes open to interpretation, which at least calls for some level of self-awareness.
The surreal component in Kawakubo's current work only looks surreal if the eye doesn't work with the bumps or, to put it another way, does not trace in those broken lines the emotionalism of girls approving or disapproving of their bodies: I'm too fat; I stick out; My body is too weird; I look awful. Such confessions amount to bumps in the conversation that cannot be smoothed away with reassurances, least of all from men who identify not with the issues at hand but with images. The installation of bumps in Kawakubo's gowns may find a different locus for this internalized feeling of weirdness; a Kawakubo dress wearer may get to exist in the actual, finally edge toward the actual, as in, Actually, in this dress I do look weird, I do stick out, but that's the intention, it is not me, I cannot confuse it with the natural.
Kawakubo remains the only designer who deploys the surrealism inherent in photographic practice: selection, composition, showing one bump to connote many others. Buffalo Bill wanted to wear something to disguise the mess between his legs, to be, in effect, someone other than himself, the woman of his dreams, which fashionable people still consider a realistic possibility.
The Paris spring 1998 collections unveiled by European designers reflected the influence of Japanese designers. The trend at the shows has been a shift away from minimalism, as more designers offer a more expansive collection of clothes. Even minimalists such as Calvin Klein and Jil Sander are embracing the trend and adding more layers to their creations.
PARIS -- Move over, Miuccia and Helmut. This season, fashion's driving forces are Rei Kawakubo and, in a more subtle way, Yohji Yamamoto. Their influences are everywhere, and, while the results may not shock as they did years ago when the two designers first shook up the world of Western fashion, they still have the ability to fascinate.
Love or hate the various concepts associated with the two -- it's both politically incorrect and just plain incorrect to lump them into a singular Japanese sensibility -- you can't shrug them off. Perhaps that's because, global though we fancy ourselves, Westerners still must leap a certain chasm to embrace the more spectacular manifestations of Japanese influences. Why, as we approach the oft-invoked millennium, should we feel less undone by John Galliano's redux of the Belle Epoque at Dior than by themes Kawakubo introduced in the Eighties? Corsets we get; our ancestors wore them and sprung free. But bound arms, layers that fold into each other with no easily discernible beginning or end, shredded fabrics and certainly pregnancy-simulating tummy bunching are nowhere to be found in the dusty photo albums.
Yet right now, not only does it all look as provocative as ever, it also looks exotic, exciting and, done well, incredibly chic. Just where this renewed interest is coming from is hard to pinpoint. Only last year, Kawakubo remarked in an interview that she thought her current influence was nil, especially "right now with everything being retro and easy-to-wear casual." But certainly both she and Yamamoto have been among the strongest -- and, at least within the industry, the most talked-about -- designers over the past several seasons. She has been regarded as controversial by most objective standards and laughable by some, and he is credited with creating a glorious new glamour that looks back and ahead at once.
Coupled with the strength of their recent work are the forces of a bigger trend -- anti-minimalism. For the time being, at least, fashion has had it with the bare essentials. Clothes have been pared and spared to a fare-thee-well, and now, what's most inviting is anything with interest.
None of this has happened overnight. Rather, flourishes -- both those intrinsic to cut and those purely for embellishment -- have inched their way back into fashion. And they've done so to varying degrees, in everything from lace-edged slips and velvet Voyage borders to the glorious lavishness of John Galliano's pile-it-on approach at Dior.
Even die-hard purists are adding on. After years of stripping away, two of fashion's most renowned minimalists, Jil Sander and Calvin Klein, have taken to upping the detail quotient of their collections, most recently with Japanese references. Sander's spring collection, which drew heavily from Kawakubo in terms of cut, was a brilliant tour de force, one that distilled arcane ideas into real-life clothes. And next month, Klein, too, will continue with artistic details like elasticized hems on long, casual dresses.
Two collections shown here yesterday exemplified the range of Kawakubo's influence. Junya Watanabe, a former protege of hers, whose line is backed by Comme des Garcons, showed a collection vastly different than his fall effort, which was his most commercial ever.
This time, Watanabe said he wanted to do a collection that was fresh, simple and pure. While his take on simplicity clearly diverges from the way that idea is commonly perceived, the collection was indeed a beautiful, if studied, expression of purity. Almost everything was in white cottons, treated for various effects. And they were spectacular, from the simple heavy cottons to a dappled floral, tone-on-tone contrasts of matte and shine and those shot with silver brocade.
Watanabe showed draped, multilayer creations with voluminous knee-length skirts or girlish pleated skirts, hospital scrub T-shirts and loosely woven dresses and tops. Everything was swathed, wrapped and tied -- including the models' faces, each veiled behind a delicate filmy web. An aura of gentle madness prevailed, with visions of stylized Greek goddesses, ballerinas and nurses all blurring into each other. But the vision that remained in focus throughout was that of Kawakubo. Watanabe works under her umbrella, and obviously neither was bothered by the overt homage. And when it looks so good, why should they be?
Dries Van Noten took a far more accessible approach, one that meshed perfectly with his philosophy of mixing Eastern themes with smart tailoring. The result was one of his best collections in seasons. He opened with white dresses and separates, many bunched or gathered somewhere on the body, and sometimes worn under good-looking jackets. These, along with neutral-toned baggy sweaters, were the most direct Kawakubo references, and also comprised the strongest part of his show.
Then Van Noten reverted to what he does more often -- those far-flung elements tinged with exotica and worn in all sorts of layers. While many of these looked quite lovely, we've seen others before, and they lacked the freshness of the show's opening segment.
There's every reason to think this Japanese influence will carry through to New York, and it will be fascinating to see how the direction plays out at retail. In the past, when such themes move into the broader market, the results have sometimes been disastrous. The most recent example: a few years back, when everyone in fashion jumped on deconstruction -- hardly a mainstream concept.
While it's unlikely you'll see bound arms or deliberately thickened tummies coming out of 550 Seventh Avenue, you will see loosened shapes, inventive cuts and unexpectedly draped and folded silhouettes. And the times they are a-changing, so there may just be a healthy market -- if not an enormous one -- for the children of Rei.
WWD; 12/12/1994; Koski, Lorna
Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto believes that male designers have a more difficult time designing for women because they do not understand the female sex, and designing for a gender type that is different from their own is not easy. However, Yamamoto is becoming more experimental in his designs and is having fun designing handmade evening clothes. Yamamoto came to New York in Dec 1994 to deal with department store distribution issues and to make decisions about his boutique in SoHo, New York City, New York.
NEW YORK -- Yohji Yamamoto says he can understand John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Franco Moschino and Claude Montana.
"When I look at many of their designs, I say I could probably make the same thing. But whe I look at female designers -- Chanel, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons, Vivienne Westwood -- I have a strong feeling that I don't know how to make it...With female designers, it comes out naturally from their own body, but it is very hard for us. For me, women are mysterious. I can't understand the very small secret of a woman's life."
But this isn't the only thing he doesn't understand. "Seventies fashion -- I really don't like to look back to it or to talk about it. I know this fashion. When I was young, I was doing this. And now when I talk to very young people in Japan, they ask me, 'What is hippie?' They ask me, and I have to explain it, starting from the music, psychedelic things, art, the political situation.
"When I was a university kid, I traveled through Europe with a rucksack and guitar. It was like a dream, very free, easy and irresponsible. We were just thinking about how to survive with $3 to $5 a day. We traveled from Russia to Marseilles, all by ship. It was a moment when the Vietnam war had started, and people told me to be careful because I looked like a Vietnamese kid, and they were drafting young men into the army."
Yohji Yamamoto was in town only briefly to iron out some issues with his department store distribution, he says, refusing to elaborate because negotiations are at "a delicate moment."
He also wants to make some decisions about his SoHo boutique. "Should it be all for men or all for women? The atmosphere is wrong," he says.
Yamamoto was staying at the Four Seasons Hotel, whose Eighties-style, triumph-of-the-will architecture, replete with polished marble, dwarfed the 5-foot designer, dressed head to toe in his signature black.
"After 10 years in Paris, I think my show was becoming a bit difficult to deal with mechanically," says Yamamoto, 51, who admits to being in a transition in his role as a designer. "I'm staying only three or four days. Because of the change in time, I have jet lag. I want to go to bed around 4 o'clock in the afternoon."
What might he have been if he hadn't become a designer? Believe it or not, possibly a journalist. "For me, being a journalist is something that means you watch, think about, criticize and analyze, and you have to be a kind of leader of many opinions," Yamamoto says. "This is a very modern job. You have to be intelligent, and all you need is a pencil, paper and a notebook...[By contrast!, fashion design is kind of a heavy, dirty job."
Yamamoto now reveals that he's preparing to take an entirely new turn in design. "When I started this job, I had been very proud of doing ready-to-wear clothing, not costumes. I liked doing clothing for everyday life. But recently, I started to get interested in trying something I've never tried, like handmade things for evening. People can call it haute couture."
As for his celebrity, he says he's not often recognized in New York, but in Tokyo, people stare at him: "Oh, he is eating something. Now he is drinking coffee. In Paris, people come up to me and say, 'Are you Mr. Kenzo?' Sometimes I say, 'Yes. How do you do?'"
|jackpot! deconstruction article/ Issey Miyake Interview
so i got this seven day trial subsciption to highbeam.com. i did it to get access to a goldmine of old articles. i didn't want to post them all on the fashion spot, so i figured i'd post them here for your amusement.
these are going to be posted at random...
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service; 9/2/1993; Lytle, Lisa
Some fashion observers hail it as the final frontier of 20th-century fashion. Or is it just another emperor's-new-clothes conspiracy?
Deconstructionism is a radical fashion movement in which clothes are rough and raggedy, delicate and wrinkled, bleached and softened, undone and disheveled, and stitched or buttoned in weird places. It's as if a dressmaker had sewn in the dark.
Seams are exposed, hems are unfinished, linings are removed. These are not cheerful women's clothes; they're more Little Matchstick Girl than Little Orphan Annie.
Begun by Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garcons in the early '80s, deconstructionism picked up momentum in 1989 in the hands of Belgian designer Martin Margiela.
By the showing of the fall '93 collections last October in Paris and Milan, new avant-garde designers had joined the fold: Jean Colonna, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Koji Tatsuno, Marcel Marongiu and newcomer Lamine Kouyate for Xuly-Bet.
Individually, these designers provided escape from the luncheon suit-and-ballgown mentality, which for decades was the signature of the designer establishment in Europe.
Together, they raised deconstructionism to its current apogee, said Roger Martin, curator of costumes and textiles at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Their approach to clothing _ that of breaking structure by paring clothes to simple raw forms _ was a response to the rigid structure of matched designer clothes, Martin said.
``Deconstructionism is an antidote to the ostentatious '80s. It's about austerity.''
Deconstructionism did not evolve in a vacuum.
``At the end of any century, we look back critically and skeptically. It's happening in all the arts, this revising of the way we look at history and what it means in terms of bourgeoise values.''
But is it wearable? Actress Demi Moore has been seen around town wearing a Comme des Garcons brocade dress with small, round, dark glasses.
Margiela's spring collection sold out to the piece, said Julie Gilhart, divisional merchandise manager for the designer department at Barneys New York. Except for Comme des Garcons, sold in the South Coast Plaza store, other deconstructionist labels are available by special order only this fall.
Gilhart said fall '93 marks the climax of deconstructionism. The impact of the movement can be seen in slightly tamed versions by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel and Rifat Ozbek.
In Paris, Lagerfeld dabbled in deconstructionism with a weblike tunic over a white top, leggings and boots. In Milan, Rifat Ozbek placed an iridescent, light blue short jacket that seemed askew over a gold-tone dress.
Deconstructionism is filtering, albeit pureed and tamed, into the mainstream.
In California, young designer Lat Naylor of Think Tank leaves his men's and women's wear with a light, rough, unfinished look at more affordable prices.
Junior stores such as Wet Seal, Contempo Casuals and Clothestime now carry ribbed tops with exposed seams and unfinished edges.
Highbrow art for the body, or pretentious, ridiculous rags masquerading as intellectual work?
``I wouldn't call it art,'' Martin said. ``But what we ask of art is to be true to its time. Deconstruction is about collage, conservation and recycling. It's tied to the new age movement, and it has a '90s feeling. It is true to its time.
btw. did you know julia roberts wore comme des garcons to her wedding for lyle lovett?
Interview; 11/1/2001; Sischy, Ingrid
ISSEY MIYAKE: When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a dancer. I was interested in the way the body can express itself. Later I told people I was interested in graphic design and in becoming an artist, but that was mostly because that's what they expected me to want to do. However, I always thought fashion design was wonderful. After growing up in Hiroshima, I went to university and would get magazines from America with photographs by people like Avedon and Hiro or saw art by people like Andy Warhol. It had such power for me. I felt, through the images I saw in magazines, that clothing could be like beautiful architecture for the body. I was a graphic design student in Tokyo at the time and I was amazed at how architecture and other design fields completely ignored fashion design. It made me think that there was probably something to do there.
IS: When you were younger, were you conscious that something had to change in fashion? Did things seem too formal to you [in Japan]?
IM: That feeling started for me when I was in university and would go to parties. When it was time for me to get a job I said to myself the only place that I can work is in the couture [houses] in Paris.
IM: No, I'm someone who doesn't much understand stiff things. I like softness, things that are cottony. I like touching everything all the time. But I'm sure that I'm influenced by many sculptors, like Brancusi and Giacometti. Later when I came to New York, I got to know great artists, men like Christo and Robert Rauschenberg. They showed me another way to see, they lent me a lot of eyes. I'm covered with their eyes.
IS: Do you think that if you had grown up somewhere else, like New York City, you would have ended up doing something else, like being a sculptor?
IS: In that moment when you decided to go to Paris was it because you felt you needed to learn things about fashion that you could only learn there? Was it because you felt you needed that experience in order to survive in the field? Or was it perhaps just to get away? Because that decision changed everything.
IM: It was because I was thinking that my ultimate destination would eventually be New York. I wasn't sure I wanted to be a dress designer, but I knew I wanted to come to New York and do something new, something that only I could do. Studying in Japan just wasn't enough. I felt that to survive in the artistic field, New York was the only place to be.
IS: How did you get that feeling?
IM: Through magazines. At that time, I think magazines were much more inspiring to us visually than most of them are now. I had no money back then, so I'd always go to the public ad agency to see the latest magazines--I knew exactly when they'd arrive. I'd call repeatedly saying, "Did you get it?" and then I'd go to the office and it would be there as if by magic. It was emotional for me. And I thought, Designing clothes could be even more emotional.
IS: Tell me more about that.
IM: There's something very intimate about designing clothes. People have such individual and personal reactions to an article of clothing: "Oh, it's not for me" or "It is for me" or It's so avant-garde." They always see things from the point of view not just of their own bodies, but as a reflection of how they live, as well.
IS: So take us back to that decision to go to work in Paris. You worked for Givenchy, didn't you? Can you remember your job interview with him?
IM: That's the funny thing--it was in May 1968.
IS: What timing! That's exactly when the student riots happened at the Sorbonne, right?
IM: Yes. I went to the Sorbonne and the Place de l'Odeon to hear what they were saying, but most of it I didn't understand. It was still exciting. I had been working briefly at Guy Laroche and I was thinking I needed to change my profession, to try something else. I had a friend at the time, a Japanese girl who was a model for Givenchy, and I remember meeting her for lunch at a restaurant and she suggested I come to work at Givenchy. Next day she had it all arranged. All Mr. Givenchy said to me was that I had to stay more than one year, because you can't learn anything in less than that. It was very kind of him.
IS: What were your duties?
IM: I worked as a sketcher, doing all the drawings--I did about 50 to 100 a day. Then I had to do sketches in colors to send to people like the Duchess of Windsor and Audrey Hepburn. I learned a lot from watching him fit the clothes on the models--I could see the technique in his work. It was a great school. He was the best. He had a beautiful way of working in a very traditional way, and he was very sincere to work with, full of ethics and style, everything. But once I was there I began to think I couldn't be a designer, that I should do something completely different.
IM: Because I didn't want to belong to that kind of world and society. I saw that this was not my world. They were all nice people, beautiful, but different. It just wasn't for me.
IS: It must have also been an incredible culture clash, given what was happening at that moment in Paris and across the world.
IM: Yes. And I also knew how much was happening in America.
IS: So you finished your year at Givenchy and then you came to New York.
IM: Yes. Mr. Givenchy always knew that that was my goal. I came to New York in '69 and stayed just five or six months. The first time I'd come to the city was in '68, just to visit. It was during my time at Givenchy and a friend who lived in New York suggested I come over. I stayed on 34th Street, and he showed me the whole city. One day he asked me if there was anyone in particular I'd like to meet while I was there, and I said, "Yes, Hiro." The photographer was my hero. And knowing that he spoke Japanese made him feel familiar [to me]. This friend told me that Hiro was not in town, but that there was someone else I should meet. So he took me to see Richard Avedon. I stayed almost 30 minutes and thought, New York is so friendly and wild.
IS: Can you remember your feeling the first time you came into the city from Kennedy Airport?
IM: I felt like I was arriving at some very cosmopolitan city of the future. It was a great time for me to come to New York because it was the height of the hippie era. There was Woodstock and Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. You know, I had been living in Europe and was not into all that, was not into "Beatlemania." But that was a fascinating time. So as soon as my year in Paris was up I packed my bags and moved to your city. I took classes at Columbia and at Hunter College. Each morning I started work at 9:00 a.m. on Seventh Avenue, then I'd go to Columbia to learn English, and then every night, parties. I went everywhere--Central Park, the Village. There was so much happening in the city, underground things. It really made me think and changed the way I looked at things. And then I got sick and I had to go back to Tokyo--when I said goodbye to Japan I'd thought I'd never go back. But it also ended up being a great time when I did return to Japan. The World's Fair was going on. Young designers were doing thin gs for the World Expo. And I joined them after I got better. I needed to make money because I wanted to return to New York. And I did in 1970, but by then the economy in New York had changed completely. Times were really dark by then. So I went home to Tokyo again, where I found the light. There was the air of possibility there. I began to think, I should start something on my own. I had some friends who wanted to work with me, and I also sensed something new happening on the street.
IS: What's interesting about even your earliest clothes is how they show your intuition that technology was going to change fashion.
IM: Yes. It changed with fabrics like nylon and polyester. I was the first one to use ultra-suede--the essence of the suede. After that I thought, to make something really original I should work with people who are in the forefront of technology. I have always believed in simplicity because the human body is already something amazing-why complicate things?
IS: What's so interesting about that moment from the late '60s to the early '70s is that it was also a great moment for art and technology. It was during this period, of course, that the group known as Art and Technology was formed. Now people have forgotten about the revolutionary work of those artists, but it's interesting to think about in the context of what happened in fashion.
IM: When I was working in Paris, you know, everything was done by hand, but once I discovered the importance of technology I couldn't go back.
IS: Do you think it's because you're from Japan that you're so tuned into all that?
IM: I was probably influenced subconsciously by the technology that was exploding in Japan, because I was very aware of Sony and the other technology companies coming out then. Of course, that's something that's only clear to me in hindsight. At that time in the early '70s I was searching for a new way of doing things, and I wanted to find a new expression that was different from what had been done before. There were so many new things happening in the world of technology, but it seemed that the fashion world was still stuck in trends. I wanted the work that I was doing to be connected to the people of our times.
IS: What's so interesting to me is that here's this young designer from Japan who goes to work at Givenchy, this classic French house that's all about maintaining the old values, and yet you wanted to change the world. So take us back to that first collection you designed under your own name.
IM: I made my first collection for New York. I'll never forget it. I brought it to New York in January--one of the pieces was all polyester, but just one size and all hand-made. Because I knew I couldn't do eight and make them all incredible, I went for just one size and to do something really great. It was revolutionary at the time.
IS: Did people say to you, "What is wrong with you, are you crazy? You have to do a range of sizes."
IM: Yes, but I think they understood me because stores like Bloomingdale's immediately started working with me.
IS: To get them as a client then was a really big deal!
IM: Yes. And they gave me great exposure. I'll never forget it--I made a tattoo dress that was inspired by Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. They had both died in '70, so I wanted to do it because I think tattoo is like an homage. So I took these Japanese traditions and made them contemporary.
IS: What's interesting is that you've always had a following among creative people. This happened very quickly in Japan when you began. For example, I know that the important new architects, writers and photographers of the time in Japan all loved your clothes. And, as another example, in the '80s the New York art world fell in love with your work. To this day, at important art events one sees the loyalty that artists and gallerists feel towards your work. They're wearing it.
IM: It's the only way I could work.
IS: You mean that if you were going to work in fashion, you wanted to be connected to a community of creative minds?
IM: Yes. I'm not the person who should be in the gallery. But I have melted the plane and broken the boundaries between genres. What I do involves all sorts of people, all genres, and I think people in the art community appreciate it because they see it's another form of expression, they see another point of view. I never wanted to make clothes just for fashion shows. I preferred to develop a relationship with the people who wear my clothes. I also started working with photographers and artists and filmmakers and graphic designers--collaborating with them felt like a more natural way for me to work, and one I knew would ultimately lead to my work being seen by the world.
IS: That leads to the fact that you also figured out how to really reach the street--in fact, you succeeded in communicating in both high and low contexts. What was it about the work you started doing in the early to mid '70s that immediately made you know you'd found your voice?
IM: Working in fashion, I never wanted to be a designer's designer. I just wanted to feel on a par with other creative people that I respect, like Christo or John Cage. I was always working to strike a balance, to not be too much in fashion.
IM: Well, I think in the '80s people became very interested in fashion, and it made things easier for me than they had been before. Which was frightening in a way, too. Designers, particularly in Paris, started to thrive, and it became this competition of exaggerations. It was fun, a good experience, but I felt like I was losing something, like the more I expressed the more I lost. In the early '60s I had felt as though I was doing something special because my work was really unique. By the '80s, however, a lot of people had learned from what I was doing--texture had become very important, and I felt like I was getting closer and closer to the mainstream. So I got the idea to meet Mr. Irving Penn. The representations I was seeing of my work in the fashion magazines felt hollow to me, and I had seen images that Mr. Penn had taken and deeply respected them. So my friend took me to meet him and I explained to him that I needed just a few photos, not for printing, but to help me find what I should do next. I neve r thought to make a book with him.
IS: So let's jump to the '80s. You became very influential, and a whole other explosion happens.
IS: In fact, your relationship with Mr. Penn turned into a collaboration that has existed ever since.
IM: Yes. Initially he said he was sorry, that he didn't have time to take photographs of my work. But one year later he said he could probably try. And as soon as I heard that, I brought all the clothes for him to see.
IS: And the rest is history. Do you think your collaboration with Irving was as successful as it was because he in fact allowed you to see new things about what you were doing through his pictures?
IM: I knew there was only one person and his work who could tell me if what I was doing was all right or not, and what I should do next, and it was Mr. Penn's photographs.
IS: So let's go to the '90s. You were at the height of your career, a point at which many other designers would sit back and keep doing what they've always been doing; but instead you made a different decision--you introduced your prodigy, Naoki Takizawa, in Paris. [Takizawa is now the designer for Miyake men's and women s collections.] Tell us what led you to make that decision.
IM: Ten years ago, while I was putting together a book of my work from the '80s, and also as I made an exhibition called A-UN, I felt as though I was getting lost. So I took a backpack and went to Greece to travel around. I found I didn't need much, just underwear and socks and things. A few years earlier, in '88, I had started to make pleats from these technologically-made fibers. I began to think the concept might be good for fashion. I had to make a break again. I felt I had perhaps forgotten the life of the people, what they need. Because times had changed. I thought, Wow, this could be it--you can wear it, wash it, travel with it. And I saw that it was a marvelous thing for dancers to wear, because it holds its shape so well. So I spoke to a lot of dancers, and studied how they were wearing their clothes. Ultimately it led to the creation of the line Pleats Please. We didn't make them for fashion shows or anything like that. I said, "This is new. It's a new skin." I thought it was good for the people--th ey can sit down, they can stay neat, the fabric is easy to maintain, you can transform it from morning to night. Then in '93 I became involved in the production end of the fabric, because the prices were so high many people who wanted them could not afford the pieces. After 20 years I said to myself, "I'm finally in the fashion business."
IS: It was fashion on your own terms.
IM: Yes. At first some people said things like, "Oh, it's not for me. I have to be slimmer to wear that." But I was sure of what I was doing, that this fabric was a good thing for people's lifestyles. It's what I dreamt of doing in '68 and '69, something as simple as a T-shirt and jeans, but more widely used. I was very proud of it. I also thought to myself that people are always waiting for what they need, even if they don't know what it is. That's what happened with Pleats Please as well as my fragrance, L'Eau d'lssey. They were all waiting for something different.
IS: Understanding that is the nature of being an artist. And now there's a new boundary you've crossed. A while ago you gave up your role as the designer of Issey Miyake and handed the mantle to Naoki Takizawa. In fact, in the Issey style this move has just led to your being able to continue to push boundaries in new areas like your A-POC project, but still it must have been quite a decision to give up the daily reins that you had been involved in for so long. Now, as artistic director of it all, you ultimately oversee and OK everything that goes under your name--but you no longer helm your signature collections. How did you arrive at your decision?
IM: Well, you know six years ago I began to ask myself, "How shall I keep going? What shall I do?" I am very proud that I have so many young people who work with me and I said to one of them, "Naoki, you take the reins of the men's collection because you have the mind to go forward--that's the Miyake tradition. Don't be afraid to make a difference." Then when the time arrived a few years later, I gave him the women's line. If they need help from me, I'm there, but otherwise they are free to do what they like. I did the same with the designer in charge of research. I told them I was dreaming of learning something new. So I handed over parts of the company to give the people working there more freedom.
IS: So tell me about this latest chapter, called A-POC [available along with all the other Miyake lines at Lower Manhattan's Tribeca Issey Miyake, scheduled to open by the time this issue hits the stands].
IM: It stands for A Piece of Cloth. It's a completely revolutionary idea in fashion. I have a small team, and we're working on developing it in really exciting ways.
IS: It sounds like this is work you can do anywhere, since it's done via the computer. You're not tied to a studio.
IM: Yes. But you know, this is a reflection of the times we live in. When the Internet arrived all the young people I know were so excited by it--and I had to have it explained to me. [laughs) And the reality is that now we are all using it. Anywhere we dream we can now work.
I'm committed to creating a great future for Issey Miyake and new genes for our future. This is really a new way to work. I don't know how far we can go with A-POC, but I'm sure it's very far.
|Wednesday, October 12th, 2005|
where is charles anastase's spring 2006 collection???
|Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005|
i posted this on the runaway illustration game...
|Thursday, July 28th, 2005|