The “Future Beauty: The Tradition of Reinvention in Japanese Fashion” exhibit is open at The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto until May 11.

Starting in 2010 with the Barbican Art Gallery in London, the exhibit toured five cities around the world. Kyoto is the sixth city to hold this exhibit. A display of items relating to each of the cities is also arranged, and in Kyoto, works created by fusing traditional Nishijin weaves and state-of-the-art dyeing techniques are being showcased.

Under the four categories, “In Praise of Shadows,” “Flatness,” “Tradition and Innovation” and “Spinning Stories,” approx. 100 works are on exhibit including designs by Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. Kawakubo of COMME des GARCONS gained respect from the world by setting a new tone in the fashion industry. Creations by young designers such as Kunihiko Morinaga of Anrealage and Keisuke Nagami of hatra are also on display.

The “In Praise of Shadows” section located near to the entrance showcases black and monotone designs. The colors are signature to Japanese fashion and created a sensation in the Europe in the 1980s. A black knit by Rei Kawakubo and the white cotton dress by Yohji Yamamoto, intentionally pierced through with holes and described as “Swiss cheese” by the Washington Post, are on display. Shocking black designs which strayed from western aesthetics is overlapped with the famous essay “In Praise of Shadows” by Junichiro Tanizaki.

In the “Flatness” section, designs created with free expressions and elaborate works are on display. Designs by Issey Miyake instantly change shapes and become three-dimensional when picked up from the floor. The pieces introduced here make the most of kimono’s flat expression and origami’s (paper folding) calculation.

The “Tradition and Innovation” section introduces the process of how Japanese designers and textile manufacturers collaborated to develop materials. Dresses by Junya Watanabe using water-repellent materials and coats by Anrealage which change colors when exposed to ultraviolet rays are exhibited to express how technique contributes to design.

In the “Spinning Stories” section, pieces from the 1990s to 2000s are on exhibit. The design “20471120,” closely linked to sub-cultures such as manga and anime, and a design by Aski Kataski using fabric and leather collected from flea markets in Paris are shown. Knits and blouses created by Kaoru Yokoo have holes and runs and are artistically patched up. The designs spin the stories of clothes and its wearers.

In addition to the designs, visuals and materials of the Paris collections in the 1980s are also exhibited.

【Exhibit Information】
Future Beauty: The Tradition of Reinvention in Japanese Fashion
Venue: The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Address: Okazaki Enshoji-cho Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Dates: until May 11
Time: 9:30 am to 5 pm (open until 8 pm on Fridays, entry until 30 min prior to close)
Admission; general 1,200 yen, university students 800 yen, high school students 500 yen, junior high school students and under free of charge
Closed: Mondays (open on Apr 28 and May 5)