writtenafterwards: Future Beauty at QAGOMA

WrittenAfterwards-SS-2013-Collection-Bye-BuyThe Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion exhibition has recently concluded at the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, and I was in Brisbane to see it a couple of weeks ago.

In the 80s, Japanese designers such as Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe of Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake and others launched a fashion aesthetic the like of which the West had never seen. They presented a radically different understanding of the human form, using dresses with strange, egg-like excrescences to illustrate the limitations of our ideas of beauty, and creating and designing for ma, the space between body and garment.

The exhibition was brilliant, and the clothes and ideas, the real deal in their audacity and commitment to the maker’s vision. Photography was not permitted, so the following photos are taken from the internet (with attribution, where I could find it).

At the end of the post is a video of the 2013 Spring/Summer collection for writtenafterwards, an edited version of which featured in the exhibition. To the soundtrack of unearthly Shinto music, it’s a strange, hypnotic experience. Start at the 21:00 mark.

Future-Beauty-qagoma-06 Future-Beauty-qagoma-07 Future-Beauty-qagoma-09 Future-Beauty-qagoma-10 Future-Beauty-qagoma-13 Future-Beauty-qagoma-26 Future-Beauty-qagoma-27rei1 rei2

Images (from top): (1) writtenafterwards, Spring/Summer 2013; (2) Yohji Yamamoto, Spring/Summer 1998-99 (white) | Yohji Yamamoto, Spring/Summer 2003 (black dress); (3) Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons, Autumn/Winter 2009-10;  (4) Comme des Garçons (Rei Kawakubo), Spring/Summer 2007; (5) Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons, Autumn/Winter 2000-01; (6) unidentified; (7) Jun Takahashi Undercover,  Autumn/Winter 2000-01; (8) Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons, Autumn/Winter 2004-05; (9) Comme des Garçons (Rei Kawakubo), Spring/Summer 1997; (10) Comme des Garçons (Rei Kawakubo), Autumn/Winter 1995-96 (pink), Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons, Autumn/Winter 2000-01 (floral).

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9 thoughts on “writtenafterwards: Future Beauty at QAGOMA

    • Kimmy, I own a comme des garcons skirt, only a semi-radical one. It’s huge and gathered and stands out from my waist, made from material which can explode if I stand too close to a fire. It’s like wearing an animal or a cage. In fact, one doesn’t wear it, one drives it :) xxx

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    • Kayti, I’d wear the black coat with gold chain in a flash, and also the coat stuffed with flowers (you can stuff it with newspaper if you run out of flowers :) I’d even attempt the pink bustle if it were my colour, except I’ve seen models wearing it with the bustle in front … can you imagine? :)

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