By Bonnie English
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Extra resources for Japanese Fashion Designers: The Work and Influence of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo
An understanding of textile fibres, both natural and synthetic, and of fabrics, both handwoven and traditionally dyed, as well as high-tech textiles that are not woven at all, is one of the most remarkable aspects of Miyake’s work. Multi-directional pleating, garments encased in metallic skins, multicoloured, felt-like clothing ‘collaged’ together from irregularly shaped pieces of cloth, and dresses with large sections that are selectively shrunk (kibira) represent some of the textile-conscious directions that Miyake has taken in recent years.
37 – 38 JAPANESE FASHION DESIGNERS Their work responded to the societal changes taking place in Japan in the post-war era. It is important to reiterate that, during and immediately after the Second World War, Japan suffered years of austerity and this impoverishment was imprinted on the minds of many. Interestingly, both Yamamoto and Kawakubo, who are now in their sixties, grew up in this period. After the war, especially among the young, an initial desire for the novel and the commercialized dominated.
We don’t do licensing. We are not controlled by someone else. We are our own’ (Simon 1999). Franka Sozzani, editor-inchief of Italian Vogue, applauds the Japanese designers’ independence and suggests frequently that they are considered icons in the fashion world. EAST MEETS WEST I realized these two wonderful advantages I enjoy, and that was when I started to experiment creating a new genre of clothing, neither Western nor Japanese but beyond nationality. Miyake In the fine arts, the interface which existed between Eastern and Western culture has been well documented.