Born in 1944, Kansai Yamamoto launched his first collection in London in 1971 to international acclaim. Harpers & Queen described it as “The Show of the Year… a spectacular coup de theatre”.
Yamamoto’s name has since become synonymous with his avantgarde designs; sculptural tailoring which wraps and envelopes the body, a layered approach to dressing and use of bright colour and pattern. Recreations of Yamamoto’s designs worn by David Bowie on the 1973 Aladdin Sane tour will be presented together with custom made pieces during the Fashion in Motion shows.
Oriole Cullen, Fashion in Motion curator, said: ‘Kansai Yamamoto was the first Japanese designer to show in London in 1971, when he presented kaleidoscopic colour and layered garments with incredible energy and theatricality.
‘Yamamoto’s presentation pushed the boundaries of conventional catwalk shows and has had considerable influence on future generations of designers, especially in Japan. We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring Kansai Yamamoto's dynamic display of vibrant colourful designs to a London audience as part of the Fashion in Motion programme’.
Yamamoto is also known for his production of ‘super-shows’, which combine fashion with music, dance and entertainment on a large scale. These shows aim to unite performers with an audience of thousands and have taken place in locations as varied as Red Square in Moscow, Nehru Stadium in New Delhi and Tokyo Dome over the last 20 years.
Kansai Yamamoto explains the concept behind his Fashion in Motion collection as, ‘In Japan the word BASARA means to dress freely, with a stylish extravagance. BASARA is the opposite of the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic, which is underplayed and modest; it is colourful and flamboyant and it lies at the heart of my design. I am excited to present this to at the V&A.’
About Fashion in Motion:
The V&A’s Fashion in Motion series brings catwalk shows by leading international designers to the V&A. The aim is to show fashion as it is meant to be seen – in movement. Previous designers featured in the series include Ozwald Boateng, Giles Deacon, Erdem, Jean Paul Gaultier, Roksanda Ilincic, Christian Lacroix, Alexander McQueen, Missoni, Jenny Packham, Gareth Pugh, Vivienne Westwood and Yoji Yamamoto.
Fashion at the V&A:
The V&A’s fashion collection is designated as the UK’s National Collection and is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of dress in the world. Many of the pieces in the V&A’s fashion collection are unique to the V&A and most of the iconic looks of the last four centuries are represented.
The collections have been a source of inspiration for numerous fashion designers from Zandra Rhodes to the late Alexander McQueen, as well as students. The V&A’s Fashion Gallery reopened in May 2012 following a two year refurbishment and is one of the most popular galleries in the Museum.
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