Opening today, the Design Museum’s Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things is a love letter to the often overlooked design details of everyday life.
Thanks to its exploration of contemporary design and architecture, the exhibition not only examines furniture objects, but also fashion designs from the 1970s to the 1990s — in specific the Issey Miyake 132 5. collection, constructed out of a single piece of recycled plastic, which acts as both a folded two-dimensional object and a three-dimensional garment.
“Issey Miyake’s work tries to find a balance between the practical and the beautiful, a concept that is as relevant today as it was when he started the fashion house. His constant experimentation with both forms and also production has kept him at the peak of international fashion and design,” comments the presentation’s curator Gemma Curtain.
Getting a new perspective on the seemingly ordinary is always a visual delight, and this exhibition does its task more than justice.
Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things is on display at the Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London, SE1 2YD.
When Japanese visionaries Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto stormed the catwalks in the early Eighties they redefined fashion. The androgyny of their architectural shapes not only blew apart how women in Europe dressed, but succeeded in turning fashion into art.
Thirty years on and Japanese fashion continues to challenge Western notions of beauty and the Barbican’s new exhibition, ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’ charts the history and impact of the country’s inimitable style.
As Kate Bush, Head of Barbican Art Galleries says: “The tight silhouettes of Western couture were jettisoned for new fluid shapes. Out went the magnificent ornament and extravagant techniques of the post-war tradition and in came a stark, monochrome palette and an entirely new decorative language – holes, rips, frays and tears – emerging from the stuff of fabric itself.”
An epic journey through Japanese fashion history, featuring over 100 beautiful pieces by labels such as Comme des Garcons and Junya Watanabe – courtesy of the Kyoto Costume Institute – as well as catwalk footage and archive interviews, the exhibition dazzles the senses. Spanning the grand masters to the new radicals of Japanese design, it’s the story of an avant-garde fashion culture where breathtaking beauty and innovation are all part of the same rapid beating heart.