The Japanese Invasion: Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake

In: People

Submitted By cornelyus
Words 1271
Pages 6
“All the things that adorn woman, all the things that go to enhance her beauty, are part of herself… making… the woman and her dress, an indivisible whole.” (Baudelaire 1972: 423-4)
For a long time, femininity is often defined by how the female body is been perceived and represented, ‘a woman’s character and status are frequently judged by her appearance’ (Betteron 1987) Clothes, make-up and demeanour constitute identity, sexuality and social position are some of elements that constitutes a feminine body. And for centuries, Western fashion has resolutely inclined towards a more structured and tailored kind of silhouette, which exalted the virtues of sexuality, glamour and status—the backbone of the European haute couture design. Western female clothes have historically been designed to exemplify the contours of the body.
While 1980s was majorly characterized by everything glitzy and glamour – with people earning big money and spending conspicuously, the era saw a emergence of a new generation of young Japanese designers whose designs exemplified the ideology of “anti-fashion” and some of these designers were Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. The purpose of this essay is to see how Miyake and Yohji’s emergence and their unconventional design philosophy, silhouettes they created and techniques they have adopted, have called forth a new interpretation of the existing regulations and norms of clothing and fashion; and how women should be perceived and represented.

To see how the representation and perception of the feminine body and western fashion had been drastically changed since the emergence of Japanese design in 1980s, it is important to compare and contrast both Miyake and Yamamoto’s work, in terms of how their philosophy has brought upon this new change.
It was evident that both Miyake and Yamamoto were generally all about challenging everything that were…...

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