From East to West

London celebrates 30 years of Japanese Fashion in a new exhibition launched today at The Barbican Art Gallery.

Showing until 6 February 2011, it features designs from the likes of Issey Miyake, Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto.

Koji Tatsuno AW 1993

Pieces at the gallery date back to the 1980s when Japanese fashion began to appear in European catwalks where the silhouette was concealed by drapery and asymmetrical cuts. It moves onto traditional eastern design inspired the art form of Origami and ‘flatness’ e.g. crepe paper laterns that fold out to form a respective top and skirt.

Origami-inspired creations

There is also of course the ‘Cool Japan’ gallery featuring fashion from Tokyo’s Harajuku district and clothing inspired by anime and manga characters such as Hello Kitty and Gothic Lolita.

Short films featuring past catwalk shows and incerpts from the designers themselves are dotted throughout the exhibition as well as whole rooms dedicated to recent collections from Miyake, Kawakubo and Yamamoto.

Pieces from Yohji Yamamoto

There is also a chance to grab a piece of Japanese culture in the little pop-up show at the end of exhibition with kitsch items, books, novelty toys and even perfume.

Make sure you catch it before February, it is a truly fascinating gallery and if Japanese is your thing, there are also films showing at The Barbican Centre this month.

Book your tickets online for a slightly cheaper deal or head straight to the exhibition: £10 adults/£8 concessions.

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