Nicolas Ghesquière Taps a Japanese Fashion Design Icon for Louis Vuitton Cruise 2018 – Vogue.com

There was a curious front row guest at today’s Louis Vuitton 2018 Cruise show at the Miho Museum just outside of Kyoto. Seated among megawatt stars like Jennifer Connelly and Michelle Williams, there was a Japanese man in a bright red suit with a beaming smile. His name is Kansai Yamamoto and he is a fashion icon. The designer served as both muse and collaborator for Nicolas Ghesquière’s latest outing at Vuitton, creating classic Japanese art and Kabuki-inspired patterns and prints for the Cruise collection. Yamamoto was a pioneer in Japanese fashion design and gained worldwide fame after taking his wares outside of his home country to London and Paris and later, dressing a legendary music star in looks that would become synonymous with his stage presence and off-beat sartorial allure. Yamamoto turned fashion shows into large-scale spectaculars and spun intricate costumes out of classic kimonos and samurai pants.

Save for a 2013 show during the New Britain Mask Festival in Papua New Guinea, Yamamoto has stayed relatively under-the-radar during the last decade. Thanks to Ghesquière, the innovative Japanese designer is back in the spotlight. Below, 5 important things to know about the designer who leant his legendary talents to today’s Louis Vuitton Cruise collection.

  1. Kansai Yamamoto’s career as a designer really took off in the early 1970s but he wasn’t always interested in fashion. Before enrolling in the Bunka Fashion College in 1967, Yamamoto studied English and civil engineering at Nippon University in Tokyo.

  2. A predecessor of designers like Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Kenzo Takada, and Rei Kawakubo, Kansai Yamamoto was the first Japanese designer to show in London in 1971. He eventually settled the business in Paris in 1975.

  3. Yamamoto is most widely known for his costume work with music icon David Bowie. Among the most famous looks were those worn by the singer during his Ziggy Stardust and Alladin Sane tours, including wildly printed kimonos and space age-inspired jumpsuits. The two eventually became very close friends and Yamamoto once remarked, “there’s this aura of fantasy that surrounds him. He has flair.”

  4. Yamamoto’s colorful, avant-garde work is inspired by the Momoyama period of Japanese art (1573-1615), as well as traditional Kabuki theater costume and classic Manga illustrations, some of which could be seen in the prints and mask motifs at today’s Vuitton show.

  5. In the ‘90s, the designer began staging what he called “Super Shows.” His first over-the-top, gigantic fashion show was held in Moscow’s Red Square in 1993 while subsequent collections were shown in places like India and Vietnam. Yamamoto was one of the original imaginative showmen of fashion—another thing he and Ghesquière have in common.

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*