Friday, 13 March 2009

Hello Kansai Yamamoto

"Will you just look at those incredibly insane clothes-I just don't believe it." The chick flashed a smile and said: "Yeah, he carries most of his street clothes when's he's touring and most of his stage costumes-like his spacemen's suits. He's going to be on the road about two months, you see. Didn't you see that Time Mag picture of David with that beautiful black suit of his? Well, he brought that one too.
All his suits are custom-made by this fabulous Japanese designer, Kansai, " 
-David Bowie in Hollywood, by Annie Tipton (June 1974)







"He has an unusual face, don't you think?  He's neither man nor woman.  If you see what I mean; which suited me as a designer because most of my clothes are for either sex.  I love his music and obviously that has influenced my designs but most of all there's this aura of fantasy that surrounds him.   He has flair.- Kansai Yamamoto (June 1973)





"Yamamoto is Kabuki in his overt theatricality, flamboyant sense of gesture and design, and brilliant colorful design as much to be read from afar as admired at close range. Leonard Koren, writing in New Fashion Japan, (1984) said, "For Kansai, fashion means creating a festival-like feeling using brightly colored clothes with bold design motifs inspired by the kimono, traditional Japanese festival wear, and military clothes." Gaudy by desire, larger-than-life by theater's intensity, and virtually to Japanese culture what Pop style was to Anglo-American culture, Yamamoto has consistently cultivated a fashion of fantastic images, extravagant imagination, and sensuous approach to both tradition and a view of the future."
***


"Unabashed entertainer and impresario (long a familiar product spokesman on Japanese television), Yamomoto achieved cult status in the 1970s for his worldly transmission of Japanese culture. His work has often been controversial in Japan inasmuch as it is thought to promote and exploit images of Japanese vulgarity internationally. Is Yamamoto creating an "airport art," expensive exoticism for the West that still thinks of an East Asia of bright colors, lanterned festivals, Kabuki masks, and fabulist stories with dragons and tigers? Yamamoto seems poised between traditional Japanese culture, the Pop sensibility of the late 20th century, and a longing for a millennial future."






3 comments:

william shatner said...

jane, your love for mr bowie seems to know no bounds! have you ever seen a film called the man who fell to earth? in my opinion it's the best film he's ever done and a truly great science fiction story to boot. check it out!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074851/

MBC said...

Jane Jane Jane, your blogs are fantastic (you're part of my daily internet routine). I simply adore your taste in just about everything.

Yay for you : )
xo
Bitsy

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much confidence celebrates have to wear things so extreme without fear.

-Zane of ontario honey