London Fashion Week may be so “last month” but London’s love affair with fashion continues apace.
No fewer than three of London’s exhibition spaces are opening exhibitions dedicated to Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto this weekend, stirring up the question “Art? Or fashion?” all over again.
Whatever your take on the debate, these clothes are certainly fun. Oversized, unfinished, made from unusual fabrics like felt or neoprene, Yamamoto’s designs are full of history and humour.
In the V&A’s main exhibition space, you can see more than 60 “creations” alongside a multimedia timeline looking at the artist / designer’s creative output. Hunt around the V&A and you’ll find more of his work hidden in the Norfolk House Music Room, the British Galleries, and in each of the Paintings, Ceramics and Sculpture Galleries.
Over at The Wapping Project Bankside, a new exhibition called Yohji’s Women is a photographic exhibition by seven key photographers who’ve worked with Yamamoto. Look out for strong women wearing complex clothing with a grown-up, challenging sexuality…
And at The Wapping Project, you can see the nuttiest part of these three shows: a massive, white silk wedding dress is being installed in the cavernous Boiler House of the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. It’s called Making Waves. According to the blurb:
Every ten minutes a wave will make its way across the space, disturbing the image almost as Yamamoto disrupted the conventions of Western design and the ripples will expand out beyond the falling dress
Apparently, you can get up close to the dress from a small wooden boat, rowed to the centre of the space by a boatman.
So, instead of a trip to Topshop this weekend, why not pop out and see some real fashion?
Yohji Yamamoto is on at the V&A from 12 Mar-10 Jul. Tickets £5-£7. See www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/yohji-yamamoto for more information. Yohji’s Women is at Wapping Bankside from 12 Mar-14 May, see www.thewappingprojectbankside for more details. Making Waves is at the Wapping Wapping Project from 12 Mar-14 Jul, see www.thewappingproject.com for more.
Top image: photography by Nick Knight, Art Direction by Peter Saville.
Second image: Oversized white silk wedding dress with bamboo crinoline and oversized hat supported by bamboo sticks, Autumn/Winter 1998, in Juste des Vetements, Musée de la Mode et du Textile, Louvre, Paris, 2005, Photography, Gael Amzalag.
Japanophile? Don’t miss the Japanese tearoom-inspired reading room at Spitalfields next week.