High Design

The Best of the Japanese Avant-Garde

A new exhibition in Seattle celebrates Japan’s masterful impact on fashion design.

Japanese Fashion Hits Seattle

This summer, the Seattle Art Museum will exhibit 80 gowns by shape-shifting Japanese designers such as Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, and Yohji Yamamoto, who represent Japan’s massive influence on fashion in the ’70s and ’80s. Future Beauty: Thirty Years of Japanese Fashion represents a time when conceptual designers such as Rei Kawakubo and Yamamoto brought a breath of fresh air onto the Paris runways. Opening this week, it will remain on view until September 8. 

Takashi Hatakeyama

Junya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons

Sculptural dress from Fall 2000 required special textile development. 

Courtesy of Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake

A1970s intergalactic hooded wrap dress. 

Takashi Hatakeyama

Hanae Mori

A 1960s floral-print belted dress. 

Takashi Hatakeyama

Junya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons

Sculptural dress for Comme des Garçons from Fall 2000. 

Taishi Hirokawa

Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi, Mintdesigns

A babydoll dress made out of newspaper strips from Fall 2008. 

Takashi Hatakeyama

Kosuke Tsumura, Final Home

Plastic raincoat stuffed with newspaper from a 1994 collection. 

Masayuki Hayashi

Matohu

A Fall 2008 dress with fringed belt. 

Takashi Hatakeyama

Yohji Yamamoto

Wrapped fabric dress from Spring 1998. 

Taishi Hirokawa

Yohji Yamamoto

Tattered dress with pants from Spring 1983. 

Takashi Hatakeyama

Yohji Yamamoto

Two-toned structural gown from Fall 1996. 

Taishi Hirokawa

Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons

Draped black dress from Fall 1983. 

Takashi Hatakeyama

Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons

An embroidered dress with large tulle bustle from Fall 1995. 

Takashi Hatakeyama

Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons

A geometric print dress with padded top from Spring 1997.