Modern Japanese Design: Primary Research


13-19th March

Today I went to visit Manchester Art Gallery as I was an exhibition on that I had been meaning to go to for a while now. It is based on modern Japanese fashion and design and featured work some garments that had been created by Issey Miyake a designer I have loved for a few years now due to his beautiful and innovative designs. Miyake is an astonishing craftsman who entwines Japanese origami within his creations, and this is one of the aspects of his work I appreciate because although his inspiration is traditional and historic, his creations still look modern, contemporary and innovative and this transition really gives the garments context and background. The origami is presented through an abundance of folds, pleats, pressing and other forms of fabric manipulation included in the garments. This is his signature and using these constructive as decorative techniques is what attracts his customers to purchase his work. He majorly sticks to monochrome pallets and materials he uses ranges from natural to ‘plastic’ materials such as Polyvinyl Chloride and Latex. Miyake is extremely experimental with his work with an ‘unflinching’ vision.

However, the main reason I visited it due to the fact I know that a large proportion of the work exhibited is made from recycled plastics, “PET”. The designers have used the recycled plastics and transformed them into something new, innovative and wonderful, and this I really appreciate and links into my project well as they are using resources efficiently, and this I too hope to do in my project. These light shades he has created for the Italian lighting company Artemide unfold from 2D to 3D. Each light is made from a single sheet of recycled plastic – PET. The fibres within the material make it self-supporting so there is no need for a separate frame inside.

Other Japanese Designers Included Comme des Garçosn and Yuki. One of my favourite pieces is this Comme des Garçons jacket. It is made from Black Polyester. It includes wadding as is quilted. It was made for the ‘inside out’ collection. Different elements of the garment such as the way the fabric has been manipulated, the silhouette along with the design of the garment as a whole all combined together really compliment each other well and make the garment truly innovative and outside the box.

I also really appreciate how this piece has been displayed. It has been hung from the ceiling with invisible string and slowly spins around with the drafts in the room creating a 360° view of it. I think due to this way of presenting it is what makes the piece so attractive and partly why it caught my attention as soon as I walked through the door. This way of displaying it also compliments the design, due to the fact it is small and rounded with manipulated wadding, my first thoughts of it reminded me of a cloud. This I was also inspired by and will take into consideration when thinking of how to exhibit my final piece in my end of year exhibition.

I also appreciate the way the whole of this panel has been set out, using different methods of displaying the garments and the colour palette really attracts the attention of the bold black, red and silver. I personally think this looks extremely appealing and works well with the theme of Modern Japanese Design. Here are some other of the garments and designs that were at the exhibition that I liked:



Rose Etherington. (2012). IN-EI by Issey Miyake for Artemide. Available: Last accessed 11th Jan 2017.

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