The Brooklyn Museum is talking to Kansai Yamamoto about David Bowie – May 17th!

How exciting!

Kansai Yamamoto is one of my favourite designers who I have previously reported on when I discovered a cool sweater in London’s Hammersmith! And now the Brooklyn Museum is hosting Kansai Yamamoto in person, who will be speaking to Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and chief fashion critic for the New York Times.

If you happen to be there on Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 7–9 pm do go to the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor.

Image result for brooklyn museum
The Brooklyn Museum

 

Friedman and Yamamoto-san will be discussing his sartorial collaborations with David Bowie, including creating the iconic “Space Samurai” jumpsuit for the 1972 Ziggy Stardust tour and several of the objects featured in David Bowie is.

The Fashion Network reports: “The discussion is part of the “David Bowie is” exhibition currently being hosted at the Brooklyn Museum, which is the exhibition’s last stop after five years touring the globe. Many of the pieces that Yamamoto created for Bowie are among the over 400 objects on display, which include Bowie’s original costumes, handwritten lyrics, photographs and videos, and have been sourced primarily from the David Bowie Archive.

The exhibition, which is organized by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, is described in a release as “an immersive, multimedia installation” and seeks to track Bowie’s creative journey throughout his life, exploring how the original artist’s legacy has shaped contemporary culture and society.”

Image source here.

The evening with Yamamoto-san is part of an exhibition on David Bowie which launches on March 2. In New York, it was organized by the institution’s Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture Matthew Yokobosky together with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, where the exhibition debuted in 2013 and reportedly became the most-visited exhibition in the gallery’s history.

THE CUT writes that “at the heart of the exhibition are hand-written lyric sheets, drawings, paintings, music videos, television clips, and costumes by the late British designer Freddie Burretti alongside seven costumes that Yamamoto designed for Bowie during his “Ziggy Stardust” and “Aladdin Sane” tours.”

If you would like to read up on this topic, I can recommend this article by THE CUT entitled: Dressing David Bowie As ‘Ziggy Stardust’ who ahead of the Brooklyn Museum opening, spoke with Yamamoto about his memories of Bowie and the Japanese theater techniques that inspired the singer’s legendary performances.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

This week, Vogue reminds us of Rana Plaza and offers small solutions

Rana Plaza is one incident which was reported on, published and shown to us (see my post here)but how many people suffer due to our fashion system on a daily basis? The numbers remain in the dark. 5 years ago, there was alot of activism, such as the Spanish trade union UGT, who felt for their manufacturers in Bangladesh and staged a protest.

Activists of the Spanish trade union UGT (General Union of Workers) perform with fake blood in front of a Mango store in Barcelona on May 7 during a protest after the tragic death of hundreds of Bangladeshi workers who made clothes for western brands in precarious conditions. Photo: AFP

What can we do to make things better?

We can take small steps to initiate small solutions. For example, a few years ago, I staged this Barbie photo below, in order to remind us of the constant consumerisim we live in.

 

“Barbie’s Shopping Binge” Photograph by Olga Mitterfellner

 

I am pleased to see that Vogue has written a piece on “Fashion Revolution”, reminding us of Rana Plaza – the horrid catastrophe which shook the fashion world 5 years ago and I am reposting the article further below. Have a look at what Vogue’s Ellie Pithers suggests here below followed by my own special recommendation and do post your thoughts!

***********************************************************************************************************************

 

5 Changes To Make This Fashion Revolution Week

Five years on from the Rana Plaza garment factory disaster, and there’s no better time to make more mindful, socially responsible fashion choices. Here’s what to do if you want a fairer fashion industry this Fashion Revolution Week.

 

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since the world watched an eight-storey factory collapse in Bangladesh. The Rana Plaza disaster claimed 1,138 lives and injured a further 2,500 garment workers – and has subsequently proved a turning point in the collective fashion consciousness.

In a special “Fashion Question Time” discussion at the House of Commons on Monday, numerous panel members argued that conditions have improved – albeit painfully slowly – for garment workers since the industrial tragedy, which forced factories, brands and governments to analyse the human cost of fast fashion.

Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, and incidentally the first person of Bangladeshi origin to have been elected to the House of Commons, put it succinctly when she said: “[Rana Plaza] was a wake-up call to consumers in the west, and their governments. The awareness and public pressure both internationally and also domestically has meant that the workers in that sector have a stronger voice and more back-up which needs to be maintained. Overall pay and conditions have improved slightly. But the prognosis is a mixed one. There has been some progress but not enough. We need to make sure the legacy of the tragedy is that there are international agreements to make sure something like this does not happen elsewhere.”

Step forward Fashion Revolution, a movement founded in the immediate aftermath of Rana Plaza, to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed. This week marks the fifth Fashion Revolution Week, and the debut of a new manifesto which aims to make the fashion industry fairer. Here are five ways to get involved with Fashion Revolution Week, and shop mindfully in the process.


And No. 6 is my own suggestion, something I preach to all my students:

WEAR VINTAGE!

If you live in a fashion capital like London, there is an abundance of vintage stores and charity shops where you can find a designer piece that you personally can resurrect and give it a new life by wearing it! If you do not have physical access to those hot-spots then there is the internet which offers so many sites with beautiful vintage pieces.

The vintage clothes not only contribute to a unique appearance, they also break the chain of cruel production and mindless consumerism. They also make a great conversation piece for the office or a party! Below are some of the vintage items which I have purchase in the past:

Kansai Yamamoto sweater which I had previously blogged about here, shoes by Escada, Chanel and Pollini and a skirt by Karl Lagerfeld.

 

 

 

Kansai Yamamoto thrifty Tribute

Ladies and gents, boys and girls,

Have you ever heard of the Japanese Designer Kansai Yamamoto? Yes, no or maybe? Just to give you a little hint (or reminder for those who know him), he is one of the most colourful, experimental and legendary designers who clothed David Bowie for his Ziggy Stardust Tour. 山本 寛斎 is just fabulous!
david-bowie-and-kansai-yamamoto-in-japan-1973

Image above: Kansai Yamamoto and David Bowie trying on one of Yamamoto’s creations. Sourced here.

It was just my luck, that strolling through London, as one does, I should veer off the road into a thrift store and discover…drum rolls please…a Kansai Yamamoto sweater from the 80s!With a beautiful appliqué dragon and “Kansai Yamamoto” appliqué signature below it.

Kansai Sweater 2

 

The thrift store ladies gave it away almost for free, asking with much concern on their faces: “Are you going to wear it out or just at home?” Yes, of course, OF COURSE I am going to wear it out! I don’t care if I look like I just arrived fresh from the 80s in a time machine, this is a Yamamoto original and my tribute to his great talent.

Check it out:

The discovery of this vintage piece is coincidentally perfectly timed with the Louis Vuitton 2018 Cruise Collection Show in Kyoto, Japan – held on May 14, 2017! Nicholas Ghesquière made a vivid tribute to Yamamoto and it turns out he is a fan of his just like moi.

 

 

Louis Vuitton 2018 Cruise Collection – Image source here.
Louis Vuitton 2018 Cruise Collection seen here.

If you are as inspired as I am, you might like to check out Pinterest with lots of fantastic images of his creations: https://uk.pinterest.com/beaconscloset/kansai-yamamoto/?lp=true

And if you feel like you must have a retro piece, too, there are a few sites which offer Kansai Yamamoto vintage pieces: https://www.1stdibs.com/creators/kansai-yamamoto/fashion/

Have you got a cool vintage story to tell? I would love to hear from you!

Olga xx