Cultural Transfer and the Reinterpretation of Traditional Japanese Clothing
LOW HANGING FRUIT NR. 1 - Margiela’s interpretation of the split-toed Japanese tabi sock, the Tabi boot.
Designed during the late 1980s the Tabi boot was first shown drenched in red paint so as to leave visible ‘footprints’ on the canvas covered runway (the canvas was later removed and used to make jackets). The shoe continued to be produced as according to Margiela "In the beginning there was no budget for a new form, so I had no other choice than to continue with [the Tabi style] if I wanted shoes” Since its first inception the Tabi has proven widely popular.
LOW HANGING FRUIT NR. 2 - John Galliano's A/W94 Japonisme collection.
Considered a pivotal moment in fashion history, John Galliano's A/W94 Japonisme collection combined the aesthetic of 1920’s Japonism with a theatrical presentation. Elfine supermodels meandered through an empty 17th-century mansion wearing cropped micro Kimonos, embroidered obi belts styled as bustiers and slinky slip dresses. The show marked a new era of theatrical presentations within the fashion context and according to anotherMagazine, became inspirational fodder for a sleuth of legendary interpreters of fashion including Irving Penn and Grace Coddington.
LOW HANGING FRUIT NR. 3 - Hakama Pants
Hakame is a unisex style of pleated trouser which fall just below the knee. The style originated in the Chinese imperial court and was adopted by Japan at the beginning of the sixth century. Hakama's asymmetrical pleats (two at the back and five at the front) subscribe to the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi - in particular, ‘Fukinsei’ which concerns the beauty of asymmetry and irregularity. While it is well-known fact that Japanese designers dislike being pigeon-holed according to their nationality, it is easy to spot the gentle ode to Japanese aesthetics, in particular, Fukensei, that weaves itself through prominent Japanese designers work. Both Yohji Yamamoto and Comme Des Garcons have shown their own version of the Hakama pant.