【S】Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion @ SAM

I’ve always enjoyed going to museums. No matter what type of exhibition I go to, I hardly ever feel disappointed. Most of the time, I leave the museum feeling inspired, satisfied, and even recharged. But somehow, I just don’t go as much as I wish I do- and there really is no excuse for it…Though I know that every time I do go, I wish I can go more. Hopefully this post will remind and encourage me to pay more visits to the nearby museums in the future. 🙂

In my opinion, you really don’t have to know art to appreciate art. The beauty of it is that you can interpret it in any way you’d like. Honestly, I’m not a connoisseur in any type of art- but that could partially be why I love museums so much- I always learn something new. I know this because I’ve written a few blog posts on the previous exhibitions that I’ve gone to- and most of the time I’m more inclined to write when I feel inspired. 😉 Perhaps I can consider sharing them again in this blog!

Last weekend I had the pleasure to finally seeing the “Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion” exhibition in Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Although SAM is still incomparable to MoMA and MET in terms of the scale, I consider we Seattleites pretty blessed already! It’s easily accessible in downtown, and in the past we’ve had a few exhibitions featuring famous artists such as Picasso and Gauguin (I absolutely enjoyed them!) And this time, it is SAM’s first exhibit focusing entirely on fashion- how cool is that? 🙂

Before I came in, I was a little worried if all these outfits would be too avant-garde for my taste (i.e.,I’m not a huge fan of outrageous punk and cosplay), but I was glad to realize that I recognized a couple of names and brands, and could actually see myself in few of the outfits.

I don’t know too much about Japanese fashion, but to my understanding, many of the modern Japanese designs emphasize on their material quality and comfort- so I paid extra attention to their fabric and cut (it was definitely difficult refraining myself from touching them…). I love how creative the designers are to utilize unconventional materials. I feel like I could stare at them for hours admiring their “artworks”! Another element that I love is its culture relevance. Most of these garments drape the body instead of hugging it (Kimono was likely a strong influence), and Issey Miyake’s famous pleads and 132 5 Collection are clearly inspired by origami- When I think of stylish Japanese models, one thing I think of is oversized sweaters and the whole clean and comfortable look- I wonder if this trend has anything to do with kimono? Anyways, since I’m really into anything related to cultures, this fascinates me. 🙂

Below are some of my favorite pieces from the exhibitions, I’d love to hear your thoughts! (P.S I do not own any of these pictures- if you click on them it’ll lead you directly to the sources)

This first piece is by Maiko Kurogouchi for Mame.
I honestly don’t think this picture does it justice- it looks a lot more beautiful in real life. I simply like it because it’s cute- but elegant at the same time. Somehow, I can imagine that someone with this outfit is sweet on the outside but very strong inside. 🙂

Again, the bag looks much more intricate in real life. I love how the designer paired this transparent bag with the white dress above. It adds more personality to it.

Rei Kawakubo Spring-Summer 2010: I love the vibrant colors and the cultural element. When I saw this piece in the museum, I definitely didn’t imagine this kind of hairstyle and make-up though. 😦

Akira Naka 2009-10 Aut/Win: Never heard of this designer before, but he’s now one of my favorite designers! I’m not even exaggerating- Can I just have my entire wardrobe upgraded with his collection? I love the cut, the colors and the patterns…absolutely beautiful. And this blazer looks sharp yet comfortable…I could totally wear it to work. When Dan (who went to the museum with me) asked me what my favorite piece was, this was the piece that I brought him to. 🙂

Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons 1983/84
Look at this oversized sweater! This is what makes me miss autumn and winter…

AND, found a beige version online. How beautiful! I really, really want this. 🙂

This blog post features some really nice pictures of the exhibition. If you’re interested in learning more, I would encourage you to take a look or Google Image it. I wish I could have shared this post earlier, but unfortunately I went on the last day of exhibition…

While admiring at all these amazing pieces, I realized once again how much I am fascinated by fashion. Since middle school, I have always been interested in fashion- I remember sketching designs with my friend and cutting out outfits from magazines. I also remember looking forward to the new edition of Harper’s Bazaar or ViVi every month, and watching GUCCI’s fashion show on TV back when I lived in Malaysia. Many of my friends/acquaintances probably also know I like fashion because I started a fashion club on campus back in freshman year, and was an intern blogger on CollegeFashion.net

But for some reason, I kind of strayed away from this interest as the years went by. I guess I don’t really want to admit this, but sometimes I feel a little embarrassed to say “I like fashion”- because then people might just start judging and think, “well, she’s not fashionable”. I mean, yes, I do get compliments on my outfit- but I don’t even work in fashion, and I can already name quite a few people who dress really well in my office. Plus, look at the thousands of fashion blogs out there…I can never invest enough time and money like them, and quite frankly, I’m just not be as bold as them (I also am the type of person who enjoys being a bum once in a while…). And of course, there’s this typical stereotype in which “a rich, spoiled girl studies fashion marketing in college but all she really does is buying luxury bags with her dad’s money”- I don’t want to be categorized in this stereotype when people hear me say “I like fashion”… (because you and I both know there are girls out there like that).

But honestly, I just want to be true to myself. After seeing this exhibition, I know I admire the beauty and creativity of fashion, and I love this passionate feeling I get when I see a beautiful design (When I say “it takes my breath away”, I really do mean it). Maybe I just worry too much about how people would judge me. And maybe I will never become the next Anna Wintour, Rachel Zoe or Chiara from The Blonde Salad. But I want to do what I love and I want to do what makes me happy. So I’d love to dig more into my own niche in fashion… and I think i’m slowly figuring it out… 🙂

Lastly, I want to thank Ariel for inviting us to come along <3. I can’t believe I almost missed out on something I knew I’d enjoy so much. Sometimes we just need a little push from the positive influence around us. 🙂

Thanks for reading this rather long post! Leave a comment below to let me know about your thoughts on fashion, passion, or any of the sort! 😉




5 thoughts on “【S】Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion @ SAM

  1. I love this post! And yeah I remember in high school you’ve always said you wanted to do something in the fashion industry in the future 😛 But who cares, you are doing something you feel even more passionate about! And you still enjoy fashion 🙂

  2. Pingback: 【S】Summer in Seattle 2013 | Pair’adise / sharon&nora's交換日記♥

  3. 對於參觀博物館或任何一個展覽,一開始,我也是feel reluctant to do it,覺得只是平凡生活的一個點綴而已,常常帶著不是那麼懂或滿意的情緒離開;但現在看來,每一次踏出去的腳步似乎都留下了痕跡,不管懂不懂,不管是不是在湊熱鬧、在朝聖,怎麼樣都比沒去之前,有了更多的認識─也許是一幅畫、也許是認真參觀的某個背影、也許是導覽員的一句話;他們造就了現在的我們,而在某個時刻,我們也就這樣成為別人眼中的風景一片。一點一滴,一滴一點,凡走過,必留痕跡。對於妹妹提到自己曾經不想承認自己喜歡fashion這件事,也讓我感感慨慨,原來,真的,要接受真正的自己、承認自己在逃避什麼、了解自己,永遠是一輩子不能停止的功課!

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