The late fashion designer, Kansai Yamamoto, on dealing with David Bowie

Lasts week, we lost iconic progressive designer, Kansai Yamamoto. Yamamoto is best understood for this long-term collaboration with David Bowie, particularly the outfits for the Martian rocker’s Ziggy Stardust trip.

On the Fashion United site, there’s a piece about the 2018 Brooklyn Museum evening with Yamamoto, done in support of the David Bowie Is show.

Here, Yamamoto explains his partnership with Bowie:

” Unlike me, Bowie was peaceful, shy, but on stage he turns a switch and becomes David Bowie,” says Yamamoto. “Me, I’m constantly that method.” However they shared a love of what the designer calls “extreme appearance,” and when asked what they gained from each other, he responds that through Bowie he developed his understanding of Western gown while he assisted Bowie interpret Eastern clothes. He concurs that he sees a direct line between what he created in the 70 s for Bowie and the existing conversation on gender and dress. “I approached Bowie’s clothes as if I was creating for a female,” he confesses. “Notification there is no zipper in front.” But he feels proud seeing how the younger generation attending the “David Bowie Is” exhibition can reveal themselves when compared to the social restrictions he encountered in Japan 50 years back, as a self-taught, broke, designer releasing his career at the age of21 A professional photographer had snapped a picture of him strolling along London’s Kings Roadway and it was included on the cover of Life magazine. “I felt every day I was the design in a style show and everyone around me were members of the audience,” he states. “There were often times, individuals took a look at me weird.”

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Images: FashionUnited and FaceMePLS (CC BY 2.0)

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