Future Beauty: Japanese Fashion at Barbican Art Gallery

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The bizarre world of avant-garde Japanese fashion descends on Barbican Art Gallery from tomorrow. Future Beauty showcases 30 years of Japanese clothing design.

You’ll see work by well-known names such as Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons, as well as some of Japan’s most adventurous up-and-coming designers. I went along this morning for a sneak preview.

The outfits on show range from minimalist black-and-white smocks, to intricate origami dresses, and stunning clothes made from bright red, seamless tubing.

While some of the creations are totally wearable, others could only be worn by the likes of Lady Gaga. Eating, sitting down or going to the loo in some of the more elaborate clothes would be out of the question.

One outfit had a built-in parasol, one had a face-covering black mask, one featured a huge cushioned bustle, and one consisted of head-to-toe tartan (including a stuffed tartan elephant in place of the sporran).

I’m not sure how much of this will end up on the high street, but the designers’ creativity and skill is impressive and the show is definitely worth a visit.

Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion is at Barbican Art Gallery from 15 October to 6 February www.barbican.org.uk


  1. Aly says:

    This is a truly inspiring exhibition. It has been beautifully arranged and the designs are breath-taking!

  2. Keith says:

    What do you mean by “not sure how much of this will end up on the high street”? I would totally wear something with a built in parasol, are you kidding me? Seriously though, I think its one of those instances that inspire “real” clothes that play down the bold concepts in these types of show.
    Saying that I’m going to grab me telephone hat (http://bit.ly/d0CGJL) and shut up now.