Whenever I see modern high fashion exhibited in an art museum, I'm always startled at how much it has in common with modern art, including the transgressive spirit of many recent artists. Because of its very different audience, though, it's often innovative in a somewhat different way. Also, of course, even the most outrageous of designs have to be clothing in some sense. The Japanese designers often play with fabrics or construction so that the model is swamped by stiff fabric that surrounds her in very un-clothing-like ways. I was also amused that the mannequins are proportioned much like Barbie dolls.
The comparison of the 1980s black and white garments of Kawakubu and Yamamoto to a work by the writer Tanizaki was one fascinating detail. Here are some of those black and white garments in the first room of the expo:
|"Future Beauty" -- Seattle Art Museum|