Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Dior and Yamamoto

On first glance these two iconic designers do not have a lot in common. But the N.G.V. didn't see it that way when they held an exhibition of the two designers work because at very different times and in very different ways they were revolutionary.
Dior's New Look caused a stir in the 1940s because his use of fabric was decadent, he gave skirts volumes again, when you watch video of him working he didn't just make skirts bigger than big with pleats he look tops and folded them back and over on themselves to create dimension.
As we regard these pieces with a modern eye, it would be too easy to acknowledge the dresses magnificence but constrain it to history. But these dresses live! Monsieur Dior put pockets in his dresses. At a time of gloves and hats he had the insight to give women pockets! A place to put her cigarettes, her key or even a small purse. The perceptiveness of Dior is striking and it caused shock waves socially all over the world.

Similarly in the early 1990s Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto presented his first Paris collection. He caused stirs just like Dior with his grunge and street inspired collection. His pieces had holes in them, cocooned people and reminded the audience of homeless people all a far cry from the typical high glamour of fashion. And yet, it was a huge success and made the same kind of shock waves Dior have 4 decades earlier.
It just goes to show that revolution is always in the air and at any time we can be challenged.
Melbourne Fashion week is just around the corner, who knows maybe revolution will strike again!

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