The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum

Fashion in Film: Renegades of Fashion

Two Japanese designers—Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto —revolutionized the fashion industry by abandoning tradition and staying true their own artistic visions. Watch two short films on YouTube about the designers on your own prior to the program, then join curator Lee Talbot for a discussion of their career and influence.

About the Films
The old guard of fashion despised her; the critics never understood her. But for Rei Kawakubo, founder of the renowned fashion label Comme des Garcons, that was always the point. Kawakubo eschewed conventional standards of beauty, ushering in a new era of anti-fashion. (Fashion Industry Broadcast, 30 minutes.)

Yohji Yamamoto’s innovation has led to groundbreaking collaborations and pop culture moments, such as reinventing Dr.Martens and dressing entertainment icons fromTina Turner to Elton John. His trailblazing Y-3 range with street-sports giant Adidas paved the way for the now billion-dollar athleisure industry. (Fashion Industry Broadcast, 30 minutes.)

About Lee Talbot
Lee Talbot joined The Textile Museum as a curator in 2007, specializing in East Asian textiles. He has curated numerous exhibitions and published catalogues, articles, and textbook chapters. Talbot was previously curator at the Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum in Seoul, Korea. He has a bachelor’s from Rhodes College, MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and master’s from Bard Graduate Center.

Post viewing discussion led by Jasmine Helm and Joy Davis from the fashion podcast Unravel about two short films featuring contemporary Japanese fashion designers Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto.

Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Rhododendrites / CC BY-SA 4.0.Photo by Kevin Allen. Courtesy of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. Eijun Shiroma, kimono, Okinawa Island, Japan, 2017. The Textile Museum 2017.8.1. Donated by Eijun Shiroma, 15th generation head of the Shiroma Bingata Studio.