Japanese Fashion at Brisbane’s GOMA

An exhibition of contemporary Japanese fashion at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane is a “must see” for appreciators of intelligent fashion and lovers of style

More than 90 garments and accessories from the famous Kyoto Costume Institute in Japan feature in the comprehensive exhibition, Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion, which has been curated by fashion historian Akiko Fukai and includes iconic garments by pioneering designers including Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto.

Early in their respective careers in the 1980s the distinctive garments of Miyake, Kawakubo and Yamamoto caused controversy and were described as avant garde because they introduced a new concept of clothing, which has since been imitated, and inspired designers worldwide.


Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion was first organised in conjunction with the Barbican Art Gallery, London and is the first major exhibition to include avant garde Japanese fashion from the early 1980s to the present.

It is split into four sections – In Praise of Shadows (exploring the use of black); Flatness (representing the reductive treatment of colour and shape); Tradition and Innovation (looks at fabric and construction); and Cool Japan (street style, popular culture and high fashion).

It includes garments, fashion objects, films and photographs that embody Japanese style and its aesthetic principles.

Pink coat

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Advanced Style: The film

Photographs of stylish women of an advanced age captured on the streets of New York have catapulted them as well as photographer and Advanced Style blogger Ari Seth Cohen to fame.

First they starred in Karen Walker’s eyewear campaign. Now they are stepping off the pages of Cohen’s book in new documentary film of the same title.

The film shows them appearing on television shows and sitting in the front row at New York Fashion Week as well as in their own homes and environments.

It’s uplifting viewing and intimate portrait of seven very special women, each with their own unique style and philosophies who get dressed up for life everyday and love fashion, whether it’s thrift or fashioned by themselves.

My favourite quote in the film is from Zelda who states “I think good style improves the environment”.

Zelda has since passed on. She died age 95 front row at New York Fashion Week.

As one of her friends states, for someone with such a love of fashion, how fabulous is that?

We introduce the ladies here and their wonderful quotes.

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