Kimono unfolded and reimagined : an exploration of Japanese aesthetics in Western fashion design : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a Master in Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Fashion is a strong visual language that transcends cultures, and in this globalised era, has increasingly become a place of conflict and contemplation. As a New Zealand born designer with Japanese heritage, cross cultural design, cultural misrepresentation and appropriation have become topics of interest in my fashion practice. Japonism, a late nineteenth century aesthetic movement affected the arts throughout Western culture. It opened up new design concepts to early twentieth century European fashion designers, and continues to influence contemporary fashion houses in the twenty-first century. In order to gain an insight into how Japanese fashion design is perceived by Western society, this research project looks into Japanese aesthetic principles and their impact on contemporary fashion. Late twentieth century Japanese designers Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo in addition to contemporary fast fashion brands such as Uniqlo have made their break into the Western market in an age where consumers are becoming more aware of the social and environmental impacts of fashion. The Japanese kimono continues to be worn and adapted by many people around the world and has also been a source of inspiration for many artists and designers. In this research project, the silhouette and structural form of the kimono are analysed alongside autoethnographic research methods, reflective practice, iterative design and sustainable design methods. These concepts are translated into Kiru, a contemporary fashion collection.
All Figures are either in the public domain or used with permission if properly credited.
Maruyama, Yoshino, Kiru, Fashion, Clothing and dress, Japanese influences, Kimonos