Hi! Fashion

1 December 2017 to 29 April 2018

A touring exhibition of fashion from Japan and Ireland produced by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Hi! Fashion presents womenswear garments and accessories, which explore visual correlations and contrasts between the two islands over the last 60 years. The concept of Kanreki, which in traditional Japanese culture symbolizes the end of one cycle and the beginning of another, is used as a backdrop to explore the cycles of fashion in terms of inspiration and process.

During the 1980’s avant-garde Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto sourced Irish cotton and linen from Irish mills, while Connemara featured as a location in his Ys campaign of 1998. Using street casting, his team travelled countries and cities following his philosophy of mixing womens and mens, anonymous and celebrity, asking locals to pose in his clothing and create his images. This exhibition echoes his idea of mixing, presenting Japanese and Irish fashion side by side, looking at how difference can be similar.

Escaping sequential narrative, this experimental exhibition explores visual form, juxtaposing designs in installations, to create a loose stylistic essay. These contrasts, whether in approach and application of techniques, reveal unspoken dialogues that create a new space inspired by the cyclical nature of fashion forms.

Curated by Gemma A. Williams and designed in collaboration with Roji, Hi! Fashion showed at the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny from 12 August to 12 November 2017 and is touring to Farmleigh Gallery from 1 December to 29 April 2018. The marks the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Ireland and is supported by the Japan Foundation.

Image: Aideen Gaynor, Hard Boiled Wonderland, AW16