Japanese couture is runway ready at Indy’s Newfields museum


Yoshiyuki Miyamae, designer (Japanese, b. 1976), Issey Miyake, design house, (Japanese), Dress, Fall/Winter 2014. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Gift of Ann M. Stack, 2015.5 © Yoshiyucki Miyamae

INDIANAPOLIS —Woven into Seasons of Japan at Newfields, guests will discover Japanese couture in “Fashion Redefined: Miyake, Kawakubo, Yamamoto, an exhibition devoted to contemporary Japanese fashion that celebrates the lasting legacy of these Japanese designers and their impact on the world of fashion in the past 40 years.

The exhibition, which opens on April 28, showcases 55 superb garments by legendary Japanese fashion designers Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto. Guests will explore how these innovative designers radically transformed the fashion industry by introducing Japanese aesthetics to the global fashion community.

“We are excited to showcase a group of extraordinary garments by some of the most talented fashion designers of our time,” said Niloo Paydar, Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. “Their unprecedented innovation and their unwavering idiosyncrasies align the worlds of fashion and art. Their creations have transformed fashion from mere wearable garments to three-dimensional kinetic art objects worn on the body.”

Drawn from the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields’ extensive fashion arts collection and augmented by key loans from private collections, the exhibition showcases the designers’ approach to dress construction that challenged Western ideals of fashion and beauty. Through their use of unconventional materials and unusual fabrics, these designers defied the rules of French couture and were among the first to blur the line between fashion and art.

Fashion Redefined is a dynamic exhibition that offers exciting engagement opportunities for guests. Guests can strike a pose and activate the “Roses & Blood” ensembledesigned by Rei Kawakubo. Afterwards, guests are encouraged to venture outside to the Garden for Everyone where they will witness a garden of frilly, double-flowering red tulips that reference the many fabrics used in the dress.


Rei Kawakubo, designer (Japanese, b. 1942), Comme des Garçons, design house (Japanese), Ensemble from “Roses & Blood” Collection, Spring–Summer 2015. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Fashion Arts Society Acquisition Fund, 2018.13A-C © Rei Kawakubo

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has been collecting Japanese fashion since 2009. Many generous donors have gifted their own garments or have provided funds to enable the Museum to acquire iconic pieces for the collection. Special gratitude is extended to the members of the Fashion Arts Society who have supported the acquisition of many important pieces that have made this exhibition possible.

The Fashion Arts Society of the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields invites guests to attend, Matsuri: Celebrating Japanese Fashion a celebration in honor of Fashion Redefined: Miyake, Kawakubo, Yamamoto the evening of Saturday, April 27 at 6 p.m. The event includes an exhibition preview, special performance and a VIP reception and private curator-led tour that will begin at 5:30 p.m. Cocktails will be held in Pulliam Family Great Hall at 6:30 p.m. with a seated dinner to follow in the Deer Zink Special Events Pavilion. Tickets are available $250 VIP, $150 members and $175 public.

Support for this exhibition is provided by Dr. Howard and Mrs. Anita Harris and Tina Pasquinelli.

Curated by Niloo Paydar, Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts, the exhibition will be on view from April 28, 2019 through January 5, 2020 in the Paul Textile and Fashion Arts Galleries.

Click to visit Newfields online.

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