Avante garde looks, dressing freely: Diet Prada pays heartfelt tribute to Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto
Instagram fashion watchdog, Diet Prada, mourned the loss of Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto via their latest post, lauding the late designer who passed away on Monday. Yamamoto, best known for his avant garde looks, his collaboration with pop icon David Bowie and flamboyant designs, died of leukaemia at 76-years of age.
Diet Prada expressed their sadness via a series of photographs of the designer, some solo, some with David Bowie. The post was captioned, “Sad to hear of the passing of legendary Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto today. Probably best-known for the avant garde looks he made in collaboration with similarly legendary space alien David Bowie, they are hopefully now partying together again on their home planet.”
Diet Prada went on to explain how Yamamoto’s designs were said to encompass “the Japanese spirit of ‘basara’,” which basically translates to dressing freely, and how art and fashion historians have described the way concept of basara “encompasses excessive behaviours and tastes, and the delight they inspire”.+ +
The post went on to talk about how Yamamoto’s designs were discovered by Bowie, and how the duo collaborated thanks to Stevie Wonder and Elton John. It read, “In 1971, Yamamoto moved to London and began selling designs for women, where they were discovered by Bowie. Introduced by mutual friends Stevie Wonder and Elton John, they went on to collaborate on some of the 20th century’s most iconic stage looks. They were some of the first to consider a rock and roll performer in a theatrical sense, and their flamboyant designs succeeded in reaching the audience all the way to the back row with their visual splendour.”
Diet Prada also went on to share that Yamamoto kept on working despite his advanced age and deteriorating health, and his last project, Nippon Genki Project 2020 Super Energy, is set to release on July 31. The post went on, “His career had many highlights— he brought renewed energy and attention to the classical fashions of the kimono, designed the train that connects the Narita airport to central Tokyo, and was honored with major retrospectives of his work. In 2018, at age 74, he collaborated with Louis Vuitton, combining his signature Kabuki-makeup face prints, bold Daruma dolls and other motifs with LV’s monogram canvas, further cementing his iconic status. He was still hard at work to the end, and leaves behind a project set to launch in just four days. The online streaming event, “Nippon Genki Project 2020 Super Energy,” will debut as scheduled on July 31.”
Signing off the tribute post, Diet Prada wrote, “These images are just a fraction of the incredible legacy Kansai Yamamoto leaves behind. May he continue to inspire for generations.”