By Roni Rabl
Japanese aesthetics are infiltrating the main stream since the early 90's.
Japanese movies are filling movie theaters more than ever, Sushi is practically the upgraded Pizza, babies are using chop sticks, and why stop there?
Japanese designers such as Comme de Garcon's Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miaki & Kenzo, succeeded in turning fashion upside down.
"I make clothes for a woman who is out swayed by what her husband thinks" - Rei Kawakubo. This was revolutionary. The woman is not meant to be an object. She is not getting dressed to please her man or to appear as a sex object.
These designers came up with styles that challenged the old ideal of beauty. Models came out with flat shoes. The French critics snorted with contempt. Some said the clothes looked as if they have been in a fight...
The Japanese stood steadfast & they won.
And that was only the beginning. And then. Then Came Wabi Sabi.
'Wabi-Sabi' is a word whispered now whenever Japanese Art & Design are mentioned.
Nobody questions it, but very few understand it.
'Wabi' stands from the root 'Wa', which refers to harmony & balance.
'Sabi' by itself means "the bloom of time".
Life evolves, moves forward, taking pleasure in things that are old & faded.
Now we have 'Wabi' which is humble & simple, and Sabi, which is rusty & weathered.
"pared down to it's barest essence, Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection, of accepting the natural cycle of Growth, Decay & Death. It is simple & uncluttered & it revers authenticity above all".
This is a quote from the most renowned Japanese architect of our time, Tadao Ando.
Accompanied with old traditional techniques of dyes, Origami & Shuri Buri which were epitomized by Issey Miaki, Japanese fashion became unquestionably most desirable, worldwide & likewise very influential on the world of fashion design.