Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From Rutger Hauer to Kansai Yamamoto


I was browsing around online today, and a friend of ours linked a tumblr with lots of detailed preproduction and set photography from Bladerunner (1982). On there was an interview from around the time of release with Rutger Hauer.

I totally love hearing Rutger Hauer speak, he is really enigmatic, and the interview really highlights the huge gap that exists between the European and American sensibility of the 1980s, and perhaps still today.

I was most struck though by the insane design on Hauer's sweater. It actually looks quite contemporary -- that sort of patterned surreal animal totem style design you see everywhere nowadays. One of the commenters had noted that it was a Kansai Yamamoto design - -someone I'd never heard of. I'm pretty good with Japanese designers' names normally -- who is this Yamamoto guy?

Kansai Yamamoto is a fashion designer and event planner, born in 1944. He was best known in the 1970s and 1980s for his avant-garde Japanese fashions, which achieved notoriety through their use by David Bowie in his Aladdin Sane period.

Kansai now works producing his self-styled Super Shows, that really have to be seen to be believed. Here is a digest of some of his events. The art direction and use of scale is really outstanding, with an incredible awareness of colour and costume that naturally arise from his legacy as a fashion designer.

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