Skirt, womens, wool, designed and made by Yohji Yamamoto, Japan, 1993, (made for the Spring / Summer collection 1993), owned by Gene Sherman, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1993-2007.
This skirt was designed by Yohji Yamamoto in Tokyo (born 1943). Yamamoto received a law degree before studying fashion at Bunka College of Fashion. He established his business in Tokyo in 1972, and in 1981 established his company in France and opened a boutique in Paris. Along with Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto stunned the fashion establishment in the early 1980s with collections that challenged conventional (Western) notions of dress, revoking traditional forms of tailored garments intended to fit body contours. Their designs were often monochromatic, asymmetrical, unstructured and oversized.
Yamamoto also shares an interest in innovative textiles and construction techniques with fellow Japanese designers Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo. Unlike the latter two designers however, following a phase of deconstructionism in the mid 1980s Yohji Yamamoto inclined more towards tailored designs that use a full range of couture techniques that are more in tune with Western dressmaking. Yamamoto never deviates far from the contexts of Western culture, which makes him one of the Japanese designers best understood in the West.
The piece forms part of The Gene Sherman Collection of Japanese fashion and accessories, with a focus on the work of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yanamoto, Comme des Garçons and the Japanese-Australian designer Akira Isogawa, formed from the mid 1980s to 2004. The Collection reflects Sherman's individual style as well as her appreciation of Japanese design. Dr Gene Sherman is Director of Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) in Paddington, Sydney. Its predecessor, Sherman Galleries, founded in 1986, was one of Australia's major commercial art galleries until its closure in 2007. As director of Sherman Galleries, Dr Sherman organised many exhibitions of contemporary art from Australia and the Asia-Pacific region and has played an important role connecting art and artists in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. Dr Gene Sherman was a trustee of the Powerhouse Museum from 1995 to 2001 and special advisor to the Museum from 2002 to 2004. Born in South Africa, Sherman lives in Sydney with her husband Brian Sherman.
Curator, Asian Arts & Design
The skirt was designed by Yohji Yamamoto for the 1993 Spring / Summer collection.
Information from Yohji Yamamoto Inc. dated 26/2/09: "Season: 1993 Spring/Summer. Date and place of the show in Paris: 1992/10/14 at Cour Carree du Louvre. Theme: Haute Couture of ethnic costume, focus on silhouette, long dress
The shape of skirt is a bit changed. The original form was as attached [photograph]
Text presented on our book ''Talking to myself'': (Dramatized by black and ethnic weaving,
references to Thai and African cultures affirm the nobility of rolled, knotted, folded fabrics
and swerving cuts. An emphasis on unsetting bare napes and backs magnified by abstract, lively compositions".
Dr Gene Sherman has been collecting avant-garde Japanese fashion for over 20 years. Dr Sherman bought her first pieces of Japanese clothing at Rhonda Parry's boutique in Double Bay in 1985. Since then, she has primarily worn clothes designed by Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. Gene Sherman maintains a wearing wardrobe of approximately 20 pieces. She has said "when I acquire something, I retire a piece into my archive". Sherman had boxes made to museum standards and stored 'retired' pieces from the collection in her attic.
Referring to this garment Gene Sherman has said: "Yohji Yamamoto. Long black skirt with curved hem. Bought in the early to mid 1990's in Tokyo. Wore many many times for various cocktail and dinner functions. Mostly worn with suede lace up boots and very casual tops. A much loved much worn piece." (Gene Sherman collection note book 2009/16/62)
The donor purchased the object in Tokyo.