Since she first visited Japan in the late 1980s, Dr Gene Sherman has been in love with Japanese culture. After clocking up more than 40 trips to the country, a Japanese aesthetic now influences much of the philanthropist and art expert’s life, including her own fashion choices.
“For years I have worn fashion only from the senior echelon of Japanese designers: Miyake, Kawakubo, Yamamoto have been my mainstay, keeping my wardrobe functioning as I travelled the world,” says Dr Sherman.
It seems fitting then that Dr Sherman has brought out five Japanese avant-garde design brands for the latest Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) exhibition, Feel and Think: A New Era of Tokyo Fashion.
“Tokyo is one of the [Asian] region’s most vibrant cities with a fashion culture that is totally integrated into the world of art, performance and design,” says the SCAF chairman and executive director.
With the help of fashion students from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Faculty of Design, the exhibition features new design methods and techniques such as laser and 3D printing, as well has harking back to traditional Japanese textile practices such as indigo dyeing and embroidery.
Japan is well known for its immense wealth and craftsmanship, says UTS fashion lecturer Armando Chant. “We wanted the students to build on that idea and to mix it with new technologies,” says Chant.
Japanese street style is on display, courtesy of design brand Sasquatchfabrix, while Anrealage is showcasing its whimsical and geometric creations.
With a noticeable influence from the pioneers of modern Japanese fashion, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, this new generation of designers is hoping to transform what we are wearing and why we wear it.
“I am thrilled to be able to present designs from the next generation of trend-setting Japanese designers who look to be the fashion stars of tomorrow,” says Dr Sherman.
Feel & Think: A New Era of Tokyo Fashion is showing at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation Wednesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 5pm, 16 – 20 Goodhope St, Paddington. Until 17 August.