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A Model Artist

June 01, 2015
Sayoko Yamaguchi: The Wearist, Clothed in the Future
While nowadays we might think of the nineties as ‘the era of the supermodel’, long before Naomi and co strut their stuff on the runway there was Sayoko Yamaguchi. In the early seventies, this Japanese leggy lovely became one of the first internationally recognised Asian faces in the world of fashion.

A self-proclaimed ‘wearist’ – rather than a mere model (pff) – this striking woman was not only the embodiment of the Japanese New Look, but also went on to become one of the foremost champions of Nippon fashion and art over the 30 years that followed. Her multifaceted career is explored via the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo’s latest showcase, Sayoko Yamaguchi: The Wearist, Clothed in the Future.

The expansive retrospective brings together a vast store of rare archival materials, including magazines, photographs, original clothing and mannequins, all documenting the meteoric rise of the bob-haired beauty.

Along with early couture pieces by famed Japanese labels Kenzo, Issey Miyake and Kansai Yamamoto – all certain to have fashionistas in a flutter – the exhibition also features some of Sayoko’s own designs (smartly displayed on dress forms modelled after her own svelte silhouette), plus recordings of her performance pieces and examples of the many collaborative works she created with artists such as designer Naohiro Ukawa and conceptual musician Fuyuki Yamakawa. Just be prepared to elbow your way to the frow.

Until 28 Jun, 2015.

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo / 4-1-1 Miyoshi / Koto-ku / +81 3 5245 4111 / 10am-6pm Tue-Sun /