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  • A model from the Yohji Yamamoto archive. Photo by James Ari King/Yohji Yamamoto

  • A model from the Yohji Yamamoto archive. Photo by James Ari King/Yohji Yamamoto

  • “Yohji Yamamoto: SWOWSPACE” exhibition poster. Illustration by Leo Greenfield


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“Yohji Yamamoto: SWOWSPACE” exhibition at Live Archives, London

Live Archives, one of the biggest fashion archives in the world, featuring more than 3,5000 items carefully selected by collector Hoana Poland, dedicates a new exhibition to the work of Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. The exhibition, which will be hosted at Live Archives’ gallery in London’s Hackney, will feature more than 60 iconic designs that trace the designer’s prolific career, from the 80’s to today. For the occasion, curator Jeffrey Horsley decided to experiment with a new format, exhibiting Yamamoto’s clothes on 6 different female models that will walk around the gallery, offering visitors the chance to experience firsthand the complexity and intricate construction of Yamamoto’s clothes that can be worn in multiple ways.

Visitors are also encouraged to try on the clothes that are on display in order to have a direct experience of the garments, or to choose a series of outfits to be worn on a live model. What’s more, a selection of specially sourced items will be also on sale, making it the ultimate Yamamoto experience. “It was such a challenge to come up with an exhibition strategy for a designer who’s on record saying he hates exhibitions. Using live models to display the clothes seems so in-line with Yohji’s thoughts – he thinks clothes need to be seen on a living body,” Horsley told Because London magazine, stating that the clothes on view are museum-level pieces, the oldest coming from the designer’s s/s 1983 collection.

Even though Yohji has been exhibited many times around the world I think this show will be unique in using live models – I’ve only been able to do this because the clothes are from a private collection. As an exhibition-maker it’s amazing to have access to such high-quality material without the restrictions that are imposed on institutional collections,” he concluded, revealing that his next project with Live Archives will be a modern take on the idea of glamour. “Yohji Yamamoto: SWOWSPACE” will run through August 13, 2015, at Live Archives, 81 Mare Street, E8 4RG, London.