Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Asian-Influenced Spring

[Katsushika Hokusai (Japan, 1760–1849), Amida Falls on the Kiso Highway, circa 1833. Color woodblock print. LACMA's collection. Gift of Max Palevsky.]

Maybe it's all because traditional Asian references like obi-style wraps have been popping up on the runways, but I instantly made a connection between a print used to publicize the upcoming Hokusai show at LACMA and a couple of pieces in Billy Reid's spring line.

[Above, Charlie Top; below, Mandarin Dress. Images via Billy Reid.]

In the literal sense, Reid's skinny white-on-navy stripes flanked by Asian-style pelicans kind of call to mind Hokusai's simplified white bands on inky blue used to represent Japanese waterfalls. And just as the longest stripes run down the center of Reid's made-in-the-U.S. silk Mandarin dress, Hokusai's vertical bands nearly bisect his 19th-century woodblock print, cutting through a rocky landscape. Another similarity, though, is that the clothes and the art are somehow spare and rich at the same time. 

LACMA's exhibition opens April 13 and will highlight the museum's exceptional collection of Hokusai prints along with loans from Barbara Bowman. Birds in the Art of Japan, previously mentioned here, is on view at The Met now through July 28.


Emile de Bruijn said...

That Hokusai print is such a compelling image, vertiginous and almost abstract in its foreshortening, but somehow very convincing.

Anders Rikardson said...

Hokusai's great pupil Hokkei made a real fashion statement!

Look at the unbelievably gorgeous kimono, as worn by a top ranking courtesan in the 1820s Japan. the link to the image