Kansai Yamamoto first sought to become a civil engineer, before indulging himself in fashion and becoming one of Japan’s most celebrated designers. In homage to the colourful, fantastical world he created, here are five fascinating titbits to remember the giant of Japanese design by, whose death was announced earlier this week, aged 76, after he was diagnosed with leukaemia. View this post on Instagram English follows Japanese. 山本寛斎に関するご報告 かねてより病気療養中でありました山本寛斎が、急性骨髄性白血病のため、2020年7月21日に享年76歳にて永眠いたしました。 闘病中も、皆様にもう一度「元気」な山本寛斎の姿をお見せしたいという本人の強い意志のもと、前向きに治療に励む傍ら、クリエーションに対する熱い思いをスタッフに語っておりました。 『人間は、無尽蔵のエネルギーを持っている。』どんなに苦しい時であっても、その気持ちを忘れずに、果敢に挑戦し続けました。 長きにわたり、山本寛斎を応援して下さった皆様に、心より感謝を申し上げますとともに、謹んでお知らせいたします。 なお、7月31日に配信のオンラインイベント「日本元気プロジェクト2020 スーパーエネルギー‼」につきましては、予定通り開催いたします。 ともに当日を迎えることが出来なかったことはスタッフ一同、大変心残りではございますが、山本寛斎の思いがこもった作品を皆様にお届けしたいと思っております。 ----------------------- It is with immense sadness that we announce that Kansai Yamamoto has passed away on 21 July, 2020 due to acute myeloid leukemia. He was 76 years old. As he fought his illness, he remained always positive, never lost his passion towards creation, and was strongly determined to recover and come back with fully-charged energy to see you again. “Human energy is limitless” was his motto he would never let go, and he bravely kept challenging no matter hard the situation. We sincerely would like to thank you all for supporting Kansai for so many years. “Nippon Genki Project 2020 Super Energy”, our first online streaming event planned on 31 July will be conducted as scheduled. We deeply regret that Kansai cannot join us on the day, but we would like to deliver his passion and dream in the best way possible. To all persons concerned, we apologise for any inconvenience caused by the sudden situation and ask for your kind understanding. Again, we would like to convey our sincere thanks for your warm support. Your thoughts and sympathies to the family and those who were close to him would be appreciated. A post shared by Kansai Yamamoto (@kansai_yamamoto_official) on Jul 26, 2020 at 9:14pm PDT He championed countercultures, individualism, self-expression and dressing in out-of-the-box ways Fashion for Kansai, as he preferred to be called, was more than just clothes. “Fashion has the power to make people happy,” he is quoted on his website. Instead of adhering to the simplistic wabi-sabi concept, Kansai preferred to live in basara , which champions life in vibrancy and colour. He was nicknamed both the “Kaleidoscope King” and “Father of Basara”. 5 senior influencers from Asia rewriting fashion rules for the over-50s View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kansai Yamamoto (@kansai_yamamoto_official) on Jun 18, 2019 at 6:27pm PDT “ Basara means to dress freely, with a stylish extravagance,” the designer told the V&A. “It is colourful and flamboyant and it lies at the heart of my design.” Kansai launched his fashion career in London in 1971, the first Japanese designer to do so View this post on Instagram Kansai Yamamoto 1 year after designing the iconic jumpsuit. #flashback #portrait #1974 #kansaiyamamoto #山本寛斎 A post shared by Kansai Yamamoto (@kansai_yamamoto_official) on Jan 5, 2016 at 6:13am PST Kansai was in his twenties when he debuted and he thrived in London’s 70s youthquake. His bold, humorous and festive aesthetic was embraced, giving him international recognition and leading him to stage shows in Tokyo, New York and Paris soon after. His aesthetic inspired many of today’s top designers In 2018, Nicolas Ghesquière joined forces with Yamamoto as muse and collaborator for Louis Vuitton’s cruise collection, where Kansai's famous graphic art prints were translated into sequinned dresses. It took 3 years, but is Jackson Wang’s streetwear line worth the wait? Earlier this year, menswear designer Rick Owens paid tribute to Kansai’s iconic Tokyo Pop bodysuit in his 2020 fall repertoire. The 70s-inspired designs were matched with extravagant silhouettes. Other notable collections that exude a touch of Kansai include Jeremy Scott's New York debut in 2002, inspired by The Jetsons and Kansai’s peaked shoulders; Marc Jacobs’ spring 2011 repertoire for Louis Vuitton, which Jacobs told Vogue is influenced by Kansai, the first designer he has worked for; and Gucci's 2018 spring collection by Alessandro Michele, commemorating his and Elton John’s long-time friendship, which inevitably references the costumes Kansai has created for the singer. The world owe thanks to Kansaifor David Bowie’s otherworldly Ziggy Stardust alter ego View this post on Instagram Happy Birthday to David Bowie!!, one of Kansai's best friends. And... Bowie and Kansai's birthday is 1 month difference. 1月8日は寛斎にとって大切な人の1人、デヴィッド・ボウイの誕生日。 なんと、寛斎と1ヶ月違いの誕生日。 Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita #鋤田正義 #DavidBowie #kansaiyamamoto #山本寛斎 #masayoshisukita #fashion #good old days #memory A post shared by Kansai Yamamoto (@kansai_yamamoto_official) on Jan 8, 2016 at 7:57am PST Kansai best manifested the creature-from-outer-space of Bowie’s alter ego. A signature look was the Tokyo Pop black vinyl jumpsuit, which had white stripes in semicircle patterns that made the piece look like a record. Bowie sported the look with red hair and red platform boots. What do Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and David Bowie have in common? View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kansai Yamamoto (@kansai_yamamoto_official) on Jan 7, 2017 at 6:14pm PST From reworking kimonos to his yakko warrior prints, Kansai drew inspiration from his Japanese roots View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kansai Yamamoto (@kansai_yamamoto_official) on Jul 25, 2017 at 4:29am PDT The New York Times noted how Kansai used folding, pleating and twisting techniques to create three-dimensional effects on his fabrics, adding braiding and fringing styles that take cues from the Japanese kumihimo techniques of decorative plaiting. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kansai Yamamoto (@kansai_yamamoto_official) on Jul 25, 2017 at 4:29am PDT Characteristic of Chinese and Japanese paintings are two-dimensional artworks that Kansai also weaves into his clothes. A fan of theatre and the stage, Kansai also fashioned kabuki elements and characters into his outfits. The fashion world is a shade less vibrant with his death. 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