What Am I Reading: Iga Weglińska

Name of the book you are currently reading.

Iga Weglińska: Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion.

Who is the author?

Iga: Aiko Fukai, Barbara Vinken, Susannah Frankel, and Hirofumi Kurino.

Front cover of Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

What is the genre?

Iga: Exhibition catalogue—it is an album published by the Barbican Center in London, accompanying the exhibition presented at the Barbican Art Gallery in 2011, under the same title as the book.

Do you judge a book by its cover?

Iga: I am a designer—fortunately (or unfortunately), I believe I am programmed to judge a book by its cover (smiles). In this case, the book provokes us to judge it by its cover, because it doesn’t have any title on the front.

Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion is the first comprehensive survey of Japanese avant-garde fashion of the last 30 years |  What Am I Reading: Iga Węglińska |  STIRworld

Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion is the first comprehensive survey of Japanese avant-garde fashion of the last 30 years Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

What made you pick it up? Can you highlight any notable aspect of the book’s design aesthetics, typography, images…

Iga: I was invited to write a chapter of a book, about clothing forms, and patternmaking. Tea future beauty strongly focuses on that area, which is why I picked it up again. Japanese designers are masters in that field, and names such as Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake or Rei Kawakubo are the first ones which come to mind when we think about bold clothing silhouettes, deconstruction, and limited color palette which helps us to focus on a form .

Węglińska's favorite pages from Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion |  What Am I Reading: Iga Węglińska |  STIRworld

Węglińska’s favorite pages from Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

The book’s back blurb states: Future Beauty is the first comprehensive survey of Japanese avant-garde fashion of the last 30 years. Such designers as Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo made an enormous impact on the world fashion scene in the late twentieth century, challenging established notions of beauty and turning fashion into art. Today a new generation of radical designers, among them Tao Kurihara and Jun Takahashi, are fast gaining acclaim. This spectacular book, written by a team of experts led by the eminent fashion historian Akiko Fukai, explores the distinct sensibility of japanese-design–the uniqueness of its form, cut, and fabric. Illustrated with over 250 photographs and sketches, Future Beauty is an authoritative and stylish guide to some of the world’s most expressive fashion.

Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion is an exhibition catalog |  What Am I Reading: Iga Węglińska |  STIRworld

Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion is an exhibition catalog Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

Your most favorite part(s) of it?

Iga: From time to time, the book presents all of us designs in two stages: flat and spatialized on a body. Pressed, flat, and non-spacial forms sometimes look like origami sculptures, other times like calligraphed characters. They never inform us about how they may look on a body. I find it interesting, provoking, and magical at the same time.

Węglińska's favorite passage from Future Beauty |  What Am I Reading: Iga Węglińska |  STIRworld

Węglińska’s favorite passage from future beauty Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

Did you gain any insight or did it help you unwind?

Iga: Dealing with Japanese fashion always inspires me. I often reach for books on this topic, to stimulate myself and to push my own boundaries as a designer.

The book features inspiring Japanese fashion designs |  What Am I Reading: Iga Węglińska |  STIRworld

The book features inspiring Japanese fashion designs Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

Your favorite lines to quote from the book.

Iga: “What the clothes of these Japanese designers have in common is that only when they are worn do they take their final form, and movement causes them to acquire further unexpected shapes.”

The book features works by designers such as Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo |  What Am I Reading: Iga Węglińska |  STIRworld

The book features works by designers such as Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

At what time of the day do you read?

Iga: I am an owl. I live, work, and read at night.

Hard books, e-books or audio/video books?

Iga: Hard books always! For me, the whole reading experience is also about tactile and olfactory experiences.

The book features works by designers such as Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo |  What Am I Reading: Iga Węglińska |  STIRworld

The book features works by designers such as Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

One book or book adaptation as a film that you always want to go back to, and why?

Iga: I am a fan of biographical books and books about materials. In this field, the ones that affected me the most and to which I return are Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin by Andrew Wilson, and Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik.

The first one, because it seems true to the core, and it presents the whole design process and education on McQueen. I recommend it to my students, for them to be aware that it is a hard game, and you must be devoted if you want to play it.

  • The book explores the fashion scene in the late twentieth century, challenging established notions of beauty and turning fashion into art |  What Am I Reading: Iga Węglińska |  STIRworld

    The book explores the fashion scene in the late twentieth century, challenging established notions of beauty and turning fashion into art Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

  • Iga Węglińska is perusing Future Beauty |  What Am I Reading: Iga Węglińska |  STIRworld

    Iga Węglińska is perusing future beauty Image: Courtesy of Iga Weglińska

The latter—by Mark Miodownik—is a story about matter and materials, but it is not dry scientific text. The author takes us on a journey around the world, under the microscope and over skyscrapers, to show us how paper turns yellow, chocolate makes us happy, and concrete can heal itself.

Look up more such interesting reads from the series ‘What Am I Reading’ and watch out for more.

#Reading #Iga #Weglińska

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