Traditional Evolution

Ethan Bergersen

Year 11
School: Applecross Senior High School
Medium: Textiles

Artist statement: Traditional Evolution is a fashion and design piece that explores cultural changes within Japan. During my visit to Japan in 2016, I was fascinated by the combination of massive skyscrapers and ancient samurai castles. The collision of the old and new is evident in many ways throughout Japanese culture; one of these is fashion. My piece uses the influence of Western society on Japanese fashion to discuss the evolution that has occurred in their culture. Most of the garment is made of Japanese silk with red embroidery of cherry blossom trees. This fabric is used to make kimonos and represents traditional Japan.

The transparent fabric (organza) on the skirt symbolises Western society. The piece tells the story of the Japanese people as their traditional culture is being taken over by the Western world (the organza covering the silk). However, glimpses of the silk fabric can still be observed under the organza, highlighting the fact that tradition is rooted deep within Japanese society and is still present. The rectangular spine on the jacket is inspired by traditional Japanese fashion and symbolises tradition as the backbone of Japanese society. Traditional Evolution is a visual representation of Japanese culture and tradition. The garment celebrates and praises Japan for not being absorbed into the shallow and materialistic culture that is Western Society.

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