蘆田 裕史 / Hiroshi Ashida

1978年、京都生まれ。 京都大学大学院博士課程研究指導認定退学。
ファッションの批評誌『vanitas』編集委員、ファッションのギャラリー「gallery 110」運営メンバー、服と本の店「コトバトフク」運営メンバー。

e-mail: ashidahiroshi ★★を@に)
twitter: @ihsorihadihsa


Fashion Criticism (in english)

It is true that some designers may not be interested in the act/system of criticism, but it must be useful for designers to survive for a long time. In my opinion, one of the reasons why some Japanese designers who got a lot of attention in the 90’s and in the early 00’s (Shinichiro Arakawa, Yoshiki Hishinuma, 20471120, beauty:beast, and so on) have downsized or closed their business is the absence of fashion criticism.

Though I do not know, however, if we could establish fashion criticism, I will consider its possibility through this blog.

In the first place, what is the object of fashion criticism?

In the case of art criticism, its object is a piece of artwork or an exhibition.

Likewise, the object of music criticism is a piece of music, a CD or a concert.

Film criticism and theatrical criticism also have their clear objects.

Then what is the object of fashion criticism?

A piece of clothing?

Is it possible to criticize a piece of clothing just like criticizing an artwork?

Compared with a piece of other genres, the amount of information contained by a garment is too small. Therefore a critique of a piece of clothing is almost impossible. Apparently there were some epoch-making ones, but such works rarely come out.

Then, another possibility is that you consider a colletion as a unit and this way is similar to criticize an exhibition in art criticism. Yet a problem in fashion system arises; that is, an opportunity to see a fashion show or an installation. While exhibitions last generally for some weeks or some months and are open to the public, fashion shows take place just one time and limited to clients, journalists, and buyers.

Moreover, archive system of fashion is not adequate. As art museums buy and collect works of art in the realm of fine arts, forepast works are often exhibited. On the other hand, institutions for fashion archive are very few, so it is difficult to criticize such old works.

This situation is pronounced especially in Japan in comparison to other countries. Recently I heard that a museum in Taiwan will organize a retrospective of Japanese label “mintdesigns,” although such exhibition has not yet held in Japan. This represents a huge problem in Japanese fashion. Now we need try to establish fashion criticism to change this situation.

Comments are closed.