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Where Would You Wear That? The Mary Baskett Collection
Dress, Issey Miyake, photo by Anne Bissonnette.

CINCINNATI.-Runway fashion intersects with art this summer at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Visitors will explore the fashions of 20th century avant-garde Japanese designers through the exhibition, Where Would You Wear That? The Mary Baskett Collection opening June 2. This intimate exhibition features the personal collection of Cincinnati resident Mary Baskett and includes fashions by designers Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. The exhibition remains on view through August 12.

"These designers revolutionized fashion in the early 1980s," said Cynthia Amnéus, curator of costume and textiles. "They are still the three most influential designers of our time."

Featured in the exhibition is the work of internationally renowned designer Issey Miyake, known for his innovative pleated garments introduced in the late 1980s. Visitors will get an up close look at a wide range of Miyake's designs which challenge the conventional idea of garment making and explore the relationship between the body and the fabric.

Like Miyake, designer Yohji Yamamoto is known for creating designs far removed from current trends. Visitors will discover Yamamoto's spare, monochromatic garments as outstanding examples of cut and craftsmanship. Yamamoto's designs are recognized today as timeless classics with a twist.

Also featured in the exhibition are fashions by Rei Kawakubo, founder of the Comme des Garçons label, French for like the boys.” Known for her deconstructed garments, sometimes lacking a sleeve or other component, Kawakubo's designs are often made of distressed fabrics.

"Kawakubo was not formally trained as a fashion designer, but she has definitely made her mark as an artist," said Amnéus. "Her clothing has an underlying architectural approach and does not aim to accentuate the body's form like Western fashion."

As a former curator at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Mary Baskett began collecting in the 1970s during business trips to Japan. Baskett's personal wardrobe includes over 100 examples by Japanese designers.

"When I step out of the dressing room and my husband laughs – that's when I know it's something I must add to my closet," said Mary Baskett.

The collection is on loan from Mary Baskett. The supporting sponsor is Bartlett & Co. This exhibition is organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum.

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