Yamamoto, Kansai

Yamamoto, Kansai, 1944–2020, Japanese fashion designer, known as Kansai. Essentially self-taught, he showed his first collection in London in 1971. The theatrical garments, with an exotic, oriental pop art look, proved popular, and he founded his own company that same year. In 1973 he met David Bowie, with whom he collaborated on the development and costuming of the character Ziggy Stardust and other Bowie stage personae. Their longstanding creative relationship celebrated androgynous clothing with sculptural shapes, skintight jumpsuits, the kimono silhouette, bold prints and colors, and platform shoes—perhaps most notably a black-and-white jumpsuit, form-fitting on top and outrageously pantalooned at the bottom. He also collaborated with other high-profile stage artists, including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Lady Gaga, and in the 1990s began producing live entertainment events he called super shows.

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