Once we got into the thick of the 1950s, life had stabilized after WWII, and fashion, though attempting as always to move forward, slowed down for a bit. Once we got to the sixties,a coterie of young designers took the existing couture language and turned it on its ear. For once, the style inspirations were coming mostly from the young, and from the street. Yves St Laurent, Paco Rabbane, and Pierre Cardin, were all blasting the way we dressed into orbit.
Yves St Laurent, once he took the reins in his own house, abandoned the more restrained clothes he had done at Dior and took his inspiration from tow primary places, the streets, and from contemporary art. His collection of clothes inspired by Mondrian have become icons, not only of the fusion of art and design, but of the 60s as a whole.
Paco Rabanne grabbed every new material he could think of and made clothes from them vinyl, plastic, paper and metal all formed his new aesthetic of warrior-like clothes that were decidedly furture-modern.
Pierre Cardin was one of the designers to explore unisex clothing, jump suits and the possibilities of polyester fabrics. He also made menswear take a good long look at itself, finally helping a new generation of peacocks find something to wear.
The 80s saw a trio of Japanese designers push the envelop out in ways no one had ever imagined before. Rei Kawabuko, Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake all re-imagined both form and function in new ways, and presented an aesthetic entirely new to the western world.
Rei Kawabuko whose company Comme De Garcons has become a benchmark of the avant garde took, and still takes commonly held western notions of apparel and twists them all out of proportion and recognizability. She is unafraid of mixing wildly disparate textiles and forms to create a new synthesis.