Tuesday 29th December

| BY Jack Moss

V&A Opens Japanese Gallery


Harajuku girls have got the wicked style. According to Gwen Stefani, anyway. And she is their biggest fan. She’s fascinated by the Japanese fashion scene. Just an American girl, in the Tokyo streets. Did you see their inspiration in her latest collection? She will be pleased to hear, then, that no longer will she have to trek across the world to get inspiration from the Land of the Rising Sun (we Googled that) because the V&A have re-opened their Japanese galleries, covering everything from art to fashion to Hello Kitty. Yes, really. There’s a Hello Kitty rice cooker, apparently. And plenty of kimonos, a Harajuku “Lolita” outfit, samurai swords, a living doll. Which we’re not exactly sure what it is, but apparently staff find it “extremely sinister”. There are also 550 other pieces of Japanese culture that the V&A have hoarded over the years, painstakingly restored and cleaned up and displayed together for the very first time. So begin your 2016 in a cultural manner – we’re coming over all Gwenny (circa 2004) at the very thought.

The Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art is open now at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Photograph by Jason Lloyd-Evans, taken backstage at Yohji Yamamoto SS16