Museum Of Costume Unveils Its Dress Of The Year 2002

By David Prudames | 17 December 2002
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Dress of the Year 2002 by Junya Watanabe.

Left: Dress of the Year 2002 by Junya Watanabe. Image courtesy Comme des Garcons, Tokyo.

The winning outfit in the Museum of Costume's Dress of the Year Competition 2002 has been announced and unveiled.

Hilary Alexander, Fashion Editor of the Daily Telegraph picked out a long black 'patchwork' dress by Japanese designer Junya Watanabe as the winner, which has now gone on display at the Bath-based museum.

"We are thrilled with Hilary's choice for Dress of the Year," explained Acting Curator, Rosemary Harden.

coat by Michele Rosier of V de V, linen dress, by Young Jaeger, hat by Simone Mirman and boots by Elliott - this outfit just couldn't lose in 1966.

Right: coat by Michele Rosier of V de V, linen dress, by Young Jaeger, hat by Simone Mirman and boots by Elliott - this outfit just couldn't lose in 1966. Image courtesy, Museum of Costume, Bath.

"Junya Watanabe is an exciting designer who is doing innovative work and really pushing back the boundaries of fashionable dress. This is just the kind of selection that we need as Dress of the Year, for the scheme is all about charting new directions in fashion."

The winning dress, part of Junya Watanabe's Autumn/Winter 2002 collection, is sleeveless and made of mis-shaped and textured pieces of different types of black fabric in a rough-hewn patchwork construction.

Watanabe joined the Japanese fashion design house, Comme des Garcons in 1984 and is well known in fashion circles for constantly refining his cutting techniques and reconsidering materials used for his clothes.

Alexander McQueen for her and Paul Smith for him, took the title in 1996.

Left:Alexander McQueen for her and Paul Smith for him, took the title in 1996. Image courtesy, Museum of Costume, Bath.

"On the one hand Watanabe is a designer who experiments not only with technique, but also with form and shape," added Rosemary Harden. "And at the same time, the patchwork technique firmly identifies this dress as an example of Bohemian Chic, a style that has been fashionable for the past couple of years."

Each year since it opened in 1963, the Museum of Costume has asked an expert to select a dress or outfit that represents the most important ideas in contemporary fashion, which has then been kindly donated for display.

Past winners have included Mary Quant, Jean Muir, Calvin Klein, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen.

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