Japanese fashion designer who created costumes for David Bowie dies aged 76

Japanese fashion designer who created costumes for David Bowie dies aged 76
Japan Obit Kansai Yamamoto

Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, known for his avant-garde and colourful work that included flamboyant costumes of the late rock great David Bowie, has died of leukaemia at 76, his company said.

Yamamoto developed leukaemia in February and was determined to recover and come back with renewed energy, said the company, Kansai Yamamoto.

He died last Tuesday.

Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto (AP)

Born in 1944 in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Yamamoto debuted in 1971, becoming the first Japanese fashion designer to hold a show in London.

He became internationally known for blending traditional Japanese motifs with brilliant colours and bold designs.

Yamamoto designed the costume for Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust alter ego, and also developed friendships with top artists including Sir Elton John and Stevie Wonder, his company said.

He contributed to collections in Tokyo, New York and Paris for nearly two decades until 1992 and produced the Kansai Super Show and Nippon Genki Project.

Yamamoto, who sought a career in engineering before turning to fashion, also demonstrated his talent in designing venues and organising social events for the 2008 G8 summit in Toyako in northern Japan.

Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, right, checks the dress of model Sayoko Yamaguchi (AP)

He also won awards for his interior and exterior design of the Keisei Skyliner train connecting Tokyo and Narita International Airport.

“‘Human energy is limitless’ was his motto he would never let go, and he bravely kept challenging no matter how hard the situation,” his company said in a statement.

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