When researching Japanese fashion I came across the notion of Iki. It is a widely used Japanese aesthetic ideal it stems from the human act of appreciating the beauty of nature. The cultural anthropologist Kuki Shuzo wrote thesis on Iki, it originated in the late 18th century by the towns people of Edo. The theory of Iki can be applied to fashion but unlike Western fashion it concentrates on simplicity in design as to sustain physical and emotional distance between the opposite sex, but not completely losing it.
Iki fashion is sophisicated, muted colours and minimalistic. It is a mode of self expression but unlike Western fashion it does not aim to bring attention to oneself, Iki prefers the overtone of the experience rather than the experience itself.
The image above named, 'Mikaeri Bijin,' translated the Beauty who looked back is an example of Iki art. The woman is looking over her shoulder as Iki beliefs say that you should not directly stare at your subject as it is an invasion of privacy and doesn't cohere to the Iki belief of discretion. Iki is becoming more wideknown by the works of Japenese designers, the simplicity of the fashion design and the reserved beauty of the clothes are becoming the new mode of self expression.