The first European exhibition to comprehensively survey avante-garde Japanese fashion from the 1980s to now opens at the Barbican Art Gallery next week.

Designers Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto have had an enormous impact on the world’s couture in the late 20th Century.

Their techniques challenged Western notions of beauty and redefined previously established notions of fashion.

“The tight silhouettes of Western couture were jettisoned into new fluid shapes [by Miyake, Kawakubo and Yamamoto],” Kate Bush, head of art galleries at the Barbican, said.

“Out went the magnificent ornament and extravagant techniques of the post-war tradition and in came a stark, monochrome palette and an entirely new decorative language.”

The new exhibition, which is curated by fashion historian Akiko Fukai, explores the work of these three designers in relation to Japanese art, culture and costume history.

A programme of talks, performances, workshops and late-night events will take place to coincide with the exhibition.

Click here or on the image to preview the exhibition

'Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion' is at the Barbican Art Gallery from 14 October until 6 February 2011,