Long before Gwen Stefani became entranced with Japanese fashion and wrote a love song called, “Harajuku Girls”, were Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto–Japanese fashion designers that came alive during the Japanese “fashion revolution” of the 1980s, and now The Museum at FIT is the first exhibition to explore contemporary Japanese fashion.
Inside the walls of the exhibit are two different rooms. One containing the more dramatic avant-garde looks of evening–party dresses and glitz. There is alot to learn from the exhibit, as it shows everything from the controversial symbol of femininity–the corset, to the woman’s pantsuit. The second room contains the more well-known street style displayed on mannequins with images on the walls of actual girls in neighborhoods such as Harajuku and Shibuya fully-dressed for a day of well, fashion.
Seeing ensembles of garments by Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo, Kenzo and Hanae Mori look so far away but so familiar. That is because a person seeing the clothes, the materials, the patterns–realizes how far Japan’s fashion influence spans. It influences the cuts of our clothing to the brands we wear next that end up flooded in our markets. For example, Japanese street-style girls mix and match their fashion with no hesitation (plaid shirt on top, flower skirt on the bottom). Does it sound familiar?
It sounds like the American collections of Fall 2010.
It was hard to pick a favorite among all the beautiful clothes, but I did. The Mondrian Hello Kitty Dress by Han Ahn Soon is a stand-out. Now if only I could get that ticket to Japan….
“Harajuku girls, I’m looking at you girls, you’re so original girls
You got the look that makes you stand out,
Harajuku Girls, I’m looking at you girls, you mix and match it girls, you dress so fly and just parade around.”
Japan Fashion Now runs through January 8th. The Museum of FIT is open Tuesday-Friday, noon-8pm and Saturday, 10am-5pm. Closed Sunday, Monday , and holidays.