A few weeks ago we had such a treat getting a private tour viewing the Japan Fashion Now exhibition at The Museum at FIT with FIT Director and Chief Curator, Valerie Steele, and head of the FIT Couture Council, Liz Peek. Japan Fashion Now opened on September 17 and has been extended till April 2– it is not to be missed. The concisely curated exhibition reveals how the Japanese fashion revolution during the 1980’s transformed the world of fashion. For a more detailed description of  Japan Fashion Now scroll down and  take a video-tour with FIT Director and Chief Curator, Valerie Steele.  For further information please go to The Museum at FIT’s website.

Left to Right: Commes des Garcons DressAutumn/Winter 2009-10 (Japan), Number (N)ine Men’s Ensemble- Autumn/Winter 2009 (Japan)h.NAOTO Gothic Lolita Dress Ensemble- Autumn/Winter 2008-09 (Japan)

The exhibition starts off revealing conceptualized and avant-garde pieces from the ’80’s by designers such as Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, Issey Miyake and Yoji Yamamoto. Mixing the notion of traditional Japanese clothing with cutting-edge textiles and challenging the western idea of  beauty.  One then is taken into the main-gallery featuring a backdrop of 21st-century Tokyo  and exploring contemporary Japanese fashion.  Looking at both the current collections by the same designers of the 1980’s and then delving into different sub-cultures and neighborhoods of fashion such as the deconstructed look of the Omotesando neighborhood, the cute yet rebellious Harajuku “style tribes” and the Japanese anime pop-culture infiltrated Cosplay (which is literally short for “costume-play”).

Left to Right: Commes des Garcons (Rei Kawakubo) Ensemble- Fall/Winter 1983-84, Issey Miyake Dress- Fall/Winter 1989-90, Issey Miyake Evening Ensemble- circa 1982, Issey Miyake Red-Molded Plastic Bustier- circa 1983

Left to Right: Comme des Garcons (Junya Watanabe) Dress- Spring/Summer 2001, Comme des Garcons (Junya Watanabe) Denim Dress- Spring/Summer 2002, Comme des Garcons (Junya Watanabe) Printed Denim Shirt + Skirt- Spring/Summer 2009, Comme des Garcons (Rei Kawakubo) Biker/Ballerina Ensemble- Spring/Summer 2005

Left to Righth.NAOTO Gothic Lolita Ensemble- circa 2007, Betsey Johnson Princess Decoration Dress- circa 2009, Grimoire Mori Girl Ensemble- circa 2010, Musicians: Hangry + Angry in h. NAOTO- circa 2008

Left to Right: Marie Antoinette + Oscar from Manga Comic: The Rose of Versailles, Catgirl Maid Costumecirca 2010, Tycho Science Costume + Wigcirca 2010, Madame Red Costume + Wig circa 2010, Lady Oscar Costume + Wig– circa 2010

Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT, discusses the Japanese fashion revolution.

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