Japanese Costume: History and Tradition. With government support, the start-up Xavel, which runs fashion shows that let women order outfits in real time using their cellphones, has opened shows in Paris and Beijing.” [Source: Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, January 1, 2010], “Fast Retailing, which sells the Uniqlo brand, has also been flexing its muscles overseas. This combination of turbulent times and a new wave of foreign influence led to the creation of some astonishing examples of samurai-class dress. The bags are often in mint condition with the most expensive ones stored behind glass and handled by sales staff with white gloves. One of the important cultural advances that arrived with Buddhism was literacy. Once again, the Japanese realized the need to keep pace with more developed nations, and embarked upon a policy of rapid Westernization. Designers that stood out with cool confident look at the April 2010 Tokyo Fashion Week were During the Muromachi period, the kosode literally emerged as acceptable outerwear. Students work hard under a series exacting deadlines and never have trouble finding work. Some Heian costume types have persisted to the present day as seen in imperial court wear, religious dress, and costumes of the No theater. The samurai had no more wars to fight, though armor and its associated vest continued to be made. The Japanese designer Noguchi designed the costumes for a 1944 abstract ballet choreographed by Martha Graham and composed by Aaron Copeland. Traditional Japanese clothing is still worn on special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, funerals, tea ceremonies and festivals. For example, many companies allow their employees to come to work dressed in casual clothings, prior to weekends. On the other hand, there have been some changes in ideas about the sorts of clothing that are appropriate for business society. Issey Miyake is Japan's and Asia's most famous fashion designer. A common sight on the streets are groups of young girls with, for example, long dyed-brown hair; darkly tanned skin; miniskirts or short pants that flare out at the bottom; and loose, baggy socks that are deliberately allowed to lap over the tops of their shoes. If you have even a passing interest in Japan’s street wear scene, chances are you’ve … His designs are often inspired more by classic French designs than Japanese clothes. Women wore layer upon layer of silk robes, with only the edges of individual robes being revealed at the sleeve ends, collar, and hem, and the outermost robe setting the overall tone for the color scheme. This style took up the traditional fashions of America’s elite class, and though it went through several minicycles of popularity and decline, it spread from young company employees to the middle-aged. Male dress of the Heian period retained the narrow, round tunic-like collar reflecting the earlier period of influence from the Asian mainland, and men also wore a skirt-like trouser and an underrobe or two. Among its alumni are Yohji Yamamoto, Hiroko Koshino, Tokio Kumagai, Hiroaki Ohya, Keoth Maruyama and Limi Yamamoto. By Thanh Kim Huynh Japanese fashion has started to burst ever since talented Japanese designers like Issey Miyake, Rei Kawabuko and Yohji Yamamoto amazed the international fashion with their innovative designs in 1980s. Male figures are often depicted wearing tight, body-hugging, long-waisted jackets flared at the sides with long tubular sleeves and baggy pants secured with ties just above the knees. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2002. For formal occasions men typically wore haori (traditional waistcoats), hakama, and Western-style hats, while some women, otherwise dressed in Japanese style, took to wearing Western-type boots. Numerous fads were born as a result. In the early 2000s, rites of passage such as children's coming-of-age ceremonies, school graduations, and weddings are occasions for members of the general public to wear traditional dress. Japanese costume is much better known, thanks to that nation's wealth and great respect for tradition and research. Such costumes did, however, change their over-all sleeve shape from oblong to squarish in response to an Edo period trend, and certain No robes with embroidered designs were occasionally influenced by contemporary fashion styles. The fashionable Omotesando district has become dominated by foreign designer label stores. In the latter half of the 1970s, “surfer fashion” became popular among teenagers. There have always been mass-produced, low-priced products available, but the new trend is for products that incorporate the very latest styles with high quality. Japanese model Ai Tominaga Japanese fashions are known for being playful and kawaii (“cute”). Japanese Costume and the Makers of Its Elegant Tradition. In 1947, Christian Dior made his debut with his Paris Collection, and a considerable amount of information about Dior’s new look made its way to Japan, via the United States, the next year. One 20-year-old girl at the 109 mall in Shibuya told Atlantic Monthly, “I’ve never bought anything from a luxury brand...If I bought something from one of those brands I’d probably spend a fortune on it and a year later it would be out of fashion anyway.”, The decline is partly the result of economic hard times and fashion weariness. Japanese women were caught up in a flurry of interest in this “new look” that was becoming popular around the world. To a certain extent, Paris fashions were also introduced by way of the United States. Collars are either narrow and round or V-neck, with front panels that either abut or overlap. The offerings include a used Chanel bag for $1,759, a used Luis Vuitton bag for $1,366 and a used Hermes bag for $5,919. But traditional Japanese clothing (kimono) is treated as a dress at an important event including a wedding ceremony, and young people who wear yukata in summer increase recently. The ward government supported financially struggling young designers by investing start-up capital or renting them studios at a discount. Many foreign films were shown in Japan, giving the Japanese people opportunities to see European and American fashions and daily life. Japanese fashion can be seen as a mixture of all European, exotic, futuristic and traditional styles. In Tokyo, he opened the Mikaye Design Studio to create new fabrics and clothes. Inability of Japanese Fashion to Make Money and Have International Success. In Ginza, a Gap moved into a space vacated by Louis Vuitton and Los-Angeles-based Forever 21 now occupies a spaced sued by Gucci. It is working hard to establish markets overseas. In 2009 during the global economic crisis Yamamoto was forced to declare bankruptcy. The designer’s company was hurt by sluggish sales in the luxury market, competition from cheap “fast fashion” brands, and large investment in opening new shops in Pais, New York and other cities. South Korea and Thailand and to some extent by young people in Europe and North America. For the purpose of providing comic relief from the tragedy and melancholy of No, kyôgen plays were traditionally performed along with No plays. During the Edo period, most kosode-category costumes still preserved Muromachi and Momoyama period styles. Only self-serving information has been conveyed to me, and I’ve acted in an “emperor new clothes” way.”. [Ibid], Tokyo fashion collections are crucial in setting trends for the following season. These sleeves attached to long, straight lengths of cloth composing the body of the robe. Known for his flamboyance and precision, he has produced clothes that are wild but focused and have attracted admirers around the world. Although there were no new innovative styles, kesa-in the early 2000s-reflected all of the variety seen in the Edo-period examples. [Ibid], “In the latter half of the 1980s, women’s fashions branched out in two directions, one known as the bodikon (body-conscious) style, emphasizing the natural lines of the body, and the other known as shibukaji (Shibuya casual), originating among high school and university students who frequented the boutiques of Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward shopping streets. Another early group of costumes in Japan were used during performances and ceremonies commemorating an enormous bronze Buddha completed in 752, midway through the Nara period (710-794). Long lines formed when it opened a flagship store in Ginza in 2009. These robes exhibit unconventional motifs and surprising color combinations. Questions or comments, e-mail ajhays98@yahoo.com, Arts, Culture, Media - Fashion, Clothes and Fads. Textile technology continually advanced as the result of immigration, with the production of silk presumably established by the third century. Leading Kabuki actors (also an all-male theatrical form) became wildly popular, their faces and dress disseminated in myriad woodblock prints. When I close my eyes, I still see things no one should ever experience: a bright red light, the black cloud soon after, people running in every direction trying desperately to escape---I remember it all. The ratio of apparel imports to exports in Japan was around 60 to 1. “At that time in Japan, the street fashion was not interesting to me,” adds Aoki. Although creative examples of the vest were still produced, samurai were not encouraged to dress like dandies. 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