Fashion Introduction: Curating an Outfit

Table of Contents


Looking Abroad for What to Wear: 60s-70s
The Bubble and Burst Economy: 80s-90s
How to Wear Anything: 00s-10s

From a historical perspective, Japanese people only recently traded their traditional kimono, etc. for Western-style clothing. However, since opening the country to the rest of the world, Japan has become known for reinterpreting and reinventing any foreign idea it adapts. In textiles, Japan could draw on a long tradition of making garments with different materials and methods to adapt its new imports.

It wasn’t until the 60s economic boom that fashion became a considerable commercial force in postwar Japan, a revolution inspired by the Western-influenced red blazers worn by the Japanese athletes at the 1964 Olympic opening ceremony. Since then, fashion in Japan has been in constant flux, owing to the quick absorption of international modes.

The new styles of clothing emerging in the 60s were like a new language that they learned as they adapted it. Once they had mastered this new language, Japan was able to begin its process of reinterpreting and reinventing foreign styles. Now, Japan aims to be the culture out in front of the international community at Tokyo’s next Olympic and Paralympic Games, outfitting its athletes in uniforms made of upcycled clothing that will display cutting-edge ideas in both design and sustainable lifestyle, a combination they hope will influence the rest of the world.

Japanese fashion connoisseurs are now fluent in the language of international fashion, as well as that of their native Japanese garments. Tokyo is a place where the outlandish styles that are unmistakably “Tokyo” can be found, and at the same time a place where countless subtle fashion sensibilities can be expressed and appreciated. Fashion trends in Tokyo now do not reflect a single domestic, generational voice; it synthesizes them all into something new and exciting.

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