Libmonster ID: U.S.-1403
Author(s) of the publication: E. KATASONOVA

In the East, fashion was formed quite differently than in Europe. In China, Korea, and Japan, people's tastes have been defined by Buddhist precepts for centuries. This school is characterized by simplicity, asymmetry, incompleteness as the most striking manifestation of beauty. This was especially evident in the tenets of Zen Buddhism, which shaped the entire Japanese aesthetic. Is it any wonder that any shades of eastern understanding of beauty in European fashion centers were perceived as experimental and even avant-garde trends?

In recent years, the world fashion is increasingly turning towards the East and, mainly, in the Japanese direction. Japanese motifs have become a favorite theme for leading Western fashion designers and almost a permanent attribute of prestigious Paris fashion shows. The famous John Galliano, the main creative face of the house "Christian Dior", built the artistic concept of one of his collections in 2003 on the features of stage costumes of the Japanese traditional Kabuki theater. In the same year, American designer Ralph Rucci presented his "Tea Ceremony" series at the haute couture festival in Paris, embodying the basic principles of Japanese aesthetics. Almost simultaneously with him, Jean-Paul Gaultier creates a series of works "Geisha in the Louvre", inspired by the idea of a traditional kimono. And his regular client, Madonna, is happy to demonstrate her uncharacteristic Japanese style at the Grammy Awards. Echoes of Japanese trends are also evident in the works of many well-known Russian designers, including Valentin Yudashkin, who in 2002 presented the author's collection "Japan"full of imagination and sophistication. In short, Japanese style has an increasing influence on the development of the global fashion industry every year.

But today, in their taste preferences, European fashionistas prefer to turn not to the original solutions in the Japanese style of Western couturiers, but directly to the original source - the works of Japanese fashion designers. Japanese people are currently at the peak of their popularity, including in the Russian market, where there is a noticeable increase in demand for collections of Japanese designers, especially among the artistic elite and business representatives. Stylish people today can no longer do without designer finds coming from the East. They have an extraordinary refinement of perception, a certain signiness, a kind of thread between the past and the future.

The world has repeatedly experienced a craze for Japanese exotics and even picked up the appropriate definition for this, called "Japanism". The unprecedented popularity of Japanese prints in Europe in the 19th century had a huge impact on the work of French Impressionist artists, who were the most zealous propagandists of Japanese art. He was admired by Emile Zola and the Goncourt brothers. The huge success of Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly also testified to the extraordinary interest of the European public in the mysterious culture of Japan and, along with other phenomena and events of this bright period of history, contributed to the further growth of this interest, and as a result - the interpenetration of two cultures, two different fashion concepts of East and West.

At one time, the founder of haute couture (haute couture) and the owner of the first Parisian house of models, Charles Frederick Worth, offered his high-ranking clients exquisite dressing gowns and magnificent dresses stylized to match the outfits of Japanese geishas. In the collection of any outstanding designer of that time, from the brilliant Paul Poiret to the great Coco Chanel, you can find examples of typical Japanese style.

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Late XX - early XXI centuries. Once again, they were marked by an increased interest of Western European fashion designers in Japanese culture. Original creative ideas originating from Japan challenge the fashion of the Western world. Today, more and more often they began to talk about the works of Japanese fashion designers as a prototype of the clothes of the future. The legendary Karl Lagerfeld repeatedly stressed that Japanese designers were "the best prepared for the XXI century." They are focused on the fashion of the future. And they manage to shape it."


Residents of the Land of the Rising Sun first got acquainted with European clothing relatively recently, only at the end of the XIX century. Unlike Europeans, the population of this ancient island state has been faithful to its traditional clothing for more than 1,500 years, which today has come down to us in its most simplified form-the kimono, which dates back to the XVII century.

The Japanese national costume was constantly undergoing transformation and adaptation in accordance with local traditions, climate and other factors. Only its unshakable foundations remained unchanged - a straight cut and a tradition of layering, first clearly defined in the early Middle Ages-the Heian Era (794-1185).

This period in Japanese history is called the " time of peace and tranquility." The noble ladies and gentlemen of the court lived in luxury and competed with each other not only in the art of versification and courtly manners, but also in the elegance and even pretentiousness of dresses made of expensive Chinese silks. The commoners, on the other hand, were destined to be content with coarse linen garments for the rest of their lives.

Each historical epoch made its own requirements for the costume and introduced its own strict restrictions and regulations. During the late Middle Ages - the Edo period (1603-1867) - the total regulation of the life of all strata of society finally formed the type of mentality that we now call "Japanese" and which, in turn, was reflected in Japanese clothing. The strict hierarchical system that emerged at this time in the country was based on a clear and strict division of Japanese society into classes, and a complex set of laws and rules defined literally all aspects of life for each of them, right down to the color of clothing and the material from which it was sewn.

So, yellow (the color of the earth) for a long time was a privilege only of the emperor, which did not apply even to members of the imperial family. The lowest strata of society - servants, carpenters, fishermen-were required to wear only blue and brown colors. At the same time, white hieroglyphs were necessarily applied on the sides of their clothing with the designation of houses that included servants, shops where merchants served, etc. Aristocrats, people from noble families and the highest military class indicated their belonging to the elite of society by depicting their family coat of arms on their clothes.

Most of all, the representatives of the new emerging class, the merchant class, suffered from these feudal conventions. Despite their accumulated capital and dramatically increased role in Japanese society, legally they remained at the lowest rung of the class hierarchy. And among them were daredevils who challenged the foundations of the state. Often rich merchants lined their blue and brown kimonos with silk linings. While walking, when the kimono floors diverged, the lining stood out in bright colors, as if hinting that the owner of this outfit is not so poor and not bypassed by aesthetic taste.

In those early days, geisha and Kabuki theater actors became trendsetters, who were allowed to show a variety of styles and colors of kimonos, belts, shoes in tea houses and on stage, expressing all their creativity in intricate fabric ornaments and embroidery compositions on clothes, in obi belts and hairstyles.

Kimono is a rather complex ensemble, each of its elements carries encoded information, which requires extensive knowledge of Japanese traditions to understand. For example, such a detail of a kimono as sleeves can tell a lot to an initiate. Unmarried women in Japan, trying to attract the attention of men, usually wore a kimono with wide flowing sleeves (furisode) with embroidery and paintings, tied it with a brocade belt with an intricate bow at the back. The kimono sleeves of married women are almost half shorter, and the color scheme of clothing is more restrained.

Clothing colors, patterns, and ornaments used to decorate Japanese clothing, -

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everything had a secret meaning for the Japanese, connected with their worldview, history, and aesthetics. Colors represented the elements, and drawings and ornaments represented the seasons and natural phenomena. Usually, the element of fire corresponded to red, the element of metal-white, the element of water-black, the element of wood-green. And in general, the very perception of the color palette among the Japanese is very peculiar: the color of a ripe orange, the color of young green peas, the color of warm chernozem - this is what they call some shades of orange, green and black.

The pattern on the kimono is designed to symbolize the time of year. So, cherry blossoms, camellias or plums heralded the arrival of spring. Carnations, lotuses and irises reminded of the coming summer. Red maple or chrysanthemums are an essential attribute of autumn landscapes. Sometimes ideas for decorating were even drawn from works of Japanese classical literature. But perhaps the most popular subject for the Japanese was and still is the view of Mount Fuji.

In addition to indicating the time of year, the image on the clothes also carried an additional meaning: the lotus symbolized chastity, the plum-tenderness, bamboo - fortitude and courage. The image of a butterfly spoke of a wish for happiness, a pine tree was a symbol of longevity. The orange was associated in the view of the Japanese with procreation, etc.

Kimonos were divided into men's and women's kimonos. Each occasion and each time of the year had its own type of clothing. In summer, women wore a single-layer kimono - "hitoe", the" awase "kimono was intended for a cool day, and for winter, the" kosode " kimono was made, which, in addition to the lining, was also insulated with a layer of cotton wool or raw silk. But almost always Japanese clothing remained multi-layered: from twelve-layered (juni-hito) in the Heian era to five-layered (itsutsuginu) in the Kamakura era (XIII century), with special attention always paid to the skillful selection, combination and beauty of internal clothing.

The only acceptable decoration for a kimono is a Japanese obi belt. There are about a thousand ways to tie it, each of which must correspond to the case and social status of the Japanese woman. The same applies to other essential attributes of the Japanese national costume: shoes, all kinds of hair ornaments, etc.

And these are just some of the wisdoms of Japanese clothing. If we take into account that Japanese clothing up to the end of the XIX century was divided into ceremonial, festive and everyday, each of which had its own characteristics and obeyed strict canons, then it becomes obvious that traditional costume occupies a huge place in the system of cultural values of the Japanese people.

Even today, the state purposefully supports a small number of private workshops that produce national clothing, with the sole purpose of preserving the ancient secrets of this skill that goes away over the years. Sewing kimonos in modern Japan is a very prestigious occupation. The most expensive and most refined modern kimonos are created in the studio of famous Japanese designers. They bring a unique author's flavor to the simple cut of traditional clothing, embodying their artistic fantasies in a drawing on fabric.

In the daily life of Japanese people, the kimono is now worn only a few times in their lives on special occasions. Birth, marriage, and death are three events that are associated with numerous rites and rituals that still use traditional clothing.

Wedding kimono in terms of the beauty and complexity of the pattern, the richness and brightness of the decor, the abundance and complexity of accessories is the "apotheosis of the genre", a kind of work of art, and sometimes a genuine historical value created several decades, and sometimes centuries ago. It is akin to a historical costume and implies a kind of entry into the image, which means the presence of the necessary skills, knowledge of ancient customs. Perhaps this is why 67% of all modern Japanese couples who marry prefer the simpler Christian ritual of the wedding ceremony, which has become fashionable recently. Brides wear snow-white or pastel-colored Western-style wedding dresses for this occasion. As a rule, they are not sewn or bought, but rented in special wedding salons. Their future husbands are also equipped there in white or gray, less often in black tailcoats. Still, a modern Japanese wedding is rarely complete without a Japanese kimono. During the celebration, the bride almost always leaves the guests and returns to them already in a colored kimono. The custom of changing wedding clothes, which originated in the XIV or XV centuries, means that after marriage, the spouse returns to everyday life, but in a new capacity. And then the celebration takes on purely national features.

Another significant event in the life of Japanese people is the day of coming of age. Girls who turn twenty years old usually put on a kimono on this day and go for a walk. Kimono for this occasion is chosen ceremonial, the price of which can exceed 10 thousand dollars. This is usually a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation or a gift from rich parents. Those who are poorer, rent it.

Another solemn occasion for addressing the national costume is the day of awarding university diplomas. This ceremony is held every year in the month of March. On the streets of big cities, girls appear in light, usually plain kimonos and dark hakama-wide skirts and trousers in a fold that are tied over the kimono above the waist.

Today, only for a small number of Japanese women, mostly very old, the kimono is still an everyday alternative to European clothing.

European clothing has almost completely replaced the kimono from the wardrobe of modern Japanese people. It was a long and difficult process that lasted almost 50 years. The starting point was 1868, when a squadron of American warships appeared off the coast of Japan, interrupting more than two hundred years of isolation of the country from the outside world. And the Meiji Revolution that followed put the country on the path of modernization.

Having taken a course towards building a civilized state of the European type, the new government of Japan, on the one hand, persistently educated the masses in the spirit of nationalism, and on the other, strenuously implanted everything European in extreme forms. These years were called the "Rokumeikan period", when high society

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they spent their nights at balls and the Rokumeikan high society Club. By order of the government in 1883, this club was built for receptions, banquets, charity bazaars, where the Japanese nobility and high officials in dealing with foreigners-diplomats, rich merchants of foreign settlements, etc. - could learn the manners of secular European society, get used to European clothes and food, and practice Western dances.

In Japan, the first tailcoats and dresses on turns appeared, bowler hats, boaters and ladies ' hats, shoes and patent leather shoes. However, at first, only a small part of the elite - politicians, writers, artists, diplomats-enjoyed the fruits of a previously almost unknown civilization. They were specifically instructed to appear at receptions and balls exclusively in European outfits. In European clothes, they communicated with foreigners on business matters, and they themselves began to travel abroad.

In the daily life of the Japanese, foreign novelties took root with great difficulty. Here, the traditional kimono still dominated. And only under the pressure of the authorities, representatives of the male population of the country employed in the state and industrial spheres were forced to try on a European suit. But the style and rules of wearing these clothes were still so far removed from their habits and traditions that for many years on the streets of Tokyo you could find a ridiculous combination of European costume and national shoes "geta", top hat and kimono and other exotic options.

Japanese women, for the most part, were even more conservative, or rather, even less prepared for Western civilization, given the traditionally unequal position of the sexes in the East, economic, political, educational and other factors. But the new realities of the rapid modernization of Japan dictated the need to rebuild the entire life of the Japanese in a modern way, where clothing was not given the last place.

The first attempts to introduce housewives to the European dress were made by emancipated Japanese women back in 1905 on the pages of the women's specialized magazine "Fujin gurafu"created for this purpose. But the articles published in it mostly played a purely educational role. Yoshiko Sugino put these good intentions on a practical basis. After several years of living abroad and learning the secrets of sewing skills in America, she founded in 1926 in Tokyo the first college for tailoring European clothing "Doreme" (short for Dressmarer). It was here that Japanese women actually got acquainted not only with European fashion, but also with the features of the European cut and - most importantly - with the method of creating a pattern, which in Japan in those years they had no idea, since the cut of a traditional kimono is extremely simple. A little later, two more talented Japanese women joined this educational activity-Chiyo Tanaka and Yoko Kuwasaka, who together with Yoshiko Sugino had a significant influence on the formation of modern Japanese fashion, later becoming the first Japanese fashion designers. The first Japanese fashion show was held in 1927. Professional fashion models were out of the question then. Their role was taken on by Japanese movie stars.

Since then, European dresses have become the" blue dream " of Japanese fashionistas. However, before the Second World War, only the "cream of society" could get clothes from the West, enthusiastically adopting the European style from foreign films, which depicted life that was unfamiliar and still incomprehensible to the Japanese.


European fashion and the design profession were established in Japan only in the post-war years. At first, not having enough experience yet, local fashion designers were forced to take the path of borrowing foreign models and creating their more or less successful imitation, in which the Japanese had no equal. In the first post-war years, the main carriers of Western culture were representatives of the American occupation forces based in Japan until 1952. And the styles of fashionable clothing were studied mainly from American films that filled the screens of Japanese cinemas.

A sharp turn in the tastes and artistic preferences of the Japanese design world in the direction of the world's trendsetter - France-occurred in 1953, when Christian Dior organized in Japan the first show of his collections, which struck everyone with extraordinary luxury and French elegance. And this event largely determined the further direction of the development of Japanese fashion with a focus on Paris. European fashion was saying goodbye to its last great decade, while Japan was learning from it and building up its creative potential. And only in the 1960s, when the country embarked on a path of rapid industrial development, demonstrating unprecedented economic growth rates and a noticeably increased standard of living of the population, did the active development of design art and modeling business begin in Japan.

This decade was marked by the first completely independent design works of later famous professionals, graduates of the Bunka Fukuso Gakuin College: Kenzo Takada, Junko Kosino, Mitsuhiro Matsuda, Hanae Mori, graduates of the Sugino Academy, who broke the" iron curtain " that separated Japan from the rest of the civilized world in the field of fashion.

Japanese culture has a rare property that has been confirmed over many centuries of its history - the ability to borrow all the most valuable and useful things from abroad, process them in accordance with their national traditions, and then present a qualitatively new and more perfect product to the world. The Japanese also demonstrated this rare skill in the field of fashion. It is generally accepted that the phenomenon of leading Japanese fashion designers working in Europe and for Europe is that, having studied the techniques of cutting and tailoring "haute couture" and combining them with national aesthetics, they returned the European tradition of costume in an absolutely unrecognizable form.

The famous Hanae Mori is considered a pioneer of modern Japanese fashion. Its appearance in Paris in the 1960s was the first step towards the "Japanese revolution".

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expansions on the European catwalks. It was Mori's work that opened the "fashion for the Japanese", which quickly crossed the borders of the French capital. And she began her career in her homeland, inspired by the experience of Coco Chanel. In 1951, Hanae Mori opened her first studio in Tokyo. But before becoming famous, she had to study a lot and work in the United States and France, making costumes for Japanese theater and cinema.

She was lucky: Japanese cinema was going through its "golden times", and it was this area of her activity, and not the orders of Japanese fashionistas, that brought Hanae Mori maximum material and other dividends. Her cinematic experience and friendship with the masters of Japanese cinema became a kind of business card for her recognition in Europe, because in France Japanese cinema was considered an exquisite aesthetic pleasure for the elite. Hanae Mori soon became known as a talented designer and was accepted as a member of the Paris Fashion Syndicate, becoming the first Asian fashion designer to design haute couture clothing for the elite as part of the global fashion syndicate.

The Western world in those years was experiencing a sexual revolution, dancing rock and roll, singing Beatles songs and smoking marijuana. A sign of the times was a new generation of hippies who called themselves " flower children." The latest invention in fashion was mini-skirts, and the most popular clothing was jeans. Pierre Cardin presented collections in the style of robots, and Yves Saint Laurent filled haute couture with street ideas. And Japan was still alive with the European classics and romantic feelings of the fifties. But for the most part, this healthy and largely traditional Japanese conservatism has only served them well.

In 1965, in New York, Mori presented her work for the first time to the international community. The collection was called very symbolically "East meets West" - a theme that permeates the entire work of the fashion designer. In the same year, she created her own boutique in Tokyo, and twelve years later opened a haute couture salon in Paris. Soon to be a trademark of hers

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firms - colorful butterflies-flew around the world: almost 70 stores around the world generated revenue for her company exceeding 40 billion rubles. yen per year ($323 million).

As American newspapers wrote in those years: "Hanae Mori's products helped us get rid of the prejudice that the Japan label is a sign of cheap, low - quality goods." Considering herself a purely European designer, Mori never broke with the traditions of Japanese culture. The international style proposed by her has always retained subtle signs of the East.

However, in the economic downturn following the crisis of the late 1990s, expensive clothing in Japan lost mass demand, and despite its worldwide fame and impeccable reputation, Mori's fashion business became unprofitable. Its foreign competitors have also done a lot to oust the famous fashion designer from the international fashion market. As a result, in 2002, the company she owned and the ready-to-wear line passed into the hands of Mitsui & Co. Ltd.

But the talented fashion designer did not leave the fashion world. I had the opportunity to meet Hanae Mori several times in Japan during the annual national young designer competitions in Tokyo, dedicated to the memory of her famous predecessor Yoshiko Sugino. Mori is the permanent chairman of the jury of this competition, which included two famous Russian fashion designers - Vyacheslav Zaitsev and Valentin Yudashkin-for two years in a row. And among the participants of the contest and its winners for the past five years, you can find the names of the most talented students of the Moscow State Textile University.

This competition is a rare opportunity to reveal all the huge creative potential of aspiring Japanese designers, those who, with a high degree of probability, can determine the face of Japanese, and perhaps the entire world of fashion, after some time. It is even possible that the most talented of them will one day be symbolically called "Mori's grandchildren", since it is from Mori that today they count down in the history of Japanese fashion.


"Children of Mori" is sometimes called the next generation of famous Japanese designers-Issei Miyake, Yoji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, etc. Unlike their famous predecessor, these fashion rebels defied the European classical canons of dress, everything that she preached, and took the path of"anti-fashion". Their audacious experiments largely echo the principles of traditional Japanese aesthetics. And in this pronounced or artfully hidden, but always present in their work, national coloring, perhaps, is the element of "blood kinship" with Hanae Mori, which is usually written about in the press.

In Japan, for many years, fashion was considered a purely female occupation. The profession of fashion designer for men was low-prestige, and the doors of professional educational institutions were closed for many years for young men. And many now famous Japanese fashion designers-Kenzo Takada, Yoji Yamamoto, Issei Miyake and others had to endure quite serious family resistance, and sometimes get a classical education first, before choosing to make clothing modeling their life's work. Worldwide fame for Japanese male fashion designers did not come immediately and not from Japan, but from Paris. And in this respect, they can also probably be called "Mori's children". In their ascent to the Olympus of world fashion, they followed the already well-trodden thorny, but "starry" path leading to Paris.

Japanese designers in Paris are a special phenomenon. Japanese culture has seamlessly blended into French fashion, but it has not mixed with it. Today," the most Parisian of all Japanese people " and the first Japanese male couturier is often called Kenzo Takada, who at one time literally amazed the Parisian public by showing a completely new type of fashion show with music, clowning and fireworks on the famous catwalk.

In his heart, he has long harbored a bold challenge to the traditions of high fashion and the desire to create fashion anew. And in 1970, he began to realize his dream. Since then, elements of theatrical action have firmly entered the scenography of Paris fashion shows. And so, step by step, in a fairly short period of time, he managed to accomplish everything that once seemed almost incredible.

Five years after his first fateful show, the aspiring but already famous designer opens his Jungle Jap boutique in Paris. This very name gave birth to an extremely popular decorative style in Japan today, rich in bright exotic colors.

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flowers, birds, and butterflies. However, Kenzo gained real fame only after 1976, when he registered his own label and created a whole trend in European fashion - "destructive couture".

The secret of his success was that in his first collection he combined forms of European clothing and kimonos. Based on Japanese traditions, he created his original loose silhouette, providing ease and uninhibited movements, while maintaining a commitment to a bright unusual floral palette and a pattern that challenges the gray routine.

One by one, his famous collections, as well as perfumes, are successfully released. However, in 1993, he decided to leave the modeling business and accepted LVMH's offer to sell the brand. Today, strictly speaking, it is difficult to call the Japanese brand "Kenzo": the name of the most famous Japanese fashion designer is a profitable international enterprise that has nothing to do with Kenzo himself. In 1999, he finally left the fashion world, but in 2002 he returned to work, deciding to create a clothing line under the name "Yume" ("Dream"). His works still carried echoes of Mori's artistic pursuits, but to a greater extent they foreshadowed the coming changes that would be realized by his famous compatriots and their students.

The decisive Japanese offensive on the world's catwalks was first mentioned in the 70s of the last century, when the names of Hanae Mori and Kenzo Takada, who were already booming in the West, were joined by Issei Miyake, Yoji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and others who followed in their footsteps.

Miyake began to create his trendy models from traditional fabrics-cotton and jute with traces of hand-dyed and washed in river water. And then, in his quest to find a multifunctional fabric, he worked like a chemist to create new artificial fabrics. And soon the world saw a silicone bustier, inflatable trousers made of polyurethane, pleated tunics interspersed with metal threads. Then it was the turn of puffed nylon pants and, finally, the famous chiton.

He experimented with various options for creases on clothing, using the most incredible methods of manufacturing: torsion, compression, crumpling, shrinkage.

His collection "Second skin" ("Second skin"), made of elastic knitwear, consisted of fantastic things that resemble a "snake costume", generously decorated with colored "tattoos".

One of the brilliant ideas was the idea first expressed by Miyake to transfer the principles of the Japanese art of "origami" (making various designs and models from paper) to fabric. As a result, a new method of creating "cut-out" origami models was born out of children's fun, which is also used with pleasure by another unsurpassed master of clothing Yoji Yamamoto, his student Atsuro Tayama and others. In the West, this new Japanese discovery was immediately attributed to the influence of the beloved "high-tech" there, listing Miyake among the brightest representatives of this direction.

Like all leading Japanese fashion designers, Issei Miyake is currently looking for the concept of clothing of the future. The famous Japanese fashion designer sees his task today in returning to the archaic and even to some extent primitive in clothing-to what its history actually began with: maximum functionality, maximum simplicity and comfort. But from today's perspective, these principles should sound new, taking into account new materials, new structures, new knowledge and living conditions.

Representatives of the" Japanese wave " of the 1980s interpreted the concept of "anti-fashion" in their own way, which in their work was expressed in the same way as "fake poverty" or"post-apocalyptic appearance". Their challenge to the West was emphasized asceticism and archaic clothing. They hid the bodies of their models in soft fabrics and unusual for that time shapeless and huge, but at the same time elegant hoodies. It was a garment that was indifferent to detail, but flawless in its lines and proportions. The top of the sophistication was deliberate raggedness and carelessness: uneven hemlines and sleeves of different lengths, protruding seams that created the effect of primevalness, destruction of shape, texture, as well as black color, which in the Japanese arrangement acquired a completely different sound.

They created clothes that had nothing to do with the bourgeoisie, clothes that protested against the consumer society. It did not have a European facade: it did not show prosperity and progress, but these features, together with exoticism, stunning practicality and excellent quality, favorably distinguished the models of Japanese artists and determined their huge popularity with Western consumers.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, even the most ardent skeptics could not fail to recognize the enormous influence that Yoji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and other Japanese designers had on the development of the global fashion industry. Today, fashion houses and international couturier clubs have recognized Yoji Yamamoto as a symbol of Japanese fashion.

Yamamoto was the first Japanese designer to revolutionize the concept of fashion as something infinitely changing. After all, the oriental costume has remained virtually unchanged for centuries. He, and other Japanese people behind him, presented clothes that do not lose their relevance after the passage of time. How

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paradoxically, these clothes became things in the style of "second-hand". "Our youth was marked by a period of industrial growth, when every minute there were new products appearing in the markets, including the fashion market," Yamamoto explains his aesthetic preferences. "But at the same time, we knew that tomorrow would come when all this would go out of fashion. Why then pursue novelty? And we became the first generation to start wearing second-hand clothing.

"My life," Yamamoto declares, " is a paradox: I deny fashion by creating it. I'm interested in constantly teetering on the edge." He explains: "Sometimes I go in the same direction as the trend, but if I feel that I am giving in to it too much, then I start to resist and do the opposite."

Today, Yamamoto's work is represented by several lines. This is, first of all, the line "Y's" - mostly casual clothing and "Yohji Yamamoto" - always an experiment and innovation.

Yamamoto's works give the impression of some barbaric pristine beauty, and at the same time they are surprisingly comfortable. His sense of fashion is based on functionality rather than decorativeness. It is generally accepted that models from Yamamoto are intended, first of all, for intelligent, refined women who tend to elegance. But, responding to these tastes, the designer almost never maintains a strict classical style, but tends to violate it, widely resorting to all sorts of" artistic provocations": somewhere to cut something or, conversely, attach it. His products, at first glance, seem extremely simple, but at the same time they carry "a lot of cleverly tailored tricks and riddles." According to the master himself, " his clothes require play."

Yamamoto's style includes both eastern and Western trends. The designer always created clothes that fed on the undercurrents of the underground in combination with national traditions and went beyond the leading fashion trends. And although everything national in Yamamoto is always carefully hidden, it is Japanese art, Japanese aesthetics and philosophy that permeate all the work of the famous couturier.

At one time, a special success in Europe fell on the purely Japanese invention of Yamamoto transformer clothing, based on unusual designs and original cutting techniques. At first glance, the idea of such a costume seems to be some kind of abstract entertainment, a kind of toy for adults. In reality, we are talking about the high skill of creating multifunctional clothing, which may serve as the basis for the clothing of the future.

The opponent of everything bourgeois and traditional, Rei Kawakubo, also went against the usual ideas of Europeans about beauty and style. A young Japanese woman came up with blouses with lowered loops and breaks, produced on special knitting machines. Things were crushed and torn, leaving only a tattered fringe. Black, dark blue and gray somber tones, distortion of the proportions of the body and its outlines, the absence of some details (for example, a suit with one sleeve), pillows on the back and on the shoulders that made models real hunchbacks, holes in dresses, double collars, pockets, sports boots or boots - "combat" - such at the end of the last century, the image of a woman of the coming century was presented to a Japanese fashion designer. And Kawakubo wasn't wrong in her sense of time and in her artistic predictions!

Look at the mass of young girls who show deliberate disregard for their clothes-with pleasure dragging trendy backpacks and heavy boots (military style), torn jeans behind their backs - this is the look that is most popular today on the streets of many eastern and western cities.

In the mid-1980s, Rei Kawakubo managed to make a real revolution in fashion. Today, her company, Comme des Garsons, has 300 stores in Japan and 250 more around the world.

New collections and new commercial projects by renowned Japanese fashion designers continue to excite the world of haute couture, and they are followed by a new generation of fashion designers who have won the adoration of stylish young people from London to Acapulco.

Today, a representative of the middle generation of Japanese designers, a student of Yamamoto - Atsuro Tayama, is particularly popular in our country. About 30 years ago, he received a tempting offer from the master of fashion to become his assistant and create seasonal clothing collections with him, and a few years later he founded his own company and began to produce clothes under the brand " Atsuro Tayama "(A. T.), which is now successfully sold in Moscow. The brand "Tayama" is on the rise today. The basis of his collections are simple monophonic garments in the spirit of the early XX century.

Despite all the variety of styles represented by several generations of Japanese designers, there is something in common that allows us to talk about the features of their work as a whole direction in world fashion. This is the desire for simplicity, incompleteness, experimentation, a sensitive attitude to form and color, often even a certain asceticism, a tendency to deconstruction. These features, apparently, primarily indicate that each of the Japanese fashion designers relies on a good knowledge of the traditions of Oriental costume, embodying them in their works, one might say, at the genetic level.

Today, the Japanese are recognized leaders in the most revolutionary changes in the fashion industry. They have their own, special, view of the ratio of fashion and style. They saved the world from having to wear strictly defined styles for each season by introducing the eternal values of conceptual clothing, when style becomes more important than fashion and things can be worn for years.


Dressing expensively and fashionably has long been an essential status symbol in Japan. An exemplary Japanese fashionista spends a huge amount of money on her wardrobe. Although the economic reports of the government and the Bank of Japan do not paint a very rosy picture of the economic situation in the country, sellers of expensive clothing still receive the lion's share of their income in the Japanese market. The fact is that Japan has a very large solvent middle class, which, according to various surveys, makes up from 59% to 80% of the country's population. According to the government's statistics department, the average Japanese household's monthly income is

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570 thousand yen (about $ 4,500). It should also be taken into account that young people are in no hurry to start a family and live with their parents for a long time. This means that they can spend almost all of their salary on themselves.

Luxury goods in Japan are on average 50% more expensive than in Europe. And, according to fashion observers, this is one of the reasons for the rapidly growing need for domestic designers who can compete with expensive Western brands.

Today, original models and entire collections are born not only in Parisian ateliers, but in numerous salons in Tokyo, which has become one of the five world fashion capitals along with Paris, New York, Milan and London.

However, conservative expensive clothing today is increasingly rapidly going out of fashion. Japanese people are gradually starting to get rid of their snobbish addiction to iconic Western designers and choose variety. Not so long ago in Japan, it was considered the highest chic to pick up all your weekend toilet and accessories for it from one famous brand - Armani, Dior, etc. Now local fashionistas are already most afraid of similarity, looking for something original, buying things from little-known designers, etc. In modern Japanese fashion, as in the West, there is a complete mixture of trends and styles. Barriers between men's and women's clothing have been broken. Haute couture clothing has recently become popular among children and teenagers. The boundaries between high fashion, "pret-a-porter" and street fashion are gradually blurring. It is the latter that today dictates its laws to the domestic market and the Japanese manufacturer.

Imaginative and daring experiments in modern clothing in Tokyo's busiest youth centers may not be matched in the streets of other capitals around the world. Young Japanese people today try in many ways to resemble the heroes of Japanese comics - manga and animated films - anime, so popular in this country, who have been holding almost the entire Japanese society captive for several decades.

In terms of their popularity among young people, only pop and rock singers can compare with the heroes of manga and anime, which Japanese boys and girls try to imitate in everything - clothes, image, manners. Japanese youth fashion today is surprisingly diverse and extremely bright. But in this seemingly spontaneous chaos of purple and green, red and blue, in the eclecticism of styles and fashion trends, you can find your own patterns. And the most pronounced of them is a purely national trait-the attraction to multi-layered and multifunctional clothing.

In connection with the new taste preferences of modern Japanese, a new generation of young talented fashion designers has also appeared, which not only was able to set the tone for domestic fashion, but also create collections that instantly appear on city streets. And it's not just about their design talent. The secret of their commercial breakthrough was the unusual low prices for this mass-produced domestic product, which creates an increasingly serious competition for the products of well-known Japanese, and even more so, foreign companies.

The designer profession is more popular in the country today than ever before. In Japan, there are several well-known schools, institutes and studios that train high-level professionals in the field of fashion. The most famous of them is the oldest Fashion Academy "Sugino" - the first educational institution of this profile, which originates from the college of European clothing "Doreme". In the future, it was joined by two more higher educational institutions with two-year short-term and full four-year academic cycles. Today, Sugino Academy is a major educational and design center in Japan, where about 2 thousand students study and 350 teachers work. Over the entire history of its existence, a total of 350 thousand people have graduated from it. Among them are not only world-renowned fashion designers, but also many leading Japanese designers who develop products for the largest Japanese companies, as well as specialists in the production of fabrics. Today, another equally famous school of fashion designers, Bunka Fukuso Gakuin, successfully competes with the Sugino Fashion Academy. This school annually trains up to 2 thousand students. first-class specialists and is the alma mater of such renowned designers as Yoji Yamamoto, Issei Miyake and many others. There is a similar educational institution in Osaka. And all this huge talented army of first-class specialists with their artistic images, style, talent, a keen sense of the needs of the time every year joins the world of Japanese fashion and makes it more diverse, bright, original,and therefore more attractive in other countries.

Not only is the face of Japanese fashion changing, but the country itself is also changing rapidly. An undisputed economic giant, an absolute global leader in the latest technologies, automotive and other fields - this recent image of Japan today requires significant adjustment. The country's decades-long economic stagnation, growing competition on world markets from rapidly developing countries such as South Korea and China, and other factors have significantly shaken its position as a world economic leader. Instead, Japan is now trying on the image of a world cultural power, making the main bet in its international activities on the cultural component. Japanese cinema, Japanese manga and anime, Japanese music, fashion and cuisine - all things that were previously so little known in the world, have now created a truly Japanese cultural boom in many countries of the world. Cultural exports in their dynamics are clearly ahead of the growth rates of Japan's industrial exports, and its main revenue items have been Japanese fashion and Japanese cuisine for the past few years.

Today's potential of Japan in the field of fashion is quite large. And there is every reason to believe that the Japanese, with their particularly subtle vision of the world, careful attitude to the environment, amazing ability to combine traditions and modernity, national and borrowed from other cultures, to feel the subtle connection between the past, present and future, will continue to actively influence the development of world fashion in the XXI century.



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