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Ash Scans: The Japanese Fashion Invasion

October 22, 2009

LIFE magazine, April 1983

Model Justina (with hairdresser Sekiguchi) in designs by Mitsuhiro Matsuda

Model Justina (with hairdresser Sekiguchi) in designs by Mitsuhiro Matsuda

Finally opening in Toronto this weekend, The September Issue documents Vogue magazine and shines a spotlight on Asian-American designer Thakoon Panichgul.  Born in Thailand, Panichgul is only one of many Asian-Americans putting their mark on the fashion industry — as the Wall Street Journal reports, Jason Wu raised his clout by designing for Michelle Obama, and others like Alexander Wang have been enlisted by major chains to freshen their collections.

Writes Ray A. Smith:

Today’s Asian-American designers don’t wear their “otherness” on their sleeves as did the wave of Japanese designers like Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, who took the fashion world by storm in the ’80s with avant-garde designs. Many young Asian-American designers’ clothes, such as Jason Wu’s blend of modernity with the intricacy of couture and Phillip Lim’s modern takes on classic looks, are generally aimed at a broad mainstream audience.

In this first installment of Ash Scans, let’s flip through the pages of LIFE magazine’s April 1983 issue for “Big, Bold and Black: The Japanese Fashion Invasion,” which highlights that first wave of captivating Asian designers. Along with some dynamic photos by Gianfranco Gorgoni, check out the dated language: “From the folks who brought you Sony, Hitachi and sushi, the latest Japanese export is high-styled ready-to-wear. Three Tokyo-based designers have launched a major attack on the U.S. market…” Italics, mine (and hopefully yours as well).

Scan link below.

[LIFE, April 1983: “Big, Bold and Black: The Japanese fashion invasion”]

One Comment leave one →
  1. Simon permalink*
    October 25, 2009 1:47 am

    I don’t know where you dug this up, but it’s pretty badass.

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