Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s

Exhibition Website

Sep 11 2016 - May 28 2017

Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s, shows work by Japanese designers who started a fashion revolution in Paris. The exhibition features 70 looks by powerhouse designers Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Kansai Yamamoto, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, and Junya Watanabe, whose impact on fashion still resonates today.

Works on view illustrate concepts such as the intersection of tradition and modernity; the influence of pop culture motifs; molding the body versus hiding the body with oversized shapes; reinventing the traditional Western representation of femininity; collaborations between contemporary artists and fashion designers; and other diverse ways of challenging the fashion system. Emphasizing these elements, the exhibition will demonstrate how Japanese designers confronted the work of European designers during the 1980s (such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Anne-Marie Beretta, Azzedine Alaïa, and Thierry Mugler), while they inspired younger European designers (such as Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, John Galliano, and Dries Van Noten) in the 1990s. 

Shock Wave includes 20 recent acquisitions for the DAM’s collection and also spotlights important loans from the fashion collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the de Young Museum in San Francisco, as well as from local and national private lenders.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Whether you go or not,  the 64-page exhibition catalog features many looks from the exhibition as well as the work of fashion photographers.

  • Costume
  • Asian
  • 20th Century
  • Design
  • Japanese

Exhibition Venues & Dates