Paris is renowned as the greatest fashion capital in the world. It has a rigid and tightly controlled system that non-western designers have difficulty penetrating. Yet a number of the most influential Japanese designers have broken into this scene and made a major impact. How? Kawamura shows how French fashion has been both disturbed and strengthened by the addition of "outside" forces such as Kenzo Takada, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, and Hanae Mori. She considers many other key questions the fashion industry should be asking itself. Does the system facilitate or inhibit creativity? Has it become preoccupied with the commercial projection of "product images" rather than with the clothing itself? And what direction will French fashion take without Saint Laurent, Miyake and Kenzo? This is the first in-depth study of the Japanese revolution in Paris fashion and raises provocative questions for the future of the industry.
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Yuniya Kawamura is Assistant Professor of Sociology, Fashion Institute of Technology.
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