Shock Wave

Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s
On View through May 28, 2017
Comme des Garçons, Jacket with Skirt, “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” collection, Spring/Summer 1997.

Comme des Garçons, Jacket with Skirt, “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” collection, Spring/Summer 1997. Nylon/polyurethane stretch gingham with padding. Denver Art Museum, Neusteter Textile Collection.

Issey Miyake, Jacket with Transformable Bustle and Asymmetric Skirt, Autumn/Winter 1986 collection.

Issey Miyake, Jacket with Transformable Bustle and Asymmetric Skirt, Autumn/Winter 1986 collection. Japanese ikat-printed cotton. Denver Art Museum, Neusteter Textile Collection.

Kansai Yamamoto, Jacket, about 1980.

Kansai Yamamoto, Jacket, about 1980. Cotton jersey printed with a graphic including the brand name Kansai. Denver Art Museum, Neusteter Textile Collection.

Comme des Garçons, Jacket and Skirt, Autumn–Winter 1994–1995 collection. Felted wool.

Comme des Garçons, Jacket and Skirt, Autumn–Winter 1994–1995 collection. Felted wool. Denver Art Museum: Neusteter Textile Collection.

Issey Miyake taking his bow at the end of his spring 1980 fashion show. His models surround him, several wearing the iconic bust he created for his winter 1980–81 collection. Photograph by Jean-Luce Huré. ©Jean-Luce Huré

Issey Miyake taking his bow at the end of his spring 1980 fashion show. His models surround him, several wearing the iconic bust he created for his winter 1980–81 collection. Photograph by Jean-Luce Huré. ©Jean-Luce Huré

Kansai Yamamoto in the company of the famous Asian model, Sayoko, at a party. Her dramatic flair is typical of Kansai's flamboyant style. Photograph by Jean-Luce Huré. ©Jean-Luce Huré

Kansai Yamamoto in the company of the famous
Asian model, Sayoko, at a party. Her dramatic flair is
typical of Kansai's flamboyant style. Photograph by
Jean-Luce Huré. ©Jean-Luce Huré

Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garçons, backstage at her spring 1986 fashion show wearing her own iconic style: a loose-fitting black ensemble and flat shoes. Photograph by Jean-Luce Huré. ©Jean-Luce Huré

Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garçons,
backstage at her spring 1986 fashion show wearing her
own iconic style: a loose-fitting black ensemble and flat
shoes. Photograph by Jean-Luce Huré. ©Jean-Luce
Huré

Kenzo Takada enjoying a moment backstage with his models at the end of a fashion show in 1986. This collection was inspired by the western cowgirl style. Photograph by Jean-Luce Huré. ©Jean-Luce Huré

Kenzo Takada enjoying a moment backstage with his
models at the end of a fashion show in 1986. This
collection was inspired by the western cowgirl style.
Photograph by Jean-Luce Huré. ©Jean-Luce Huré

Kansai Coat, Spring–Summer 1991 collection. Photo by Guy Marineau. Photo © Guy Marineau

Kansai Coat, Spring–Summer 1991 collection. Photo by Guy Marineau. Photo © Guy Marineau

Junya Watanabe Ensembles, Spring–Summer 2000 collection. Photo by Guy Marineau. Photo © Guy Marineau

Junya Watanabe Ensembles, Spring–Summer 2000 collection. Photo by Guy Marineau. Photo © Guy Marineau

Comme des Garçons Ensemble, Spring–Summer 1997 collection, “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body.” Photo by Guy Marineau. Photo © Guy Marineau

Comme des Garçons Ensemble, Spring–Summer 1997 collection, “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body.” Photo by Guy Marineau. Photo © Guy Marineau

Yohji Yamamoto Suit, Autumn–Winter 1993–1994 collection. Guy Marineau photo. Photo © Guy Marineau

Yohji Yamamoto Suit, Autumn–Winter 1993–1994 collection. Guy Marineau photo. Photo © Guy Marineau

about

On View through May 28, 2017
North Building - Level 6
Included in general admission
Purchase general admission tickets online.

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 demonstrates how Japanese designers confronted the work of European designers (such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Anne-Marie Beretta, Azzedine Alaïa, and Thierry Mugler) during the 1980s, while they inspired younger European designers (such as Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, John Galliano, and Dries Van Noten) in the 1990s.

Shock Wave is the inaugural exhibition organized by Florence Müller, the Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Curator of Fashion, who joined the museum in 2015. It 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.

To accompany the exhibition, a catalog is available in The Shop and online that features many looks from the exhibition as well as the work of fashion photographers.

Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s–90s, is organized by the Denver Art Museum. It is generously funded by Joy and Chris Dinsdale, Arlene and Barry Hirschfeld, Marcia Robinson, and Alessandra Schulein. Special thanks to the Avenir Foundation for their support of the Textile Art Department. Additional funding provided by the donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, Comcast Spotlight, and The Denver Post.

Plan

Admission to Shock Wave is included in general admission; free for members; and free for kids age 18 and younger.

Not yet a member? Join today!

Group Tickets & Event Rentals

Specially priced tickets for groups of 10 or more are available with advance reservations. Private gallery rentals and special event bookings are also available. Please contact group sales at 720-913-0088 or email groupsales@denverartmuseum.org for group tickets and booking details.

Things to Do

  • Drop-In Writing at the Denver Art Museum
    Event: Lectures & Programs

    Drop-In Writing

    Monthly program on the fourth Tuesday of the month
    Occurs on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Next Occurs on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 1:00pm3:00pm.

    Pick up a pencil and spark your creative interests in these informal writing sessions. With the help of a DAM instructor, try your hand at a new writing topic every month, while visiting various museum galleries. More

  • Aftershock
    Event: Special Events

    Aftershock

    Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 6:30pm9:30pm.

    Join DAM Contemporaries for a multi-sensory fashion show and reception highlighting Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s-90s. More

News & Stories