The cutting edge: fashion from Japan

The cutting edge: fashion from Japan

Transformable skirt, The Wizard of Jeanz by Hiroaki Ohya, 2000

Transformable skirt, ‘The Wizard of Jeanz’ by Hiroaki Ohya, 2000

Undercover Jun Takahashi
Undercover Jun Takahashi, Autumn/Winter 2000-01


27 September 2005 – 29 January 2006

Radical and conceptual, challenging and uncompromising, fashion from Japan demands attention. Since the 1980s Japanese fashion has been acclaimed for its ability to defy conventions, embrace technology and signal new directions.

The cutting edge celebrated the experimentation, innovation and skill of Japanese fashion. It showcases 45 garments by leading designers, drawn from the collections of the Kyoto Costume Institute and the Powerhouse Museum.

The exhibition featured the pioneers of Japanese fashion Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto whose radical designs challenge Western conventions and introduce new aesthetics.

The cutting edge also presented designs by Junya Watanabe and a younger generation such as Jun Takahashi, Hiroaki Ohya, Kosuke Tsumura, Shinichiro Arakawa and Naoki Takizawa who experiment with fabric, cutting and styling.

Exhibition presented by the Powerhouse Museum in association with the Kyoto Costume Institute.

Media partners

SBS radio marie claire

Japan Foundation
Gordon Darling Foundation

Education materials
pdf iconTeachers notes


A beautifully illustrated book published in conjunction with the exhibition is available from the Powerhouse Shop and mailorder for only $34.95 (RRP $39.95).

Rei Kawakubo Comme des Garçons
Rei Kawakubo Comme des Garçons,
Spring/Summer 1997.
Collection Kyoto Costume Institute