Khoa Nguyen


student bio

Khoa Nguyen is an undergraduate student with a B.A. in English. He is currently pursuing additional degrees in Art History and Studio Art, and will graduate in the fall of 2017. Khoa is currently a gallery assistant at Show of Hands Gallery in Denver, Colorado and is the Senior Fashion Writer for 303 Magazine.  

thesis description

The Changing Image of Fashion: The Impact of Japanese Fashion from the 1980s to the Present

Abstract: The world of high fashion saw a major turning point in the Mid 1980s when a group of Japanese designers presented their collections in France. In contrast to the form-fitting and body-conscious styles preferred by French designers, Japanese designers Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Issey Miyake introduced baggy silhouettes, monochromatic palettes, and loose shapes. These designs profoundly impacted European fashion.

While scholarship on fashion history continues to hold this era of Japanese influence in high regard, contemporary scholarship on the continued influence of this period on post-2000 fashion is missing even though western designers and mainstream fashion are still being influenced by this historical period. My paper addresses the impact this wave of Japanese designers had on the industry from 1980 to the present. I will do this by discussing past and recent designer collections in relation to the changes we have seen in the fashion industry from runway to the mainstream. Images of pivotal runway collections that have drastically changed the image of fashion will be my main sources, along with designer interviews and critic reviews.

This project aims to fill the gap in scholarship on Japanese designer collections, and changing styles from the 1980s to the present. It will also shed new light on work being created for the runway by designers in the past five years.