Sunday, May 5, 2013

Edo Pop at the Japan Society

On a recent Friday evening, we attended a lecture Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints at the Japan Society, followed by music, dancing, snacks, and a late night viewing of the exhibition.


Fashion Fast Forward: Japanese Art Goes POP: Discussion & Fashion Presentation

Friday, April 26, 6:30 PM

Fashion Fast Forward: Japanese Art Goes POP

We couldn't describe the talk to you any better than it was described by Japan Society itself, so we're taking the liberty of repeating it for you above and here:

"In conjunction with Japan Society’s current Edo Pop exhibition, 'Fashion Fast Forward: Japanese Art Goes POP' gives an insider's look into contemporary fashion, design and street culture inspired by Japanese art through the millennia. Host Tiffany Godoy (widely recognized as a global expert on Japanese street fashion; author of Style Deficit Disorder: Harajuku Street Fashion—Tokyo; and an editor and columnist for such publications as The New York TimesV,, and Vogue Japan) talks to Tokyo-based unisex label DRESSED/UNDRESSED founders Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato about their designs, inspiration and process."

Some of our readers might know Tiffany Godoy as the author of Style Deficit Disorder (2007), a book on edgy, brooding, highly independent Tokyo street fashion. Some of you might have seen its predecessor, Fruits, by Shoichi Aoki, full of manic, colorful and just plain unimaginable clothes. Japanese youth style changes so rapidly that the two books are entirely different in focus.

Post-talk, the party moved to the one-night-only Edo Pop Lounge, which featured specials on Japanese beer and Tokyo-born, NYC-based DJ Ansoni spinning in the midst of a live fashion presentation. No stranger to the interwoven worlds of music and accouterment, Ansoni has performed at numerous shows and parties for big names like Vivienne Tam, Comme Des Garcons, Maison Kitsune, and Uniqlo.

The artwork in the upstairs gallery included original pieces from the 1600's through 1900's. Juxtaposed against the traditional pieces were more modern art works referencing the Edo period such as these paintings which covered entire walls of the second floor gallery under a tremendous skylight.

Shinnosuke Katsube from 24-hour Party People points out his birthplace near Mount Fuji.

Tiffany Godoy gave a  provocative slide lecture about current Tokyo fashion, with input from Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato, founders of DRESSED/UNDRESSED, who rose to fame in the street fashion scene.

Tiffany is also a fashion editor for Reality Show, which pairs young Tokyo residents modeling designer clothes. We both loved Fuyuri wearing Viktor & Rolf and sporting an eye-catching hair style!

On the left is a gent known as Detox; Mademoiselle Yulia is on the right. Both designers and Tiffany referenced the fact that unisex dressing is nothing new in Japan, where men and women both have worn kimonos for centuries.  Subtle differences in the sleeve shape and collar height differentiate women's kimonos from men's.

This colorful pair are the king  and queen of an obviously colorful kingdom.

Kitazawa and Sato in earlier days when their wearing of tee-shirts and glasses emblazoned with the word "Sex" was considered scandalous.

At the lecture, both designers said they felt embarrassed to see the "sex" tee-shirt picture again.  It's clear that their design aesthetic has made a 180-degree turn. Both dress almost exclusively in black.

We gathered in the atrium after the lecture to see a fashion show of DRESSED/UNDRESSED designs. The atrium staircase lends itself well to an inclined fashion runway.

Their designs included corsets and harnesses.

This male model looked like something right out of The Matrix.  The transparent shirt paired with the elbow-length leather gloves, austere demeanor and dark glasses enhanced the impression.

The models' pale faces all bore the same far-away expression as if their minds were entirely elsewhere, lending an air of asceticism.

This red shirt was the only touch of color in the entire collection.

This minimalist coat and hooded top looked almost monastic, riffing on the unisex aspect of their fashion philosophy.

Check out how long the shirt is in this outfit.

Valerie posed with designer Takeshi Kitazawa after the runway show concluded. Dressed in black though he was, he gave Valerie's color palette the AOK.

Afterward, we met and had the opportunity to talk to Tiffany briefly about (guess what?) fashions for older women. When we complimented her on her bustier, she said she'd gotten it at a second hand shop in Mexico City. Way cool! Somebody needs to write a book on thrift shops around the world.

We ran into one of the models, Dylan River, just as he was exiting the dressing room.  He was sweet enough not to just to let us take his picture, but also to photograph us with our cameras so we'd have a record. (We are STILL so bad at that! Finance gurus say 'pay yourself first'; we need to photograph ourselves first.)

Jean reconnected with Boxie, a beautiful young Serbian woman we'd met at previous events.

This Japanese breakdancer was a joy to behold.

Here he is (left) in a version of suspended animation. He stopped long enough for us to snap his picture.

Dante and Davey (whom we'd met at an Issey Miyake party) posed with Jean.

Jean coveted two of Davey's accessories -- first, his BillyBoy necklace from the 1980s.

And second, his pointy-toed black creepers with white contrast stitching, which looked very much like a souped-up version of the shoes worn by the models in the fashion show.

Here's a close up of the models' shoes.

Davey and Dante really got into the music.

DJ Ansoni and his friend posed with Valerie.

Tiffany posed with Ansoni and blogger Arabella.

We stopped Kenshin Asano to compliment him on his mustache. Turns out he's a hair dresser. We also loved his hat and glasses.

Arabella declared herself one of our fans. We continue to be amazed and delighted that people young enough to be our children (grandchildren?) enjoy checking us out.  Her demure harness works beautifully with her dress.

We posed for one last photo in front of the banner celebrating Brooklyn (Valerie's birthplace).


  1. You are phenomenal ... I adore you!

  2. Your beaming, bright faces must have been a delight for those in attendance! xxoo

  3. Ladies!
    So proud to be on your blog.
    Thank you for coming and adding some N-Y-C P-O-P, color, and style wisdom into the mix.
    See you soon on The Reality Show Magazine's Tabloid-drop ya a mail soon about it.