PRINT November 1986



PARIS FASHION IS CURRENTLY IN its Meiji period. Like the former city of Edo, old Lutèce, the capital of esthetic orthodoxy, has seen the dissolution of its shogunate—the grands couturiers—and has flung its arms open to the trade winds. For some time these have been blowing from America, first through the space program (the NASA influence on Courrèges and Cardin) and Pop (Saint Laurent’s Tom Wesselmann-style designs), more recently from Latin and black American street styles, the fetishes of suburban teenagers, and our Seventh Avenue Superwoman fantasy of the sexy working sportive shopping mama. But the winds, as we know, are coming much more sharply from the East, in big hot blasts from Japan.

Orientalism in general has of course been a staple in Western design and art on and off since Constantinople became the capital of the Roman Empire. This taste has nowhere been more self-evident than

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