Independent Study: Grotesque Cultural Exchange; A Study of Japanese Fashion History


Focusing first on the importance of Rei Kawakubo in developing her own essays on abjection through her business, Comme des Garcons, was how French fashion gatekeepers allowed an outsider, in. Not simply because of the mystical designs that participated in Japonisme/orientalism, but because she purposefully created a new material identity through cultural capitalism. By analyzing the work and ideologies of Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garcons that utilized Julia Kristeva’s subject-in-process to display the abject through fashion, in addition to the construction of kawaii consumer culture, the shojo girl, and lolita identity, Japanese creatives undermined Japan’s stagnant homogenous society in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. The creatives in Harajuku, Tokyo known as Designer Character brands produced Kristeva’s jouissance through the gothic-lolita fashion scene. The goth-loli scene uses the alter ego of lolita, shojo and aristocratic female passivity to view themselves and therefore escape subjective homogeneity. This process is highly visual because of the importance of visual culture to cultural capitalism, fashion, and Japanese consumer culture. For this reason, this research paper is upheld by a Scalar digital exhibit of this cultural exchange through fashion. The digital exhibit analyses media to show the methods, ideologies, contexts, and aesthetics that are visually critical in understanding the inner workings of this research.

Digital Exhibit on Scalar:


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