Gwen Stefani may have blown up Japanese Fashion in the US with her Harujuku Lovers collection, but the theatricality, avant-garde and radical creativity of Japanese style has been a force in the fashion world for decades. Now you can see it for yourself (without having to jet over to Tokyo!) at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology's (MFIT) exhibition, Japan Fashion Now, which explores contemporary Japanese fashion in all its glory, from designer fashion to street style, including menswear (in case you want to drag your boy along). You'll want to allot a good chunk of time though—the main gallery alone presents over 90 looks from Japanese designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawabuko of Comme des Garçons, and Chitose Abe of sacai. Japanese fashion subcultures will also be celebrated with special areas dedicated to "kawaii" (cute), Gothic Punk Lolita and the Forest Girl (think Little Red Riding Hood) trends. "Japan continues to be on the cutting-edge—maybe even the bleeding edge—of fashion," says museum director and exhibition curator, Dr. Valerie Steele. And she's right—while we're still wowed by Lady Gaga's extravagant sartorial choices, normal citizens of Japan have been pushing the boundaries of fashion for years.
September 17, 2010 to January 8, 2011, The Museum at FIT , 7th Avenue (at 27th Street); 212-217-4558.