Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style

Image of Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style
Release Date: 
November 7, 2015
Basic Books
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Ametora is defined as the Japanese slang abbreviation of “American Traditional.”

Reader beware: This is no light piece of fashion fluff, so if you are in search of some trendy fashion pictorial this is not it. W. David Marx has approached this topic in the most exhaustive, analytical, intellectual, and thoroughly researched manner. Ametora is the story of Japanese fashion beginning with men’s American traditional or classic fashion of the 50s.

The story leans heavily on the sociological and chronological aspects of the culture as well as the fashion capabilities of the Japanese when it came especially to menswear design. The story starts at the genesis of this look appearing in the 50s and includes both design and technical abilities reflective of the time frames represented—and very unlike the Japanese designs of today. In this chronicle Marx delves much further back into the history and roots of Japanese fashion.

What is very interesting is that anyone who knows anything of fashion in today’s world knows that the Japanese are in many ways one of fashion’s biggest leaders, especially with the onset of the computer age. Marx traces their contribution from square one.   

What is a major deficit here is that the book might have greatly benefitted from more photos. You know the aphorism of a picture and a thousand words? Well, here you get the words and not so much of the pictures.

Once again this is a most scholarly exploration of a relatively obscure facet of fashion. The reader must be prepared to wade through several hundred pages of well-written text, but for some this will be a heavy task. The question that needs to be asked is if you are interested in knowing the facts of this small segment of fashion history. If so, Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style is a worthy entry.