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Kimono Refashioned

Feb 8 —
May 5, 2019

In the early 1980s, Japanese avant-garde designers took Paris by storm, disrupting the world of haute couture with their minimalist, deconstructed clothing. But this was not the first time that Japanese design principles had transformed international fashion. Instead, as Kimono Refashioned reveals, kimono — its materials, forms, techniques and decorative motifs — has inspired designers for more than 150 years.
One of the earliest dresses in this exhibition is a bustle gown made in the 1870s in London and fashioned from a dismantled kimono. A 1920s Paul Poiret dress adopted the loose fit of the kimono for the modern woman. Recent designs by Tom Ford for Gucci and John Galliano attest to the perennial appeal of the signature kimono silhouette, while traditional Japanese decorative motifs have been reinterpreted by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Christian Louboutin. Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons and Iris van Herpen are experimenting with shibori techniques and Yohji Yamamoto has rethought the obi. Issey Miyake gets at the conceptual heart of kimono in his "A Piece of Cloth" designs, which reinterpret its essential flatness. 

Featuring over 35 garments from the Kyoto Costume Institute, Kimono Refashioned shows us that kimono continue to be a fertile source of ideas for contemporary designers, both in Japan and across the globe.

Click here to see highlights from this exhibition