From Ancient Kyoto to Star Wars. A Journey Along the Path of the Kimono

From Ancient Kyoto to Star Wars. A Journey Along the Path of the Kimono
#Exhibitions

Symbol of Japan’s charm, the kimono is often perceived as timeless, crystallised in its ties with tradition. The Victoria and Albert Museum is ready to shake up this idea with an exhibition that reveals its dynamic and multiform history. Along with the historic examples on hand in the museum’s collection, there are also creations from top stylists, as well as some remarkable pieces created for the cinema. Among the stand-out pieces is the kimono designed for Björk by Alexander McQueen, that of Jean Paul Gautier for Madonna, the original costumes of Star Wars and the Oscar-winning pieces from Memoirs of a Geisha. Brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Yoji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and John Galliano testify to how the kimono has become an essential part of international fashion with, oftentimes, audacious interpretations. However, its metamorphosis has ancient origins. To understand, one must go back in time to the middle of the XVI Century, the birthdate of an iconic piece of clothing. From the prosperous salons of the Japan of the 1600s, where fashion blossomed with sumptuously decorated fabrics, soon we move towards Europe, overcome by a sensual fever for the exotic as early as the end of the 1800s- Paintings, prints, films and accessories contribute to a rich and nuanced story, featuring precious pieces on loan from international museums and private collections.
Francesca Grego - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London