Just two weeks after the opening of its exhibition Kimono: from Kyoto to Catwalk, the Victoria & Albert Museum was forced to shut its doors at the end of March. Now, in order to give its visitors the opportunity to discover the mysteries of the kimono, the London museum is prolonging this retrospective dedicated to the traditional Japanese garment and its contemporary reinterpretations from August onwards. Stretching over a vast period from the 16th to the 21st century, the exhibition turns the spotlight on this emblematic garment from Japanese fashion through 300 previously unseen pieces, starting with its traditional way of being worn in the Edo era (1600-1868) to its introduction into western fashion in the early 20th century and more contemporary interpretations anchored in pop culture.
As a guest of honour for the reopening of the exhibition, Yoshikimono, the label belonging to drummer and pianist of the group X Japan Yoshiki, will be joining the V&A selection. A first for the Japanese star, who has previously participated in Tokyo’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in 2015 and the Tokyo Amazon Fashion Week in 2016. Founded some ten years ago, Yoshikimono draws its inspiration directly from the ancestral heritage of Japanese savoir-faire to propose modern interpretations through the use of voiles, leathers and vibrant colours. It also reflects the family history of Yoshiki, whose father was the head of a kimono fabric company in Japan. “I think I have contributed to the Japanese music scene. My way of showing respect to all artists, particularly the fashion designers, is by upsetting the boat”, the musician confided.
Assembled by Anna Jackson and Joséphine Rout, the two curators of the exhibition, Kimono: from Kyoto to Catwalk thus brings the worlds of different designers together. Alongside Yoshikimono, the public will be able discover the stage outfit created by Alexander McQueen for Bjork’s albumHomogenic (1997), as well as the Japanese-inspired costumes from the Star Wars saga conceived by John Mollo and Trisha Biggar, not to mention designs by Yves Saint Laurent, Rei Kawakubo and John Galliano. Running parallel with the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition, Tokyo’s National Museum is also presenting pieces by Yoshikimono until August 23rd in its Kimono: Fashioning identities, dedicated to this vital element of Japanese sartorial history.
Kimono: From Kyoto to Catwalk, reopening from August 2020 at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.