A New Exhibition on the Impact of Kimonos in World Fashion


John Galliano / Ensemble / Autumn/Winter 1994 / Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute/ Photo by Takashi Hatakeyama

A new exhibition at the Newark Museum is exploring the impact of the kimono on the international fashion scene from the late 19th century to today. The show presents a selection of kimonos as well as their depiction in painting, both of which have served as a source of inspiration for fashion designers and their creations.

While the exhibition takes place in New Jersey, The Kimono Refashioned: 1870s – Now! is a Japanese initative put forward by Akiko Fukai. Fukai has directed the Kyoto Costume Institute, a research institute dedicated to collecting and exhibiting garments that have inspired and influence Western clothing, since 1990. This is not therefore the first exhibition of its kind, with previous shows organised by the Kyoto Costume Institute in Paris, New Zealand and Los Angeles.

The Kimono Refashioned: 1870s – Now! has multiple objectives, first of all it aims to highlight Japanese craftsmanship, as well as celebrating the art of the Kimono and the dexterity of those who create them, but it also hopes to open a dialogue between the Japanese fashion industry and the rest of the world, exploring and unpacking the multiple interactions between cultures.

The exhibition principally focuses on the English-speaking world, spotlighting work from the US and the UK, exhibiting notably a kimono-cum-dress created in Japan in 1883 of which replicas were sold in Liberty, London. The curator of the exhibition, Katherine Paul, also highlights one kimono from the 1930s with a Mickey Mouse embroidered on the lapel. As well as such historic pieces, more recent work by major designers is also on display, including items from the 1994 Autumn-Winter ‘Japonismes’ collection by John Galliano, allowing for a discussion over cultural appropriation, as well as pieces by Chanel, Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen.

Furisode Over-robe with Floral and Water Motifs / Japan, 19th century, late Edo (1615-1868) or early Meiji Period (1868-1912)

Iris van Herpen / Dress / Autumn/ Winter HC 2016 / Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute / Photo by Takashi Hatakeyama

Raf Simmons / Jacket, T-shirt, Trousers/ Autumn/Winter HC 2016 / Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute / Photo by Takashi Hatakeyama

Iris van Herpen (Dutch, b. 1984) / Iris van Herpen, Haute Couture Collection, Autumn/Winter 2016 / Photo by Takashi Hatakeyama

Short boots by Christian Louboutin (French, b. 1964) / Label: Christian Louboutin, Autumn/ Winter 2017

Kikukawa Eizan, 1787-1867 / Komachi at Sekidera Temple: Koimurasaki of the Tamaya / Japan, ca. 1814–17, Edo Period (1615-1868)

Kimono Refashioned: 1870s-Now!

Newark Museum

49, Washington Street, Newark

From 13 October 2018 to 6 January 2019