Kimono: From Kyoto to Catwalk: A Review


Hi, I’m Katie from What Katie Did, and welcome
back. Today, I’m at the new Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition,
which has just opened at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. It takes you through the whole history of
kimono and the influences it has on Western fashion and beyond. Kimono are made from one strip of fabric,
which is 12 meters long by 37 centimeters wide. In Japanese, this fabric, the amount of it,
is called a ‘tan’. Kimono have been the principal garment in
Japan since the 1600s, and the exhibition starts with the earlier styles. This skeleton kimono dates back to the 1840s
to 1860s and was probably part of a theatrical costume. Men’s kimonos were traditionally very plain,
but they managed to add a little bit of colour with their under-kimonos, which reminds me
of businessmen today wearing a crazy pair of socks under their suits. The fabric that these kimonos are made from
is actually European. Kimono have influenced Western fashion since
the 1700s, and from the late 1900s, Japan has actually designed a range of kimono especially
for the export market. From the early 20th century, fashion designers
in the West have been heavily influenced by the kimono, especially in the 1920s. Kimono were made to celebrate certain events,
including this obi belt, which was made for the 1937 Olympic Games. The last and biggest room in the exhibition
focuses on kimono from the 20th century. It includes designs by Western designers who
have been influenced by the kimono, and of course, John Galliano is featured quite heavily,
with three of his designs in the show. The black outfit with nylons from the last
clip was by John Galliano, as is this lilac outfit and this green outfit, all of which
were made for the House of Dior. Alexander McQueen is also represented with
this kimono he made for Bjork. The
red kimono-inspired outfit was made by John Paul Gaultier for Madonna. The kimono on the far left belonged to Freddie
Mercury. Plus something for Star Wars fans. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk runs until the 21st
of June, 2020, before going on tour.

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