Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk opens at V&A Dundee

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Europe’s first major exhibition on kimono opens to the public on Saturday 4 May at V&A Dundee.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk presents the kimono as an iconic garment and a dynamic, ever-evolving icon of fashion, tracing the influence of the kimono from 17th century Japan to present-day cutting-edge couture and street fashion across the world.

In the exhibition, rare 17th and 18th century kimono are displayed alongside modern designs from Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and Alexander McQueen. The kimono’s recent reinvention on the streets of Japan is also explored through work by a new wave of contemporary designers and stylists.

Arguably the ultimate symbol of Japan, the kimono is revered within the country as the embodiment of national culture and internationally regarded with fascination. This symbolic status, and the fact that its basic form has remained consistent over the centuries, means that that the kimono is often viewed as a simple, timeless garment. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk counters that conception, revealing how the kimono has always been a dynamic item of fashionable dress that has been restyled consistently throughout its history, influencing modern fashion and popular culture, from evening wear and festival fashion, to rock stars and Star Wars.