Kimono: Kyoto to catwalk

This exhibition presents the kimono as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion, revealing the sartorial, aesthetic and social significance of the garment from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and the rest of the world.

Rare 17th- and 18th-century kimono are displayed for the first time in the UK, together with fashion from international designers and iconic film and performance costumes. The kimono’s recent reinvention on the streets of Japan is also explored through work by an exciting new wave of contemporary designers and stylists.

Highlights of the exhibition include a kimono created by Living National Treasure Kunihiko Moriguchi, the Alexander McQueen dress designed for Björk and worn on the cover of her album Homogenic, and original Star Wars costumes modelled on kimono by John Mollo. Designs by Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano reveal the kimono’s role as a constant source of inspiration for fashion designers.

Paintings, prints, dress accessories and other objects feature throughout the
exhibition, providing additional context to the fascinating story of kimono’s style, appeal and influence.

As we are still struggling to get out and see some of these wonderful exhibitions the V and A have released 5 films that take you on a personal curator tour of their exhibition ‘Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk.’ Captured as the museum was closing its doors for a while, curator Anna Jackson guides you through the exhibition spaces, providing a personal insight into the making of the show, star exhibits and the fascinating history of the kimono.

Images all copyright of The Victoria and Albert Museum London.

Own photos taken at the exhibition and from

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