The V&A's Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition may have had to close prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the London museum has released a series of five films that take those who missed out on a virtual and personal, 30-minute, behind-the-scenes tour.
Curator Anna Jackson leads spectators across the exhibition space, offering a personal account of the making of the exhibit and the fascinating history of what may be argued as the ultimate symbol of Japan.
Anna remarks, "Having closed the exhibition early, I am so pleased that we can share the kimono experience with viewers around the world. Many of you will be at home in lockdown, so I hope you will enjoy the opportunity to escape on a journey that will take us from the sophisticated culture of 17th-century Japan to the creativity of the contemporary catwalk. We look forward to welcoming you to the V&A again soon, so you can encounter these sumptuous garments and exciting displays for yourself."
The kimono is usually perceived as conventional and timeless. However, the traditional robes are a constant source of inspiration ofr fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier or John Galliano, and the exhibition focuses on presenting the garment as a powerful and ever-evolving icon that's continually being reinvented by contemporary designers and stylists.
The exhibition features a kimono designed by Kunihiko Moriguchi, the Alexander McQueen dress created for Björk and original Star Wars outfits modelled on kimono by John Mollo.
Photo: Joshibi Art Museum courtesy of the V&A