The V&A's Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition goes virtual

Culture in the era of coronavirus?
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The V&A's Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition goes virtual

Those who missed out on the Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition at the V&A now have the chance to view it virtually

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."  

Duro Olowu collection piece and Christian Dior Haute Couture

Duro Olowu collection piece and Christian Dior Haute Couture

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