A new series of films take viewers inside Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, the V&A’s blockbuster exhibition about the history and influence of the Japanese garment
This article is published as part of our #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign:
As galleries and museums across the country remain closed – with little sign of reopening – the V&A is the latest to make an exhibition available for viewers to access from home. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, which opened earlier this year and tracks the history and influence of the Japanese garment, is now able to be (virtually) explored via a series of in-depth videos on the institution’s YouTube channel.
Led by Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk’s curator, Anna Jackson, the videos provide an insight into the exhibition’s highlights, the preparation behind the show and the techniques that crafted the breathtaking garments on display. The show spans centuries: beginning in the 16th, when the kimono was first popularised in Japan, and moving all the way to 21st, seeing the garment reimagined by contemporary Western designers, including Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Other exhibits include wood-block prints, paintings, and costumes for film.
“As the exhibition’s curation attests,” Claire Marie Healy wrote of the exhibition on AnOthermag.com when it opened, “while the kimono is embedded in Japan’s cultural consciousness as a national mode of dress, it has also lived many lives at home and abroad: proving a certain malleability that has spoken to different eras, especially in high fashion.”
The first of the five films is available to view below, while the rest can be found on the V&A’s YouTube channel.