The history of the kimono developed in Japan between tradition and craftsmanship, but thanks to the encounter with the world of fashion, today we can admire the beautiful creations more contemporary and modern. Let’s review the history of the kimono, the occasions in which to show it off and how to combine it, the most popular models and its arrival in fashion.
Today it is worn as a nightgown or to stay at home, as well as combined with a pair of jeans or as if it were a real dress.
The history of this precious garment goes hand in hand with that of the development of Japanese fabrics and weaving techniques. The kimono was born almost 1300 years ago and is considered the traditional garment of Japanese culture. The term means “thing to wear” because, in the past, with this word was indicated any dress, without any particular distinction, while today with kimono we refer to the traditional outfit.
The structure and the T shape of this garment are composed of several pieces, always rectangular in shape and traditionally made from a single roll of brocade, hemp, linen or hand-spun silk. Today, however, cheaper materials such as cotton, rayon and artificial fibers are preferred.
The seams, made by hand, are always and only straight (except for some small curvature present especially on the collar) also because there are no buttons or zippers of any kind.
Its purpose? If in the West we always tend to enhance and emphasize the forms of the body, the kimono instead hides them.
Originally, in fact, it was very different from today:
In recent years it is also used a lot in beachwear where it has replaced the more classic sarong, but the kimono is also a very valid alternative to dusters and light trench coats of mid-season.
Years after its appearance, today the kimono is available in many variations, from the cheapest to the most sought after. The models alternate between short and perfect for the day and long, more sophisticated and suitable to complete evening outfits.
If you are looking for your first kimono to be included in the wardrobe better to opt for a jacket, easy to wear as well as to match. ASOS proposes a jacquard kimono with a floral pattern on a black base, with sloping shoulders and a removable tie belt at the waist.
Exclusively for ASOS, the brand Lindex offers a long model, with a ribbon at the waist and designed as a robe for the night, but if you combine it with a pair of light-colored jeans and a white t-shirt will be easy to show off even in the most spring and summer days.
In its collection ASOS Design also proposes a kimono dress with a V-neck, long sleeves and fringe detail on the bottom, perfect to be shown off combined with a pair of classic pumps.
Eastern fashion has always been a source of great inspiration for designers around the world. Unlike Western fashion, which tends to emphasize and enhance the female figure with an eye to innovation, Eastern fashion focuses on culture, history and craftsmanship.
The style of the new generation of designers, including the famous names of Yohij Yamamoto, Yves Saint Laurent and John Galliano, clashes with the more traditionalist current that wants the kimono worn only on certain occasions and differentiated on the basis of class, social status or age.
Therefore, stylists take a new path and encourage the wearer to turn the tables.
The best known example is the one created in 2007 by John Galliano for Dior’s Spring/Summer Haute Couture where he let himself be inspired by Madama Butterfly, interpreting it through contamination with Japanese culture: an unforgettable show.
The juxtaposition of the audacious glam metal current with the kimono is the intuition of the latest collection of Yoshikimono, the brand created by the drummer of “X Japan” Yoshiki Hayashi.
Having become a dynamic icon capable of merging fashion and culture, in 2020 the kimono is also the protagonist of the exhibition “Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk”, set up at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. This is the first European exhibition dedicated to this garment and Anna Jackson, janitor of the Asian Department of the V&A, a specialist in Japanese dress and cultural exchange between Japan and Europe, curates this exhibition inviting visitors to venture into the marvelous sartorial, historical and cultural weaves of a garment as simple but unchanging as the kimono.