The History of Kimonos in Fashion

The History of Kimonos in Fashion

Kimonos have been worn in Japan for centuries, but it was not until the late 19th century that they began appearing in Western fashion. Inspired by Japanese art and culture, Western designers created their own versions of kimonos that were both stylish and fashionable. Today, kimonos remain a popular choice for special occasions and are often seen on runways and red carpets. Here is a brief history of kimonos in fashion.

The first recorded instance of a kimono appearing in Western fashion was in 1867, when Japanese ambassador to France, Nobuaki Iwamatsu, presented Empress Eugenie of France with a gift of a specially made kimono. Eugenie was so taken with the garment that she began wearing it regularly, sparking a trend for kimonos among the European elite.

In the late 19th century, Westerners began to visit Japan in increasing numbers, and they brought back with them tales of the country's beautiful landscape and fascinating culture. This sparked a wave of "Japonism" in the West, which led to a renewed interest in all things Japanese, including kimonos. Designers such as Paul Poiret and Charles Worth began creating their own versions of kimonos, incorporating traditional Japanese designs into haute couture garments.

Kimonos continued to be popular in the early 20th century, particularly among Hollywood stars and other celebrities. In the postwar years, however, interest in Japanese culture waned and kimonos fell out of fashion. It wasn't until the 1980s that they made a comeback, thanks to designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Paul Gaultier who featured them in their collections.

Today, kimonos are once again a popular choice for special occasions such as weddings and black tie events. They have also been appearing on more casual occasions, such as red carpet events and celebrity parties. Whether you choose to wear a traditional Japanese kimono or a modern designer version, there is no doubt that this timeless garment will always be chic and stylish.
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