Kimonos, covered with polka dots, Cubist patterns and big-eyed anime characters, are on display in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, showing how East and West influenced each other to transform the traditional Japanese garment.
“Usually when you think of fashion, you think of big brands made in the Western world. But the kimono also had a fashion system going back to the 17th century,” said Monika Bincsik, Diane and Arthur Abbey Associate Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts at the museum.
More than 60 kimonos are on display alongside Western dresses in the first show co-hosted by the Met’s Japanese Gallery and Costume Institute.
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“The Japanese kimono had a big influence on Western fashion going back to the early 20th century,” Bincsik said.
For example, French couturier Paul Poiret created a kimono coat, while Western abstract art inspired the bold geometric patterned ‘Meisen’ kimonos of the early 1900s.
The exhibit runs through Feb. 20.