This exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum covers the history of the Kimono right up to the present day, from a contemporary bridal outfit above, to the individual component panels, below.
A small projection showed how the kimono is constructed: made up from 8 panels the form is deceptively simple yet as a canvas the possibilities are endless.
This outrageously ornamental kimono dated 1860-80 was probably worn by a high-ranking courtesan (oiran), treated as a celebrity. Note the huge platform soles on her shoes (geta).
The padded hem is a feature of all outer-kimonos as it helps them hang properly.
When the kimono began to be seen in Europe it was adapted for western taste: this one seen in the portrait of Elizabeth Smith has had buttons attached.
The actual piece is displayed next to the painting showing wisterias, a popular motif frequently seen in designs for the foreign market.
Moving onto contemporary times, I thought this guide to making your own kimono for Culture Club fans was funny; the authors say that they can “jazz up an old dressing gown” if they don’t want to actually make a new garment.
Jean-Paul Gaultier (made for Madonna) and Alexander McQueen (for Björk).
And end with this 2016 railway poster from Seibu encouraging considerate behaviour from commuters. Yes, she is checking herself out on her phone.