Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Kimono Refashioned

Feb 8, 2019 – May 5, 2019
In the early 1980s, Japanese avant-garde designers took Paris by storm, disrupting the world of haute couture with their minimalist, deconstructed clothing. But this was not the first time that Japanese design principles had transformed international fashion. Instead, as Kimono Refashioned reveals, kimono — its materials, forms, techniques and decorative motifs — has inspired designers for more than 150 years.

One of the earliest dresses in this exhibition is a bustle gown made in the 1870s in London and fashioned from a dismantled kimono. A 1920s Paul Poiret dress adopted the loose fit of the kimono for the modern woman. Recent designs by Tom Ford for Gucci and John Galliano attest to the perennial appeal of the signature kimono silhouette, while traditional Japanese decorative motifs have been reinterpreted by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Christian Louboutin. Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons and Iris van Herpen are experimenting with shibori techniques and Yohji Yamamoto has rethought the obi. Issey Miyake gets at the conceptual heart of kimono in his “A Piece of Cloth” designs, which reinterpret its essential flatness.

Featuring over 35 garments from the Kyoto Costume Institute, Kimono Refashioned shows us that kimono continue to be a fertile source of ideas for contemporary designers, both in Japan and across the globe.

Click here to see highlights from this exhibition

What does a 19th-century court dress have in common with a sassy pair of Christian Louboutin boots?
Organizers & Sponsors

Kimono Refashioned is co-organized by the Kyoto Costume Institute and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Presentation is made possible with the generous support of The Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Fund for Excellence in Exhibitions and Presentations; The Bernard Osher Foundation; The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation; Karla Jurvetson, M.D.; Paul and Sandra C. Bessieres; Michele and Joseph M. Alioto; Joan L. Danforth; Warren Felson and Lucy Sun; Fred Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation, in Memory of Ben & A. Jess Shenson; Allison and Dan Rose; and Tania and Michael Stepanian. This exhibition is a part of Today’s Asian Voices, which is made possible with the generous support of Salle E. Yoo and Jeffrey P. Gray.