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Met Museum celebrates the evolution of Japanese Kimono
Oct '14
courtesy: Met Museum
courtesy: Met Museum
Kimono, the beautiful ever evolving traditional garment from Japan, has become the subject of an ongoing exhibit on textiles at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dubbed as ‘Kimono: A Modern History,’ the display aims to chart the evolution shaped by the weaving, dyeing and embroidery techniques as well as the country’s cultural changes of the gender less attire over the past 150 years.

Organized by John T. Carpenter (the curator of Japanese Art), and Monika Bincsik and Andrew W. Mellon from the museum’s Department of Asian Art, the exhibition is inspired by the research and publications of the late Terry Satsuki Milhaupt, an independent scholar specialized in the history of Japanese textiles.

Slated to run through January 19, 2015, the event features more than 50 spectacular robes, dating from the 18th century to the present day, sourced both from private collectors and public collections like the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the John C. Weber Collection and the museum’s own rich archives.

With exhibits that include custom-made pieces for wealthy patrons to every-day kimonos worn by the general public, the exhibition is divided into different segments starting from a display of gorgeous Noh robes.

The section devoted to the Edo period (1615–1867) focuses on the network that formed among publishers of ukiyo-e prints, woodblock-printed books and fabric merchants. During this period, woodblock-printed pattern books, called hinagatabon, played a crucial role in transmitting the most fashionable designs, just as fashion magazines and catalogues do today. The objects on view include a rare example of one of the very earliest woodblock-printed pattern books, the On-hiinagata, published in 1667.

The Meiji period (1868-1912) section gives an up and close insight into the growing western influence on the traditional garment. The display features several modern kimonos made especially for western clientele and an assortment of the Meiji-period woodblock prints to illustrate contemporary fashion trends.

The exhibit also features inexpensive pieces featuring patterns of chrysanthemum blossoms, brightly painted peonies and some designs reflecting contemporary politics of the 1930s and 1940s from the Taisho (1912-1926) and Showa (1926–1989) periods. (PB)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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