Revolutionizing the Nature of Fashion Through the Japanese Lens



Christian Louboutin (b. 1964), France, Boots, Autumn/Winter 2017, silk, metal studs, © The Kyoto Costume Institute

 

It’s no secret that Cincinnati is a city that’s passionate about the arts. From institutions like the Cincinnati Ballet to the Symphony Orchestra and organizations like ArtsWave and the Cincinnati Arts Association, the city is full of artistic influence and persuasion. One such artistic venue is the Cincinnati Art Museum. Founded in 1881, the museum has over 67,000 pieces for visitors to appreciate and enjoy and features various national and international exhibits each year. One such upcoming exhibition is “Kimono: Refashioning Contemporary Style.” This exhibition, rather than featuring traditional Japanese garments, focuses on the influence of the kimono on Western culture.

“The exhibition explores the influence of the kimono on Western fashion from the 1870s right up to the present day,” says Cynthia Amnéus, chief curator and curator of Fashion Arts and Textiles for the Cincinnati Art Museum.

It will be installed in the Western & Southern Galleries on the museum’s second floor. This is a significant area for the exhibition to enjoy with over 10,000 square feet of space. “We are the third and last venue for the exhibit, but we are also the largest venue. While we have 10,000 square feet, the two previous venues had 5,000 square feet,” says Amnéus. “We are able to feature a number of pieces from our own collection in the exhibition, including dress, paintings, prints and Rookwood pottery.”

The concept of the exhibition is certainly unique, focusing on Western dress as inspired by Japanese culture rather than purely on Japanese culture itself.

“The idea for the exhibition originated with the Kyoto Costume Institute. They have an amazing collection of Western dress,” says Amnéus. “Their aim is to foster cultural exchange and promote new partnerships between the United States and Japan. Since they do not have their own exhibition space, they organize touring exhibitions that consider Asian fashion and aesthetics as they relate to a broad range of concepts. The exhibition examines the work of major designers such as Gabrielle Chanel, John Galliano, Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo, who were each influenced by Japanese design.”

While the exhibition is free for Museum members, tickets for those who are not members can be purchased online and at the front desk starting at $10. The exhibition runs through September 15, along with the “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” exhibition, which is on view through September 2.

 

The Cincinnati Art Museum is located at 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 513.639.2995 or visit www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org/kimono.