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V&A Dundee's New Kimono Exhibition To Feature Designs From Alexander McQueen, Freddie Mercury, Björk and Star Wars

Anticipation is growing ahead of the launch of the V&A Dundee's Kimono exhibition which will be the first of its kind in Europe.

Opening to the public on Saturday, Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk" unveils the kimono's journey from 17th-century Japan to today's global fashion scene. Rare historical pieces mingle with modern designs by Issey Miyake and Alexander McQueen, showcasing the kimono's dynamic evolution.

300 works, including iconic garments worn by Freddie Mercury and designs by Yves Saint Laurent will be on show. Explore three captivating sections delving into the kimono's influence on Japanese and global fashion cultures.

Freddie Mercury's Kimono will be on display in the museum. (Picture: V&A Dundee)

Curator Anna Jackson challenges the notion of the kimono as timeless, revealing its dynamic role in fashion history. Don't miss this final opportunity to witness these rare works on display until January 5, 2025.

The museum will also be hosting Japanese-inspired activities and treats, including free family workshops and a Japanese Afternoon Tea at Tatha Bar & Kitchen. Shop for pre-loved kimono jackets and exclusive collaborations with Scottish designers at the V&A Dundee shop.

Kimono relating to Star Wars will also be on display. (Picture: V&A Dundee)

Anna Jackson, curator of Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, said

“Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk explores the aesthetic, social and sartorial importance of the kimono. This iconic garment is generally viewed as a timeless and traditional costume. We counter that conception by showing that kimono have always been highly dynamic garments, at the heart of a fashion culture that has thrived in Japan since the 1660s. The exhibition reveals how kimono fashion has been translated across cultural and geographic boundaries and has had a major impact on global dress styles for nearly 400 years.”

Leonie Bell, Director of V&A Dundee, said

“V&A Dundee by the banks of the Tay is a Scottish-Japanese building and it sets the stage perfectly for Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk. Architect Kengo Kuma took inspiration for the V&A Dundee building from the rocky cliffs of eastern Scotland’s coastline, the maritime heritage of Dundee, and places of worship in ancient Japan. “Opening Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk at V&A Dundee celebrates kimono’s enduring place in fashion design history and contemporary culture, whilst also offering us an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate Scottish-Japanese cultural bonds, spanning hundreds of years and influencing art, design, fashion and architecture to engineering, food, gardens, film, animation, music and more.”

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk open from Saturday 4 May 2024 until 5 January 2025 at V&A Dundee. Tickets £7 to £15. £2 discount when booking online. Members, and 18s and under, go free.


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