May 21, 2020
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V&A unveils behind-the-scenes look at making of ’Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk’

May 21, 2020

London’s V&A Museum has unveiled a series of five films that take viewers on a personal behind-the-scenes tour of ‘Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk’. 


The fashion exhibition, described as the first major show devoted to the kimono in Europe, had to close two weeks after opening due to government restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19. 

The Victoria & Albert Museum said the showcase was “positively received” by critics and visitors before it had to close its doors.

Curator Anna Jackson was hoping the show would replicate the success of other fashion exhibitions held at the South Kensington venue. The Mary Quant showcase, which closed in February, welcomed 400,000 visitors, becoming the museum’s third most popular fashion exhibition ever.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ (2015) drew more than 493,000 people and Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ reached nearly 600,000 visitors last year.

‘Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk’ explores what is arguably the ultimate symbol of Japan, presenting it as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion. Designs by Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Rei Kawakubo and John Galliano are presented alongside rare 17th and 18th century kimono to illustrate its continued influence over the years.

The behind-the-scenes tour, available to watch on YouTube, provides a personal insight into the making of the show. Narrated by Anna Jackson, it was captured as the museum was closing its doors to the public back in March.

She said: “Having closed the exhibition early, I am so pleased that we can share the kimono experience with viewers around the world. Many of you will be at home in lockdown, so I hope you will enjoy the opportunity to escape on a journey that will take us from the sophisticated culture of 17th century Japan to the creativity of the contemporary catwalk.”

‘Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk’ was originally scheduled to run until 21 June. The V&A has yet to clarify whether this or any other of its shows will be extended as a result of the lockdown.

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