On & Around the Street

Style Cue: The Kimono

Fashionable brocade patterns of the Imperial Palace, woodblock print, made by Utagawa Kunisada, 1847-1852, Japan. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Get ready for a renaissance in the vogue for kimono-esque wraps as the V&A unveils a major exhibition, Europe’s first major exhibition on kimono.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk (February 29 – June 21, 2020) will counter the perception of kimono as a traditional, timeless and unchanging symbol of Japan, presenting the garment as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion through an exhibition that will reveal the sartorial and social significance of the kimono from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and in the rest of the world.

Rare 17th and 18th Century kimono will be displayed for the first time in the UK, together with fashions by major designers and iconic film and performance costumes, including the dress designed for Björk by Alexander McQueen and worn on the album cover Homogenic, and designs by Yves Saint Laurent, Rei Kawakubo and John Galliano that reveal the kimono’s role as a constant source of inspiration for fashion designers.

Madonna, 'Nothing Really Matters' video. 1999 New York City. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect
Christian Dior, Haute Couture spring-summer 2007 fashion show in Paris, France on January 22, 2007. (Photo by Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

As an elegant way to cover your arms, the kimono is an unexpected alternative to a blazer, cardigan or cashmere scarf. Incorporate it into your wardrobe this season via silky robes, casually thrown over jeans and a pair of mules, or over understated slip dresses.

Come summer, team with a bikini and sandals for the chicest beach look, then cinch with a belt (skinny or wide and trending this season) when it’s time for cocktails.

Here, we’ve selected an edit of the best kimono-inspired pieces found on and around Sloane Street.

Olivia Von Halle kimono, £790
Missoni cardigan, £1,230
Carine Gilson robe, £205
Photo: styledumonde
Photo: @tamara
Attico designer, Giorgia Tordini. Photo: styledumonde