Regarding fashions in 20th century women's kimono

Sato, C 2010, Regarding fashions in 20th century women's kimono, Masters by Research, Architecture and Design, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Regarding fashions in 20th century women's kimono
Author(s) Sato, C
Year 2010
Abstract It is widely assumed that kimono is the antithesis to fashion because it is a traditional dress format. Literature in English presents kimono as a tradition or art and rarely addresses the idea of style change in the 20th century. Histories of kimono trace the development of kimono until the 20th century and then focus on the adoption of cosmopolitan clothing in Japan and kimono is relegated to the frozen realm of tradition and symbolism. The scarcity of literature on 20th century kimono development has led to the notion that kimono is a static form of dress. The stereotype of an immutable traditional dress contrasts with the kind of recycled kimono available and does not present a clear picture of developments in 20th century kimono.

Studies specifically on kimono have focused on art, history or on kimono’s social role. Studies on art, history and the social role in cosmopolitan clothing reveal the changing fashions. However, in similar studies on kimono, the main conclusion is that kimono is vanishing and only survives now in a fixed format for formal occasions. In response to the fact that kimono maintains currency scholars have framed it as a reinvented tradition. Rather than acknowledging the changes that have occurred over the 20th century as ongoing developments, there is a dialogue of loss and attempts to preserve tradition.

This study describes a way to see 20th century kimono in a different light using the concept of skilled visions. I propose that there have been fashions in women’s kimono right through the 20th century and aim to explicate these changing styles by explaining a way of perceiving change.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Architecture and Design
Keyword(s) kimono
Japanese fashion
20th century
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Created: Fri, 27 May 2011, 11:45:56 EST by Guy Aron
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