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Published: 12 August 2017

By Andy Ross

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Revitalising the kimono

A few years ago we started to collect kimonos for the research and reference library. Their interesting fabrics, colours and shapes caught our eye...

It is good to see that the Imagine Oneworld Kimono Project, started in 2014, has an ambitious aim: to revitalise the craft which has been declining. Our collection is small but the art and artifice that the kimonos offer is exquisite. Hidden details such as pictures on the inside of a garment where only a select few will have ever known it is there, and beautiful fabrics are just some of the surprises in store, and, of course, as a source of inspiration they offer a different perspective. 

The Kimono Project has been designed to support the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 in Tokyo. 196 countries will each have a kimono created especially, showcasing not only the craftsmanship of Japan but also the individual country's defining culture - Germany has a kimono with music and, because of its industrial heritage, gears, while the Micronesian kimono has raibows, birds and hibiscus flowers. 

The current collection of kimonos from the project has been shown before, most recently in Tokyo in October 2016. This picture is taken from that showing (courtesy of KYODO) and we can't wait to see the whole collection together.