The Easel

The art of the kimono

For something quintessentially Japanese, the kimono has a surprisingly eclectic history. Indian cotton was the sought-after kimono fabric in the early 17th century. Later came French brocade. When Japan fully opened to trade in 1853, a fascination with Western tastes saw male demand for the garment collapse. Still, the kimono remains distinctive. Rather than accentuating body curves, it is “all surface”, perfect for flaunting expensive fabric and designs.