Art News

Nationally Touring Show Explores Japan’s Traditional National Dress from Early to Mid 20th Century

ROCHESTER, NY.- Well into the last century, Japan’s traditional national dress–the kimono–was worn by men, women and children of all social classes. Deceptively simple in concept–a one-piece, front-wrap garment with a straight silhouette–the kimono lent itself to endless variations in color, pattern and design that signaled age, gender, status, occasion, even the change of seasons. A nationally touring exhibition that opens January 31 at the Memorial Art Gallery showcases nearly 100 extraordinary examples from the famed Montgomery Collection in Lugano, Switzerland. FASHIONING KIMONO: ART DECO AND MODERNISM IN JAPAN brings together everyday garments; intricately embroidered ceremonial robes; boys’ kimono stenciled with cars, airplanes and battleships; and colorful Art Deco patterns heralding the emergence of Japan’s “new woman.” All were created between the 1890s and the 1950s, a dynamic period when technologic