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RENOVATION: Kimono & Sustainability (きもの - リノベーション)

Start Date 05 August 2020
End Date 07 September 2020
Venue The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Location New York, USA
Curator John T. Carpenter and Monika Bincsik

A stunning display of kimono by contemporary textile artist, and founder of the HIROCOLEDGE brand, Takahashi Hiroko can be seen in the windows and on the Ground Floor at Japan House London throughout August. Fusing fashion and art, Takahashi Hiroko innovates the kimono tradition with her signature geometric patterns made up of circles and straight lines.

The artist’s project ‘RENOVATION’ is inspired by the sustainable aspects of kimono – tailored from straight lines, the same kimono can be adapted to any body type, male or female, without having to cut the fabric. This adaptable nature of the garment meant that in the past, when kimono was everyday wear in Japan, old silk kimono could be re-dyed and re-tailored by families to pass on to future generations. Project ‘RENOVATION’ was born out of this tradition. Old kimono is unstitched, de-colourised, re-dyed in Takahashi’s signature patterns, and re-tailored.

By renovating kimono, Takahashi prompts us to see that there can be joy, novelty and stimulation in continuing to re-use and treasure the same old objects and materials, even when new things are constantly being created around us. To renovate a kimono is to innovate the way we approach and think about the present.

The display coincides with Europe’s first major exhibition dedicated to kimono ‘Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk’ opening on 27 August 2020 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and which features a kimono by Takahashi Hiroko.

Find out more about Takahashi Hiroko in our Story.