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Asian Art and History

Kimono Fashion: Style, Fabrics and Patterns

Rowe Center

Image of a purple kimono
Monika Bincsik - Image of the lecturer in a promotional photo
Feb 21, 10:30am
Rowe Center 10:30am
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Asian Art and History
Kimono Fashion: Style, Fabrics and Patterns

Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning

Monika Bincsik, Ph.D., Associate Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This talk will trace the evolution and innovations in Japanese textile art from the Edo period (1615-1868) through the 1950s. In the Edo period, variations in the cut, color and pattern of garments communicated information about marital status, gender, age, wealth and social position. These variations in design, material and style were tied to the four-tiered social system: samurai, farmers, craftsmen and merchants. Women from elite samurai households were traditionally entitled to wear the most gorgeous garments, yet wives of wealthy merchants also became the most enthusiastic patrons of contemporary fashion. In the Meiji period (1868-1912) Western clothing was introduced to Japan. Simultaneously, modernization and social changes enabled more women to gain access to silk kimonos than ever before. Kimono companies hired professional artists to design patterns for ready-to-wear products that were then supplied to department stores which followed Western-style marketing strategies.

This presentation is part of the Asian Art and History series.

Monika Bincsik

Monika Bincsik

Monika Bincsik is Diane and Arthur Abbey Associate Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She has organized numerous exhibitions for the museum, notably Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection (2022), Kyoto: Capital of Artistic Imagination (2019); Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection (2017) and Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and the Met (2015). She has published extensively on Japanese decorative arts and collecting history, recently in Kimono Style: Edo Traditions to Modern Design (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2022) and The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2019).


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