The Kyoto Costume Institute


Collection and Conservation


Collection and Conservation

Left to right; Yohji Yamamoto, Dress Spring/Summer 1999, gift of Yohji Yamamoto Inc. /Sweater and Skirt, Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Autumn/Winter 1983 /Day Dress, c.1850 /Issey Miyake, Dress, Autumn/Winter 1989 /Dress, 1968 /Christian Dior, Dress, 1956/ Bulloz, Day Ensemble, c.1910 /All except right one: ©The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Takashi Hatakeyama /Right: ©The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Masayuki Hayashi

KCI's principle activity since its foundation has been to collect authentic samples of western clothing from each era, together with the underpinnings that shape the clothing, and pertinent documents that explicate the background.
KCI's collection currently ranges from the 17th century to the present day, with holdings of 12,000 items of clothing and 16,000 documents. The institute has received donations from some of today's top designers and fashion houses such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and was presented with a gift of approximately 1,000 sets of clothing from Comme des Garçons.
The collection is stored in a climate-controlled environment where the temperature is maintained at 20°C and the humidity at 50%. The institute also takes measures to prevent the intrusion of mold, insects, and ultraviolet light, which can cause artifacts to deteriorate. In addition to providing research resources for scholars, KCI believes that its collection should be seen by the public. However, since exhibition spaces are not often the ideal environment for delicate fabrics, conservation specialists must carefully prepare displays, providing judicious reinforcement for those items that might otherwise not withstand being displayed.




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