Clothing is integral to the way that we live, changing with each shift in history and society. Western clothing is the origin of what many of us wear today, and the Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI) systematically collects and preserves outstanding examples of western clothing through the centuries, as well as the documents and other items related to this area of study. The institute also conducts research, subsequently exhibiting or publishing its findings.
KCI examines the clothing we wear and trends of fashion primarily through research into western clothing. Viewed within the context of human culture, clothing and other related documents from past eras tell us a great deal. The distinctive characteristics of each age, the way that its society worked, and the changes in fashions and tastes are all thrown into clear relief by clothing. Clothing symbolizes the state of humankind at a particular juncture in time, thereby also throwing light on our own existence.
Understanding the essence of clothing from many different angles and eras offers insight into its future direction as well as its current situation. The internationally accessible concept of fashion, for example, is regarded as a social and cultural phenomenon that distinguished the 20th century and remains very much in resonance with the world today. KCI is intimately involved with research on this topic, and includes in its mission the goal of examining the work of Japanese designers who have established innovative styles, and to facilitate worldwide exposure to their work.
The Kyoto Costume Institute