KCIDigital Archives

The KCI Digital Archives on the KCI website presents image and text information for the objects in the collection, arranged in chronological order.

Evening Dress

© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Kazumi Kurigami

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Evening Dress

c. 1908

Callot Sœurs [presumed]
Callot Sœurs [presumed]
Two-piece dress of black and purple silk charmeuse with floral embroidery; ribbons from shoulder, stitched at back waist, tassels at ends.
Inventory Number(s)
AC7708 93-2-1AB

This is an example of a “forme Japonaise” dress. The collar and crossover neckline could almost be mistaken for a kimono. Behind the slit in the front of the skirt is a panel with the appearance of a kimono underskirt, and the train evokes the beauty of a trailing kimono. However, the tailoring of the dress uses western techniques, including cutting instead of draping to produce the rounded end of the train. The embroidered motifs could be either Japanese or Chinese, and the decorative fabric on the back panel suggests the formal wear of China’s Song Dynasty, making the dress a fascinating example of the eclectic approach to design seen during this period.