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 Takashi Hatakeyama

You can enlarge by putting the mouse cursor on the image.

Evening dress

Autumn/Winter 1991

Rei Kawakubo
Comme des Garçons
Silk taffeta with hand painting. Design featuring a flying-cranes motiff and a red wadded hem.
Inventory Number(s)
AC7076 92-7-4-AB

The keyword for the 1991 Comme des Garçons Noir collection were “chic pink,” “vinyl,” and “noir,” or black. Evening dresses with Japanese associations formed the finale of the collection and included this piece, in which a ‘yūzen’ (traditional dyeing technique) painter freely drew an avian design on this Western-style crinoline-like skirt.
Said Kawakubo: “I wanted to juxtapose the very naïve, almost childlike brushstrokes with the very formal evening dress” (VOGUE America, July 1991).
Inserting kimono-style cotton padding into the hem of the underdress lends the dress a certain élan while also giving it just enough weight to preserve its silhouette. Here Kawakubo blends the traditional beauty of East and West to create a new isiom and, in so doing, stimulates aesthetic awareness and demonstrates the designer can draw inspiration from whatever interests her.
(Translated by the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco for “Kimono Refashioned: Japan's Impact on International Fashion”, 2018.)