© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Kazumi Kurigami

Collection 04


© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Kazumi Kurigami

At-Home Gownc. 1906

This is a kimono-style indoor garment exported from Japan to Western countries. It was appropriated to Western markets with its extravagant design of embroidered cherry trees and a peacock, gussets patched on the sides, body flaring gently down to the hem, and a curved collar. Iida Takashimaya, the predecessor of the present Takashimaya department store, was a major kimono retailer in the Meiji era, and aggressively engaged in foreign trade business as early as the end of the 19th century. In the late 19th century a Japan boom spread in the Western countries, partly through world expositions held in various places. Westerners favored Japanese kimonos, sometimes remaking it as into fashionable dresses. In the 1880s, women in the West started to wear kimonos as indoor wear, which was less subject to social constraints, and kimonos became widely popular in Western countries up until the early 20th century. The Japanese word "kimono" is said to have first been used in France in 1876. Now in America and Europe it is generally used to indicate a loose robe worn indoors.


    BrandIida Takashimaya


    MaterialGray plain-weave silk; embroidery of peacock on cherry blossom tree from front to back bodice; "kumihimo" (Japanese cord) and tassels at cuffs; "fuki" (padded hem) in pink; "habutae" lining; made in Japan for export.

    Inventory Number(s)AC9265 95-41-1

Dressing Jacket “Kimono Sada Yacco”
© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Masayuki Hayashi

Dressing Jacket “Kimono Sada Yacco”1900s - France

In 1900, the Japanese actress Sada Yacco enthralled Paris with her beauty and traditional kimono dress sense. The Au Mikado boutique in Paris took built on her popularity by launching the KIMONO SADA YACCO brand as at-home gown. With easily attainable prices and an advertising strategy that attracted the interest of a broad spectrum of ordinary women, it turned a growing kimono trend as at-home gown into a boom. From 1903, ads for KIMONO SADA YACCO appeared in every issue of the French women’s magazine “Femina.” Before long, the boutique was also placing ads in Italian and Spanish magazines, serving clients by mail order. The ads billed the KIMONO SADA YACCO garments as real kimono imported from Japan, but although they use habutae silk or flannel fabrics made in Japan, the structures of their necklines and shoulderlines mark them as being put together in the West. A variety of products with different materials and specifications were sold, and this appears to be a winter wear item sold for 30 francs. Perhaps because they were practical dressing gowns, very few still exist, and this example is an ankle-length gown that has since been shortened.


BrandAu Mikado

LabelKIMONO SADA YACCO Marque Déposée Au Mikado PARIS 日本物品

MaterialWhite silk (“habutae”) printed with phoenix and butterfly motifs; maroon silk satin collar.

Inventory Number(s)AC9179 94-42

Evening Coat
© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Masayuki Hayashi

Evening Coatc. 1913

A coat with a silhouette like an outer robe for kimono was described as a “manteau japonais” by fashion magazines of the time, and the silhouette of this particular coat is reminiscent of the “uchikake” robe worn by kabuki actors or oiran courtesans in ukiyoe prints. The boldly striped collar is probably inspired by the “date-eri” collar style used in kabuki costume. The flower-like motifs executed in embroidered beads look like the traditional “hanakatsumi” motif that became popular in late Edo-period Japan when favored by kabuki actors. In contrast, the motifs on the bordered panel on the back resemble motifs used around the Mediterranean in ancient times, and could reasonably be called palmettes. This coat is an excellent example of oriental-style wear packed with eclectic elements that was fashionable early in the 1910s. Maison Amy Linker opened in Paris in 1900, specializing particularly in coats and suits. Its latest products were frequently seen in French fashion magazines early in the 20th century. The house is perhaps best known for introducing sporty fashions in the 1920s.

DesignerAmy Linker

BrandAmy Linker


MaterialBlack silk satin and light green silk crêpe; bead embroidery of floral or oriental motif; black and green silk satin collar.

Inventory Number(s)AC3775 81-8-1

© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Masayuki Hayashi


A leader in adopting new trends, Poiret, who opened his store in 1903, had keen insight into the fashion sensibilities of the early twentieth century. He presented a dress without a corset in 1906 and later introduced a series of works influenced by the avant-garde Ballets Russes that incorporated motifs from Egypt and Eastern Europe, among other sources. As he sought to break away from nineteenth-century-style clothing that conformed to and restricted the body, he worked to create a straight cut and gentle drape in his dresses, drawing on clothing features from several countries, including Japan.
Poiret’s wife, Denise, is said to have worn this dress, tailored to suggest a black woven “haori”, or short coat, worn over a gray kimono. The haori-style collar would have allowed the wearer to wrap a stole around her neck. Judging from the ground pattern of linked weights, the stenciled shibori pattern of linked semicircles, the area-dyeing (okezome) in gray and black, and the red seals stamped on the lining, the fabric might be of Japanese origin—a likelihood given that Poiret collected fabrics from around the world.

DesignerPaul Poiret

BrandPaul Poiret


MaterialSilk crepe; belt: silk crepe; design inspired by “haori”, tie-dye with traditional Japanese motifs.

Inventory Number(s)AC11551 2006-17-1AC

At-Home Gown
© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Kazumi Kurigami

At-Home Gownca. 1928

The textile design for this gown is the work of Mathilde Flögl, who was a member of the Wiener Werkstätte from 1916 to 1931. The stylized peacock motifs with tail feathers resembling a young pine leaf pattern make a splendid contrast to the black background. This was produced by Wiener Werkstätte’s fashion department (1911-1931).
Wiener Werkstätte was founded in 1903 by Josef Franz Maria Hoffmann and Koloman Moser, who had both been founder members of Wiener Secession, a forward-looking movement of artists and designers that was intially led by Gustav Klimt. Asserting the equivalence of art and craft, the Werkstätte was partly inspired by the British Arts and Crafts movement that advocated integration of life and art. Hoffmann and Moser designed a wide range of items associated with everyday life, including furniture, crafts, wallpaper, tableware, and fashion. They saw Japan’s artistic craftworks as practical examples of the integation of art and daily life, and took them as a key source of inspiration for their own designs. Textiles produced by the Werkstätte show a very clear influence of Japanese fabrics and stencils.

BrandWiener Werkstätte (textile design: Mathilde Flögle)


MaterialBlack silk (habutae) printed with peacock motif; titled “Hobby”; kimono sleeves and kimono-like collar; wrapped buttons; belt in the same fabric.

Inventory Number(s)AC9011 93-47

© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Richard Haughton


This dress was remade from a Japanese kimono in London. Some traces of the original kimono seams remain in the textile. The underskirt is missing, but it is thought that an underskirt made of a different fabric was combined with this garment. There are some other indications of missing original ornaments.
In the late 19th century kimonos and textiles from Japan captured of the interest of many people in Western countries. Women in America and Europe made dresses from Japanese kimono fabrics and sometimes unstitched kimonos to make new dresses. They also wore kimonos as indoor wear. They especially favored kimonos for women in the highly ranked warrior families at the end of the Edo Period, like the source material for this dress.




MaterialWhite kimono fabric of figured shibori silk satin; embroidery of wisteria, chrysanthemum, peony, and Chinese fan motifs in metallic threads; wrapped buttons with Japanese tomoemon-like motif on bodice (only bodice and overskirt survive).

Inventory Number(s)AC8938 93-28-1AB

Evening Dress
© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Richard Haughton

Evening Dressc. 1894

The clean line of the long skirt and the puffy elephant sleeves were a typical look around 1895. The bold sunray and cloud pattern on the skirt is asymmetrical, a common feature of Japanese art and craft.
During the late 19th Century, the age of Japonism, Japanese kimono and pattern books of kimono design (Hinagata) were brought into the West.
The Japanese motifs and asymmetrical compositions in these examples of Japanese designs were gradually absorbed into Paris Haute Couture as new designs, as is evident in this example.

DesignerCharles-Frederick Worth



MaterialIvory silk satin two-piece dress; gigot sleeves; pale pink silk chiffon decoration at neck and bodice; skirt with sunbeam and cloud asymmetry pattern of pale pink silk tulle insertion and bead embroidery.

Inventory Number(s)AC4799 84-9-2AB