Message from ChairmanMessage from Chairman

Message from the Chairman

Showl, 1810s-1820s
© The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Taishi Hirokawa
Yoshikata Tsukamoto

Clothing is integral to the way that we live, changing with each historical and social shift. What many of us wear today is rooted in Western styles, and the Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI) collects outstanding examples of these garments over several centuries along with related documents and other items. The institute is also involved in research activities, the results of which are periodically exhibited and published.
In our studies of Western clothing, we examine people’s attire and various fashion trends. Viewed in a cultural context, clothing and related documents tell us a great deal about the past. Clothing elucidates the distinctive characteristics of each age, providing us with insight about a given society, and changes in style and taste. Clothing also symbolizes the state of humankind at a particular juncture in time, and thereby mirrors our own existence.
Understanding the essence of clothing from many different angles tells us about our present as well as our future. The concept of fashion is regarded as a social and cultural phenomenon of the 20th century, but it remains very much in sync with today’s world. The KCI is deeply engaged with research of this kind, and its mission also encompasses studying innovative Japanese designers and helping expose them to an international audience.

Yoshikata TsukamotoChairman
The Kyoto Costume Institute