Japanese art caused a great stir in Europe during the latter half of the 19th century, inciting the emergence of Japonism: a strong and highly visible Japanese influence on European painting, decorative arts, interior design, music and fashion.
The kimono, introduced through international exhibitions, quickly won the hearts of European and American women and artists, and by the 1890s Japanese motifs were reproduced on French textiles. Later, the freedom of movement and simple form of the kimono would have a profound impact on the work of designers such as Paul Poiret and Madeleine Vionnet. While the kimono continued to inspire western fashion throughout the 20th century, from the 1970s the innovative creations of Japanese designers have garnered worldwide recognition and acclaim.
In 2003, textile and dress historian Angela Lassig brought the exhibition Japonism in Fashion, initiated and developed by the Kyoto Costume Institute in 1989, to Te Papa Tongarewa and Christchurch Art Gallery. Now she will give two lectures on this topic as part of our events programme for the exhibition Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan.
In her first lecture of this two-part series, Angela will explore the influence of Japan on European fashion and textiles from the 1860s to the 1930s, from Charles Frederick Worth to Madeleine Vionnet.
Alfred Stevens, The Japanese Parisian (La Parisienne japonaise) 1872, oil on canvas. La Boverie.*
Fashion plate illustrating Jeanne Paquin coat. Titled 'A la Comedie. Manteau du Theatre de Paquin'. Gazette du Bon Ton, No. 1, 1913. Image courtesy of The Kyoto Costume Institute.*
*works will not be on display at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.
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