Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kyoto Costume Institute

    The Kyoto Costume Institute is unique in many respects.  First, I suppose because its focus is primarily on Western apparel, rather than Japanese, though modern Japanese designers are well represented in their ever growing collection.  Second they have no permanent gallery space, so if you go to Kyoto, there isn't a place to see the permanent collection displayed; though they are constantly mounting exhibitions at various locations.  Third, they are the only major apparel conservancy, and exhibition institute, that has gone to the trouble of creating manikins of the correct height and proportions, so that when displayed viewers see the garments as they were meant to fit and hang.
    And lastly, the sheer attention to detail with which their garments are displayed is dazzling.  There are no wrinkled bits, no areas that need attention.  Sure, some of the pieces are not in perfect order, but everything is done to bring them to the highest level possible, so that seeing them you see the full effect, rather than acres of crushed trimmings.  They also attempt as much as can be done, to present clothing entirely. and correctly accessorized, so that, again, the entire effect of the clothing is felt by the viewer.  As such, they bring the clothing away, to an extent, from the realm of art, and make it more accessible, a laudable goal, that.
    So here's just a small sampling of the wonders they have in their collection.  If you're heading to Japan, its worth your time for sure.



  1. The Institute is - amazing! And, I must say, this post is beautifully "curated". Wonderful choices. : )

    1. You're so sweet to say so, Stephen. Thanks very much!