This show begins with a review of the mid-1800s to early 1900s when Japonism first hit American and European shores. Oil paintings by William Merritt Chase and Jacques-Joseph James Tissot depict their Western subjects in kimono. Next follows a parade of 19th-century Western garments influenced by Japan; they are paired with Japanese woodblock prints and kimono. A dove grey dress of wool and silk satin (France, c.1897) features stylised irises crafted from enamel and appliqué and placed at the collar and sleeves, a composition similar to that found on a nearby furisode, the most formal kind of kimono. More literal interpretations are also on display. An English dress (1870s) includes a bodice and overskirt fashioned from a dismantled kimono, while a regal purple silk evening gown (1910) is adorned with lamé waves (a traditional Japanese motif) and chartreuse, obi-like sash. A spectacular emerald and black evening coat (1913) shimmers with sparkling beaded flowers, a reference to Kabuki costumes of the day. But such luscious offerings are only appetizers in an exhibition that features about forty garments on loan from the Kyoto Costume Institute.
Until 15 September 2019, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, USA.