Kimono is the classic Japanese style of dress that embodies timeless elegance.
From centuries-old embroidery techniques to artful dyes so intricately realized, the kimono is more than an item of clothing but a valued statement of Japanese heritage and culture.
But kimono are also more than just treasures from the past. Today they are once again in the spotlight, and fashion is the order of the day!
Modern kimono brands, artists and photographers have embraced new styles and trends to showcase the latest kimono fashions to younger and increasingly international devotees.
Here are 10 stunning examples of the enduring kimono looking forward into the 21st century; just as tantalizingly beautiful as they have always been!
1. Kimono by Nadeshiko
Kimono by Nadeshiko represents the most recent revival of trendy kimonos amongst the younger generation of Japanese women. Once a symbol of traditional femininity, the kimono fashion brand has renewed public interest with contemporary designs and irresistible accessories.
Excellent brand concept is another defining feature of the latest kimono craze. For Kimono by Nadeshiko, this innovative editorial is indispensible to creating a modern image. It also helps that the woman in view is the international model Rina Fukushi for that extra dose of glamor!
To learn more about traditional kimono artistry and craftsmanship, you must check out:
2. Tatsu Photography
Tatsu Photography brings together the old and the new in modern Kyoto.
The luxurious kimono and extraordinary hairstyles of this model really captures the eye. She looks somehow out of place, like a visitor from another time dropped in to a busy metropolitan street. An inspirational shot that highlight the enduring nature of kimono fashion in the 21st century.
See more of the beautiful work of Tatsu Photography on Instagram.
The kimono is immaculately crafted, the sultry model is sporting a post-modern afro, and to top it all off, this action takes place in the mystical confines of a Japanese courtyard.
This fabulous image is by the innovative kimono fashion brand Kapuki. The label is reinventing the traditional art of kimono by infusing it with up-to-date inspiration and tantalising fashion imagery, all the while respecting its Edo heritage and craftsmanship.
The Kapuki shop is located in the uber trendy neighbourhood, Nakameguro, a must stop on your kimono fashion quest in central Tokyo! Check out the store at kapuki.jp.
Kyoto’s geisha are of course very photogenic. Even so, shots such as this from the Gaaplite are exceptional!
For more peerless images of the beauty of the world of geisha and kimono fashion, check out Gaaplite on Instagram.
You can also enjoy other fabulous Japanese fashion photography here:
5. Nippon Design Center
Communicating the best of Japanese design sounds like a fun brief! The Nippon Design Center took on this challenge on behalf of Isetan.
The classics are all here: kimono fashion, Mount Fuji, Hokusai’s wave, Yayoi Kusama’s signature polka dots… There’s quite an irresistible energy to it!
6. Ayano Sudo
This self-portrait by artist Ayano Sudo is an arresting rendition of the 1940s novel ‘The Makioka Sisters’ by Junichiro Tanizaki.
The literary masterpiece is a tapestry of the genteel lifestyle of Osaka’s elite during the war. This gorgeous shot gives you a taste of sensuality in a turbulent age.
Enjoy Sudo’s work at ayanosudo.tumblr.com.
Explore more of Ayano Sudo and other fantastic Japanese photographers at:
7. Yoshihiko Ueda
In this stunning kimono fashion portrait from photographer Yoshihiko Ueda, the dynamism of the fish decorating her yukata and fan contrast with this woman’s confident serenity. What can she be thinking?
See more of Ueda’s brilliant works at yoshihikoueda.com.
8. Shimpei Mito
The creative genius behind the lens is Shimpei Mito who has worked with Burberry, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Japan and many more. Yuka Mannami is the star in the kimono, who is also one of the hottest models on the Japan fashion circuit right now!
Explore Mito’s photography at mitograph.com.
Japanese department store Isetan promotes the best of Japanese fashion, this campaign is a great example of the directions Japanese art can take a contemporary designer.
This relaxed style highlights the modern appeal of kimono fashion.
10. Takashi Kuriyama
This image by photographer Takashi Kuriyama captures an demure lady dressed in stunning blue kimono style looking out over the futuristic Yokohama harbor - the perfect juxtaposition of traditional and modern.
Check out age-cox.com for some incredible photography of Japan!
Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!