Kimono Fashion Show at Van Gogh Museum

As I wrote on the previous article, I produced a kimono fashion show at Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on April 15th. I had an offer from the museum to perform a kimono workshop, named KIMONO DEMONSTRATION, as a part of the event "Van Gogh Museum and Keukenhof Celebrate Spring". This event had two parts. On the first part, I talked about 1000-year kimono history with slideshows and demonstrated how to clothe a model in twelve layered kimono (Jyunihitoe), and on another part, I produced a kimono fashion show.
This time, I would like to write about the second part of the event. Please read about the first part at my previous article.

The museum prepared a long catwalk for the kimono fashion show. As it started from the escalator, the models came up from the downstairs. The organizer on Van Gogh Museum designed the outline of the catwalk, but she left all the details of the show up to me.

I had expected shorter catwalk than the museum prepared. I was worried if the longer catwalk would make a fashion show dull. But to my surprise, the larger audience came to the museum than I had imagined, so the long catwalk worked really well.
Before the day of the event, the organizer showed me a picture where we were going to have a show. But I was not able to determine some of the details till the stage set up.
The main kimono of the show was twelve layered kimono (Jyuunihitoe), which weighs 25 kg (≒55 lb.), including a wig. It seems too heavy for a model to walk on the long catwalk. Finally, I decided to change the program of the show and tell the model to wait at the side of the stage and just appear at the finale of the show.
I am not a specialist of staging, but I studied Kabuki (Japanese traditional drama performed at the stage) and learned how to show the stage more dramatic. From my point of view, if we hope it has a strong impact, it is better to show it for less time. I believe twelve layered kimono has the strongest impact, so I made up my minds to show the twelve layered kimono only at the finale for short time.

The last person who walked on the catwalk was the model who wore Sokutai, a formal kimono worn by court nobles. At the grand finale, all the models re-appeared on the stage wearing twelve layered kimono (Jyunihitoe), Sokutai, various kimonos (including Furisode, Iromuji, and Kuro-Tomesode), and Montsuki-Haori-Hakama, which evoke waves of applause with a lot of flash light. It looks pretty on the picture, but actually I believe it had a huge impact on the audience. 

All these pictures were provided by Ms. Linda Kole. I appreciate Linda for her kindness.

Editing from the video of the entire show, I made a video “KIMONO DEMONSTRATION at Van Gogh Museum”.
Please enjoy it!


Blogger Jane said...

This looks like you had a great time, the evet looks as though it was very well attended. I enjoyed watching the video.

May 23, 2011 at 4:58 PM  

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