Fashion Heaven from Tradition to Couture

Honestly, the thing I’m most excited to see when I go to Kyoto is the fashion history. Coming from Melbourne, Australia, history isn’t something I’m used to. Australia only became a country in 1901 and was strongly influenced by its English colonial father, whereas Kyoto had been the seat of imperial power (and thus the centre for fashion) for centuries beforehand.

The kimono has undergone amazing changes since the Heian period of around 794 to 1184.

Junihitoe (twelve layered robe) of the Heian period (credit to

Junihitoe (twelve layered robe) of the Heian period (credit to

The modern kimono looks like this in comparison:

Iromuji, the most versatile of kimono can be dressed up or down depending on the accessories.

Iromuji, the most versatile of kimono can be dressed up or down depending on the accessories (credit to for the photo).

And then there’s kimonohime (princess kimono), a growing substyle among young women:

Versatility! Style! Creativity!

Versatility! Style! Creativity! (image credit to

(You can read more about this fantastic style here, by the way, or check out the Kimono Hime and Go Hime magazines.)

This is what I want to see when I go to Kyoto; the modern and traditional colliding beautifully. I want to go shopping and be amazed instead of bored. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love shopping. But if you’ve been to one major department store, you’ve been to them all, and it get’s boring. Chapel Street, with it’s boutiques and funky hidden gems is probably the best shopping strip in the entire country, but Kyoto promises an eclectic and vibrant mix of the historic traditional and the ultra modern couture that Japan has become famous for in the last few years.


Leave me here in fashion heaven

Of course, I’ve only been (briefly) to Tokyo, but the fashion scene there was just awesome – way better than Melbourne, even during Spring Fashion Week. So here’s crossing my midi-ringed fingers that Kyoto offers all that and more.

One comment

  1. Jonelle Patrick · October 16, 2015

    That is a fantastic shot of the junihitoe! I’ve never actually seen it modeled on a real woman, just the hina matsuri dolls. Will go over to that site and look for more, but meanwhile, thanks for a lovely kimono fashion overview, the pointer to Chapel Street, which I will definitely visit the next time I make it over to Kyoto!^^;;


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