Niklès van Osselt Estelle
French / English, 312 pp., 210 col. ill., Geneva /Milan, 2019, CHF 100.-
During the early decades of the 20th century, the materials, forms, motifs and colour combinations of Asian clothing had a profound influence on European fashion. The discovery of the kimono in particular, with its loose cut and flowing lines, and the diversity of its patterns, fascinated the great couturiers. It made it possible to liberate women from the wearing of a corset and social constraints, while also offering them a new and daring elegance with exotic tones.
The remarkable encounter of the two has given rise to an exhibition and catalogue in which designs by Parisian creators are displayed alongside pieces of contemporary Far Eastern textiles. The catalogue makes it possible also to publish the donations of Japanese kimonos and other clothes received by the Baur Foundation – including the Sato Mariko (2008) and Sugawara Keiko (2015) donations – but also certain Chinese textiles that add to the richness of the institution’s collections.