Kimonos in History (II): Their Appearance in Western Fashion – and Music

When we talked about the history of the kimono, we told you about its origin and some curiosities that you may not have known. Now, we’d like to look back on how modern Western fashion adapted the kimono.

And not only for the catwalk,

but also for the stage.

Join us for this unique musical selection linked by a garment as versatile, elegant, and special as the kimono.

We’ll meet musicians of yesterday and today who wear kimonos for a statement outfit full of personality.

So, will you stay with us?

How the Kimono was Introduced to Western Fashion

Our intention is not to lecture in history, but we’d like to tell you about two people who are especially important to understand the influence of the kimono in Europe.

The first is Charles Frederick Worth. This English designer began to incorporate wide sleeves and loose forms inspired by the kimono into his designs, reflecting the rise of the Japanism movement – a term used to talk about the influence of Japanese art on Western art.

The second is Paul Poiret, a French fashion designer from the early 20th century. It was he who popularized kimonos in the West by incorporating Japanese-kimono inspired elements – bright fabrics, ornate designs – into his pieces and adapting them to fit European fashion.
In fact, this elegant coat inspired by the Japanese kimono is referred to as “Poiret coat”.

The Kimono – from Geishas to Catwalks

The introduction of the kimono made a huge impact on the fashion world. A garment previously reserved for geishas, the kimono burst onto the catwalks.

Throughout history, great designers created pieces inspired by the Japanese kimono: Madeleine Vionnet, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, John Galiano, Kenzo Takada…

The kimono climbed up the catwalk… and the stages.

Art that Accompanies you: the Kimono’s Influence on Music

Fashion and music. Expression and creativity. The taste for a garment so special and free as the kimono is also appreciated in the world of music.
In the 1970s, David Bowie – with designer Kansai Yamamoto – adopted the kimono several times as part of his stage wardrobe. His silk cape with kanji letters on his “Ziggy Stardust” tour is stuck in our memory. Bowie turned to the kimono to challenge gender norms and visual perception.

And how could we not to mention Madonna? In her video clip “Nothing Really Matters”, on her Re-Invention Tour… Madonna wears kimonos with her unique provocative style, proving that the kimono is a versatile garment, capable of adapting to a variety of concepts and shows.

And we move on to another reference: Elton John, who’s worn it with his unique touch of exoticism and elegance.

Nor can we forget Freddie Mercury and his Japanese-style silk kimono, adorned with traditional motifs and vibrant colors, which he wore on his “A Night at the Opera” tour.

For her part, the singer Björk, throughout her career, has fused Japanese aesthetics with her peculiar artistic vision. The kimono dress by Alexander McQueen she wore for the cover of her album Homogenic is the perfect example.

And talking about how the kimono is worn today, we can mention singers who choose kimonos in their day-to-day lives as a sign of artistic expression, creativity, and personality. We could mention, for example: Beyoncé, Rihanna, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, Rosalia, Natalia Lacunza, or Aitana… to name but a few music stars who know that the kimono is a perfect choice, since it never goes out of style.

Because of that, and because of how special it is, the kimono is trending time and again.

And Art that Surrounds you: Silk Kimonos – the Essence of Vida y Milagros

The kimono is what inspires Vida y Milagros; it’s the basis on which we work with loving care and dedication on each print or pattern – kimonos, dresses, blouses, scarves, or bags.

Timeless, versatile, minimalist, and elegant. A garment that adapts to your body, flowing with you at parties and events thanks to its lightness and style, be it a more formal or a casual look.

It’s a contemporary take on the kimono.

It’s a firm bet on clothes that highlight your beauty, make you feel comfortable, and respect your style.

It’s our essence. It’s our mission statement and a wonderful garment for your most special moments.