So if you have been following the House then you know about our love for all things French. However, second to that obsession is our love for just about anything Japanese. Be it food, fashion, art, culture or architecture, I've always admired and say "arigato" to this often alluring part of the world for their own kind of fabulous flair.

Recently, Sorbonne University of Abu Dhabi joined together with ESMOD Dubai to host "The Japanese Kimono Exhibition: Between Tradition and Modernity" with a mission to link the past and massive influence of the Japanese Kimono to the likes of contemporary style and modesty- which we all know heavily influences Arabic style. 

Corentin De Sade- Asian art specialist and expert of Japanese textiles graced us with his breathtaking collection and took us back in time with over 40 kimonos dating to the 1800's. Juxtaposed against these precious pieces of the past were the present works of 18 students from ESMOD Dubai, collaborating to create an explorative exhibition for everyone to appreciate. 

Held in the Atrium of Sorbonne Abu Dhabi- the opening ceremony and reception offered a warm welcome in French from the University staff and faculty as well as Mr. Sade who spoke to the importance and significance of the culture as well as the depth of the collection. This was followed by a ribbon cutting to announce the official entrance of the exhibition.

There was then a brief but beautiful student led fashion show in addition to a circular set up highlighting how Japanese kimonos are constructed. Attendees openly viewed materials of the past, reminding us of what makes Japanese fashion such an inspirational silhouette and style for so many other cultures.

It addition to the in-person runway fashion show, they also played a recent student showcase from ESMOD Dubai on video.

 As well as showcased a digitally rendered fashion lookbook of each of the students designs in motion.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the exhibiton- beginning with the ESMOD Dubai students: 

It's important to note that the students were asked to create kimonos that allowed viewers to learn more about them, their culture and their world as well as point of view through design. I particularly loved this piece because of the addition of Arabic inscription on the collar.

Next, there was this printed kimono and I appreciated this student's attention to detail, down to lining up the seams of the silhouette, creating a perfect line of symmetry through art. 

Not to mention that the students were encouraged to make their own prints utilizing innovative 3-D imaging technologies.

This kimono below almost appeared to be hand painted until you got a closer look. The use of 3D tech as a contemporary tool highlighted great skill.

After viewing the student's work, we entered the center of the atrium to check out vintage techniques like hand dying and painting which were on display.

 Additionally, there were stencils made from mulberry bark used to create interesting shapes and designs again dating back to the 1800's.

Then there was a breakdown of the different fibres used of the past like bashofu. Known as banana fiber, it creates a canvas that allows for interesting yet subtle design and has a soft silk-like feel.

We were also able to view past prep drawings that utilized washi paper from Master Craftsmen.

As well as details like gold and silver weaving and wiring used to create intricate designs

 Speaking of gold and silver detail- lastly, we made our way to the captivating collection of Mr. Sade's kimonos:

Beginning with this radiant red design that had such depth and detail, including 3-D birds bursting from the back made of the aforementioned gold wiring

And we all know how much the House of Devereaux loves color, so this kimono immediately caught my eye with its movement and array of elegant hues.

Then there was this one with a whimsical waterfall motif.

And at the centre of the exhibition was what we believed to be the crown jewel of Mr. Corentin's collection. Coming from the respected Japanese theatre, was a tribute costume kimono to the Iwami Kagura.

Made of silk, gold, silver, glass, metal and a full mustache of fur as you can see.

However, our absolute favorite had to be the traditional wedding kimono

With a poised peacock on the back, it is the absolute perfect way to remind your future beau that you are the prize to be won.

Additionally, it was held together at the sleeve with the most interesting hand sewn technique

And as if that wasn't enough, it was lined with a beautifully printed red lining (Christian Louboutin should say arigato for the inspiration), showcasing a heightened level of elegance and sophistication that any husband would be honored to have on his arm.

Not only was this exhibition well curated, but it allowed attendees the opportunity to truly immerse themselves into all the wonders of the kimono and we look forward to future exhibitions and collaborations from ESMOD and Sorbonne.

You can check out the exhibition for your own eyes but we recommend doing so rather quickly as it ends on Saturday, February 17th. 

Interested in seeing a few up close and personal videos of these fantastic pieces, then head over to the House of Devereaux and check out our IG stories as well as feed.

And for those 3 people curious about what creation Devereaux donned. Well we put this temporary cold weather to good use and took our "Lumiere" coat out for a night out on the town.

Til next time remember "people will stare, so make it worth their while"

Xoxo and Arigato,



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