top of page

Kimono Blog &  Events

Vintage Kimono Styles From 1992

Given that Japanese kimono are not only considered functional clothing for everyday use, that they are also considered works of art it comes as no wonder that the styles of kimono greatly varies through the years. There is a long-running publication in Japan that best captures the shifting trends in Japanese kimono fashion and design known as 'The Quarterly Magazine Of Beautiful Kimono', which we have also heard referred to as a few other titles such as 'Beautiful Kimono' or 'Beautiful Kimono Magazine'. This long-running publication spans the decades, and we have editions of it as far back as 1960. Though the magazine is written mostly in Japanese, there are enough photos in it to please citizens of the global community. Flipping through the pages you are treated to a printed fashion show of the best of kimono of that period, hand selected for their quality and design.

Intermixed among the great multitude of pages featuring full-color photos of kimono are also advertisements, and helpful information regarding how to wear and dress in a kimono, and even little tips for etiquette while wearing your kimono. In this post, we will explore the kimono featured in a 1992 edition, which has a staggering 570 pages inside it. Functioning much like a kimono time capsule you can spend hours flipping through the high quality colorful glossy pages which feature kimono in most major styles of the time: yukata, furisode, haori, michiyuki, men's kimono and kimono fashion, fukuro obi, and more.

In previous editions of this publication, we do see at times the kimono making industry experimenting with more modern designs and attempts at reenvisioning the traditional Japanese kimono into something more modern. However, in this edition, it feels like the kimono are stylized to feel more classical, and observe more traditional aesthetics.

1990s japanese kimono
1990s japanese kimono

The cover features a simple, elegant, and understated casual kimono that has a subtle patchwork style to it that reminds me of a momoyama patchwork kosode. Notice how the total coordination has ample contrast, and there is no pairing of the same colors. Kimono coordination is often about contrast and pop, so that each part of the coordination stands out and makes it own statement while still being a part of a whole.