Modern Kimonos Take Over Japan Fashion Week

Most commonly worn on holidays and formal tea ceremony courses (chado) in Japan, kimonos just got a serious makeover as everyday wear. As seen on Yahoo, modern kimonos took over Japan fashion week, and all the rules about silk and elaborate belts flew out the window. If you're lucky enough to already own a true kimono, maybe it's time to pull it out your closet more frequently!

After living in Japan for a year thanks to the JET Program, I'm especially surprised to learn about designers taking new fashion risks with kimonos. Japan's cultural structure is much more "tradition-oriented" than the U.S., and wearing a kimono outside of holidays, weddings, and tea ceremony is generally unheard of. Manami Okazaki, author of "Kimono Now" talked about overcoming these cultural challenges with Yahoo, and explained, "Traditionalists were very critical at first when they saw what designers were doing but now they have realized that ... these modern versions can work as a bridge to attract younger customers."

Of course, tradition won't be abandoned completely. "The hope," shared Okazaki, "is that once you introduce young people to kimono made by contemporary designers, they will eventually develop an interest in the traditional kimono too." Well said and I hope so because, even though kimonos are hard AF to put on and are really tight, they are absolutely breathtaking.

For reference, here is a traditional kimono:

And, yes! That's me in pink. I made it through one formal tea ceremony training in Japan before giving up because my ankles hurt too much. Mad respect for that art!

...and here's what hit the runway:


Kind of a pirate vibe, no?


And sort of Super Woman-ish!


And some seriously dramatic hair.

If you're as in love with these updated kimono styles as I am, shop some of the looks below!

1. Fringed

(Embellished Kimono, $144, ASOS)

This mod kimono is 100 percent rockstar ready.

2. Bright Velvet

(Velvet Kimono, $69.90, ZARA)

Is it just me, or this kimono all kinds Rihanna at the MET Gala?

3. Patterned Knit

(Knit Kimono Overpiece, $34.99, Lane Bryant)

An easy, chic option paired with jeans!

4. Blue Velvet

(Blue Velvet Fringe Kimono, $128, Etsy)

Channel your inner Stevie Nicks.

5. Faux Suede

(Faux Suede Kimono, $89, Urban Outfitters)

An edgy, fringed update from classic silk.

6. Floral Finish

(Printed Kimono, $37, ASOS)

Bright, light, and tropical.

7. Folk Style

(Folk Style Kimono, $69.90, ZARA)

Rustic Americana hipsters, this is for you!

Image Credit: Author's Own; Courtesy of Brands