European fashion was profoundly influenced in the early decades of the 20th century by the style, textiles, patterns and colour combinations of Asian clothing. The discovery of the kimono, in particular, with its loose cut, fluid lines and broad range of decorations, captivated the great couturiers of the period. It enabled adventurous women in the Roaring Twenties to cast out their corsets and social straightjackets, while offering a new, daring kind of elegance with exotic overtones.
From the meeting of these two sartorial cultures has sprung an exhibition and this catalogue, in which the drawings of Paris fashion designers are compared with examples of contemporary East-Asian textiles from the Baur Foundation in Geneva. The wonderful garments discussed include the collections of kimonos and other Japanese clothes gifted by Sato Mariko (2008) and Sugawara Keiko (2015), as well as Chinese textiles that are the pride of the Foundation.