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Japonism in Fashion lectures by Angela Lassig

Ticket Information

  • AAG Members ticket: $16.00 each ($15.00 + $1.00 fees)
  • AAG Members guest ticket: $16.00 each ($15.00 + $1.00 fees)
  • Standard ticket: $22.50 each ($20.00 + $2.50 fees)
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale


  • Tue 28 Jul 2020, 5:30pm–6:45pm
  • Tue 11 Aug 2020, 5:30pm–6:45pm



Japanese art caused a great stir in Europe during the latter half of the 19th century, inciting the emergence of Japonism: a strong and highly visible Japanese influence on European painting, decorative arts, interior design, music and fashion.

The kimono, introduced through international exhibitions, quickly won the hearts of European and American women and artists, and by the 1890s Japanese motifs were reproduced on French textiles. Later, the freedom of movement and simple form of the kimono would have a profound impact on the work of designers such as Paul Poiret and Madeleine Vionnet. While the kimono continued to inspire western fashion throughout the 20th century, from the 1970s the innovative creations of Japanese designers have garnered worldwide recognition and acclaim.

In 2003, textile and dress historian Angela Lassig brought the exhibition Japonism in Fashion, initiated and developed by the Kyoto Costume Institute in 1989, to Te Papa Tongarewa and Christchurch Art Gallery. Now she will give two lectures on this topic as part of our events programme for the exhibition "Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan".

Lecture #1 - 1860s to 1930s - Tue 12 May
This extensively illustrated talk will explore the influence of Japan on European fashion and textiles from the 1860s to the 1930s, from Charles Frederick Worth to Madeleine Vionnet.

Lecture #2 - 1930s to present day - Tue 26 May
In this lecture, Angela will explore Japonism in fashion from the 1930s to the present day, incorporating the narrative of the rise of Japanese designers and fashion labels such as Issey Miyake and Comme des Garçons in their own right from the late 1960s.

Need to know
- These lectures take place in the Gallery Auditorium; please enter the building through the clocktower (corner Wellesley and Kitchener Street)
- Doors open 5.15pm, start talk 5.30pm
- Members can purchase a guest ticket if they have a valid guest pass
- Get in touch with the Gallery's Membership teams for more information: or 09 890 2256

Image credits:
#1: Dress, Salon Daimaru Dior /Yves Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer 1960. ©The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Richard Haughton.*
#2: Alfred Stevens, The Japanese Parisian (La Parisienne japonaise), 1872. La Boverie.*
#3: Fashion plate illustrating Jeanne Paquin coat. Titled 'A la Comedie. Manteau du Theatre de Paquin'. Gazette du Bon Ton, No. 1, 1913. Image courtesy of The Kyoto Costume Institute.*

*works not on display at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

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