Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso

A virtual exhibition

Experience the world of traditional kimono design and artistry still practiced by Chiso, the 465-year-old, Kyoto-based kimono house in our virtual exhibition, Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso. Click on the image below to enter this free virtual exhibition.

Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso – A Virtual Exhibition

Over the course of ten weeks, this interactive virtual exhibition reveals a new kimono theme to explore each week, leading up to the opening of the in-house exhibition, Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design. The virtual exhibition includes a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Worcester Wedding Kimono, the first kimono ever commissioned as a work of art by an art museum.

Press Release

For WAM Members:

WAM Members will have advance access to each weekly kimono "reveal" a few days before the general public. Contact Membership Manager Tara Leahy at to obtain your password-only access.

Curator Talk: Join Vivian Li and Christine Starkman, co-curators of Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso, on December 17 at 6pm for an insightful Members-only, virtual program on how they worked with Chiso to create Kimono Couture. For the Zoom link, RSVP to

Kimono Couture catalog cover

Exhibition Catalog

This virtual exhibition is accompanied by a catalog, authored by the exhibition guest curators, Vivian Li and Christine Starkman, with contributions by Riyo Kikuchi and Yukio Lippit. Published by D Giles Limited, London, in association with the Worcester Art Museum, the catalog is for sale in the Museum Shop for $34.95.

For mail orders, please call the Shop at 508.793.4355 or email

This exhibition is organized by the Worcester Art Museum in partnership with Chiso, the revered 465-year-old kimono design and production house based in Kyoto, Japan. Support is provided by the Fletcher Foundation and Michie Family Curatorial Fund. Research for this project was made possible by the Japan-United States Friendship Commission and the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies. Additional support is provided by Emily and James Holdstein, and Sandy Hubbard and Thomas J. Logan.

The exhibition is sponsored by Cornerstone Bank and Imperial Distributors, Inc.


The Journal of Dress History
Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso Review
By Samantha Browne, Volume 5, Issue 5, Late Autumn 2021

Association for Asian Studies
Cultural Keepers of Modern Japan
By Vivian Li, February 16, 2021

Antiques and The Arts Weekly
The Kimono In Art And Costume The Worcester Art Museum
By Karla Klein Albertson, February 16, 2021
The art of the kimono is explored in two new exhibitions at Worcester Art Museum
February, 2021

Atlas Obscura
The Enduring Haute Couture of a 466-Year Old Kimono House
By Claire Voon, February 1, 2021

WAM homepage