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Kyoto Costume Institute Digital Archives

The Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI) is a fashion research organization that is home to a vast collection of both Western and Japanese clothing dating from the 2000s back to the 1600s, including numerous examples from haute couture designers such as Chanel and Balenciaga. Those who are unable to attend one of the institute's exhibitions in person would do well to visit their extensive digital archives. Organized chronologically and available in both Japanese and English, these archives enable visitors to browse centuries of sartorial history to their hearts' content. Upon arrival, readers will find a randomly generated selection of 12 items, which they can refresh via a button in the upper right, or they can choose a specific time period from the list on the left. Each item has a short yet detailed description, a beautiful photograph, and information about its date and place of origin as well as its materials. While some Japanese clothing is included in the KCI's collections, most of the pieces are from Western makers, a curatorial decision made by the institute's director and curator emeritus, Akiko Fukai, due to the absence of a research center in Japan that focused on Western fashion.
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