We all know that the Orient influenced the major fashion in the early 1910s and was prevalent for quite a few years. But the Oriental influence is actually far older (ok, it can traced very, very far but I’m going to stick with what I do best and check out the early Victorians.) The opening of Japan in the 1850 (July 1853 to be exact) started the trend for the Orient.
As you can see from this 1870’s bustle dress from KCI Victorian ladies (and gentlemen) were obsessed with Japan.
KCI says: This dress was remade from a Japanese kimono in London. Some traces of the original kimono seams remain in the textile. The underskirt is missing, but it is thought that an underskirt made of a different fabric was combined with this garment. There are some other indications of missing original ornaments.
In the late 19th century kimonos and textiles from Japan captured of the interest of many people in Western countries. Women in America and Europe made dresses from Japanese kimono fabrics and sometimes unstitched kimonos to make new dresses. They also wore kimonos as indoor wear. They especially favored kimonos for women in the highly ranked warrior families at the end of the Edo Period, like the source material for this dress.