Clothing the Pandemic

A Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 Face Masks from Around the World

Mask by I Was A Kimono

Face masks were common in Japan even before the pandemic, for protection and prevention of spreading illnesses, anonymity, or as a fashion statement. This face mask is made from a vintage kimono. The fabric is decorated in the yūzen freehand resist-dye technique with colourful blossoms, indicating the kimono would have been worn in spring. In recent decades young Japanese people have been restyling the traditional kimono as fashionable streetwear, creating new interest in the kimono as daily wear and increasing second-hand trade.

I Was A Kimono, Japan

January 2021

Designed in Tokyo, Japan

Made in Japan

Vintage kimono silk, resist-dyed in yūzen technique, cotton interior, elastic straps

National Museums Scotland


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