Ever since reading Memoirs of a Geisha when I was 16, I have always loved Kimonos. They are a beautiful art pieces as well as unique elements of Japan's culture and history. So what better way to celebrate and welcome all the countries taking part in the 2020 Olympics in Japan than to design each country a Kimono. The Japanese international outreach association Imagine Oneworld started Project Kimono in 2017 and the result is a stunning online exhibition.
One of the things I really like about this project is that the makers looked for the beauty in each country. No matter if that country was going through war or international dispute each is represented in its best light in these Kimonos - with their beautiful flowers and landscapes, seas and peaceful dunes, impressive buildings and so on. These Kimonos are a real celebration of the variety and difference of cultures. This is at heart in harmony with what the Olympic games is all about - understanding, tolerance, acceptance, inclusiveness.
There is also great democracy here. No country appears more important to the designer than another - small and poorer nations have equally beautiful kimonos.
Here are a few of my favourites below:
The United Kingdom
I was pleased to see our iconic flag represented but also as a nation of flowers and style.