Freddie Mercury's kimono gets an exhibition

New Delhi, Feb 16 : A kimono owned by 'Queen' band member Freddie Mercury will be shown to the public for the first time as part of a major fashion exhibition by London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Titled "Kimono Kyoto to Catwalk", the major exhibition opens February 29 and will showcase the garment worn by the musician at home.

The kimono has sat in a private collection until this moment and will provide audiences with a glimpse into the personal life of the singer.

The ultimate symbol of Japan, the kimono is often perceived as traditional, timeless and unchanging. This exhibition will counter this conception, presenting the garment as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion and an inspiration for major designers and the creation of iconic performance costumes.

British musician, songwriter and lead singer for the band 'Queen', Mercury was famous for his flamboyant stage performances.

In the mid-1970s he sometimes wore boldly patterned kimono onstage, challenging the norms of gender and sexuality. As per the museum, this personal kimono is more delicate in its design and overtly feminine, revealing that gender fluidity extended to his private life.

The design and materials used in the vintage kimono point to it likely being acquired by the musician in Japan. Queen first toured the country in 1975 when Mercury developed a passion for the culture and began to collect Japanese art and antiquities.

Freddie Mercury's kimono will sit alongside the dress designed for Bjork by Alexander McQueen and worn on the album cover Homogenic, an original Star Wars costume based on the shape of a kimono, as well as the Jean Paul Gautier ensemble worn by Madonna in her video Nothing Really Matters.

Over 315 works will feature in the exhibition.

"Freddie Mercury was one of the most talented and charismatic musicians and performers of the 20th century and we are delighted to display a kimono that belonged to him in the exhibition. Mercury's wearing of kimono reveals how this iconic garment has the power to transcend national, cultural, sexual and gender identities," show curator Anna Jackson said.

The exhibition continues till June.

(Siddhi Jain can be reached at [email protected])


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Freddie Mercury's kimono gets an exhibition