The kimono is an icon of traditional Japanese style and culture. Lately, however, an increasing number of creatives have been reimagining the well-known silhouette and distinctive patterns into new forms. Carolina Kawakubo is one such individual who shares AI-generated art on her Instagram account. Resembling realistic oil paintings, these images merge kimonos with fashion trends from different parts of the world and different eras.
Originally from Germany, Kawakubo has been working and living in Tokyo for over 10 years. Her love for Japanese design can be seen in her portfolio of illustrations, all of which are created through the AI app Midjourney. “I like to combine Japanese aesthetics with unique and surprising features, blending in ancient or futuristic art elements,” she tells My Modern Met. “I use mostly vibrant colors in my artwork in a combination of a classically beautiful, yet fresh look.”
In these pieces, women wear a range of bold garments. Some of these kimonos are merged with other art styles and cultures, while additional outfits are paired with modern accessories such as over-the-ear headphones. And while they vary greatly in execution and inspiration, each one depicts an exploration of Japanese fashion.