Stars in kimonos
A gallery of famous people, past and present, wearing kimonos
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1930s American child star Shirley Temple was very popular in Japan and was presented with this beautiful kimono by the Japanese Envoy to the USA.
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch donned a yukata (casual summer kimono) at a Tokyo press event in 2013 during a visit to Japan to promote the movie ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’
Arriving in the country he seemed overwhelmed as he was greeted by a sea of Japanese fans at the airport, some of whom had camped out to get a glimpse of him.
The actor put his hands together and bowed to thank the crowd, then had some fun orchestrating his fans’ screaming by waving his arms.
He practised walking in getas (traditional clogs) before the ceremony, but stayed in slippers until the last minute as getas are not the most comfortable footwear. During the event Benedict was awarded the title ‘Cover Face of 2013 in Japan’ in recognition of his great popularity there; his Japanese fans call him Bene-san and love his good looks, charming manner and English accent.
A beautiful red cotton kimono made an appearance at Wimbledon in 2014. Following her win in the 3rd round, Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard caused a stir at her press conference and delighted her fans by wearing the kimono. This kimono happens to be ‘Mystic Blossom’, one of the designs in our range of gorgeous cotton kimonos.
Eugenie shared a picture with her 193,000 Twitter followers with the comment: “Think I just raised the bar for press conference attire.”
On his first visit to Japan in February 2015, Prince William visited Fukushima prefecture and attended a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Prince was wearing a yukata, an informal lightweight summer kimono.
Prince William and Abe also took part in a tree-planting ceremony to wish for the early recovery of the prefecture from the 2011 earthquake which triggered a tsunami and disaster at the nearby nuclear plant.
Scenes in Coronation Street starring actor William Roache wearing a kimono as Ken Barlow had to be reshot due to the shortness of the garment. Roache, shown here in the offending item, first wore the kimono at one of his screen wife Deirdre’s dinner parties in 2009. A new series of scenes showing Roache sporting the kimono was planned during the love affair with Martha Fraser storyline, but had to be scrapped because coming down stairs or sitting down would have revealed just a little more than the audience bargained for. Reshooting the scenes with a more decent kimono cost the Coronation Street team about £25,000. Roache is reported to have been happy to wear the original.
Here we see Ken showing off his kimono at the dinner party to Deirdre, Liz, Lloyd and Blanche, but his guests were not universally admiring, as this dialogue reveals:
Blanche (Maggie Jones): Oh, for the love of God!
Ken Barlow (William Roache): OK. Come on. Let’s have it. You’ve got a problem with this, I should imagine?
Blanche: A grown man, dressed as a Geisha? Have you gone stark staring mad?
Ken: It is no different to a dressing gown. I mean what, is there a rule? “Thou shalt wear terry towelling in the North West of England”?
Blanche: There should be.
Lloyd (Craig Charles): Oh come on, Blanche. If a man can’t indulge his eccentricities at home, where can he indulge them?
Deirdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride): I wouldn’t mind if he didn’t indulge them in front of guests.
Ken: Look it’s not eccentric, it’s Japanese and it makes me feel comfortable.
Naturally, we agree with Ken – far from being an eccentricity, a kimono is a comfortable alternative to a dressing gown.