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55th Yumi Katsura Grand Collection in Tokyo

In February 2020, I attended the “55th Yumi Katsura Grand Collection in Tokyo”.  The venue was the prestigious Hotel Okura.  It was, of course, for Yumi Katsura, one of Japan’s top fashion designers.  She had been in the business for fifty-five years. 

western-style dress with long flowing gown and tsunokakushi

As it was my first time attending such a show, I had no idea what to expect.  Of course, I did some research on the internet, but it didn’t fully prepare me for what was going to happen inside the Heian Ballroom of the hotel.  The number of people there was overwhelming.  It shouldn’t have surprised me as Yumi is so respected in Japan.  She has so many fans.  When I walked in, the room was electric with the excitement of seeing her latest designs.  

Kanon Hirata in white wedding dress and hat

When the doors finally opened, everyone moved into the ballroom to find their seats.  I just moved to the side.  It was a better place to photograph from.

After the opening and some words from Yumi, the music started, and the models appeared.  From that point on, it was non-stop fashion.  The stage, with the theme of “Brilliant White Debut,” came alive.  About eighty outfits made their way along the runway in front of an appreciative audience.  Of course, white was the predominant color.  Everything was designed for special events in life like weddings, anniversaries, coming of age and shichi-go-san (7-5-3) ceremonies.

Kimono wedding fashion

At the end, Yumi appeared again.  She said her fifty-five years in the business had passed so quickly.  From 1965 to 202, she had participated in eighty-eight Grand Collection shows in Japan and 108 overseas.  

blue wedding dress and veil at 55th Yumi Katsura Grand Collection

When she started her business, things were tough.  The country was still rebuilding after the war.  It was challenging to get materials for wedding dresses.  But she overcame those hardships to create a brand that reached the top in Japan and overseas.  And that is where she wishes to be.

wedding dress at 55th Yumi Katsura Grand Collection

What celebrities appeared at the 55th Yumi Katsura Grand Collection?

  • Airi Hatageyama – a former rhythmic gymnast.
  • Ryutaro and Satsuki Katayama – he’s the businessman, and she’s a member of the House of Councillors.  They modeled the outfits for the pearl wedding anniversary.
  • Shonusuke Okura – an otsuzumi (drum) player who provided music for the kimono section.
  • Masahiro Takashima (actor) and Sylvia Grab (actress) – another husband and wife team who modeled outfits for the crystal wedding anniversary.
  • Yoshishige Yoshida (movie director) and actress Mariko Okada (actress) – modeled the fifty-fifth anniversary.
  • Seiko Noda (politician) also appeared at the event’s closing to show her appreciation for Yumi’s effort over the years.
tiger dress at Yumi Katsura Grand Collection

Wrapping up

Until 2020, I didn’t know anything about fashion.  It wasn’t my thing.  But the 55th Yumi Katsura Grand Collection piqued my interest in that world.  There is much for a camera to enjoy.  

Yumi Katsura and friends on stage at 55th Grand Collection in Tokyo

My favorite outfit of the day was western-style.  It had a long flowing gown and a tsunokakushi-inspired headpiece.  The colors and design were very Japanese.  But it was one of many great designs.  To see Yumi’s website, click here.  There is also an article about her book launch from December 2019.

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If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

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  1. Pingback: Behind the Scenes with Yumi Katsura - Tokyo in Pics

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