Uchikake dress exhibition to be held in Kagoshima, with dresses for wheelchair users

PUBLISHED Apr 25, 2023

A dress made for a wheelchair user

The “Dresses for Princess Exhibition (姫ドレス展示会),” featuring dresses made from remodeled uchikake kimonos, will be held at the Unitement Garden on the fourth floor of Maruya Gardens from May 3 to 7.

The event is organized by Yusunoki Collection (Wada, Kagoshima City, Phone: 090-2316-6600) for the second time. Mutsuko Yusunoki, a designer who tailors dresses using uchikake and obi for the Miss Japan pageant, and her second daughter, Junna, run the business. Uchikake is a highly formal silk robe worn by brides.

In addition to uchikake dresses worn by the Miss Japan contestants and children’s dresses, two dresses made for people in wheelchairs will be on display at the event. Last fall, Yusunoki had the opportunity to dress a child with disabilities at a temple in Kyoto. The mother was overjoyed and grateful, and it led Yusunoki to create dresses that can be worn by wheelchair users.

During the exhibition, Nanami Tomita, who once competed in the beauty pageant wearing a dress created by Yusunoki, will be at the venue. Tomita represented Japan in the Miss Eco International, an international beauty competition that supports UN SDGs, in 2019 and is currently serving as the representative for the Japan pageant’s management.

After learning that Tomita engages in activities to send refurbished wheelchairs to children overseas, Yusunoki came up with the idea of holding a fashion show where people with disabilities would serve as models. The show will coincide with the Miss Eco Japan to be held in Tokyo in January next year. At the exhibition in Maruya Gardens, she hopes to find people in wheelchairs who can participate in the show.

Visitors can try on dresses at the venue, priced at 5,000 yen per dress, 3,000 yen for children, and free for wheelchair users. Part of the proceeds will go to support programs for people with disabilities. Only wheelchair dresses require reservations. Opening hours are 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.