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The yukata, a colorful lightweight kimono made from cotton, is as synonymous with the Japanese summer as a firework display or a bowl of chilled edamame. But the garment has hardly been linked to the world of high fashion-until now.  


A group of eight young designers has tapped into the design capabilities of yukata fabric and developed a series of apparel and accessories items. The pieces, some of which are one-offs and some of which are for sale, are on display through Friday July 29 at Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion Incubation, a resource center for emerging designers.


Items include sculptural hats and headpieces by Aacero for 9,800 yen, or $126, and clutch handbags by Lamarck for 5,800 yen to 14,000 yen, or $74.50 to $180. Yasutoshi Ezumi, who launched his eponymous brand last year after working as a knitwear designer for Aquascutum in London, showed off one of the most arresting pieces: a knitted, backless halter dress for 100,000 yen, or $1,284.  


Ezumi tore the colorful cotton fabric into strips and loosely knit them together to create the dress, as well as a series of more affordable scarves for 8,500 yen, or $109. “I quite liked it,” he said. “I might use this idea for my own collection next season.”

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