Japan

Hofdame Hall of Fame – Empress Michiko Evening Division

The results are in, and for once, we all agree!

As the Japanese enthronement approaches, we turn our eyes to the last Empress, currently the Empress Emeritus. Empress Michiko wore some stellar evening wear during her husband’s long reign. We have tried to nominate dresses from several of her sartorial eras.

Before you ask, “What, no kimonos?”, let us explain. It seems that the kimono was a form of dress that the Empress wore for daytime events, for the most part. So we will circle back when we review her day wear. That should *not* stop the community from nominating a kimono, if you do find one that was also terrific evening wear. Let’s jump in!

Our Hofdame Hall of Fame winner is the dress worn for the enthronement ceremonies in 1990. In the official photos, it seems the dress was either blue or white, but either way, it’s a favorite ; ). We believe that the dress was re-worn for a state dinner with the U.S., and it appeared white in those photos.

We love the simplicity and sumptuousness, coupled with her signature sheer cape.

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The first runner up is the dress Empress MIchiko wore to a 2007 dinner held at Uppsala Castle, Sweden, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Swedish biologist Carolus Linnaeus. What we particularly love about this are three things: the sheer extended sleeve, the sophistication of the tailored dress as an evening gown, and the fact that she wore a tiara, outblinging the blingy Swedes.

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Our second runner up is young MIchiko in a ballgown worn at her wedding to Prince Akihito. The Western style gown was seen in photos taken after their April 10, 1959 nuptials at the Imperial Palace. She was indeed a perfect princess.

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Which of Michiko's gowns deserves to hang in the Handbag Hall of Fame?