By definition, fashion shifts. One of the pleasures of the exhibit is seeing how many ways the intrinsically simple kosode can be transformed. Sometimes the back of the garment becomes a canvas. One early 19th-Century garment was painted by Sakai Hoitsu, a famous practitioner of the Rimpa style. The kosode features a plum tree whose branches curve onto the wearer's shoulders. Other kosode are superb examples of the dyer's demanding craft.
At the beginning of the Edo period, fashion trickled down from the ruling classes. But perhaps because fashion always resists the status quo, less lofty influences began to modify dress. The presence of Portuguese missionaries in Japan caused a temporary rage for wearing crucifixes. And at some point in the Edo period, fashion began to trickle up.