11 JUNE 2008

Even with designers falling over themselves to have her try on their creations, it's unlikely Reese Witherspoon has ever had such an interesting time getting dressed up. The Oscar-winning actress had an authentic oriental experience when she was lent an exquisite ceremonial kimono on a recent visit to Japan.

Having taken the best professional advice – her dresser was a prominent kimono fitter, whose family has attended the imperial family for weddings since 1952 – Reese looked very much the part of an aristocratic local.

The leading lady donned a sumptuous version of the traditonal garment, which featured the full-length sleeves worn by unmarried women on special occasions. Its sash-like belt - or obi – was tied in a large bow, further signalling that Reese, a divorcee, has no formal ties. Completing the outfit were traditional sandals and the split-toe socks known as tabi.

In a final authentic touch, the Rendition actress had been given precise instructions on how to look as dignified as possible in the tightly wrapped kimono. Hands clasped demurely in front of her, Reese took tiny steps, with one foot turned slightly inwards, to avoid disturbing the elegant lines of the garment.

Photo: ©
Reese donned the traditional Japanese garment when she toured the country in her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador. And every detail, down to her demure posture and correctly tied sash, showed the leading lady had been dressed by a kimono expert Photo: © ReutersClick on photo to enlarge
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