Yumi Katsura is synonymous with wedding dresses in Japan and, after her most recent show, may also become equally known for boosting the popularity of kimono across the globe. A historic and recent first, Katsura is the only designer ever to be allowed to show at the opulent Akasaka Palace, demonstrating just how revered she is in cultural circles.

The palace could hardly have been a more fitting location for her show. Built in 1909 as the Imperial Palace of the Crown Prince and fashioned in the Baroque architectural style of 18th-century France, it is designated a national treasure and used as one of two state guest houses in Japan. On receiving the honor, Katsura says: "I first visited this site 40 years ago and I said to myself that someday I would show a collection here. Finally, my dream has come true."

Katsura's fashion show took place in one of the palace's grandest halls, the "Hagoromo no Ma," with its 300-square-meter ceiling painting depicting scenes from the noh play "Hagoromo." Beneath it, a lineup of 60 dresses (and suits) graced the runway, each one a presentation of incredible feats of handiwork and largesse.