This article investigates the relationship between Europe and Japan at the end of the nineteenth century through the influence of the clothing from both countries. Paintings and portraits from that era are analysed. A typical European clothing piece of that period, the bustle, is proof that little by little the traditional Japanese kimono began to enter the fashion of England and France. In addition, the article also investigates how the Japanese kimono became a luxury item in Europe; however, it was used as a gown-style clothing for the home, losing its original function. At the same time, some kimono and furisode were trimmed and re-sewn as decorative parts of European bustles. The dresses that have survived to this day, most of them preserved in museums, are compared with the European paintings of that period to show how painters portrayed these changes in fashion and modified the use of Japanese garments through their interpretations in Europe.