Taishō kimonos

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Vintage kimono has been really inspiring me lately. Above a piece of work I have been working on recently.

And whilst in Tokyo, I was very privileged to be invited to visit this vintage kimono shop. Hidden away and by appointment only to such illustrious customers as Paul Smith the lovely dealer Sarasa specialises in selling vintage kimonos from the Taishō period (1912-1926).

Sarasa took out exquisite kimono after kimono from her amazing collection.

The studio was piled high with the most stunning of kimonos in the richest indigos, almost electric blues and scarlet reds decorated with falling cherry blossoms and golden embroidered phoenixes. 

Although barely visible once the kimono is on, the collars that sit underneath were decorated with the most intricate of embroidery. I think there is something quite lovely about having something so beautiful hidden, with perhaps only the chance of it being glimpsed. 

Sarasa picked this embroidered cockerel collar out as one of her favourites. Animal embroideries are more rare.

The underpinnings of the kimono. Extra swathes of belt are added for slimmer women, as too slender a silhouette is not desired for the ideal kimono.

Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of one of Sarasa's most interesting pieces, but it was rather like this. A sort of kimono patchwork blanket comprising strips of warm fabric and denim, which would have been made by a farmer to keep warm. These pieces are quite rare and are highly sought after by designers today.

And lastly, these lovely pink and red kimonos for little girls. If you would like to learn more about Kimono Sarasa, check out her facebook page

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