Now you know I love a kimono. In fact, I gave Claire Raymond, my fictional journalist-detective in my three HK mysteries set in the 1990's, a collection of antique kimonos I only wished I had. (My HK detective novels)
But as much as I love my home-made silk and (one) antique kimonos, they're a tad too precious for more casual lunches or daily wear with jeans. But I discovered online a lovely casual chambray, embroidered with glorious silver and gold bees, which reminded me of many everyday Japanese textiles that celebrate nature, often with both humor and affection.
So I whipped up this third version of Burda's best-ever kimono pattern, which is lined, for which I've previously posted very clear instructions for rapid machine construction that still honors the deep traditional kimono sleeves feature, here: Three Part Post on Kimono Dressing.
For those beginner sewers who are just not ready for the authentic square, lined 124-7-2011 sleeve, Burda has just released two much easier kimonos: Burda Style kimono for 2019 (left)
and Burda Easy with three variations:
Burda Easy May 2019 (right)
Last week the world was reminded of the ceremonial purposes of the most extravagant versions of a kimono with the imperial coronation in Japan of Naruhito and Masako in full-blown traditional wear. (I once dined at the home of Masako's ambassador father during my husband's time representing the Int. Committee of the Red Cross at the UN. Her parents were the loveliest couple imaginable.) Here is the generally reclusive new Empress Masako arriving at court in what we assume is the ne-plus-ultra of kimonos for 2019.
But generally, in the West, we associate kimonos with almost louche lounge dressing, harking back to Noel Coward drawing-room comedies or raids on vintage shops by bohemian hippie chicks.
I was thinking of all of this recently afresh. For a joint birthday celebration last month, a girl friend who is a Japan expert planned a two-couple lunch and museum outing and we four had a great time. Best of all, knowing my love of sewing, she booked us tickets for a sewist's dream exhibition. (see below!) It was a fabulous display of Asian textiles and garments, fascinating and beautiful enough in their own right, combined with Western accessories and frame-worthy fashion illustrations showing how much Chinese and Japanese styles influenced high fashion in the 1920's. Almost one hundred years ago, could we be ready for a comeback?
This will not be news to any fans of the Miss Fisher mystery series, which has already inspired Tany of Couture and Tricot to copy some of Miss Fisher's amazing costumes, including a scalloped hacking jacket in damson Chinese brocade. And this 'fusion look' has garnered enough TV audience interest to spawn at least one other museum exhibition, in Rippon Lea, Australia, of Miss Fisher's costumes, including vintage items collected by the costume designer Miriam Boyce.
The perfumes to go with this look? Definitely two Guerlain classics, Jicky or Mitsouko.
For now, sayonara!
The Influence of Chinese and Japanese textiles on the fashions of the Roaring Twenties
10 April 2019 - 7 July 2019
In France, around the 1920s, a great number of magazines written for and about women were founded. The Gazette du bon ton, art, modes et frivolités was one of the best to reflect the period, but there were also Modes et manières d’aujourd’hui, Costumes parisiens, Journal des dames et des modes, the French version of Vogue and Les Modes, for example. They offered advice on different topics, such as home decoration, lifestyles, the theatre, fashionable holiday resorts, and of course fashion, all abundantly illustrated with colour plates. These were generally created from a drawing whose outlines were first engraved, then printed with black ink. The areas within the outlines were then filled in with watercolours or gouaches, applied using a stencil. The composition of the images, the different stages of their production, and the themes developed all strongly resemble the Japanese woodblock prints by which they were inspired.
The Baur Foundation in Geneva has a sufficiently ample and representative collection of Asian textiles to provide a comparison with the Western fashions of this period. The remarkable encounter of the two has given rise to an exhibition and catalogue in which designs by Parisian creators are displayed alongside pieces of contemporary Far Eastern textiles. The accompanying book makes it possible also to publish the donations of Japanese kimonos and other clothes received by the Baur Foundation – including the Sato Mariko (2008) and Sugawara Keiko (2015) donations – but also certain Chinese textiles that add to the richness of the institution’s collections.