Kimono Nagoya
October 14, 2012 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Kimono Nagoya posts pictures of vibrantly colored Kimonos that show how the Kimono is used in day-to-day fashion. From the about page, "Kimono can be immediate and accessible. Let’s check it out." Modern designs, bold colors, and striking combinations. Fun to browse even if you have no plans of owning a kimono in the near future. Via maybe Wednesday, maybe not.
posted by codacorolla (8 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
oooh...reminds me of the one I saw in the Tokyo National Gallery (which holds the record for 'most times I have had to be restrained in a museum by those I am with so I do not commit a "smash-and-grab" and make off with some of the exhibits...that lacquer writing box...*tears welling up* I WANT IT!) ...simply stunning (well, complicatedly stunning anyway) and fruit and bugs in gloriously technicolor single-strand silk embroidery (the kind you can go blind doing) with long stems snaking up to, not embroidered, but tie-dyed, giant purple and white fireworks. And if it weren't for those meddling kids I'd be wearing it right now :(
posted by sexyrobot at 11:56 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

The "bold colors" link is from my favorite Pinterest kimono seller in Japan! They come up with some great combinations, love seeing them: Shimaiya - Kimono. I like how they generally stick with komon (informal kimono with small all-over motifs in up and down directions) and tsukesage (slightly more formal than komon, generally with small patterns too, but all going upwards) rather than the super-lush furisode (long-sleeved kimono you see on young, unmarried women) and houmongi (mid-formal "visiting" kimono). The less formal kimono tend to have a lot more vibrancy and variety!

It's also really fascinating to get into the weaving, dyeing, and embroidery techniques, since they add a lot to the meaning of a kimono ensemble. I found it all so intriguing that once upon a time I collected kimono and kept a blog on them...! Many of the links are defunct now, but there is still a very thorough Dyeing and Weaving Dictionary in English kept by The Cultural Foundation for Promoting the National Costume of Japan. "Ori" means "weave/weaving", "gasuri" are kasuri (ikat) weaves, and "zome" types refer to dyeing techniques. Tsumugi are my favorite (also a weave; usually translated "pongee").
posted by fraula at 1:34 PM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Love this post! I know nothing about kimono, except that we used to see them at Ragstock. I found this blog, which lead to this one, and this thread about Ragstock.

Been reading more about how to wear kimono, since we loved looking at them at the store but had no idea what to do with them. Thanks!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:17 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Foreigners CAN wear Kimono! (self-link to a scan I made) from Ikebana International, or more grist for your cultural (mis)appropriation mill.
posted by carsonb at 4:09 PM on October 14, 2012

Listed as private, carsonb.
posted by PussKillian at 4:11 PM on October 14, 2012

Thanks, fixed.
posted by carsonb at 4:33 PM on October 14, 2012

> Foreigners CAN wear Kimono!

And if they pay attention to detail they might even look good in it!
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:01 PM on October 14, 2012

So when I was younger, this wonderful elderly Japanese lady came to my elementary school and offered Japanese classes as part of a cultural enrichment program. She taught us how to address a group with respect, how to drink tea and how delicious Japanese sweets are, and how to write our names in Hirigana and Katakana. I have a very vivid memory of her learning my name and standing next to me with her ink and brush, musing quietly in Japanese about how to deal with the fact that my name has an L in it. We mutually agreed that it was totally okay to call me by a nickname from then on so I could proceed with the activity, but I could tell my name bemused her (just as it bemused everybody else around me). At the very end of the program, after weeks of lessons, she brought in what must have been some of her own children's kimonos so we could dress up and see how beautiful and complicated the kimonos were. There were probably 10 different options -- a few for the boys, and the rest were decidedly for the girls.

By that time I was already taller than all my teachers at 5'6" or 7", even though I was just a 4th or 5th grader. Again I proved to be a source of gentle consternation for this sweet, sweet lady, who, upon discovering that you could see my frilly-socked ankles and a sizable amount of my calf too from underneath this incredible purple kimono she had dressed me in, said in utter exasperation, "So tall. Not like a proper Japanese girl." and pretended to try and squish my legs up into my body. Then she tried to put my short, bobbed hair into some kind of bun so she could put an ornament in it and at that point I think she just gave me up as a bad job. I was appropriately mortified and wished fervently that I were not, in fact, the awkward white girl that I was. She just smiled and said, "That's okay. Next week, we'll try again."

It was obvious that what we were in her classes doing was really special because she did a lot to help us appreciate and respect her heritage and her culture's traditions. I know that if I were to talk with her now about what she did for me by bringing that program to my very white school she'd be gently disappointed in me for those 5 or 6 years that I spent objectifying Japanese culture with my collection of Anime and manga and faux-Japanese clothes. I still want to apologize for thinking that her bringing in the kimonos that day was her giving me permission to appropriate Japanese attire and customs from there on out. She'd probably just look at me the same way she did when she saw my name and my gangly ankles and my short hair sigh a little, then give me a piece of plum candy and say, "Next week, we'll try again."
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:32 PM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

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