Hyper Japan – Friday Focus Kimono Article

Kimono – Tradition Or Fashion?

If there is once piece of traditional fashion that has stood the test of time it is the Kimono. There are kimono for all ages and occasions, each with their own deep significance and rules for coordination.

One of the most iconic kimono is the furisode, with its long sleeves, colourful patterns and embroidery to die for. Furisode are worn mostly by unmarried women to signify that they are ready for marriage.

Once married, a woman has no need to swing her sleeves. Instead, she will wear houmongi that are decorated more subtlety and her sleeves will be shorter to indicate that she is no longer available.

When she attends her daughter’s wedding, she will wear a tomesode,which is elaborately decorated around the base of the kimono.

The kimono is not just a ceremonial garment, it can also be worn everyday. Indeed kimono’s literal meaning is “things to wear”. Although we can’t deny the deep cultural significance of the kimono, for the modern kimono lover, it is, in essence, a fashion.

So now, when fashion houses say that stripes are in this Autumn, you can look to increase your collection to include cool, silky, striped kimono. High fashion meets kimono!

Kimono are a vintage fashion explosion in all colours, patterns and motifs.

Whatever you consider ‘in’, you will find a kimono to complement the trend and you don’t have to listen to just the western fashion houses to tell you what’s hot, you can check out what is being seen in Tokyo, Kimono is it’s own art house.

Kimono-hime is a funky and fresh look on kimono fashion and you can see elements of the styles in the younger wearers at Kimono De Jack meetings in Japan. This is where you can see kimono fashion in all its glory, and keep up to date.

Yukata, which are cotton summer kimono worn by both men and women, have the fastest moving styles. Every year, Japanese fashion magazines are littered with the new styles. Yukata are an informal kimono garment, light, inexpensive and most commonly seen at outdoor festivals. Since they are the simplest to wear, they are a great way to start your collection.

Expand your wardrobe to include the essential vintage fashion – KIMONO!

By Elizabeth Hitchins and Isla Wong

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