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Kimono comeback


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Kimono comeback as Japanese men let it all hang loose

For almost 60 years it has been considered uncomfortable, prohibitively expensive and horribly old-fashioned, but the male kimono is staging a revival in Japan. The country's top weekly magazine has declared the kimono "cool, individual and good for catching girls". Although the kimono is still a rare sight among the masses of grey-suited businessmen, stylish young men from the fashion industry and other professions have begun to wear it to parties and, in some cases, even to the office. Fashion and consumer magazines that previously praised Western designers have been proclaiming its return. Actors, celebrities and even industrialists such as Carlos Ghosn, the French chief executive officer of Nissan, have been posing for magazines in their kimonos, which were a standard form of dress for men before World War II. [...] Naomi Saeki, a journalist, said: "Nowadays even punks with make-up don't surprise people. The kimono, on the other hand, really stands out. You need guts to wear it. "So even though it looks traditional and conservative, it is actually the opposite."


Cool kimono making a comeback -- with men!

=> http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/waiwai/0302/0203kimono.html

Kimono makes a style comeback in Japan

Kimono makes a style comeback in Japan

Trendy kimono jackets in the UK

The Japanese traditional dress, the kimono, has been progressively replaced by Western-style clothing since the 1920s. This loose sashed, ankle-length costume with wide sleeves, was deemed for many years to be too complicated to make and wear, with its many layers, special accessories and time-consuming procedures for dressing. Traditions which set colours and patterns for certain seasons were also seen as too clumsy for the increasing pace of life in modern Japan.

But all this is set to change, as the so-called "yukata generation" (consisting of 20-to-30-year-old style-conscious and well-heeled shoppers) take to wearing casual, lightweight kimonos. Starting to be seen over the past two summers, designers have now deepened the trend to include winter kimonos too.

The ready-to-wear kimono still conforms to traditional construction techniques but, with clip-on accessories, it takes only 10 minutes to put on. And the modern kimono is more attractive than its predecessor, now being made from washable materials developed by famous designers. In short, the kimono has been re-invented to suit modern-day Japanese women (and even men) who have a yearning for some traditional culture in the wardrobe.

Tobu is one department store that has undertaken a vigorous campaign over the past several months to promote the kimono to fashion-conscious Japanese - pointing out that you don't have to be an expert to don the kimono successfully.

As part of its campaign, Tobu launched a free kimono-wearing service, taking place every Saturday. As it typically costs a small fortune to hire a kimono, the word of the promotion has spread, so that it is necessary to book well in advance for the privilege of wearing a kimono for a special date or party.

The new kimono line is called "wa no fuku" (or, traditional normal clothing), rather than continuing with the more staid and conservative expression, "kimono". The new line is also cheap, with prices starting at US$212.7 and going up to US$516. There are also needed accessories, such as the obi, the broad sash, together with traditional shawls and hats, that apply to the individual ranges.

Those prices compare with the traditional, embroidered silk kimono, priced at US$3,800 up.

Kimono heading for the mass market

Says Tobu's Ota: "we want to expand the traditional image of the kimono, to make it a commonly-worn garment. We have 250 different types of kimono and, since we began this new range in winter 2001, they have been selling really well. A number of other major department stores are also promoting ready-to-wear kimonos, including Isetan, Odakyu and Takashimaya."

The Tobu executive says the trend appears to have started because major fashion designers like Tsumori Chisato are producing new "kimono-conscious" fabrics - and because television stars have taken to wearing the kimono.

The big question is whether the kimono could take off as a fashion trend overseas. Some in the industry believe the issue is more a nationalistic one than a fashion question, with several analysts favouring only the "look" of the kimono for adaptation in foreign markets.

Says one seller of the traditional kimono: "the kimono's fabric is of a particular mode, like English tweed or US denim. Before, we used to just follow tradition, but now the kimono has become an individualized dress, which is why it could certainly become popular internationally."

Meanwhile, traditional kimono shops surprisingly approve of the new developments in their formerly conservative trade. Sachiko Furusawa, from high-end brand store Masuiwaya, believes the cheaper kimono could actually help sales of the more traditional clothing.

"It teaches young people how to wear the kimono and, once they are familiar with it, they will eventually want one of our kimonos. We would never bring in wash-and-wear kimonos ourselves, because the role of the store is to preserve the old traditions associated with the kimono," she comments. "A lot of young girls in the street would love to wear a kimono but can't afford it, so the department stores are really filling a gap and keeping the kimono tradition alive."

From fashion label Kaos, which makes contemporary accessories from older kimono fabrics, comes the view that the regeneration of interest in the kimono comes about because it is "new" to a younger generation. Using traditional kimono fabrics in a post-modern design has great novelty value, according to Kaos' Kaori Sumi.

"When I first started utilizing old fabrics in my designs, it was considered very 'punky' and the Japanese fashion establishment really didn't like it, because they thought it was too culturally loaded," says Sumi. "But I had just got back from living overseas and I saw the old kimono fabric as beautiful."

Kimono one of several channels back to tradition

The trend for re-working Japanese clothing is not only confined to the kimono. Handicraft touches such as the traditional horizontal lines of running stitches used as a decorative element in folding clothes, are being re-introduced to add a rustic touch.

Some fashion labels have been capitalizing on the rehabilitation of tradition by taking fashion in a new direction. Yab Yum design label draws on Japanese culture for its spring/summer 2002 collection but inspired more by "country" wear than the look of the city and the elegant kimono. As a result, the deeply unfashionable fisherman's scarf has miraculously turned into a fashion statement. Further experiments with Japan's traditions seem inevitable.

=> fashionUK >> Kimono jackets

Kimono jackets
The kimono originated in Japan in the 8th century as the 'thing to wear' on formal occasions. Here in the UK, we tend to wear full-length kimonos in place of dressing gowns or even kaftans, and while these versions are great loungewear, shorter styles make brilliant jackets. Look out for embroidered kimono jackets in bright oranges and rich reds and team with your favourite trousers/jeans and shoes/boots for instant impact. Don't be seduced by synthetic ones with dragons on the back - which made a comeback last year during a 70s soft porn fashion moment - real deal kimonos are handmade in Japan using silk. Spressobreak has secondhand kimono jackets sourced from Kyoto's Temple Market (from £79-£135) and Yamatoku specialises in vintage kimonos up to 100 years old (jackets from £40). Also check out any local specialist shops like Asahi (110 Golborne Road London, W10 tel:020 8960 7299) which sells new silk kimono jackets from £80-£120.

Lol, did you check their prices? Up to 135 pounds... :oops:
But you can get them online from $55 and up, so I suppose what you end up paying for is the authenticity.
the male kimono is getting popular here with the intended use of after showering and lounging around the house. I don't know if I could wear it all the time though.
I'm usually wearing an Egyptian cotton galabeyya at home, it's very comfortable and practical, but it took my wife a long time to get used to it, lol. Btw, the pic below, that's not me.


I could see that, I'd lounge around in one at home all day long, but I dunno about going out wearing one, I imagine a multitude of weird stares walking through the grocery store esp in this small Texas town where 60% of the pop. is over 70 and the rest all wear cowboy hats and big belt buckles ...maybe in Japan though.
You look sooo pretty in that thomassan. lol

Oooh big belt buckles, sounds like a modern, thriving metropolis...lol
Nothing beats lounging around the house in a comfortable Yukata. Of course, answering the door when the Pizza delivery guy arrives tends to usually draw a few odd looks :D
It is @samuraitora we even have a movie theater here, 6 screens though it was 3 up until late 2000, and its the only one for 50 miles. i cant wait to move back to cali...

I like to wear my kung fu suit more, but its just too hot most of the time.
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