The Kimono icon of the vintage style, known as traditional dress from Japan, over the years has been absorbed by fashion becoming an icon of the vintage style involve
Western fashion and become a real protagonist in our culture. The origin of the kimono, formerly Kosode, can be traced back to Chinese fashion during the Tang dynasty.
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A brief history of the Kimono
Many manufacturing techniques developed on this garment, also fueled by the approval of sumptuary laws, leading to new methods of dyeing and decoration that replaced the expensive ones banned; such as decorative embroidery techniques (Konoko).
Unlike the European culture where fashion had been accepted and legitimized on a social level, in the traditional Japanese one it remained a prerogative of the elite classes
making it a circumscribed and socially weak phenomenon on the masses. In Europe, however, there was no propensity towards oriental clothing, apart from the noble
or wealthy classes who enjoyed differentiating their style and showing off exotic or oriental garments to be shown in public for social occasions.
How is the kimono composed?
The Kimono icon of the vintage style as we know it has not changed much over the centuries, it is formed from a single roll of fabric (tan), of fine fabrics such as silk
or brocade or even less valuable such as cotton or synthetics. It has a typical T shape and is made up of several parts each of which has a specific name and rectangular
shapes, has neither buttons nor zippers.
As for the men’s Kimono, various sizes are available, while for the women’s one they are a single size that are adapted to the various shapes and body size
by folding the fabric. An artfully sewn kimono has sleeves that end exactly at the end of the wrists. There is also a difference in the length of the Kimono between
men and women, the men’s one should end at the ankles without being bent at the waist while the women’s one has a longer line but eventually it reaches the ankles
causing it to fold (named ohashori) at the waist below the belt called Obi.
The kimono becomes a style icon
It was only with the advent of the phenomena of juvenile subcultures since they wanted to differentiate themselves and rebel against a conformist society
that new styles and dresses were discovered hippie culture in particular paved the way to the east. With the Hippie culture was born a true love
for the “oriental vintage”, rediscovering music, colored shirts, batik, belts, Thai silks and even Kimoni or their reinterpretations so as to give inspiration to fashion houses
and revive it up to contemporary times.
A vintage kimono for any occasion
Just as it also happened in Europe, the various colors of the kimono had the very specific purpose of indicating a series of information concerning the class,
marital status season and age. The kimono however represented a certain social class, obviously to make the distinction, it was the fabric used,
the colors and the type of cut. In addition to this, the kimono had specific functions according to the occasion. Let’s see some examples.
Different types of kimonos:
• Furisode; worn mainly by single women during formal events. Literally with Furisode we mean “wave sleeve” in fact it has very wide sleeves up to touch the ankles
and are decorated and colored throughout their entirety. I can get to cost a lot because they are made of silk and very decorated; it should be noted that the colors fade
as the age advances.
• Tosode; literally “short sleeve” is a formal dress worn by married women, generally in a solid color except for the lower part which is decorated; if you want you can sew
the “Komon” family crests.
• Kakeshita; it is instead the bridal kimono, it has very long sleeves, it resembles the Furisode but compared to the latter it has very complex decorations often hand
painted with very fine fabrics. To be distinguished from the Shiro Kakeshita which is completely white.
• Mofuku; it is worn in funerals, the color is black and without decorations including the Obi (a sort of belt). The only decoration allowed are the “Komon”
or the family crests.
• Iromuji; literally “one color” is a Kimono adaptable to various occasions and can be worn by both married and single women as well as being used for both formal
and informal occasions. It has various solid colors, to avoid black or white, it is suitable for the tea ceremony because it does not allow distractions.
Kimono and vintage style tips
The Kimono is a garment that cannot be missing in the wardrobe of a vintage lover, thank you its colors and shades it can be adapted well both on, casual
or elegant trousers while I would be careful to wear it with a skirt at least that is not short or tubular especially if you do not have a high height because
it could crush the shilouette too much.
Anyway we can say that the Kimono with its colors and decorations is the real must of the vintage style, ideal both for social events to give
a touch of playfulness and eccentricity than for formal occasions with more sober colors; and don’t forget the Obi or a belt to put around the waist.
Finally make sure that it goes well with the colors and the fabric; in general for those who are thin it can be tightened for the more curvy ones it is better
to accompany the shape without tightening too much.