Saturday, 11 October 2008

Bright and Daring

Last week I treated myself to this book: Bright and Daring: Japanese Kimonos in the Taisho Mode.
ISBN 0-937425-36-9
It truly is a wonderful book and worth every penny. The pictures are gorgeous. Bad for the "I really need that kimono" urge... Really, I do want to own every single kimono in that book. I must admit, that is what usually happens when I buy kimono books. But having the books, means having the kimono... kind of ^_^

Interestingly the book tells a lot about meisen (I love meisen!) Meisen was one of the first mass produced textile products of Japan; making kimono available to a large group of women. The machine woven, industrial produced silk fabrics where cheap and durable, ideal for the new craze, silk kimono for everybody. In the late 1800's the ban on silk for "common" people was dropped and everybody could wear silk. These gorgeous, bright and daring (indeed!) kimono became a big fashion item and Japanese women of the early 1900's are dressing bright and happily for their daily life.

Big patterns taken from the fashion from the West, Art Deco where immensely popular, the funny thing is, Western Art Deco was inspired by the Stylized Japanese art forms. About which the books: Fashioning Kimono; dress and modernity in early twentieth century Japan ISBN 88-7439271-0 and Japonisme; cultural crossings between Japan and the West ISBN 0-7148-4105-6 tell more. As I am very bad at writing book reviews I leave it to this. But if you have the change to buy any of these, don't hesitate ^_^

1 comment:

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

I too am a huge fan of meisen. It's suddenly become very fashionable with young women now and so is getting much harder (and more expensive) to get.

Within a month, I saw a 5x increase in average prices at the dealers auctions.