Monday, February 9, 2015
Out of the many traditional garments associated with particular cultures, the kimono stands apart as one of the most referenced, oft copied, and widely expressive of them all. Worn by both women and men, with some variation for men over women's style kimono, this simple, effortless Attire word is nearly limitless in the range of communication it can encompass.
From a simple solid colored cotton to a lavishly hand embroidered gold bedecked one, kimono are capable of presenting every possible iteration of human thought and emotion. They have been worn for every sort of activity from battle, to wedding, to mourning. And they know no age, being worn by children as well as adults.
Part of the reason for this massive internal vocabulary is the physical structure of a kimono, which creates a vast unbroken expanse where imagery and pattern can play without constraint. Both the rectangular shape of the body, and the huge box like sleeves, present canvases upon which art, and inspiration can play. Textile artists who work in wearable art have taken the kimono to themselves as the perfect vehicle for visual expression for this very reason.