Kimono East and West
When I was choosing a set of Kimono for a customer from Tokyo, I was nicely surprised by the customer’s preference. Her choices of Obi (帯, belt for Kimono), Obijime (帯締め, band for Obi) and Obiage (帯揚げ, sash for Obi), were so vivid and unique that I would never even think of.
From old times, Tokyo people have been placing so much value on “being Iki (粋, chic and stylish)”, and the last thing they want to be is “being Yabo (野暮, unsophisticated)”. In Kyoto accent, these two terms can be expressed as “Shuttosuru (しゅっとする)” and “Mossai (もっさい).
As for the color combination of inner collars of Kimono, I took it all for each individual’s preference. However, later I noticed that my own preference was nurtured by copying my mother and grandmother’s preference, which can be referred to as Kyoto or Kanisai (関西) taste.
I had an opportunity to participate in a Kimono seminar the other day, and the lecturer gave me a very impressive teaching: The Kimono you wear shows who you are.
If so, choosing Kimono is more like choosing your life itself, isn’t it?
Regardless you are from the east or the west, kind consideration toward the person you meet or the place you go, is the spirit of Iki. Kimono is not just a garment, and the heart of Kimono fashion is such profound.
Click here to see a Blog by a Former Maiko, “Do You Know?”