3/28/2009

Meisen Kimono

Meisen kimono is really attractive. The fabric of meisen kimono is yarn-dyed, which can express its vividness of color.

Meisen kimonos were originally made by silk-raising farmers for private use. Their fabrics were woven by thick weft thread, made by high quality unevenly spun silk thread from waste cocoons. People in the Edo period (1603 – 1868) were obliged to wear chaste kimonos after the saving act was proclaimed in 1839. So, meisen kimonos became popular for ordinary people in Edo (Tokyo). In the Meiji period (1868 – 1912), combed with warp yarn, striped patterns were woven. Furthermore, in the Taisho period (1912 – 1926), splashed-pattern Meisen kimonos were created using doupioni. From the late Taisho period to the early Showa period (1926 – 1955), Meisen kimonos became more prosperous, because they showed various kinds of eye-catching designs and colors, and in addition, they were sold at affordable prices. Meisen kimonos in their prime had fancy colors and designs, which might be Western-conscious. Meisen kimonos actually have represented modern kimonos, called “Taisho Roman”.
As you see in the photo, Meisen kimonos are characterized by their aesthetic property of ikats using yarn-dyed silk materials and their venturous colors and designs.

Last week, I worked at the shooting with my clients. I accommodated and coordinated various kinds of kimonos, but they preferred piece-dyed yuzen kimonos rather than yarn-dyed meisen kimonos. I am interested in their preference on kimonos in USA.
On the contrary, recently in Japan, yarn-dyed meisen or pongee kimonos become more popular. Maybe these kimonos are selected for smart casual wears, wore in many different locations. I think that kimonos are being more ordinary fashion in Japan.

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