On this magazine, we have been able to see many kinds of kimono-style, which vary across the ages. Interestingly, the May, 1987 issue had the special feature articles about “new kimono-style”, containing kimono with high-heeled shoes. I realize that the combination of kimono with boots looks modern at first glance, but actually has a long history.
Recently, I received an inquiry about an uchikake made by organdie for bride. Of course I have known this uchikake, but I’m surprised to receive this sort of inquiries, because I am usually asked traditional pure Japanese styles outside Japan. Originally, organdie is the sheerest cotton cloth made. Because of its stiffness and fiber content, it is very prone to wrinkling and slightly shiny. Nowadays organdie is sometimes made by silk, called silk organdie. Indeed, an uchikake made by organdie is lighter than a traditional uchikake, and therefore, it is supposed to be popular at a wedding for person who doesn’t often wear kimonos.
Long, long ago in Japan a wedding was held at home. A bride must purify herself early in the morning, visit a shrine or a temple for informing ancestors of the wedding, and move to groom’s house with go-betweens. In the meantime, she wore a heavy uchikake over a kakeshita kimono. I think that it is reasonable to use heavy uchikakes for such a solemn ceremony.
Shinto-style wedding, which is more informal than old-style wedding, was established during the Meiji period (1868-1912). Nowadays, many weddings are held in much more informal party-style. Brides need not wear only one dress, like a traditional heavy uchikake, during her wedding, and can wear a couple of costumes, including a Japanese kimono and Western dress. Because the air conditioning setting in the wedding hall is comfortable, if sense of the season could be found in the design or fabric of her costume, we can put uchikakes into various styles.
Therefore, I think that an uchikake made by organdie is good choice for a bridal costume today. It looks refreshingly cool and light, like a ro kimono, gauzy weave kimono. Because it is translucent, we can see a beautiful furisode inside of it. Synergetic effect among a furisode and an uchikake made by organdie could make a bride more beautiful. She should look like an angel with plumage.
The photo shows a bride with an uchikake made by silk organdie, which is extracted from the August, 2002 issue of Hanayome magazine.