The findings from the book “Kimono Story” by Kitsukeshi, Shohei Nezu Part 1

Approximately two months ago, in June, I got the request of my work as a kimono stylist from one of the wealthy couple in US.
The couple wanted to wear kimono when they attended at the party.
I was in charge of selection of kimono that complied with the purpose of the party.

I visited their home for the try-on of kimono, bringing several kimonos and obis.
At that time, the wife still wondered whether to wear a kimono at the party.
When I work for kimono in USA, unfortunately, I meet many people imagining kimono as “hard, heavy, and hot (or cold)”.

One reason why many people imagine kimono as hot or cold is that kimono has been thought as all-season dress
Kimono is made by various fabrics suitable for each season. Kimono’s various patterns represents seasons. But I feel regret that a sense of seasons in kimono is not understood by many people.

Finally, the couple wore kimono all together at the party, and I finished work for it.
After this work, I want to re-read the book “Kitsukeshi Ichidai: Kimono Katari”, meaning One Kimono Dresser Life: Kimono Story, by Shohei Nezu. The photo shows the cover of this book.

I respect him as a kimono dresser very well.
He worked in the world of theatrical performance. He selected the kimono for actors and dressed them properly in kimono.
The preface of this book says “We become professional and independent after we got trusted by actors.”

I agree with his opinion through my work this time. I convince that a professional, such as Mr. Nezu is a kimono stylist.
The kimono stylist should get trust from clients not only to dress them in kimono, but also to choose kimono in conformity with the occasions.
I think that the total coordination from choosing kimono for the occasion to dressing up clients individually seems one story. I would like to be a kimono stylist who makes one story similar as Mr Nezu did.

Mr. Nezu said in the book that the work of a kimono dresser is to help clients to put on kimono beautifully, without pain and rigor, and not worn out of the shape.
While I work as a kimono stylist, I was very pleased to hear from one of my clients, “I had just bad memories about kimono. Kimono wearing used to be very tight, but I did not feel tight this time. Though I have worn a kimono all days, I did not get disheveled and did feel comfortable.”

I need propose kimono styling in USA as comfortable kimono dressing as well as total coordination that varies from seasons and weathers.


Blogger Bebe Taian said...

I have heard this before, too. I'm no expert in kitsuke, but I wear my own kimono frequently and have helped others dress. "But it isn't so tight! Isn't it supposed to be tight?" Ara ma...

I am always curious about this idea that kimono are supposed to be 'tight'. Surely, if you tie them very tightly, the threads are bound to break, the fabric stretches or tears over time; it is unattractive, and bad for the kimono.

Does some of this idea of tying kimono so uncomfortably come from the Western obi-corset analogy? Corsets are made to force ribs and organs into a different shape over time. Obi are simply to 'finish' a kimono, I think, since technically the koshihimo keep them shut. They are works of art in themselves, but they are not meant to reshape the person any more than a shoe should reshape a foot.

What do you think?

September 18, 2013 at 9:36 PM  

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