The Kimono..

There was something 100% on the tick list for me in 2020, the exhibition, Kimono: Kyoto To Catwalk at the V&A museum.

This garment has always been one I adore but there is a trickiness in making it contemporary, sound familiar? In that sense it falls into the same category as the silk scarf. It is elegant, timeless and full of possibility in terms of print design.

The Kimono is a traditional Japanese garment which translates to "thing to wear" - this makes me love it even more and sums it up perfectly. Wear it, enjoy it, be experimental with how you tie it, it's not a dress or a coat, but a thing! 

Today the Kimono isn't so fashionable in Japan and it is mostly the older generation that you see wearing it day to day. 

Silk is considered to be the perfect material for Kimonos still to this day although many more modern styles use cotton, rayon and polyester. 

Traditionally dye resists make up the patterns and prints on Kimonos with repeat patterns most common for every day styles and free style and placement prints used for more formal garments. 

Contemporary interpretations of the Kimono are variations or blends of coats, shirts, jackets and dresses, all linked in someway to the free flowing, oversized shape, with or without a belt, often without a collar. 

The Kimono is in my eyes, the ultimate garment to have in your wardrobe. The fabrics are usually beautiful but the shapes usually comfortable which equals maximum impact for minimal effort which let's be honest, we all want. 

Wear over jeans and trainers for a weekend style, an undone "coat" outfit will look effortless and cool - add your favourite layered necklaces and you're done. 

All of the new shirt dresses come with a silk belt which can be used as a scarf or head scarf instead with or without the shirt dress. If using as a belt, simply tie it once at the side or create a bow. Other styling ideas are to wear a skirt or shorts underneath to stay modest, bare legs and a chunky pair of boots or mules in the height of summer. 

As consumers, it seems that actually most of us want a long lasting, interchangeable garments that are fun and unique that can be worn with a host of basics from homewear to workwear, the more they merge, the better. 

So once some form on normality returns, I will be heading to this exhibition, wearing the bright red Maxima shirtdress with a bright red lip and going for a long lunch in a really busy cafe afterwards to reflect on this timeless garment that I want to celebrate in my collections going forward.