|against padding for informal kimono, yay.|
I didn't know Fukumi Shimura before, and oh boy what did I miss.
|Look how precious she is !|
I don't know how I can express that, but I feel an unconditionnal love for this women. A bit like my weird obsession for Vivienne Westwood. Fukumi Shimura is a thinker. She definitely is an artist. The exhibition walls were plastered with quotes from her various speeches and books entirely about devoting her life to nature rendition, colors and art. She explained how she was influenced by Europe and especially France in her approach of clothing, and although definitely japanese her kimono have something indefinite which totally overcome culture boundaries.
If you know me, you also know that the only thing that can make me cry is clothing, especially handcrafted period clothing and their ethnic pendants. I swear I didn't cry. But it was a tough one.
Their was something else in that exhibition than pretty textiles, something that was not explained but gave to Shimura's work a lot more depth. She only works on pongee and make tsumugi type kimono. She of course use gold and silver thread as well as high quality silk, but most of her work is handyed pongee.
Now, if you don't know kimono, it might not seem that interesting, but let me explain. Pongee is a lower type of silk, made of broken silk thread. It was usually worn by commoners, especially silk-maker. This make tsumugi kimono traditionaly unaceptable in any formal setting. These are hand-dyed, gold and silver woven, handmade by one of Japan's live national treasure informal kimono. A bit like a gold threaded summer dress or hand-embroided jeans. And that's iki.
Honestly I can't picture anyone wearing these successfully. Maybe a geisha or an Onnagata could, but no one is iki enought to rock these awesome pieces of art. I don't know if we can still name them 'kimono'.
I know the exhibition's gonna tour in Germany in a close future, so if you have the occasion of seeing it please do. These pictures don't do them any justice, flattens the details of the fabric and fail to capture the colors.