04 November 2008
Nipponlaugh - Japanese Fashion
Well some of my flickr friends http://www.flickr.com/photos/21484776@N00/ asked me, why don't you write a bit more about your travels when reading the notes on my posted flickr pics:
"This cute shop assistant showed me how the beautiful Kimono looked on her. We had so much fun that she couldn't help laughing and giggling the whole time. Of course I didn't buy this precious kimono as it was way out of my budjet (about 8000 USD). Actually I didn't buy anything at all but we "girls" had the hell of a good time while the men seemed to do "business as usual". What else could they have done?
Well I said, it's been so long since I had been in Japan, that was in April/May.
But I still do remember when I look into my field book.
Well Japanese girls dress up funky as is seen on http://www.flickr.com/groups/harajuku/ but when it comes to official festivities a kimono is a must. The meaning of the word Kimono is a "thing to wear" Very often they are made from silk and can cost a fortune just as designer fashion does in the Western world.
So when I entered the shop in Kagoshima the shop assistants were surprised. Usually older shop assitants in Japan do not speak English (like us in the west do not speak Japanese) that's why this young girl communicated with me. And she was shy. Maybe I was the first elderly western women in travel outfit entering this fine shop. So what? She showed me all the fine fabrics, mainly silks but synthetics too for the everyday purse. With a kimono goes a belt known as Obi. It can be even more expensive than the kimono itself depending on the material and work.
This Obi goes very well with the kimono. Of course it is sort of a science to tie and wrap the complete outfit but Japanese girls learn this from their mothers and sometimes they get some help.This is just a little bit of the huge variety in this shop. The really precious and expensive pieces are not shown in the shop but are hidden in extra cabinets locked away over night like juwels what they actually are.
The formal kimono and obi belts were traditionally made of silk, silk brocade, silk crepes such as cherimen and satin weaves such as rinzu. Above you see a precious kimono in that shop.
And here is a young lady visiting a shrine on a sunday afternoon, wearing a semi precious but nevertheless beautiful kimono when visiting the kami and praying for good fortune.