Designers this summer have created a new twist to a very old garment.
The kimono, which has been part of the Japanese culture for hundreds of years, can be seen in stores and on runways in the form of a light outer coat.
Leading the trend as usual, Miuccia Prada brought her version of the kimono-styled coat in a mash-up of Chinese and Japanese styles. Her version, in satin, was made in origami shapes completed with peonies and other Asian-inspired designs
Like Prada’s look, most of these coats are in silks with flower or nature designs.
Although this new take can be found in stores such as Zara and Topshop, we all know the kimono goes much further back in history than this year.
Although the kimono is now mostly reserved for special occasions, this article of clothing was once everyday wear for both men and women. During the Edo period (1615-1868), patterns, colours and length of kimono specified the wearer’s gender, age, status and wealth.
By the seventeenth century, patterns on women’s kimono became larger and bolder while younger women’s were lavishly decorated and brightly coloured.
Young women had long sleeves, but were shortened once they were married. Men as well have shorter sleeves for their kimono.
Although made from one single piece of fabric, the average kimono nowadays could cost up to $10,000.
The Kimono is still worn today by sumo wrestlers, who must be seen in traditional Japanese wear in public. However, we may know it best as what is worn by a Geisha.
The difference between a regular kimono and a Geisha kimono can be told by the lower neckline, as that part of a woman is considered the most sensual part in Japan.
The apprentice Geisha, known as a Maiko will have pocketed sleeves called “furi” that dangle all the way to the ground. Their costumes are very colourful with an extravagant belt, known as an “obi”.
But this modern day’s twist on the kimono requires no such formalities. Although the traditional is valued greatly, the new westernized kimono coats are also beautiful to look at and a comfortable light piece to throw on.
As shown by Marlien Rentmeester on her blog, Le Catch, or by youlookfab, this coat is worn best with modern simple pieces. I have seen it most paired with skinny jeans or jean shorts and a tank top.
But there are always exceptions to the rule…so how would you wear the kimono jacket?