There is a beautiful kimono on display at the National Gallery of Victoria here in Melbourne.
It’s a Kamiko Kimono. Kami (paper) and koromo (clothes worn by monks and priests). The poor who could not afford silk or cotton used paper as a cheap alternative. The paper is made from the inner bark of the mulberry tree, it is saturated with vegetable tannin to make it durable, and then wrinkled to give it softness.
| Paper robe, Kamiko, Edo period, silk and paper |
So this one is both humble and ornate. A mixture of paper and silk.
Wabi (transient and stark beauty) and Sabi (the beauty of natural patina and aging).
I was struck by the similarity of the paper robe to this Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garcon garment. Unwoven fabric with a paper like texture.
| Junya Watanabe, White polyester unwoven fabric, 1996 |
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