This is the first in-depth exploration of the art and history of the kimono in Japan, told from the perspective of one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious kimono houses still in operation today – the 460-year old House of Chiso. Kimono Couture highlights Chiso’s textile and design innovations and unwavering commitment to beauty over the centuries, with over thirteen exquisite kimonos drawn entirely from Chiso’s collection, including a specially-commissioned wedding kimono. The authors contextualize and illuminate the importance and continuing role of kimonos in contemporary Japan, and discuss, variously, Chiso’s network of artisans and the survival of endangered techniques and textile crafts in the 21st century; the current “culture of kimono” in Japan; Chiso’s patronage and collaboration with the famous Kyoto nihonga artist, Kishi Chikudo (1826-1897); and finally an interview with Chiso designer, Mr. IMAI Atsuhiro, on the process of commission, and reflections on Chiso’s endeavour for capturing timeless style and fleeting fashion in contemporary times.
"A brilliant resource for anyone interested in kimono." "Both inspirational and educational, and should therefore be added to the personal library of anyone with an interest in textiles, art and crafts."—Carolin Becke, The Japan Society
“A paean to a very special Kyoto-based drapers emporium, Chiso by name, which has been in existence for 465 years!” “Beautifully produced and lovingly photographed”—Sheelagh Killeeen, Journal of the Oriental Rug and Textile Society
“An insightful guide to the intricacy, character, and artistry of kimono design”—Embroidery