Kimono Couture

Kimono Couture

The Beauty of Chiso

by Vivian Li and Christine Starkman

Contributions by Riyo Kikuchi and Yukio Lippit

Published by: D Giles Limited

112 pages, 9.06 x 11.00 in, 84 color illustrations

  • Hardcover
  • 9781911282662
  • Published: June 2020


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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.