Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: " The New Kimono" by the Editors of Nanao Magazine

Book: " The New Kimono"
Author(s) Editors of "Nanao" Magazine ( Japan)
Purchase: USA Amazon

I know there has been about a year and a half between the time " The New Kimono" was first published and it finally coming into my household, but none-the-less I feel the need to blog about this fantastic book anyway because I think that it is a really important reference/inspiration piece to have in one's kimono arsenal. 

I really do wish that this book had been around when I first became interested in attempting to wear kimono. Though  pictures of perfect models in gorgeous kimono are very inspiring and beautiful, they can be a bit daunting as those models are dressed by professionals who can dive in at any second to fix a puffy ohashori or an un-even collar.  Sometimes all of the "rules" in wearing can leave a new kimono enthusiast feeling lost and or discouraged from having a " Kimono Life" because they are afraid of making mistakes.

In my opinion " The New Kimono" really makes wearing kimono a lot more fun and most especially accessible. It is incredibly refreshing to read kimono industry experts say things like " You're wrapping a flat piece of fabric around a body that has a shape, so of course you are going to have wrinkles. Isn't it the wrinkles that make a kimono beautiful?".

Beyond the oodles of lovely photos in the book ( mook?) the advice the " New Kimono" has to share to its readers is so helpful and dare I say even relaxing. I loved reading that illustrator Fujiko Ishibashi ( one of the many interviewed in the book) sometimes ditches a juban all together if it is too hot outside, or that the Otani sisters, owners of Kimono Sarasa, make obi out of all sorts of fabrics including vintage juban. 

Reading " The New Kimono" has made me realize that it is okay to do what works for me and what makes me comfortable when wearing kimono. Of course ( like we all do) I will continue to strive for neat kitsuke and well coordinated ensembles, but now it is with a sense of fun and imagination rather than trying to look like a photograph. I am sure with the advice and ideas that I have gleaned from reading " The New Kimono" that I will be wearing kimono more often, and you hopefully will too!

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