The Japanese word “kimono” means “thing to wear.” Yet vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and creative stitching transform these traditional pieces of clothing into works of art. As part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, an exhibit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, “100 Years of Kimono” includes more than 20 kimono and obi (sashes) that illustrate how design and construction has evolved over time. The color palette changed, from darker to brighter tones, and labor intensive hand dyeing was replaced by machine work. Elements from nature—pine needles, leaves, and birds—are combined with geometric patterns in many of the kimono.
All the kimono and obi are from the Arise Bazaar whose owner, Paul MacLardy, is a recognized expert in Japanese and Asian antiques and textiles. He is the co-author of Kimono—Vanishing Tradition, and a soon to be published book on Japanese textiles. Most of the garments on display are available for purchase.
Arise will host a Kimono fundraiser at the Mandarin Hotel on April 4, 5, and 6, that will include over 1,000 Kimono and Japanese textile accessories form the 1880s through today, suitable for collectors, decor, and quilting. There will also be kimono inspired gifts and jewelry. For more information, go to the website for Arise Bazaar.