Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Landscape on Kimono - BBC interview

Alys from BBC Wales' webpages visited today, interviewed me and took photos for a website feature. I'll post a link as soon as I know the page url. As well as lots of photos of the kimono hanging on the walls, I posed outside wearing one of the uchikake, so hopefully that photo will also have the hill behind the Pavilion in the background.

I took my hemp/poly blend komon kimono to work on today. This is the summer kimono I started at the last exhibition. I only had to sew the sleeves to the body and neaten the seams inside to finish it. I'll try to take a photo tomorrow. I bought the fabric in 1992 at a sale at Jusco department store in Sakata, Japan - the old Jusco, not the new one, which used to be opposite the railway station. The bolt cost just 1500 Yen!

I also took this furisode karinui to start sewing. The colour is a very unusual dark aubergine grey. I am really too old to wear furisode properly, but I like the look of the long sleeves for dressy occasions and some furisode have more grown up designs than others... like this one.

The design is more like tsukesage than houmongi kimono - the large motifs don't cross over the kimono seams very much, really only on the left side seam at the bottom and on the front panel and okumi overlap panel seam (which would match even on tsukesage kimono). Houmongi (visiting wear) are considered more formal than tsukesage because the patterns go across the seams and must be matched. Karinui that don't need matching at the shoulder/body seam are best for me, because I need to have quite small seams at the shoulder for the kimono to fit my arm length properly, otherwise the sleeves would be too short. I have the opposite problem with western clothing - the sleeves are always so long, my hands disappear!

Here is a detail of the dyed design. It is painted, rather like the Pentex paint technique. I am not sure what the flowers are supposed to be, although someone today suggested Japanese anemones. They do look rather like Japanese anemones, but the flowering time is August to October, so I would expect the fabric to be more appropriate to summer. I am going to tailor the furisode half lined anyway. It has a matching hakkake (lower lining), dyed with a few flowers and with a plainer weave - the body is a rinzu damask with a tiny modern pattern, almost plain.


Michelle Cooper said...

I think the flowers are Cosmos. They flower in October in Kyushu. My friend Hiromi took my mother and i to see the cosmos fields at Ikoma Plateau in Miyazaki Prefecture - absolutely stunning.
Thank you for a very interesting blog.

Susan Briscoe said...

Thanks for the flower identification info! Cosmos and October would make more sense. I think I'll still go for half lined - September can be a bit warm, even here in the UK, and I guess that is when I should be wearing it.

Alys said...

Hi Susan, thanks for the mention on your blog! It was nice to meet you in Llangollen.
BTW I checked with my parents and Galloway's has definitely closed down :(