In the world of the Japanese tea ceremony, there is a saying, 'ichigo ichie', which means, ‘treasure every encounter, for it will never happen again.’
I believe the color that comes to us from fabrics dyed naturally is a gift from nature that embodies the meaning of this saying. For each leaf, each plant, each herb, gives my textiles a rich, subtle, and natural color that is one-of-a-kind, and can never happen again.
So every time you look at these warm colors, I hope you will feel the spirit of nature which has brought them into your life.
Nowadays in Japan, we don't wear kimono so often because the form is no longer compatible with our active “modern” life. It is still a lovely sight, though, to see women of all ages wearing kimono on special days. In Kyoto, it is not so unusual to see teenage girls in kimono having tea in a tearoom, cellphones by their side!
Even though kimono-making is a centuries-old art, a kimono’s basic architecture is refreshingly simple, making it a versatile garment. It is constructed of straight panels of fabric, and hand-sewn with only straight lines, making it easy to refashion in a variety of ways.
In old Japan, the kimono was passed down from mother to daughter. And its versatility made it a trusted part of the family. Because of its free form, the kimono would fit and cover all different body shapes and sizes. And often, it would be remade for a child in the family. But as the kimono aged, it still served a useful purpose for households. For instance, parts of a kimono might be fashioned into a cigarette case, or a wallet. Or it might find itself having a renewed life as a pillow or futon cover. Finally, when the well-worn kimono reached its end, it found a new task: as a dust cloth or wash cloth in the kitchen.
Even to this day, the long life of a kimono can be renewed by re-dyeing it from a vivid, brightly-colored garment used by a younger woman to a more subtle and sophisticated kimono suitable for an adult.
All my items are based on this Japanese spirit, so it is quite easy for me to re-dye, remake, refresh my work into a different style if people grow tired of using the same style of items again and again. So, while the art and craft of kimono might be considered slow fashion, in this way, you might even call it ‘fast fashion!’