The Great Lakes Kimono Revolution


Welcome to my little corner of kimono fashion. As the title should indicate, the point of this project is to produce kimono that are seasonally appropriate to the Great Lakes area, and to adapt the general rules of kimono wear to this area.

I hold firmly that kimono and their rules of style are quite simple things, and that the widely bruited idea that they are complex and difficult is cultural propaganda. Anyone who is even passingly familiar with the way Japan presents its own culture to others should instantly recognize this particular brand of cultural chauvanism. It's rather like the US notion that our-size-fits-all, only reversed.

I believe equally firmly that most of the rules of style are, in fact, artifical, deadening and un-beautiful. The merest swipe at an historical overview shows that kimono have consistently changed with the times to meet new aesthetics and ideas, just like any other useful and useable item of clothing. The current timidity of even trendsetters, with this garment, is ridiculous and unbecoming the history of the kimono.

So, in the interest of my being able to wear pretty, comfortable, wrap-around clothing and set style, too, let's play around with kimono.


Kimono Terminology . For the aid of those who may not know all the names of the parts.

Patterns and Colors. This lists out some seasonal patterns and colors that apply to the Great Lakes area in general and Michigan in particular.

The Manner of Wear. This goes over some of the basic age/gender/occasion indicators in current Japanese kimono style, and notes some alterations I think reasonable to adapt the kimono to wear in this area.

Strategies. How one might actually go about making or making over a kimono, and some thoughts on coordinating a wardrobe without breaking the budget.

Adaptations. Ways to wear kimono that have nothing to do with the current rules at all.

Resources. Places to look for information and ingredients.



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Last modified: 08/8/09
First Posted: 2/11/2006


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