Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Trendwatching: Meisen Silk

Okay, my fashionista girlfriends. Here is a new possible trend for you.

A few years ago I used to be able to go to the Kuwano Textile Gallery in Tokyo near Omotesando and pick up a nice meisen kimono for around 20 to 30 bucks. The times have changed. I visited the store this year, and there was nary a meisen garment for under 80 dollars.

Young women have rediscovered the kimono, and you can see them out in Harajuku on the Sunday fashion parade. There's even a term for these girls -- not surprisingly they are called "kimono girls." There are even some nice books documenting the trend.

The meisen kimono in particular has become very popular. These kimono were made in the first half of the twentieth century, and were characterized by a glossy sheen, and brilliant patterns. There is often a sort of "blurry" quality to the silks, as you can see from this photo.

For a long time, anything meisen was considered to be not-so-nice. It was definitely out of style and even a little bit embarassing, sort of like bell bottoms were regarded for a time in the US. I personally happen to love the prints, and have quite happily found a new, much cheaper source (which of course I don't want to reveal). The bright colors have also caught the attention of today's young people.

A few days ago I walked by Bergdorf's in New York, and stopped in my tracks when I saw a Marc Jacobs skirt on display. The silk he had used was very definitely meisen.

Could it be the start of a new trend?

I am sure you are right. It seems this textile is quite original but familiar. I mean it has friendly atmosphere. And for this quality the use of the MEISEN might become the next fashionable trend in US and Europe. I really love to read your Blog. Actually I can hardly wait for the next one to appear. Good job!
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