Women worldwide, whether they live in the eastern or western world recognise the alluring, gorgeous and mysterious nature of the Japanese kimono. The beautiful silk material, the unique patterns, the vibrant colours and the exquisite fabrication have all combined to make the kimono a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world. I absolutely love the kimono style and now, with many designers in the west using the kimono as their inspiration for new fashion collections there is a whole new phase hitting the western world… and this time it’s a good one!
The Traditional Kimono
The traditional kimono has a very recognisable look and is worn by both males and females and adults and children in Japan. There are various kimono styles but they are traditionally made from one piece of fabric. The sleeves are made to be very wide and there is very little if any form to them. The form of the kimono is created with the use of a belt (usually in the form of a wide sash) which is then folded into a very large and ostentatious bow.
The traditional kimono is made from silk although there are some Japanese versions that are also made from cotton – these are traditionally worn during the hot summer months. However the western designs that were inspired by the kimono vary in their fabrics with some also being made of high quality silk but others being made from alternative materials including cloth and spandex. Not all of the western designs are a close match to the traditional garment with many being tailored or sexed up for an evening party or club style outfit.
This year we have seen a number of top fashion designers including Marc Jacobs and Roberto Cavalli creating entire ranges inspired by the traditional Japanese garment. Even top catwalk models like Kate Moss and stylish celebrities like the Olsen twins and Nicole Richie have been seen sporting the look both as daytime casual wear and as an evening ensemble. Some companies have also brought out some fascinating kimono dressing gowns which really are a style hit! Aside from the designers, many high street fashion stores have followed the trend and brought out a number of affordable yet no less stunning kimono inspired ranges.
Kimono Dressing Gowns
I know the towelly fabric of a traditional British dressing gown is comfy and warm but we all know that they are anything but attractive. The kimono style dressing gowns that are increasing in popularity are a truly stylish way to lounge around in the evenings and should be worn by any fashionista who wants to look beautiful first thing in the morning… trust me it is almost impossible to do this when wearing a flannelette gown.
Many kimono dressing gowns are styled in the traditional Japanese way and they come in a variety of colors and patterns so you still have a lot to choose from. Both long length gowns and minis can be purchased and matching jewelry is also available from many department and high street stores as well as from designers.