I know, I know... Kimonos are totally over, you're saying, it's all about wearing your grandads dressing gown now! I just can't help myself- I LOVE a kimono! I'm not talking those weird polyester things that have spread through fast fashion hell over the last few seasons, I mean real Japanese kimonos made from luxurious heavy crepe in the most sublime prints.
One of my favourite things I ever made happened as a sort of accident. I fell in love with a piece of Japanese crepe fabric and had to have it, even though it was pricey.
I couldn't afford to buy much, not nearly enough for the traditional kimono I had wanted to make. So I came home with a small piece and made what I now call the 'Kimono Box jacket'. And it literally has been the best thing ever- the ultimate feelgood wardrobe staple. I wear it with literally everything, at any time of day and for any occasion! And wherever I go, I get compliments and asked where it's from. I've even been stopped by total strangers who want to know about it!
I styled up one of my wedding dresses with it on a shoot last year and love it as an alternative to a traditional bridal shrug or shawl- the kimono box jacket gives a whole different boho vibe for a free spirited bride who wants to look unique. And it can be worn over and over again, unlike most wedding pieces!
I've kept elements of the traditional kimono design such as the collar, although I've kept it narrower than the ones on proper kimonos and the jacket is lined in silk or viscose lining, so it drapes beautifully but has structure too.
This monochrome Japanese crepe is so beautiful- I've made up 3, each with a blush lining but I'm so in love with them, It's going to be hard to let them go and sell them! Especially as this fabric is now no longer available to buy!
As I mentioned, I think these are great for any occasion, not just for brides! You can't get better than throwing it on with jeans. I even put it on over my PJ's when I'm watching Game of Thrones and eating popcorn!
One of my favourite style icons is Parisian based stylist Catherine Baba. This lady knows how to work a kimono! She throws her vintage kimonos on over everything, using it as a jacket or layering piece no matter the occasion. For more of her style inspo, check out here.
Often, we feel we can't wear something because it's too glitzy or dressy, but as I get older, I think pile on the glitz- you only live once! And somehow, a kimono instantly adds glamour, I think because the fabric and print is so special and luxurious.
In general, I don't really feel the pressure to follow 'fashion' preferring to wear things that I love and really enjoy and that make me happy regardless of what others think. So, it makes no odds to me if Kimonos are in or out of fashion- I believe more in style and being true to myself and my own ethical principles where clothing is concerned! Beautiful fabrics, good design and feeling wonderful in whatever it is you're wearing will never go out of fashion!
I hope this has inspired you to try out the kimono again, or even for the first time and that you're having a wonderful day, whatever you're doing!