Bebe Taian: Fashion Update! Kimono Are Trendy!

June 13, 2011

Fashion Update! Kimono Are Trendy!

A short break from geisha for this announcement:

Kimono are apparently becoming a trend in America, and this is spectacular!

I recall seeing a gauzy kimono-inspired piece in a fashion magazine years ago, with bright, bold geometric prints that I thought spoke of a modernized take on the Taisho Modern pop-art movement. Now, it seems the upcoming fashion market leans towards "Oriental" florals!

VOGUE UK 5/2011 - Photographer: Javier Vallhonrat
You can read the original article here.

Meisen Thistle kimono,
If I were to follow up on this trend, I would be looking at some 1920s Taisho Roman kimono... or, better yet, MEISEN! Meisen seems like a blurry style, so it doesn't appeal to everyone, but from a distance it is gorgeous.

Meisen kimono tend to be fairly old. The trend was at it's height back in the 1920s-1950s, although they are not too incredibly difficult to find. Basically, meisen fabric was made by dying the threads first and then weaving the fabric to see the design. You can imagine how incredibly difficult this was! Patterns were not often simply stripes anymore, as they so often were when women were expected to weave much of their own fabric. These new fabrics, often synthetic, were now complicated and highly detailed, and yet had to be produced in larger quantities than ever before.

I adore meisen, although at first I hated it. I didn't like the blurriness of the patterns. I grew to appreciate it later, when I got into Impressionism. It seems now like this is the thing to look out for- especially since many meisen-style kimono were flowery. Years ago, I saw the kimono shown here for sale- many years ago. Thistles are a favourite flower, and they seem to be popular in meisen for obvious reasons. Anyone who has seen a thistle knows that they're all thorns and fuzz! Today, I have only two meisen pieces- one is a bright purple haori, the other, a black kimono with no particular motif. The kimono is for sale, and is in excellent condition.

If you would like much more detailed information on meisen kimono, along with photos of examples, I recommend this exhibition at Marcuson and Hall.They have a thorough explanation on how meisen fabrics were woven, and quite a nice collection of kimono to go with it! <3


  1. Very nice article. Another fashion I love is the nehru jacket. I have one, (it's more of a Chinese style) but would love to get another in a different colour. Can't find them anywhere.

  2. Try Google Shopping, with the search term "nehru jacket". There seem to be a lot of modern ones for sale, and I'm sure with the word "vintage" in there, something more relevant would turn up! It's too bad you aren't in FL- lots of flea markets here have large Chinese-run stores, with plenty of 'traditional' Mandarin clothing.