Have you head of a kimono brand YOSHIKIMONO? Maybe not. But perhaps, it may pique your interest once you learned that a member of rock band is the designer of this brand. But kimono feels so traditional and modest, while rock music feels so… opposite, right? Let’s find out how they unite together.
X JAPAN is a legendary Japanese rock band very well known for their high-pitched voice and flashy visual performance. (If you are interested, you can catch a glimpse of them at Coachella 2018.) Gene Simmons from KISS mentioned, “If those guys were born either in America or England, it would have been the biggest band in the world.” Even if you did not know about them until now, it should count as something. No doubt about it. YOSHIKI is leader of the band, and movie fans may be able to recognize his name as a composer of Golden Globe theme music. Yes, this very talented man is also active as a composer and professionally plays classic piano as well.
YOSHIKIMONO is a kimono brand created by the multitalented rocker YOSHIKI. YOSHIKIMONO may simply be translated as ‘YOSHIKI’s kimono’. But in Japanese ‘yoshi’ can also be translated as ‘good’. Talk about witty and clever naming. But it is not just the naming that catches our attention. Ever since the kimono brand has seen the sun in 2011, all the pieces have been flying off the shelves every time they release new collection. Despite the fact many of them are higher in price than usual, his kimonos are very hard to get your hands on.
World Around Kimono
You rarely see anyone wearing kimono in Japan these days unless the person is dressed for special occasions or has emotional attachment to the tradition. In most cases, kimono is made with pure silk and hand-sewn which makes it very expensive and delicate to care for. And many of the patters are meant to be worn during specific period of year depending on the season or the occasion and sometimes marital status which means you would need quite a collection of them.
It is fair to mention that kimono market is shrinking. Most people opted for more care-free style of clothes over the years. Less space, time and money consuming ones. But demand for resell and rental kimono is said to be growing. Thanks to creative minds in inbound tourism, number of people are renting kimono to experience a day in traditional Japanese garment or even just to take some selfie pictures to show in social media feeds. And because less Japanese people actually have their own kimono collection, many of them rent them for times when they want to dress up in it.
Kimono industry has been trying to revamp the market by making kimonos you can wash at home in washing machine or collaborating with celebrity figures hoping to attract younger generations who are less familiar with how to wear and care for kimono.
Kimono Gets Rock ‘N’ Roll Makeover
If you were to pick one word that comes into the mind when you look at YOSHIKIMONO collections. Wearable. Yes, ‘wearable’ would definitely be one. YOSHIKIMONO’s design patters allow you to wear it almost like western clothes. He styles it just as you would wear an evening gown with high heels and other accessories. There is a sense of freedom and revolution, while traditional kimono has a lot of rules to follow.
The collections have the feeling of kimono (‘kimono’ originally meant something to wear in Japanse) as western garment that majority of Japanese live in today. They are draped and wrapped around the body in a way kimono would. It holds the philosophical eroticism of kimono in a sense that it only takes you to untie the belt to get undressed but layers of things to peel off to get out of it completely. Still, YOSHIKIMONO has so much of modern breeze to it, since the designer used newer materials like jersey, wool and even denim beside silk and linen, or cotton for yukata (worn during summer for casual outing or as bathrobe and pajama). A lot of the prints are more geometric and can be worn throughout the year. Those modern patterns make it easier to match the garments with stilettos or boots to better suit our active daily life. They can be worn both like traditional kimono or like western dress. The designer had broadened the interpretation of kimono and still kept it to certain degree of class to keep the respect for one of the beautiful Japanese traditions. YOSHIKIMONO is a strong, sexy, elegant and modern kimono brand which would be more suitable for how women have grown to be over the years.
The designer YOSHIKI was born as the first son of a kimono fabric dealer shop, meaning that he would have been the one to run the shop when he grew up. But instead, he chose a career as band man. His father was also jazz musician and it may have affected YOSHIKI’s love and talent for music. But his beloved father passed away when he was only ten years old by his own choice, and it deeply marked indent in him. His mother got her devastated son a drum set soon after. YOSHIKI later spoke in an interview of how he had to face loss, anger, love and every imaginable emotion at the same time and how he’d dealt with it by putting them all into banging drums. What you realize by listening to his music is that he is not one of those ‘live-to-look-cool’ band man. He is very serious and emotional. And he does not try to steal every spotlight out there just because. He is rather shy off the stage. He composes music for X JAPAN and they often have decadent and very passionate and emotional sense to it. And you could most definitely sense the same vibe from his kimono brand, YOSHIKIMONO.
YOSHIKI spoke about YOSHIKIMONO as a brand that is free and revolutional while keeping the respect for the tradition. And that the kimono can be worn as traditional kimono or as a western dress, and the versatility allows people to enjoy kimono in everyday life. You could perhaps check their official site and give your own verdict.
Kimono Rules To Keep And Break
If you’ve lasted through all the previous writing, then it is safe to assume you are at least interested in the world of kimono or perhaps willing to wear it if the time is right. Let’s go through a few rules you should keep and break when you are to wear it. (But we shall keep the freeing spirit of YOSHIKIMONO here!)
1. RULES TO KEEP
Wear suitable under garment
You do not want to flash your flesh when strong wind blows you. Please wear appropriate underwear not to offend other people. But this can also be fun. Kimono is traditionally worn with your underwear peeked through the neckline or hem as you move and fabric float and flip. Think about the drama of wearing red under garment under something so chick.
2.Know the occasion
Kimono is still considered to be tradition that shows a lot of Japanese culture. You want to enjoy your fashion, but you do not want to put yourself in awkward spot. Yukata has its origin in bathrobe, so you do not want to wear it for any formal occasions. It can be worn like sundress, but you do not do dinner at three star Michelin restaurant in them. Please think of the TPO so that other people around you can stay just as comfortable.
3. RULES TO BREAK
No accessory should be worn with kimono unless it’s a wedding ring or very subtle one. Nonsense. You were whatever you like however you like it to be as long as it does not hurt someone. If you are rocker chick, you can dress kimono up with your leather choker with spikes on. If you have statement necklace that brings out the color of your eyes or have big chandelier earing you simply cannot go without, were them. Fashion is a mean of expression. You live in it and you’d better enjoy it.
Kimono looks better when you hide feminine curves
It’s only been some decades that people started to go for pensile stick line when wearing kimono and were told to wear certain under garments to make breasts and hips smaller. There should be no problem if you want to go au natural with your curves. After all we should be allowed to love our own unique body shape. Kimono would be perfect for it, since you can wear it by wrapping fabric around and tie the belt. It will always be a perfect fit to your body even when you gain or lose some inches on your body. You can always adjust it.