A PAST, RECRAFTED
TALES OF INSPIRED ARTISTRY, WOVEN INTO EVERY THREAD.
The original weaving techniques and textile design used to make these unique Japanese fabrics are steeped in history. Many traditional techniques are dying out as more Japanese choose to wear ‘western’ clothes. Moniko aims to celebrate the textile art by recrafting it into a form that can be used and cherished now and in the future.
Moniko uses four main types of obi, and six styles of kimono. The distinctions between these depend on the formality of the occasional for which one is dressing, one’s age, or the time of year.
A young woman glides by in bright floating silks, an idyllic picture from days gone by. The furisode is distinguished by it’s long swinging sleeves and elaborate patterns. Traditionally it is worn to signify that a girl has come of age: until today today this formal kimono is worn only by unwed women.
The a: a paragon of luxurious, subdued
elegance. This formal kimono, worn only by married
women, is traditionally black with lavish gold
embroidered designs below the knees, and simple
family ‘mom’ crests on the back and sleeves.
To move like swaying autumn boughs and leaves, or trail a waterfall in her wake. Such is the effect of a classic houmongi; for its design extends smoothly across the seams like a work of art on a flowing canvas. Once worn by ladies of rank, it is now the semi-formal
garment of choice for women of any age and status. Houmongi, means ‘visiting dress’.
If one desires something dressy for a casually elegant affair, one should look to the komon. This versatile kimono, made usually of light silk, has an all-over print and can be lent a more formal look when teamed with the right obi.
The warmth of summer is offset perfectly by a light, cotton yukata. This most casual and easily worn of kimono were originally dyed in indigo, but later would come a multitude of print styles from plain geometric patterns to bright florals. Yukata are very commonly
seen worn at summer festival times. The cut pattern of the yukata is the same as the komon.
To throw a mismatching coat or wrap over one’s kimono may be considered a sartorial offence. Hence, the creation of the haori: an overcoat designed specially to be worn over kimono, usually made from wool or thick silk. Silk haori are often adored with shibori,
miniature tie-die patterns.
A flock of silken cranes in flights, or bamboo leaves swathed in the shimmer of a rising sun. Such are the themes that adorn the maru, the most formal and regal of obi. Oft richly embroidered with golden thread, the maru is typically worn only worn by brides or on rare
ceremonial occasions due to its considerable weight and cost.
The fukuro is a delicately woven length of silk brocade, the most luxurious obi after the opulent maru. It has all but replaced the former as the formal obi of choice and looks equally sumptuous while being lighter and easier to wear.
This obi derives it name from the bustling city of Nagoya where it was conceived. With a portion pre-folded and stitched, it is far easier to put on, while being as aesthetically pleasing as its counterparts. The nagoya was popularised by Toyko’s geisha community in the
1920s and has remained popular.
Beauty does not always come at a high price, but can be found in vibrants prints and weaves and pretty florals on hanhaba obi. The casual and affordable obi is half the width of its other cousins and is customarily paired with the informal yukata, or worn by girls who love to create striking bows and features when tying the obi.
To further accentuate the obi, a length of braided silk, the obijime is tied around the obi, and finished with an obi dome at the front. The obidome can be an intricately carved piece of coral or jade, cloisonné, or gemstones. These are generally the only jewellery
that is acceptable to be worn with kimono: and mostly with less formal outfits. Maiko (apprentice geisha) will wear large and elaborate forms of obidome: made from incredibly fine metals and gemstones.