The juni-hitoe is a ceremonial outfit worn by women of the Japanese imperial court on very special occasions, consisting of many, many layers of robes. It is an example of fashion excess that cost the women wearing a juni-hitoe a great loss of mobility and possibly, physical harm.
“Kiku” means chrysanthemum in Japanese, a flower that has a rich and important history in Japan. Many of the vintage silks that I sell have symbols of kiku woven, stenciled, tie-dyed, or painted on them.
Meisen silk and the kimono made from it between 1910 and 1950 illustrate the intersection and interconnection of Japanese culture and Western culture, the influence of Japanese aesthetics on Western modern art and the impact of Western technology on Japanese textiles
Hedy Lamarr, the famous actress was also an inventor. In the hopes of contributing to the war efforts in the 1940's, she co-patented an idea for a radio controlled mechanism with frequency hopping to control a stealth torpedo.
The Jacqard machine invented around 1800 in France was the precursor to today's computer and revolutionized the weaving industry. In Japan it lead to even greater creativity in producing high quality, luxury kimono. In the West, it lead to cheaper and faster production.
Kimono are hand sewn and not machine sewn because hand sewn garments are easier to deconstruct. Washing a kimono involves taking it apart, sewing it back into the original bolt of fabric, washing, stretching and drying and then reconstructing the kimono.