Book & Film Reviews

TAISHO KIMONO, Speaking of Past and Present By Jan Dees Photography by Michiel Elsevier Stokmans

Hardback 11 3/4 inches by 9 1/2 inches 291 pages Exhibition of Kimono in colour, plus old black and white photographs of the Era.
ISBN 978-88-572-0011-8 First Edition 2009 Published in Italy by Skira Editore.S.p.A

This is the book which accompanies the Kimono Exhibition at the Rotterdam Kunsthal, Holland. It's aim is to show the extraordinary era of kimono production in the years 1912-1926, the Taisho Era, together with an insight into the kimono of the late Meiji years and those of the early Showa Era up until the beginning of the Second World War, when kimono production stopped entirely. The Taisho Era kimono designs were influenced by both tradition and modernity. Here was a cross over of Eastern and Western cultures, especially as the West was undergoing a major change in art and fashion, the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, after the austerity of the First World War years. Although the book is primarily a photographic record of these kimono, there is also interesting and informative text for the collector. The decoding of many of the artistic symbols found in the kimono designs, especially men's garments, in this exhibition, is particularly interesting.
Highly recommended for the collector of Japanese textiles and art alike, this book accelerates the feeling of wanting to collect these wonderful pieces of history, and it must be said, at this moment in time, that is still possible, we are still able to obtain examples, however talking to experts and dealers in Japan, this will not always be the case in future years.

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