Saturday, May 01, 2010
How Can a Kimono Break One's Heart?
I am taking apart a kimono and weeping an unreasonable amount of tears. Every step of deconstructing this simple garment reveals such care, and elegance, and refinement that were taken in the making.
I'm not destroying, simply the last witness to a vanished world.
The tiny square of silk kasuri that reinforces the underarm just pierces my heart. The fact that it co-ordinates with the outer wool fabric shows the care taken in its selection, a tiny scrap that will never be seen, except in this final stage of its unmaking.
The silk thread in stitches so expert and appropriate, again, none that will ever be seen.
The perfect mitred hen at the front opening, such care, such evidence of a long history of garment making, such perfection in the details.
The interfacing of old cotton, a second layer starched so the collar falls just so on the woman's neck. Pure beauty.
And it was never worn. It is pristine.
Sold in a used kimono shop for 525 yen, about $5.00 Canadian.
How does one continue to live in such a world?