February 4, 2012
VISVIM SPRING AND SUMMER 2012
There is a certain mood and charm that is common among many different traditional ethnic garments or workwear. My thought was that when spreading these garments out evenly on a large table for comparison I wanted to rid myself of all preconceived notions.
The most experimental material we used in this season's collection is Choma (Ramie) from a village in Fukushima prefecture that has been producing this material for more than 600 years by passing down the technique from one generation to the next. The process of producing Choma requires hand twisting and knotting, the fibers are twisted by hand, then knotted and spun into a single thread; the material created from this has a unique texture where the knots are visible in various areas giving it a very warm feeling.
Choma is a material that is made in various areas of Asia, however the Choma made in Fukushima prefecture has a different feeling that cannot be found in Choma from other Asian nations. When the material is woven there are limited distortions, it is very even, and also has that very warm yet rich feeling to it.
From a worldwide perspective there are a multitude of costumes and clothing in Japan that are unique and steeped in tradition, and the techniques used to create them have been passed along allowing the preservation of these garments to this day. The pattern of a kimono wastes no material as it requires no cutting of the fabric. The technique of "saki-ori" was developed during the Edo period when cotton was very scarce. This type of unique design culture and technique has provided great inspiration in designing modern product.
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