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The Social Life of Kimono: Japanese Fashion Past and Present - Dress, Body, Culture (Paperback)
  • The Social Life of Kimono: Japanese Fashion Past and Present - Dress, Body, Culture (Paperback)

The Social Life of Kimono: Japanese Fashion Past and Present - Dress, Body, Culture (Paperback)

Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 23/03/2017
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The kimono is an iconic garment with a history as rich and colourful as the textiles from which it is crafted. Deeply associated with Japanese culture both past and present, it has often been thought of as a highly gendered, rigidly traditional and unchanging national costume. This book challenges that perception, revealing the nuanced meanings and messages behind the kimono from the point of view of its wearers and producers, many of whom - both men and women - see the garment as a vehicle for self-expression. Taking a material culture approach, The Social Life of Kimono is the first study to combine the history of the kimono as a fashionable garment with an in-depth exploration of its multifaceted role today on both the street and the catwalk. Through case studies covering historical advertising campaigns, fashion magazines, interviews with contemporary kimono designers, large scale and small craft producers, and consumers who choose to wear them, The Social Life of Kimono gives a unique insight into making and meaning of this complex garment.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781472585523
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 857 g
Dimensions: 246 x 189 x 15 mm

The Social Life of Kimono does cover well-trodden ground in parts, but it mixes in new information and hints at future projects by (Sheila) Cliffe, making it as tantalizing as the glimpse of a hidden collar on a kimono wearer as they run to catch their train in downtown Tokyo. * H-Net *
[A] delightful and comprehensive feast of kimono cultural knowledge ... In addition to its wonderful historical sweep, [Cliffe's volume] offers immense and often personal detail about the intricate stages of making, finishing and accessorising a kimono ... The achievement of a true aficionado. * Times Higher Education *
Shatters antiquated views of Japan's traditional garment ... Cliffe's passion for kimono is infectious, and her deep knowledge on the subject - both academically and aesthetically - is nothing less than inspiring. * Tokyo Weekender *
The Social Life of Kimono gives a unique insight into [the] making and meaning of this complex garment. * Love Sewing *
Tracing the history, economic role, cultural impact, and social uses of kimono, Sheila Cliffe's valuable contribution to the sociology of fashion is a real treat. Comprehensive yet detailed, this book, with its generous collection of beautiful and colorful plates of kimono, should grace the shelf of anyone who appreciates this icon of Japanese aesthetics. -- Brian J. McVeigh, author of Wearing Ideology: State, Schooling and Self-Presentation in Japan
Sheila Cliffe has made invaluable empirical as well as theoretical contributions to the field of fashion studies through her in-depth research on kimono and by making comparisons between the kimono system and the Western fashion system. This is a must-read for anyone interested in ethnic or non-Western dress and fashion. -- Yuniya Kawamura, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, USA.
An abundance of illustrations and solid research gives readers a new and exciting look at kimonos and their wearers. Cliffe demonstrates that Japan has long had a fashion system based on the indigenous garment quite apart from Western influence. Cultural interviews provide a fascinating look at contemporary interpretations of this tradition. -- Michaele Haynes

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