Until the mid 1990s most young Japanese wouldn’t have been found dead wearing something traditional. In the past 20 years this has changed dramatically. It is now ultra cool for young women, especially in creative jobs, to wear kimono, and men are picking up the custom as well.
Here are some examples of modern trad in Japan:
Young women wearing kimono; the traditional colors look extremely modern
Modern interpretations of traditional Japanese colors and footwear
Lace on Kimono at Tokyo 135˚, a shop specializing in kimono in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district
Traditional colors and designs on Western style shirts
Used kimono at a temple market. These days they are selling like hotcakes.
Dorozome t-shirts of the brand Okura. This traditional dyeing method originates from Amami Oshima and makes use of a local tree and repeated washing in mud. It creates a rich brown color available in many tones.
Okura, an extremely popular fashion boutique in Daikanyama, Tokyo. From the outside the shop looks like a traditional storehouse, the interior has been created from items the staff found on the beach. Okura is especially famous for modern fashion items created in traditional Japanese ways.
Kimono display at Okura
A customer tries on a kimono at Mei, an Osaka based shop selling antique kimono and Japanese accessories
Kimono at the Japan Fashion Week in Tokyo: JOTARO SAITO A/W 2009
Fans of Takuya Angel, a brand that combines the traditional with influences from anime and manga
Other articles in this series:
Top image: Colorful obi worn by a 24-year artist. Photos by Kjeld Duits.