Thursday, 1 July 2010

Simple yet stylish!

The coffee table book of the month must go to
V&A Pattern Kimono.
This is a lovely little book, and it has an added bonus that it has a CD-ROM at the back which shows the wonderful designs.
The Kimono was the principal dress for all classes from the sixteenth century. They are straight-seamed garments worn wrapped left side over right and secured with a sash called an obi.
Images, colours and nature play an important part on a Kimono, for example a motif of a crane is a symbol of longevity and good fortune, while a pair of dropped fans suggest lovers disturbed, and the colour red denotes youthful glamour and allure and also is a symbol for passion.
The book is full of colourful illustrations showing kimonos from the early 19th to 20th century. My favourite is on page 58 it is of an outer kimono, blue satin silk with embroidery of a tree and waterfall and a pagoda. The design is very simple but so stylish.
Although this book is about Japanese kimonos, it unfortunately came in after the display on Japanese books was set up, however, it is not too late to see this exhibition outside the Official Publications Unit in Causewayside.
The book is placed at OP5.210.5/5

There are other V&A pattern books covering the museum’s diverse collection; these are intended as an introduction to the Victoria and Albert Museum collection. The books are beautiful but also useful, showing patterns and giving inspiration to new designs.