My First Kimono
Sarah Van Esbroeck
Artist Statement
My first Kimono talks about how easy it is for people to misunderstand or misinterpret other cultures. I made my first kimono only using Japanese instructions. Even though the internet provides many translations I wanted to stay close to the source. This Kimono, though it turned out alright, is far from perfect. The mistakes were made because of my “western” state of mind and I’ve kept them to make this point exactly. Later the Kimono is used in a photoshoot where I show various “wrong” ways of wearing this kimono, not only to point out how easily cultures and traditions can be misunderstood but also demonstrating how flexible and adaptive it can be.
On one hand “My first Kimono” talks about how Japan and Austria have very different cultures but both still have a strong connection to their traditional clothing. On the other hand, with a completely different and original way of pattern cutting, Japanese fashion has inspired European fashion for a very long time: For instance, in the 1910s Japanese fashion was very modern in Europe and presently Japanese couture fashion from artist like Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo is still inspiring young fashion designers all over the world.
Artist Bio
As an artist I’ve always been interested in fashion and its effect on culture. I like combining the old and the new, often using the media of photography to present my work. My last collection “Marigold” was inspired by the Mexican death culture. For my new Collection “Chiroptera”, which is all about protecting oneself from the sun, I drew inspiration from traditional Japanese clothing. Since I didn't even know how to make a Kimono I decided to work on this particular shortcoming and develop a project for Japan Revisited.