Kimono at the Guimet Museum
In Paris this springtime, to all silk and textile lovers, there is one exhibition you must absolutely see: Kimono, Au Bonheur des Dames, at the Guimet Museum.
The title of the exhibition, Au Bonheur des Dames, refers to a 19th century novel by Émile Zola that tells the time when Grands Magasins were born.
Until May the 22nd, you can admire unique pieces from the house Matsuzakaya, that left the country for this exceptional occasion. This house was founded in Kyoto in 1611, and first sold fabrics before it also proposed clothes and made-to-measure kimono. The house Matsuzakaya, famous in all Kyoto, has since diversified to become an equivalent to our Parisian Bon Marché.
Dozens of kimono, from the 17th to the 19th century, have left its walls for the Guimet Museum and for our greatest pleasure.
There, you will see kosode of all colors and learn the different dying and printing techniques in use, depending on the owner's social rank.
For instance, the shibori technique dyes the fabric by making knots or stitches that retain the ink on limited areas. The yuzen technique proceeds the same way, but it is rice glue that retains the ink from dying the fabric, instead of stitches.
The exhibit ends with pieces from modern designers, both European and Japanese. I had a particular strike when I saw the Oiran, "Grand Courtesan", by Junko Koshino, a contemporary designer to Kenzo, definitely equal in talent.