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Monday, December 26, 2005

Wada Emi and Japanese textiles

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Wada Emi
Yesterday I visited the Wada Emi exhibition held at the exhibition hall of Baisouin Temple in Gaien-mae. Wada Emi is one of Japan’s foremost costume designers, and the exhibition featured her costumes for the Chinese film ‘Hero', a kind of Dungeons and Dragons-type film based on Chinese myth.

I took a few photos inside before one of the stewards politely informed me that photography was not allowed (there were no signs – or is that a bit of a lame one?!), so unfortunately I can’t put up images what it was like inside.

However, to explain: the costumes ranged from the plebian, to the martial to the royal. The plebian featured lots of cotton and linen, the martial lots of leather, and the royal lots of silk and embroidery, and even a diaphanous, enchanting, and outrageously expensive looking, cloth made from the finest imaginable golden wire. The embroidery is probably what sticks most firmly in my mind: vivid, tight, complex, painstaking works of art. The dreamy billowing clouds of silk were unforgettable too.

There was a fifteen-minute film of an interview with Wada about the making of the movie, with plenty of footage of what went on - centered mainly around the selection of colors and the dying process: all done by hand in China.

Significantly Wada is from Kyoto, the center of Japan’s kimono culture, having been the imperial capital for as long as it was.

If you interested in adding a taste of Japan’s ancient apparel/textile culture to your wardrobe or your room, check out what GoodsFromJapan has on offer.

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