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Tamao Shigemune: Modern Kimonos That’ll Knock Your Socks Off

Paris model photos all by the ultra-talented Tsubomi Photo Studio

So you think you can’t rock a kimono because you’re not Japanese? Think again! Tamao Shigemune designs modern versions of traditional Japanese women’s wear with a distinctly Parisian twist, and guess what? You can see them (and try her new summer collection on!) right now in Tokyo, through Sunday March 26th.

The first thing I thought when I saw photos of Shigemune’s summer collection plus Zaaka Vincent‘s whimsical accessories was “haute couture” not “oh, look – foreigners dressed in Japanese costumes.”
Even a visitor having a deathly hair malfunction feels elegant when being dressed in fab kimono like this. And check out the obi: it’s designed so that the second wrap is narrower than the first, so the contrasting fabric peeks out above it!
The entry gives you a little taste of what’s to come, including a few of Shigemune’s eyepopping obis, metal-spiked pineapple pins and a hamburger hat
The summer collection of kimonos is a mix of bold geometrics and beautifully rendered birds…
…and they mix & match with new obi designs that are backed with fun contrast materials, which wink at you from inside the obi bow when it’s tied
She was showing a really large assortment of obis – each more wantworthy than the last – plus two cute x 1000 purses
You can see why I was tempted to say “I’ll take one in every color” when it came to the accessories too
See the supercute dotted obiage peering out from atop Shigemune-san’s moon obi?
Naturally, your zori have to up their game to run with the big dogs, which is why shiny red and polka-dotted footwear were invented
And THESE. Don’t you think we all need a pair of these? Because what else are we going to wear with our tiaras JUST SAYIN

Tamao Shigemune will be showing her collection at that Gallery Triplet on the 4th floor of Minami Aoyama 3-8-2 from 12:00 til 19:00, every day through Sunday, March 26, 2017. Here’s a link to the Tamao Shigemune web shop in case you want to feast your eyes on the lovelies but can’t make it to the show (and, uh, you’ll probably kill me for telling you this, but she ships internationally!)

If you ARE in Tokyo and want to try them on in person, here’s a Google map link to the Gallery Triplet. It’s a little hard to find – the ground floor of the building is a restaurant, and you have to go down the narrow and unpromising-looking alley to the left to find the elevator, which you can’t see from the alleay. It’s hidden at the end, to the right.

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!

“A great read!” —Liza Dalby, author of Geisha and The Tale of Murasaki

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

7 thoughts on “Tamao Shigemune: Modern Kimonos That’ll Knock Your Socks Off Leave a comment

    • I know, right? If I hadn’t been with a Japanese friend, I’d definitely have been dashing to and fro like an angry weasel, trying to find how to get into the building (><;;) And yeah, the prices. Weirdly, the prices of more traditional new silk kimono make those look like absolute bargains (especially considering the quality of the silk and the workmanship), but the idea of paying over $1200 for one outfit of Western clothing sort of took my breath away too.

    • I regret to admit it is (><;;) The thing is, I'd been dashing about in the rain all day, and when I finally found this obscure studio on the top floor of a building with a hidden elevator, I was so excited to see all the stuff I forgot that I looked like shit. Until I saw the pictures NOOOOOO. lol

    • I did not…but I wanted to! ^^;; And most regrettably, even though I exercised the greatest of restraint, I know her web shop ships internationally, so I’ll never be safe from temptation…

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