Kimono
Silk, waste silk padding
Stenciled; hand painted crests

During the Edo period, the shogunate often issued sumptuary laws defining what the highly stratified classes were permitted to wear, in an attempt to curb conspicuous consumption. While this kimono appears from a distance to be very plain and drab, and thus in keeping with those laws, in the close up below, the kimono explodes into a design of tiny flying plovers, so detailed that even their legs are discernible. The skill and labor required to make material of this quality would have raised its price considerably, so in fact this is a luxury item, whose wearer undoubtedly took extra pleasure in hiding the expense in plain sight.

.

Advertisements