Kimono
Silk, cotton (lining)
Stenciled warps and wefts (meisen)

Because of the emphasis on perspective and shading, this kimono seems to be making references to surrealism, and specifically to Giorgio de Chirico, who is known for his many paintings of the Piazza d’Italia. Below is The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street, dated 1914.

The person who sewed this kimono made the decision to orient the material for the sleeves in the same direction, but the two body panels are in opposing directions.

In the painting, there are shadows within the shadows. The textile designer seems to have copied that, using shaded vertical lines to accomplish the effect.

This material is generally referred to as meisen. Meisen is often characterized by stiff, almost starchy silk, which was more affordable than higher grades of silk. It is also characterized by the direct stenciling of warps and/or wefts with chemical dyes, which were then woven to produce the slightly fuzzy-edged designs. Meisen was manufactured by several companies, and the company’s logo was stamped at the end of the bolt of cloth. In the photograph below, part of the company’s stamp has accidentally been included at the base of one of the long sleeves.

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