Written by Sophie, September 2021
As summer leaves and we transition into autumn it’s time to start pulling coats out of storage boxes and figuring out what to wear. I always find it difficult this time of year – I’ll be too hot in a winter coat, but too cold without one. Well Keiko has found you the perfect mid-season jacket!
Arriving in London only recently, all the way from Nara, Japan are 12 fantastic vintage silk haori jackets and kimonos. Traditionally haori were worn over Kimono and other traditional Japanese outifts, however now they are often simply worn as jackets. In the collection are six black silk haori, each with intricate and unique patterns woven into the silk. One has beautiful clouds and flowers, while another has trees and mountain peaks. Each kimono has a mon (family crest) on the back, showing that it would have been worn for formal occasions. Some of the haori have himo ties, to fasten them at the front, and some of them still have the shitsuke ito (basting stitches) from the tailor showing that they have never been worn.
As well as the black haori, Keiko has also selected four brightly coloured jackets, perfect for wearing to parties or just for some everyday colour. The vibrant red and green chrysanthemum print jacket has such a Christmassy feel and would be perfect for winter parties. The other three are all longer and each is utterly unique. The purple and turquoise shibori haori is made using a traditional Japanese tie-dyeing technique where thousands of tiny knots are tied by hand to create larger patterns. This gives the finished haori a wonderful, ruched texture. The other two purple haori are both from the 1920s and feature incredible vivid colours that would look fantastic over a plain black outfit. The antique haori with the fans is Keiko’s favourite – each fan is hand painted on the silk, and the jacket itself is in incredible condition especially for a garment of its age.
Finally, there are two kimonos also available. A beautiful purple kimono from the 1920s with cranes and flowers on the front. This kimono has five mon (family crests) on it meaning that it was a very formal outfit. There is also a gold meisen kimono, a kimono that was very popular in the early to mid-20th century, when silk weaving techniques meant bright colours and patterns were more easily available to the public. This bright mustard yellow kimono with the cheerful chrysanthemum print and red lining is made of a thicker silk than the other kimono and haori jackets, making it perfect to wear throughout the winter.
Be sure to head on over to Keiko’s Etsy page to see all these wonderful vintage pieces and maybe snap one up for yourself.