最もモダンで最もクールで最も旬な着物と浴衣ブランド：ヒロコレッジ by 高橋ヒロコ。この円と線の大胆柄に迷い込んできなさい。
If there were a place for kimono in a modern design aficionado’s life, Hirocoledge would be the ONLY brand you need turn to. A kimono’s silhouette does not change, therefore not only is it difficult to be innovative with them, they aren’t even considered fashion in Japan and are separated in the Japanese lexicon ( [“yofuku” western style] and clothing [ “wafuku” Japanese] ) . But if there is ever to be a case for including it on a runway then this would be it, dammit.
Hirocoledge’s bold graphics….pop colors…. architectural lines…and mesmerizing dance of circles and waves… they are the brainchild of Hiroko Takahashi, the genius behind the robes.
First things first, this girl is amazing: Hiroko graduated not only post-graduate from the most prestigious art school in Japan, GEIDAI University, but she got her *doctorate* in kimono there as well….all the while running her company, Hirocoledge
These are not some cheapo printed pieces that you’re going to find at UNIQLO (although I would be SO stoked if they did a *cough* collaboration together!). All of her prints are made by artisans using only legitimate, time-tested traditional techniques (ie, stop-resin dyes “Yu-zen” from the Meiji Period). Know the difference? This technique allows the pattern to show through on either side of the fabric, unlike prints which fade on the underside.This is like an artisan sewing Hermes or Louis Vuitton bags…. you can tell a knockoff by how patterns don’t line up at the seams, etc.
Takashi considers herself an artist, and since I have been following her for 6 years now (she was one of my first ever subjects right after I graduated in my fashion column for The Japan Times) she has branched out into blanketing her swirls onto lifestyle products like textiles for furniture, cloths (tenugui), notebooks, lamps and more.
Even her origami paper is achingly cool!
But she started out in Kimono and Yukata and she wears her creations so well…in fact from the very beginning she has always been her own model and she pulls off the designs with aplomb. Let me get “mi-ha” for a second: SHE IS SO CUTE!
To get her products you can head to some of the best design shops in the city, like the design store at Roppongi Hills for the Mori Art Museum. Or, you can go to her online shop here.
But if you’re hankering for a kimono you’ll have to visit her at her studio over by Akihabara in the (somewhat) newly christened “AKI-OKA 2k540” shop and studio complex (an impossible name to remember! C’mon!!). There she works on her art, when she’s not jetting around the world showing exhibitions or working on window displays or museum displays.
She even makes me reconsider my policy of not wearing yukata/kimono myself because I love the graphics so much…
With UAMOU, a popular character designer who has an atelier next to Hirocoledge in AKI-OKA