FASH­ION

LOST FOR WHAT TO WEAR? IN­VEST IN SOME­THING A LIT­TLE MORE EX­OTIC

Life & Style Weekend - - CONTENTS - WORDS: AM­BER MACPHERSON

Did you know the word “ki­mono” trans­lates to “thing to wear”? By that logic, in­vest in one and you’ll never have noth­ing to wear again. Mi­ra­maya mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Lori Wright says the tra­di­tional Ja­panese gar­ment has be­come a sta­ple in many wardrobes for its abil­ity to add lux­ury to an out­fit.

“A ki­mono is a must and is the most ver­sa­tile ad­di­tion to any wardrobe,” Lori says.

“The el­e­gant flow of a ki­mono will lift even the dullest of at­tire and will de­mand at­ten­tion in any room or at any party.

“To warm you from a light sum­mer’s breeze to the cool night air, this fash­ion piece does the job while cov­er­ing any body im­per­fec­tions over a bathing suit or tight body­con dress.”

The ki­mono has a long his­tory through­out fash­ion, be­gin­ning as an op­u­lent silk robe with wide sleeves worn by Ja­panese high so­ci­ety be­fore be­ing ex­ported to the world in the 1800s.

“Some ki­monos were lit­eral works of art and could cost

more than a fam­ily home; peo­ple would keep their ki­mono and pass them down through the fam­ily,” Lori says.

“A wave of en­thu­si­asm for all things Ja­panese swept

Europe and the US dur­ing the sec­ond half of the 19th cen­tury. This came to be known as Japon­ism and the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Parisian fash­ion and the ki­mono de­vel­oped in nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion.

“Women fell in love with the beau­ti­ful and ex­otic cloth­ing made in silk and started wear­ing the gar­ments to re­lax in at home.

“De­sign­ers in Paris and London then started to use ki­mono in­flu­ence for their own cre­ations and to­day Mi­ra­maya fol­lows the tra­di­tion of cre­ative artis­tic ex­pres­sion.”

Shorter lengths are great for throw­ing over your shoul­ders dur­ing the day, and longer ones add so­phis­ti­ca­tion to evening wear.

“For a cool, ca­sual look, throw a short ki­mono over a pair of high-waisted jeans with a crop top and boots,” Lori says.

“For a night out, layer a long satin ki­mono over a body­con dress or a sexy strap­less top and pair with jeans and some heels.

“A snug top tucked into a pen­cil skirt and worn un­belted for a re­laxed glam­orous look is also chic.

“In the sum­mer, ki­monos work re­ally well with shorts, a plain tank and a pair of san­dals. High-waisted ripped jean shorts with a crop top and boots un­der a silk ki­mono is a must.

“Pair with skinny jeans or leg­gings to play with pro­por­tions and keep the bulk on top with the fit snug and slim on bot­tom.”

1. 1: Gracia short ki­mono, $480

Look 2: Heart short ki­mono, $490, 2.

Look 3: Blueveils long ki­mono, $580 3.

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