Kaoru’s Kimono Story (Part 3)

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KAORU’S STORY 3 着物物語3
I am helping with a kimono project now that is to make a furisode that represents an image of each country in the world, supported by donations.
Related to this project, I was invited to a party at an embassy, and I wore this kimono. Usually dyed and elegant kimono are suitable for an embassy party but I picked this because the country’s national flag uses this color. I got this kimono from a shop specializing in oshima tsumugi. This is the first time for me to get a kimono not for the colour or patterns, but because I wanted to wear it for a specific person. I was moved by his affection for woven products in Oshima and I wanted to get a product through which I could see the face of the weavers or the stories behind the product. This has a bit of an unusual weave for Oshima, and the craftsman who made it was very old, and has now passed away. It’s a shame because I would love to have shown him my photo in this kimono at the embassy party. I bought the cloth and just left it for a while, and then suddenly the party invitation came, so I hurried to have it sewn up. I chose the collar and obi scarf to match the country’s typical patterns, and they were so pleased with the colours and the effect.
An unexpected surprise when I wore it, was that this kimono was so incredibly light and comfortable. It was the first time that I didn’t want to take my kimono off, since 7,5,3. It is the first time I have ever thought I really want to buy another one of these, just because it is so comfortable. As I get older I realize how important it is that the clothing is light and comfortable for me to wear it.

広く一般からも寄付を募って、世界各国のイメージを表現した振袖を作る活動があり、今その手伝いをしています。その活動でご縁ができた国の大使館のパーテイーに着ていったのがこの着物です。友好パーテイーなので最初は柔らかものの方がいいと思いましたが、相手国の国旗の色に合ったコーデイネートがしたいと思いこの着物を選びました。
この着物は大島紬の専門店の方から買いました。初めて、色や柄ではなく「この『人』から着物を買いたい」と思いました。産地の織物に対する愛情に感銘を受けましたし、織った人の顔の見えるものや織り手さんの思いやストーリーが分かるものを買いたかったのです。大島紬にしてはちょっと変わった織り方のものを選んだのですが、これを織った方はご高齢でもうお亡くなりになっていて、私がこの着物を着て大使館に行った姿を写真をお見せしたかったのですが残念です。この反物を買ったあとしばらくそのままにしていましたが、パーテイ―のために急いで仕立てました。半襟や帯揚げも相手国の代表的な模様を染めた物を身につけていきましたので、色のコーデイネートも含め大変喜んでくれました。
着てみて驚いたのですが、この着物はとても軽くて着心地がよく、着物を脱ぎたくないと思ったのは七五三の時以来です。着心地が良いという理由でもう1枚欲しいと思ったのは初めてです。年齢を重ねるごとに、着心地の良さ、軽さ、自分がどれだけ良い気持ちでいられるかというのは大切になっていきます。

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