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Ukiyo-e Kimono Patterns (NEW SERIES)

Pictures of the Floating World

“Ukiyo-e” (pronounced uu-kee-yo-eh) or “pictures of the floating world” is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings produced by the culture that bloomed in the urban centres of Edo (modern-day Tokyo), Osaka and Kyoto between 1603 and 1868. It is due to the long-lasting appeal of these designs that it is the technique the Western world most closely associates with Japanese artistic style.

The ukiyo-e style of art experienced a resurgence during the 1900s when theatre companies refashioned the designs to create patterns for their costumes which, in turn, were so beautiful and admired that they inspired everyday fashion and kimono trends. We discovered the kimono print reproduced here while touring an antique market on a trip to Japan and were immediately drawn to the possibilities held within the small swatch. This pattern comes from a woodblock print created in the early 20th century by art publishers who meticulously enlarged small details taken from the works of the greatest artists of the Edo period, inspiring contemporary garment design trends.

For fans of: Japanese art, fashion and costuming, Katagami Florals, Michiko Miniatures, Peking Opera Embroidery

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