Western culture and Eastern culture may not share many traditions throughout history but both share an appreciate for fashion. An upscale French brand took on the challenge of fusing the contrasting cultures through their rendition on the design of the Japanese kimono.
As described in report from JapanToday, Dormeuil Aoyama hosted a luxurious event, Savoir Vivre, to release its latest contemporary kimono, made of suit fabric. The French brand had earned a reputation for sophisticated designs and high-quality products but had not yet produced any garment similar to the kimono.
The theme of the event was the mixing of Western and Japanese traditional culture. A performance of CHAREN Tranquilitea Ceremony, which combined a traditional tea ceremony with yoga practice, was put on by a tea master and a yoga instructor. Elements of the contemporary and traditional values of each culture were blended to create the atmosphere of unity in the tea house. Digital scrolls adorned the walls next to antique pieces and during the ceremony there was an additional special guest performance by the Biwa player, Kakushin Tomoyoshi.
Tomoyoshi played traditional Japanese pieces on the Biwa, which is a four-stringed lute. The pieces were selected from the Edo and Meiji era because of the instrument’s historical connection to the Meiji emperor and because the Meiji era was when Dormeuil was established in France.
Tranquilitea was founded by two Japanese women, Machiko Hoshina and Noriko Kirishima, who were classmates in college. Hoshina is a bilingual tea master of the Urasenke tradition. She was born to the family line of Daimyo, the lord of samurai, who was connected to the Tokugawa shogun family and lineage of Imperial family. Her partner, Kirishima, is a bilingual yoga instructor and the founder of the Putali Yoga School. The two women assert that both formal practices share elements of meditation, and essential to establish balance in all areas of life.
Hoshina wore the Dormeuil kimono as matcha bowls, specially prepared by the Magouemon tea house in Kyoto, were served to guests. The other artists wore the kimono while leading the yoga practice which closed out the evening. The artists stated that the suit material was soft and breathable, even while doing yoga.