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Kimono, au bonheur des dames

magazine edited in paris by vincent moustache 2017

_Tous les enfants dessinent, du moins dans le premier âge de leur vie.

Beaucoup. en grandissant, ne le font plus, intimidés soudain devant la feuille blanche. Peutêtre ce petit livre donnera-t-il à quelques-uns d'entre eux l'envie de continuer, pour le plaisir, à gribouiller leurs rêves ou leurs cauchemars sur du papier. J'ai imaginé...


"la vieux fou de dessin"

françois place


he title of this article is the same as the current exhibition at the Musée Guimet who shows a stunning collection from the Japanese store chain Matsuzakaya. This store is being opened since 1611 and it is one of the oldest store department of the world, placed today as the same area where it was opened centuries ago. This exhibition talks about the kimono, its origins and uses. It is incredible to learn, for example, that this garment is formed by a very large fabric not cut. Also, it is amazing to observe the high quality of the embroideries which are following the print's drawings. There is a beautiful technic called Nuishime Shibori, a manual resist dyeing technique that makes the print as the same time that the fabric is dyed. Appart or the technical complex, the kimonos have another dimensions too. They were used for ceremonies having a spiritual meaning.

The title of the exhibition have a double meaning related to Matsuzakaya. This is a a literature meaning: "Au Bonheur the Dame" ("Ladies' Delight") novel written by Émile Zola in 1883. The book was principal inspired by real love and commercial story of Marguerite and Aristide Boucicaut, owners and creators of the new concept of Le Bon Marché (Huge department store focused in women customer needs). Marguerite not also put the first stone of the new building in 1869 (Built by the architect Louis-Charles Boileau & the engineer Gustave Eiffel), she also managed the department store by herself for ten years after the death of his husband, maybe completing then the real meaning for "Ladies' happiness".

The great newness of this business was, actually, the emancipation of the women. For a new concept of store, where customers could touch and try the products, was need to contract saleswomen to attend women. Then, they could go out home to work and get an own salary.

Closing the cercle, not far away from Le Bon Marché, it is my favorite place in Paris. This place is called La Pagode and have the same structure and aesthetic as a real Japanese pagode (I'll talk deeply about it in a future magazine). It was a cinema until last year and right now it reminds closed. La Pagode was built by the architect Alexandre Marcel & was the gift of François-Émile Morin , director of Le bon Marche, to his wife (which I couldn't find her name... ). The interior was decorated in Orientalism trend and the walls are covered by embroidered painted paper which, in fact, remembers a lot the kimonos we can see in the exhibition. The embroidering on the paper is following the print and gives to it a 3D textured effect. Also the ceiling is covered by tapestry with mythical theatrical scenes with samurais. I was very lucky to see there the last movie showed,"Marguerite" (2015) directed by Xavier Giannoli and starring by Catherine Frot. Before to write this article I've never thought about the coincidence of both Marguerites.

Both dreamers.

Both french very rich.

"kimono, au bonheur de dames. article"





Dans la deuxième partie du 19e siècle, après les arts graphiques, la musique et la littérature, l'intérêt croissant pour tout ce qui se rapporte au Japon finit par atteindre la mode européenne â la recherche d'un nouveau souffle. Porté comme un peignoir, retaillé en robe d'été, le kimono séduit une part de plus en plus importante d'élégantes comme de demi-mondaines qui vont pousser les créateurs à s'intéresser aux motifs orientaux ainsi qu'à des formes flottantes inusitées.



In the second half of the 19th century, after the graphic arts, music, and literature, the growing interest in everything related to Japan finally reached European fashion, searching for new inspiration. Worn like a dressing gown or remodelled into a summer dress, the kimono attracted more and more women of fashion as well as the demi-monde who urged creators to pay attention to Asian motifs and usual, flowing forms.

"Kimono, au bonheur des dames"

Musée Guimet. 2017


Kimonos from the exhibition "Kimono, au bonheur des dames"



Duck custom from the traditional Japanese Opera

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