Kesa are Japanese Buddhist Monk Vestments, which have been worn for thousands of years. Currently, the Art Institute of Chicago has a small portion of their collection of kesa on display (through February 14th). I tried to photograph details of the fabrics – the distance, and my shaky hands, make my photographs less than stellar. But I think you can still appreciate the beauty here, and the amazing color schemes that come to my mind when I look at these.
If you can get to the Art Institute in the next month, I urge you to do so, to see these “in the fabric.” More information about kesa, and about this exhibit, can be found here.
From Margie in Toronto – Beautiful – they really are pieces of art. We have a textile museum here in Toronto and I really should visit more often. My favourite colour combination is the first one – the blues and pinks really speak to me.
I would love to see wardrobes/packing posts for all of these, but especially #3, 4, and 7!
Yes, beautiful, beautiful, earth tones, suitable for Seasonless wardrobe. What a lovely day you had at the museum. You deserve it!
Would also like number 3 and 4 for older woman returning to work in human resources. Irish Climate city setting.
Each one more beautiful than the last.
Doré Way says
Beautiful – would you consider doing a wardrobe with the first one – love!
These are beautiful! And I think your photos capture them — enough for me to appreciate them at least.
That last color scheme is especially interesting to me — very different from your usual structure. I'd love to see how you would build a wardrobe with lots of accent colors like that. (I myself tend to wear lots of color so I'm interested in how to be true to that while building an efficient wardrobe, rather than "all the things in all the colors ")
Janice Riggs says
My first thought when I built that color scheme was for a summer wardrobe that had a lot of unbleached or neutral cotton and linen separates, and then color tanks and tee shirts, nail polish, earrings, bracelets etc. Basically a substantial base of the neutral, with lots of small and relatively inexpensive accents.
If time allowed, I'll tackle that – it might not be for a few weeks, because the really good summer stuff isn't as apparent in shops as one might expect when the temperature is below zero!
I second Sarah's request ! I really, really, really love how you are showing multiple accent colors with the basic neutral(s)!! I never seem to be satisfied when selecting a travel wardrobe color scheme when I only choose two accent colors. Part of me always cries out for a third color. I also like two neutrals, one darker, one lighter, as in your 4×4 templates. As I am a petite, I still try to maintain a column of color, whether an inside column or the suit approach, and obviously, using just one neutral makes it easier, but I do so love the variety of dark and light neutrals and warm and cool accent colors. Would I be better off with one core neutral and analogous colors rather than the warm/cool accent colors ? The intention is maximum outfits with the least amount of pieces. Or — do I select one major accent color to dominate, and then use it's complement as a minor color player, perhaps in accessories or one top. Forgive my meandering so, but these packing considerations always seem to be banging around in my skull when I pull out my suitcase and start thinking about packing !
The soft slate black in the first one would make an amazing wardrobe neutral, and the combination in the last one is beautiful and timeless. I love the complexity of the neutrals in these pieces, complex tones are often much easier for most women to wear than raw black, simple olive, or whatever.
I can not wait to see you work with these as inspirations for groups, if you choose to, Janice.
The Chicago Kesa exhibit is worth seeing, and if one is in Chicago looking at fashion and textiles, then the Chicago History Museum is a definite go-to! Their costume and textile collection is the second largest in the world (second only to the V&A in London). There are also significant permanent textile collections at the Henry Ford in Dearborn (suburb of Detroit Michigan), the Kent State fine arts museum, and the Toronto Textile Museum, too, if anyone is looking for other midAmerica stops to plan when they are in this part of the world!
Oh, Oh, Oh…..all are exquisite. My absolute favorite though is the last one. Lots of linen and cotton in natural tones with those accents…..please!
Deb from Vancouver
Nancy B. says
I love all of them and look forward to seeing what these inspire you to put together, Janice. I'm particularly interested in seeing what you put together for the second combination.
What lovely fabrics! Such great color combinations. I look forward to how these combinations inspire you! I'm not really drawn to any one particular scheme.
Coco Colmani says
Antique fabrics are irresistible, aren't they … such skilfull blends of colours and patterns. Is it a lost art or do the couture houses still think in these terms? Anyway, lovely, lovely images Janice, thank you. If you do choose some of these colour groups, the fourth one (with the four colours) speaks most to me, always interested to see anything you choose.
Robyn in Tasmania
Thank you for the wonderful post. I love them all but could really see myself in #4. Would love to see a 'Whatever's Clean' in this combination. #6 is very attractive too.