If you’ve encountered the term just now, a “kimono” is actually an item of traditional Japanese clothing. In recent years, though, the kimono has gone through several cultural transformations. One artist named Maya Caulfield created her own handmade kimono, and she has made it striking enough by combining two cultures.
Indeed, the kimono has been influenced by many other cultures. One such significant influence comes from the Western people. On the other hand, weddings that celebrate both the Japanese and Christian traditions would often feature a kimono wedding dress.
Even modern artists love to experiment on the kimono. Recently, the Norwegian designer T-Michael and the Tokyo-based company named Y.& Sons have collaborated to blend the elaborate Japanese garment with the minimalist Scandinavian style. These customizations generally reflect how creatives like to imagine kimonos, but some kimono modifications got their inspiration from the individual artist’s background.
One such artist is Maya Caulfield. Her recently-completed handmade kimono is actually a reflection of her ancestry: she’s half Japanese and half Scottish. So, Caulfield has created a kimono silhouette, the fabric of which came from various types of plaid. You can spot both tartan and buffalo check. Speaking of her creation, Maya says:
“I don’t usually make textile art, but I do make my own clothes on occasion, and I always make sure that they are very personal to me and one of a kind—I don’t want to sew something that someone else would have in their closet.”
Indeed, Maya Caulfield is one creative artist that has a deep involvement in the streetwear community. This is where she has gotten much of her inspiration for her handmade kimono. In this community, Maya has witnessed how design experts such as Rei Kawakubo and Rick Owens are combining what’s traditional with what’s contemporary. Maya goes on to share:
“From there, I went to thrift stores in Denver and bought huge plastic bags of men’s plaid button-down shirts and boxer shorts. I washed them THOROUGHLY and cut them into different-sized rectangles.”
During the time of creating her personalized kimono, Maya Caulfield had to move to Washington state. It turns out that she couldn’t bring her sewing machine in her new place. Maya says:
“I was forced to hand-sew the entire garment.”
And yet, the resulting handmade kimono was totally worth all the effort. Without a doubt, Maya has created a one-of-a-kind piece. The garment shines with such a striking beauty that comes from combining two rich cultural elements.
Maya Caulfield, a half-Scottish and half-Japanese artist, has created a hybrid handmade kimono that represents a beautiful mixture of two rich cultures.
Source: Maya Caulfield