I had the great pleasure of stopping in to see Elizabeth Wilson of Asiatica last week.  She’s particularly engaging, but I am always stopping myself from stealing surreptitious glances at all the beautiful things in her shop.  When we had wrapped up our business she said, “I have something I want you to see in the back.”  These are the magic words; only good things could follow.

For the last forty years or so Elizabeth has been gathering Japanese kimonos to use as inspiration and resource for her clothing designs.

Recently she and her team have organized some – some – of the hundreds of kimonos on shelves by color.  It’s a stunning collection.

If you click on the pictures they will enlarge so you can see the detail of the pattern and color.

As we all stood and admired and said, “Oh, look at this one,” and, “Did you see this?” I asked her what she would do with them, her beloved collection that she has gathered from hither and yon, from people who could not see the value of these pieces.  She’s not sure.  Something.  Something special.
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18 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. So beautiful! She could arrange them in gradients or patterns and photograph them. Then others could share in the style without requiring the elaborate storage system.

  2. Years ago my textile design class at KU went to Asiatica for a talk from Elizabeth Wilson, and it was on a day I couldn’t go. I’ve got to stop there sometime.

  3. I’ve got to come up with a new alternative to “amazing.” The description fits here. Seeing them arranged by color is a real treat. Love the yellow.

  4. Like Courtney, I use “amazing” a lot. So, I will say that this is an astounding collection. What a treat to see. Thank you for sharing these images with us.

  5. That is a truly valuable resource. Hopefully she has earmarked it to eventually go to a university textile collection for students to use and learn from. What a lovely treat for you!

  6. Wow what a collection that’s amazing. I wonder what she is going to do with it?

    It looks pretty amazing like that, but I’m sure she has something better planned.

    Just saw your comment on Katit DID. I also still haven’t received my copy of Domino and I’m in NY. Craziness. I finally had to go out and just pick up a copy anyway. I couldn’t handle the wait anymore. I hope yours arrives soon. I’ve given up on mine.

  7. Is there such a place, “kimono heaven”
    If they were mine, I would want to donate them to a museum or have a party and everyone would be given a kimono to wear. I’d serve steaming bowls of udon and saki.

  8. this brings tears to my eyes, honestly; it is beyond gorgeous. it is stunning. breathtaking?

    more, please, when you have time. lots more.

    thank God she is taking care of these. and thank goodness for your good eye, again.

  9. Beautiful. My mother-in-law gave me a gorgeous pillos made out of an obi several years ago. What an incredible display!

  10. What a priceless collection. They are such amazing works of art in their own rights. Thanks for the breath taking inspiration!!

  11. What amazing eye candy! I feel this way in yarn shops – just looking at the gorgeous colors. Please let us know what she decides to do.

  12. Thank you, thank you, for posting these gorgeous images. The clothes she makes from them are gorgeous, too.

    Carol in Denver

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