Our life with vintage kimono began in the 1980’s when we returned from Japan and opened a shop in Paddington, Sydney. There we designed and constructed clothing using the unpicked silk, developing a loyal following before moving to a studio in Surry Hills where we had shows and also a regular presence at both The Australian Craft Show and Paddington Markets.
When we packed up and moved to the country in 2002 bundles of kimono – many already 60 to 80 plus years old – came with us. But they just stayed in cupboards until recently. Now, we realise, it is time to find new homes for these vintage treasures so that the awesome work of Japanese craftspeople who have woven and painted these silk fabrics can continue to be enjoyed and appreciated by new generations.
As we’re no longer designing and sewing clothing for sale ourselves we’re offering both fabric and whole traditional garments to others for their own projects. We’re also keen to encourage experimental and creative dressing using kimono, to give them wider currency. This is behind our Wild Kimono by-line “… wandering the earth, untethered from tradition …” in which we acknowledge that there is space for all attitudes to these beautiful things in our modern world.
In addition to this, Yoshi & Jill are holding workshops here in country Uralla NSW. In these we hope to pass on the skills we developed over a number of years, as specialised designers working to up-cycle kimono silk and give it new life.