modern geiko.2017

Artist Statement

The work, Modern Geiko, explores moving a traditional costume into a new era. Originally designed with former Geiko, Mineko Iwasaki, in mind, this stylized kimono embraces traditional construction methods while incorporating modern design elements.

 

The premise behind the piece was to take an historic figure and create a unique costume for that person. Mineko Iwasaki is a former, well-renowned Geiko who left the life in Kyoto - an unprecedented move. In my kimono, I envisioned a classic garment taken into a new modern life. 

 

This costume is completely hand-stitched using various weights in linen fabrics. Stitching designs on the sleeves are original to the maker.

I’ve long been interested in Oriental themes and costumes. Many of my family have lived and travelled to the Orient, both to China and Japan, so it was a natural choice for me to try to make a garment in that style.

 

While deceptively simple in appearance, a kimono is a surprisingly complex garment and a challenge to execute. The hand stitching was in homage to the way authentic kimonos are made and gave me great satisfaction when complete. The running stitch designs on the sleeves took time but was very pleasing to do.

 

Jodi Beamish

April 10, 2017