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Published on : Tuesday, January 19, 2016
London’s first authentic kimono retailer, Wasoukan, is hitting the streets of London! From 19th January 2016, lucky Londoners and its visitors will be able to get dressed up in, experience day trips walking around in, or purchase their very own kimono.
If you’ve ever worn a kimono before, you’ll already know that donning these beautiful, elaborate garments isn’t just about putting on clothes – it’s an experience in itself. ‘Kitsuke’ (the act of dressing up in a kimono) is almost an art form, with a very precise process that involves perfect presentation.
As well as being a one-stop shop for all your kimono needs (including the silk dress, ‘obi’ (belt), ‘obizime’ (belt ties), ‘zori’ (wooden sandals) and ‘tabi’ (toe-separated socks), Wasoukan are offering kimono dress up experiences for those of you who are new to kimono wearing, or for seasoned kimono wearers who love the feeling of walking around in these culturally significant, elegant garments. Kitsuke lessons will cost £50 for three sessions, and will begin in February. ‘Kimono de odekake’ day trips, where you’ll be able to spend the full day exploring in your traditional outfit, will begin in spring 2016.
Wasoukan’s owner, Noriyuki Ikeda, decided to open his shop in London after recognising Londoners’ keen sense of style and a strong interest in Japanese culture. “We expect to be frequented by Japanese people as well as locals and tourists who are interested in Japanese culture, or simply our beautiful kimono cloth and the way we cut and style it”, Mr Ikeda comments.
Fabric from Wasoukan Wasoukan will be offering ten different silk kimono styles for purchase, as well as products which have uniquely been designed with European customers in mind. Their ‘new generation kimono’ will be light wearing and washable, whilst their ‘kimono separates’ will comprise of silk jackets and skirts that can be worn together or separately in a style combination with western clothes. Mr Ikeda says, “we can’t wait to see Europeans wearing our silk jackets with cigarette pants and heels to the office and fashionistas wearing our long silk skirts with a blouse and leather jacket at the weekend.”
Kimonos will also be available for men and children, with the collection extending further in spring 2016. Wasoukan will also be offering kimono couture services in the near future, for those who want a truly unique wedding outfit or special occasion wear.
Alongside offering Londoners the unique opportunity to experience Japanese culture first-hand, the shop will also be home to a café space serving delicious traditional Japanese sweets and drinks. Expect to find iced matcha or matcha au lait on the drinks menu, with monaka (thin wafers filled with sweet red anko beans) to satisfy your sweet tooth’s cravings.
Pay them a visit!
You’ll be able to find Wasoukan’s treasure chest of Japanese goodies and experiences at: 293 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill. To find out more about the new opening, café menu and upcoming events.