Designer’s Voice #2

Designer’s Voice #2 - KUDEN by TAKAHIRO SATO

Story, voice from Takahiro Sato who is a designer of KUDEN. Thoughts as designer, dailylife and practice for “ethical”.

July 19, 2019
Yano Sena
PR / Voice actor

Hello everyone.
Today, here is the vol.02 of introduction of our designer Takahiro Sato.
He talk about Samurai Mode and Kimono, that gave him great inspiration to design his Samurai Mode.

Designer’s Voice #2

-What is new kimono suitable for modern daily life? 

What I do first when I begin is wearing vintage kimono and haori.There is a word “温故知新”(on-ko-chi-shin).
It means “study about old time ,we can create new idea and knowledge from them”.I have to know why kimono is not suitable to modern life.I started by studying kitsuke, taking care of vintage one and wearing them to search that reason.
By learning about kimono, I got to know why it is.For example, about cleaning.Old “shoken”, silk, needs special cleaning. In Japan, there is cleaning shop of kimono specialist.
These days, casual kimono is made by polyester and we can wash them by myself but it is the same that we wear only when it’s sometime special.
So I make the concept of my design, I pursue “ easy to wear”, “easy to take care”, “beauty shape”.

-You made a concept. Could you design Samurai Mode just once?

According to that concept, I redesigned again and again. Also I tried to sew clothes and kimono many times to understand structure of them.It’s hard for me to sew in straight line.I realized again how great good sewing specialists are. For this first time,I start to sell my jacket named “Samurai Mode Jacket”.Instead of kimono, this jacket is “haori” but I already designed shirt and pants.By wearing 3 piece on same time, it looks like wearing kimono from a distance. But they are similar jacket, pants and shirt to you on basically so it doesn’t need kitsuke, everyone can wear by themselves.

-What is the important and also difficult to design?

Also the difference between Japanese and western dressmaking is important on design.On western dressmaking method, making pattern paper to fit body type, cut the fabric by parts, sewing them and create three-dimensional clothes.
On Japanese dressmaking method,tailor kimono by “tanmono”, Meeting with pattern makers. They are great adviser for me.
just one long fabric.As example of difference between Japanese and western dressmaking, I talk about my Samurai Mode Jacket. On Japanese dressmaking, it decides length of fabric by fitting body.It can remake, fix the shape and length by this dressmaking method, so it can be said that thoughts of Japanese dressmaking is start from kimono.So how to make the kimono and Japanese dressmaking don’t need a pattern paper, they need only one long fabric. Cut and sewing, and finally it can be return to one fabric.Western dressmaking is based on “person”, I think.So it starts by making patter paper and cutting fabric.Of course it doesn’t have an assumption that return clothes to tanmono.In this way, I think there is difference of how to make clothes between by Japanese dressmaking and western dressmaking.

Meeting with pattern makers. They are great adviser for me.

-Kimono is difficult to wear and design, don't you think so?

But as I said before, kimono is remade. It’s not end when it’s tailored.Mend the length according to the growth of wearing people, the soil or torn part, shape to wear by other people or remake to haori, give it from grandma to mom and mom to child...
In Japan, a kimono is wore for long time by many effort. Like this,Kimono is “one design” but has many variation. You can wear at formal party if you select silk one.
You can wear as daily use if you select cotton one.

One design but we can wear many kinds of kimono. Another color, another fabric, another pattern, another obi-belt, another hanneri( decorative collar for kimono)... There is no limit of variation.We can enjoy own style. I think it can be said long life design.

-So you redesign kimono as Samurai Mode series.

For design the Samurai Mode series, I have to reconstruct kimono to fit the modern life style.
I understand good point of both of Japanese dressmaking and western dressmaking because I wear both so I want to take them in my design.I’m sure that by first impression it looks like kimono.Actually, the shape of this clothes is like kimono but how to make is by western dressmaking.Why I choose this?
Japanese dressmaking is made by only one straight fabric as I said so the shape tends to be straight line.

Focus on my design, what is this cause problems?
Around the shoulders, waist....if fabric is straight shape is looked baggy, especially from shoulder to arm.
It’s not good expression looks bigger when wearing.Also I have a concept of design for Samurai Mode series. It’s “ wear the window .”I want people wearing this Samurai Mode jacket to straighten themselves and walk with window like Samurai.This image is remained from when I start to design the jacket.Every step, wear the window.I want people to feel like this so I have to design drapey jacket.For this, I redesign the shape of kimono especially around shoulder and I decided it should be made by western dressmaking. When I select the pattern maker, it need for western dressmaking, I look for the person that experienced their job and kimono.Also when I select the fabric, I ask and choose drapey one from many fabrics.

A part of kimono called "tamoto"

A part of kimono called "tamoto"

- What is the most beautiful point of kimono?

I think especially “tamoto”, part of arms of kimono, is most beautiful and typical design of shape of kimono.
For the people who are not similar with kimono, this tamoto is a hindrance one and I understand but I purposely adopt it as design.Because of this, my jacket become a symbol of “Kimono Reboot”.From the beginning, why does kimono have a tamoto?Although there are various theories, I think it’s affected by Japanese values from old times.Originally, I think Japanese places more value on spirituality than rationality.
There is a word “shosa”, express the beauty of moving, it means acting, behavior, somebody’s doing, carriage or someone’s gestures.Because there is tamoto,Comb their hair with hands,Pick up something,hand action with cling of tamoto gracefully makes beautiful shape.
The silhouette from fabric and body is beautiful, I think. Kimono + action = design = beauty
What I’m saying is that kimono create their real beauty with beauty action by people. This is the beauty of kimono, I think. So I remain tamoto on my design.

Shape of shoulder is especially took seriously.

Select a fabric. I'm paticular about texture and color.

-What is the profundity of kimono?

Redesign the kimono to fit the modern life style. If I can solve these problem, people can enjoy the goodness of kimono without kitsuke. For first step, people take kimono into their daily life and get more interests on kimono. After that they can go next step, in a word, traditional kimono that need kitsuke.
On KUDEN’s web contents, we now making ready to tell how to kitsuke. I want to make the trigger for people around the world have interests on kimono world.
I can feel my design can take a role as first step of kimono for beginners, they can wear in their days. Eventually I want to open the salon for my haute couture kimono at Paris and London and New York and so on.


Next, see the history of him…



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