Vintage Kimono ~ The Taishō period (1912-1926)

The Taishō period (1912-1926)

The striking pattern of this kimono reveals the dynamism of Japanese textile design in the early 20th century. A traditional motif of pine trees, plum blossoms and clouds has been dramatically enlarged, the bold design reflecting the confident spirit of the period. The pine trees have been executed in a method of tie-dyeing called shibori, while the plum blossoms are lavishly embroidered in orange, yellow and gold. These auspicious motifs and expensive techniques suggest this may have been a garment for a very special occasion, or perhaps that the young woman who wore it was a geisha.
Kimono, 1910-1930. Museum no. FE.17-1994

  Many early 20th-century kimono are made from meisen, a fabric woven from silk obtained from defective cocoons. The introduction of mechanised spinning technology meant it was possible to use this lower-quality silk to create a thick, lustrous material that was both long-lasting and relatively inexpensive. Patterned with chemical dyes using an innovative direct-dyeing technique, meisen became the fabric of choice for women's fashionable, casual kimono. In this garment a western and thus quite exotic motif, the tulip, has been rendered with limited but striking colours in a bold arabesque design.
Kimono, 1910-1930. Museum no. FE.144-2002

  The early 20th century saw the introduction of new textile techniques in Japan which speeded up traditional hand-tied resist-dyeing methods. Chemical dyes mixed with rice-paste were applied through stencils to the warp (longitudinal) and/or weft (horizontal) threads prior to weaving. Stencil-printing both warp and weft allowed for the creation of complex images such as the buildings that decorate this kimono. The dense pattern and limited colours create a very modern, almost abstract effect.
Kimono, 1920-1950. Museum no. FE.145-2002

Vintage Kimono ~ Kimono of the Meiji period (1868-1912)

 Kimono of the Meiji period (1868-1912)

This kimono has a lavish overall design of auspicious motifs of pine, bamboo, plum, peony, chrysanthemum, crane and tortoise. This type of kimono was often exported to the West in the late 19th century in respose to the craze in Europe and America for all things Japanese.
Highly embroidered Kimono, 1870-1900. Museum no. FE.14-1983

 This kimono is embroidered with two shishi, mythical lion-like creatures characterised by their fierce expressions, large eyes and curly mane and tail. They are shown fighting across a bridge over a waterfall surrounded by peonies. The eyes of the shishi are of glass and the embroidery is padded, giving the scene a very three-dimensional quality. The thick, heavy hem of the garment denotes that it is an outer kimono, or uchikake, worn during the winter months. Uchikake are worn without an obi (sash) so the rich design would have been clearly visible.
Kimono, 1868-1912. Museum no. FE.7-198

 This elegantly patterned kimono celebrates the beauty of textiles through its decoration, which depicts lengths of fabric hung on an elaborate stand and gently fluttering in the breeze surrounded by clouds, fans and falling cherry blossoms. The design was created using a technique called yuzen. This involves drawing the pattern on the cloth with rice paste extruded through the metal tip of a cloth bag. The paste forms a protective coat that prevents the colour penetrating when the dyes are applied. Here the skills of the dyer have been enhanced by those of the embroider, who has highlighted the stand and the edges of the fabrics in gold and added flowers, blossoms and elaborate ties and tassels in pink, white and green.

Kimono, 1870-1880. Museum no. FE.29-1987

Vintage Kimono ~ Kimono of the Edo period (1615-1868)

Kimono of the Edo period (1615-1868)

This kimono would have been worn by a woman of the samurai class, the ruling military elite of Japan during the Edo period (1615-1868). The design has has been created using a paste-resist method called chaya-zome, which involves the extensive coverage of the fabric with rice paste, leaving only small areas of design to create the pattern when the cloth is dyed. This highly skilled and expensive technique, which results in an indigo blue design on a white ground, was reserved for the summer kimono of high ranking samurai women. Here the technique has been combined with a stencil-dyeing technique called kata kanoko and embroidery in silk and metallic threads.
Kimono, 1780-1830. Museum no. FE.12-1983
The padded hem on this kimono indicates that it is an outer kimono, or uchikake, designed for winter wear. Uchikake were worn without an obi, the sash that secures the garment, so no part of the design would have been obscured. The shibori, or tie-dyeing, technique has been used to create a pattern of paper gift ornaments in the shape of butterflies. This has been combined with embroidered plum blossoms. This auspicious motif was a popular one in winter, for it suggested that the arrival of spring was not too far away.
Kimono, 1800-1830. Museum no. FE.28-1984
The long 'swinging sleeves' (furisode) of this kimono indicate that it would have been worn by a young woman. Red was a popular choice for young women’s kimono because the colour symbolised youth and glamour. The dye, known as beni, was produced from safflowers and was very expensive. The whole garment is decorated using a tie-dyeing technique known as shibori, which was also very costly. The woman who wore this kimono must have come from a very wealthy family. The auspicious design of pine, bamboo and plum on the hem and sleeve ends suggests she wore it for a special occasion. The garment has been shortened at the waist, indicating that it was designed, or later adapted, to be an under-kimono.
Kimono, 1790-1830. Museum no. FE.32-1982

Vintage Kimono ~ Introduction

Vintage Kimono

Most precious kimono from old Japan.

A vintage kimono is one that is from a specific period of kimono design in Japanese history. Each period has distinct styles that reflect the trends and tastes relative to the textiles, designs and techniques used in creating the kimono and obi of the period. Textiles used include silk, wool and cotton. Textiles are distinct in the design of the weave and use of dye, embroidery, gold leaf, and lacquer. This means that each vintage kimono is a one of a kind piece of art. The vintage kimono has distinct character and a uniqueness that cannot be matched in contemporary kimono that are brand new. Each is a piece of history.

A kimono is considered antique if it was worn or made before 1945 (WWII), and tends to be made out of raw silk and spun by hand. Their supple texture is very different from that of contemporary pieces, because modern kimonos are usually made from processed silk, and while they are durable, they often lack this appealing texture.

Vintage kimonos are hand-made from the fabric bolt until the finished kimono and are dyed using stencil papers or are handpainted, then sewn together by hand. The craftsmanship seen in antique kimono is the ultimate demonstration of Japanese textile design of the period. The usual lifespan of silk is considered to be around 100 years, as it gradually becomes weak through oxidation and discoloration, while silk kimonos that have been carefully preserved can be in fairly good condition. Much careful attention needs to be paid to antique kimonos, especially those that are hand-painted or dyed with natural dye, since damage done by perspiration, water or humidity is extremely difficult to reverse.

Japan has a very rich textile history, a major focus of interest and artistic expression being the kimono. Meaning 'the thing worn', the term kimono was first adopted in the mid-19th century. Prior to that the garment was known as a kosode, which means 'small sleeve', a reference to the opening at the wrist. Originally worn by commoners, or as an undergarment by the aristocracy, from the 16th century the kosode, or kimono, had become the principal item of dress for all classes and both sexes. It is still today an enduring symbol of traditional Japanese culture.

'Kimono for Women', 1800-50, monochrome figured silk (rinzu) with tie-dye (shibori) and embroidery. Museum no. FE.101-1982

Kimono are simple, straight-seamed garments. They are worn wrapped left side over right and secured with a sash called an obi. The length of the garment can be altered for height by drawing up excess fabric under the obi, while other adjustments can be made to suit the wearer. By pulling back the collar, for example, the nape of a woman's neck can be more sensuously revealed. The wrap style allows for ease of movement, particularly in a culture where many activities are performed while seated on the floor. The kimono is also well-suited to Japan's climate. Unlined kimono are worn in the humid summers while in winter warmth is provided by lined kimono worn in many layers.

In kimono it is the pattern on the surface, rather than the cut of the garment, that is significant. Indications of social status, personal identity and cultural sensitivity are expressed through colour and decoration.

The choice of obi and accessories, such as combs and pins worn in the hair, are also important. Only the elite regularly wore luxurious kimono; the majority of people would only have donned silk garments on special occasions and were sometimes forbidden to do so all together.

The kimono worn by women, particularly the young, were the most richly decorated and it is generally these that survive in collections like that of the V&A. Such kimono were the designer clothes of their day.


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Authentic Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes date code guide

Louis Vuitton date codes or authenticity codes began appearing after the 1980's. Vintage Louis Vuitton manufactures prior to 1980 would not have any date codes, and can only be verified as authentic by looking at various factors: evaluating when the style was introduced, looking at the exterior leather, inspecting the lining/stitches etc..
Below is the table of the date codes used by Louis Vuitton on their products, which can be interpreted according to
  1. 1. Date the product was manufactured
  2. 2. Location of the manufactured product
Other methods of determining the authenticity of the Louis Vuitton product will be where the code is located for that particular item and the apperance of the code. For example, they can appear either on:
  • - separate leather tab that stick out of the inner lining with the code embedded
  • - directly embossed on the inner lining and close to the inside seam of the product
  • - directly embossed on the under side of the D-ring (typical of Speedy)
  • - directly embossed on Alcantara lining (suede material on inside of Epi leather bags)
  • - stamped on the inside lining close of the seam of canvas leather lined bags (usually in an offset dark color)
Note: Fake bag manufacturers are getting better at replicating the authentic products so it is important to always evaluate the exterior, interior, grommets, hardware, lining etc.. as date codes can be easily replicated. However, fake bag manufacturers do not focus on quality made products and easily forget to include specific details as they typically mass produce their items.
Date Code Description
Early 80's 3 or 4 digit date codes, representing the month and year that the product was manfuctured.
Late 80's 3 or 4 digit date codes (as above) followed by two letters representing the location that the product was manufactured.
1990-2006 First two letters represent the location that the product was manufactures.
Followed by four numbers:
- First / Third number = Month
- Second / Fourth number = Year
2007-onwards First two letters represent location
Followed by four numbers:
- First / Third number = Week
- Second / Fourth number = Year
Locations Letter Abbreviations
France A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DU, CO, CT, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD, SL, SN, SP, SR, TH, TR, VI, VX
Germany LP
Italy BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, RC, RE, SA, TD
Spain CA, LO, LB, LM, LW
Switzerland DI, FA


Chanel will typically have an interior hologram sticker with date codes that correspond to the year of manufacturer, as well as "slashes" on the number zero corresponding to the particular year of manufactured and feet or font serifs on the number one.
Note: Hologram stickers do fall off on occassion and the lack of a sticker does not mean that the bag is not authentic.
Serial NumberYear ManufacturedNumber labels
14XXXXXX 2011 zero strikethrough, 1 in serif font
13XXXXXX 2009-2010 zero strikethrough, 1 in serif font
12XXXXXX 2008-2009 zero strikethrough, 1 in serif font
11XXXXXX 2007-2008 zero strikethrough, 1 in serif font
10XXXXXX 2006-2007 zero strikethrough, 1 in serif font
9XXXXXX 2005-2006 zero strikethrough, 1 in serif font
8XXXXXX 2004-2005 zero strikethrough, 1 in serif font
7XXXXXX 2003-2004 zero strikethrough, 1 in serif font
6XXXXXX 2000-2002 zero strikethrough, 1 in serif font
5XXXXXX 1997-2000 No zero strikethrough on 52X* - 56X*
4XXXXXX 1996-1997 zero strikethrough, 1 sans serif
3XXXXXX 1994-1996 zero strikethrough, 1 sans serif
2XXXXXX 1991-1994 zero NO strikethrough only until 27X*, 1 serif font
1XXXXXX 1989-1991 zero NO strikethrough, 1 in serif font
0XXXXXX 1986-1989 zero NO strikethrough, 1 in serif font


Hermes will typically have an embossed stamp of the a letter and a geometric shape (either a circle or a square), which represent the year it was manufactured. Hermes made prior to 1970 will have no shape but just an embossed letter.
No ShapeCircleSquare
  • 1945 A
  • 1946 B
  • 1947 C
  • 1948 D
  • 1949 E
  • 1950 F
  • 1951 G
  • 1952 H
  • 1953 I
  • 1954 J
  • 1955 K
  • 1956 L
  • 1957 M
  • 1958 N
  • 1959 O
  • 1960 P
  • 1961 Q
  • 1962 R
  • 1963 S
  • 1964 T
  • 1965 U
  • 1966 V
  • 1967 W
  • 1968 X
  • 1969 Y
  • 1970 Z
  • 1971 A
  • 1972 B
  • 1973 C
  • 1974 D
  • 1975 E
  • 1976 F
  • 1977 G
  • 1978 H
  • 1979 I
  • 1980 J
  • 1981 K
  • 1982 L
  • 1983 M
  • 1984 N
  • 1985 O
  • 1986 P
  • 1987 Q
  • 1988 R
  • 1989 S
  • 1990 T
  • 1991 U
  • 1992 V
  • 1993 W
  • 1994 X
  • 1995 Y
  • 1996 Z
  • 1997 A
  • 1998 B
  • 1999 C
  • 2000 D
  • 2001 E
  • 2002 F
  • 2003 G
  • 2004 H
  • 2005 I
  • 2006 J
  • 2007 K
  • 2008 L
  • 2009 M
  • 2010 N

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Once Again Resale Consignment Happy New Year 2012

My Dear Customers and Friends,

Thanks a lot for your support since 1992.

Happy New Year to all of you.


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