Online Museum Tour

Paper 2 - Online Museum Tour

This furisode, a long-sleeved garment worn by children and unmarried women on special occasions, belonged to a family whose crest was the tachibana, the flower of the Mandarin orange. Made of rinzu (a soft, luxurious silk), it was probably used as an uchikake, an outer coat worn without an obi, which would have interrupted the flow of the patterning. A blossoming plum tree embroidered with gold and white silk thread spreads its branches from hem to shoulder. The red fabric is woven in a sagayata pattern of key-fret lozenges, over which individual orchids or chrysanthemums are scattered. The carefully delineated picture of a tree shows the influence of Western art on Japanese design. Needlework typical of this period was used to realistically portray the contours of the tree trunk. First the edges of the trunk were padded with a heavy thread; then, over this padding, gold-wrapped thread was couched with red silk thread.
The Russian Constructivists created garments created predominantly from geometric shapes. They felt that fabric that is woven into flat rectangles should not be cut and sewn into shapes alien to its origin. Zittel’s Personal Panel Uniforms (1995-98) pushed this principle to it’s most extreme conclusion by creating rectangular garments pinned and tied to fit.
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