all images courtesy Miyabi
The second Monday of January is a special day for youths across Japan who are turning 20. A national holiday in Japan, Coming of Age Day is meant to celebrate, congratulate and encourage those who are entering adulthood. And celebrate they shall. The Kyushu region of Japan in particular is known for their youths who sport over-the-top kimonos that break every rule of Japan’s culture of conformity. And one artist helps their special day be perfect be creating custom-made attire.
Based in Fukuoka, with outlets in Tokyo, Chiba and Osaka, Miyabi works with individual clients to custom-create their perfect attire. She’ll listen to their many wants and needs and then spend several months working with a team of textile designers and seamstresses to create the look.
Late last year we met with Miyabi, who was staging an exhibition in New York (see video above). Titled “Kimono Rebellion,” the exhibition highlighted the many rules and norms that, only on this day, were tossed out the window. Pink hues and colorful flowers which are typically seen as feminine are freely adorned by men. Rhinestones and faux-fur, another fashion faux pas when it comes to traditional kimonos, are also heavily used, making each kimono more colorful and theatrical than the next.
The kimonos don’t come cheap though, and many youths will begin planning and saving years in advance. But for many, this one final hurrah before stepping into adulthood is more than worth it.