The traditional kimono is an iconic symbol of Japanese style and culture that has been around for centuries. The robe-like garment is usually made from a blend of hemp, linen, and silk. However, contemporary Japanese designer Tomoe Shinohara has turned tradition on its head by fashioning a one-of-a-kind kimono from leather scraps, aptly called the leather scrap kimono.
Shinohara is most well-known as a pop music artist from the early 90s who later went on to build a career as an actor. However, the star has recently returned to her roots in fashion design. Her concept for the leather scrap kimono was inspired by the hazy mountain landscapes of Japan. To bring her vision to life, the artist constructed the garment using only deer hide. In doing so, she tied in the material with the visual inspiration for its aesthetic—the animal's mountainous home.
In collaboration with Japanese artisans, Shinohara upcycled leather scraps and dyed them in a monochromatic gradient to mimic the layered visual effect of mountains seen from a distance. Although the garment is made from leather, you would hardly be able to tell from the light delicateness of the kimono’s silhouette. The intricate craftsmanship is apparent in every individual piece that was meticulously cut, dyed, and fit together by hand. With all of its individual elements brought together, the final effect is absolutely stunning.
Shinohara completed the leather scrap kimono in partnership with the Tanner’s Council of Japan in order to bring awareness to the country’s leathercraft. To see more from the artist, follow her on Instagram.