Japanese Vintage Boro Swing Dress No.3

Japanese Vintage Boro Swing Dress No.3


Constructing these dresses is sort of like putting together a puzzle. Every piece must be in harmony with the others, and it’s not as easy as it appears. It is a zen pursuit, to be sure, the patience of sifting through scraps of precious textile to find the one that will be at home just.right.there. A lot of planning happens so that what emerges is a symphony of textiles.

This dress is made almost entirely of vintage, Japanese indigo dyed fabric, save for the gore that runs center back. That piece is new textile, though Japanese-made and indigo dyed just the same. The back of the dress is dominated by a large strip of shima, a striped Japanese fabric, and has extensive original repair, or boro, as well as some repairs of my own. I fitted the hem of it with some swatches of fabric which compliments the wabi-sabi nature of this hemisphere. The alternate side is comprised of some wonderfully patinated textile — faded in spots, darker in areas that have not spent any time in the sun. Just above this swatch is a wonderful piece of katazome, the pattern of which is a constellation of creamy flecks. Of course there was a small hole which I repaired with some of the shima from the other side. The front of the dress boasts a duo of gorgeous, deep, indigo dyed textile with original repair. I have joined the panels with sashiko stitching, and together, the whole thing becomes something new yet retains some wonderful history that speaks to us from a life long past.

Hand stitching throughout, both old boro from many years ago, and new that I have added. Raw hem. Linen finished neck and arms. Fine-finished seams. One of a Kind. This breezy swing dress comes just in time for summer. Measures 19.5” underarm point to underarm point, 36.5” length, slightly longer in the back than the front for an elegant sweep. Given the free cut of this dress, it would happily fit a small to medium gal.

It must be noted that all vintage fabric here is hand dyed with natural indigo, hand loomed and hand repaired. This is a very special piece indeed.

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