Ahhhh boro. In my mind, boro is the Japanese mindset summed up in one place. It is born of the idea of mottainai which is how one will express their desire to not waste. This is a hard-wired habit of the Japanese - not being wasteful. Looking around Japan, you see it in practice everywhere. In school, you will find children buy one large sturdy backpack and use it until graduation. Small children can be seen creating toys out of empty juice bottles and newspapers that their mothers have cleaned and donated. At lunchtime, it is typical to see last night's dinner tucked into the middle of a triangle of rice called onigiri ensuring leftovers do no go to waste - convenient, delicious, and practical. Mottainai is a favorite theme of mine and one at the very heart of Cultural Detour.
Boro is another stunning and functional example of this mindset. It is a type of patchwork where every bit of fabric in clothing, bedding and housewares were used again and again by the same family for generation after generation with nothing left to waste. Holey knees or frayed edges were mended with whichever bit of fabric was available at the time creating storied mosaics fascinating to the eye. These fabrics were often the soft indigo dyed cottons which have a captivating way of seeming equally modern and ancient. In our oh-so-disposable society there is much to be appreciated and learned about cherishing and showing gratitude for everything we own and creating with the intention of gifting it forward for many generations to come.
Boro is a personal favorite of mine and has been the inspiration for many of my designs including ties, some exclusively released clutches, and boro inspired scarves. Therefore, I am happy to announce today, for the first time, a mottainai inspired line for Cultural Detour is in the works! We have been hard at work to infuse this spirit of wasting nothing; to utilize every bit of fabric we come across - even the ones too small for our main offerings - to create a whole new line by Cultural Detour. Stay tuned for sneak peeks and more details!!
Where sensibility and allure meet.
In a typical display of Japan's ability to marry beauty and practicality, kakishibu is born. Unripe persimmons are fermented then used to dye natural fabrics rendering them sensible and alluring. Since the dye is fermented, it prevents bacteria, mold and insect infestations. This process also makes natural fibers more resistant to water and extremely durable. As it is impossible to replicate exact color results, each hand dyed piece is a work of art like no other. All the fabric in Cultural Detour's Kakishibu Collection are vintage yukata kimono traditionally colored here on island by a skilled Okinawan then creatively transformed into accessories for your modern wardrobe.
I am excited to share this riveting and unique fabric with you. The tradition! The practicality! The colors! The ancient technology! I can't wait to get it into your hands and am grateful to have this venue of blogging to share my love of these arts with you. Wearing a Cultural Detour piece is definitely a conversation starter, now you will have that much more to say about it.
To watch a little bit of the persimmon dyeing process in action, click on the link below.