Obi, designed in England by Bentley & Spens, made in Japan by Kawashima Textile Manufacturers, 2002.
Length: 400 cm, Depth: 16.5 cm
The modern kimono began to take shape in the Heian period (CE 794-1192). Since then the basic shape of both men's and women's kimono has remained essentially unchanged: a T-shaped, straight-lined robe that falls to the ankles, with a collar, and sleeves that fall to the wrist. The sleeves also fall from the wrist to approximately the waist if the arms are held straight out (though some styles have extremely long sleeves (see below); the sleeves of some kimono fall almost to the floor). The robe is wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right, and secured by a wide belt (called an obi) which is tied in the back.
The obi is part of the Bentley & Spens Yukata Collection 2002 'Outgoing'
In the latter half of the 1980s, the yukata, or summer kimono, began to make a comeback in Japan as casual summer wear amongst young women. Traditional versions were indigo and white, and whilst today there are no restrictions on the use of colour, the yukata has not witnessed any great variation in the basic design. The overwhelming majority employ some sort of traditional pattern such as a flower design or water pattern, with the odd ice cream cone or goldfish. In 2002, the British design team Bentley & Spens collaborated with Kawashima Textile Manufacturers Limited to produce a range of textiles for the Japanese market. The range of fabric designs created by Bentley & Spens has taken the traditional roots of the yukata and embodied it with a chic and playful image.