floating worlds

In its 1300 years of history, the harbour-side city of Osaka experienced a supreme era of abundance during the late Edo and Meiji periods (1850-1900). As the commercial capital of Japan, it was a city full of spectacularly rich merchants and their families who, although wealthy, remained outsiders to the nobility or warrior classes and their rigid symbolic heirachies of dress. Kimono then: O.T.T ukiyo-e edo period woodcut displaying the lacroix (dahling) approach

In response they competed and compensated by displaying their wealth through their laborious, highly decorative homewares and clothing in a proto explosion of urban superstar and 'ghetto' bling. Immigration Museum Manager, Padmini Sebastian, says of this era “Osaka’s aristocracy and merchants opted for a spectacular display of wealth through their fabulous and flamboyant kimono, by using the most expensive fabrics and the most intricate designs.” The new exhibition at one of hml's fave venues features around 60 kimono, complete with hair accessories, shoes and interactive outfitting experiences , promising visitors a unique window into the incredibly complex language of the Kimono and it's place within Japanese history and culture.

kimono today - golden arches competing with golden cranes and Mary J Blige style fur ..

This is one we have promised ourselves not to miss...
Kimono: Osaka's Golden Age 15 May - 14 Sep 2008, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Open Daily, at the Immigration Museum: 400 Flinders Street Melbourne

Another one we've promised ourselves is "Maybe We Have Met Before"at Northcote's Kick Gallery, a collection of recent illustrations and collaborations featuring Andrea Innocent, Brooke Bobridge, Catherine Campbell Coralie Kane, Eveline Tarunadjaja and Sean Morris -yup some of the top scribblers out there. Kick is another local High Street Haunt, which often comes up with the goods but we're very excited about this one... we'll even admit to peering longingly at this exhibition through the window at the hairy mammoths and beard pyramids, wondering if the baby bonus can stretch to illustration aquisitions. We haven't managed to make it inside yet but thankfully we've all got another week or so before it closes to debate the issue.

Kick Gallery is located at 239 High Street Northcote and is open Wed-Fri 12-8pm and Sat 12-5pm.

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