I have these ideas that just won't leave me alone. You know the kind? When you're walking around the supermarket, in the shower, while trying to get to sleep at night. They aren't troubling ideas, on the contrary actually. For me, they come back again and again and then life and studio work gets in the way.
The magic is in the quiet times (that COIVD-19 has given us aplenty) that I have a chance to try these ideas on for size. Sometimes they work and sometimes they are thrown on the failure pile. That's the reality of design work; For every successful project there are several that just don't work out how you imagined.
This is exactly how the kimono sequin was born. It's not the sparkly plastic kind, but made of unloved vintage kimono fabric that I sourced at an antique market or from a kimono dealer, damaged but parts of it still usable. The trick was to work out how to cut the fabric into perfect discs to make something resembling a sequin.
Cue the 'mottainai' side of my brain. What do we already have that could help me? I didn't want to go out and buy new tools, I was sure that we had what I needed.
And then i remembered hubby's leather work toolbox. It's packed full of wonderful things that I have no idea how to use. But I remembered there were leather punches, all in different sizes.
After treating the kimono with a special glue, it works very much like leather. It can be folded, punched, cut with a craft knife and it doesn't fray. So that's where I started. With a mallet, a punch and some treated kimono. And lots of patience and an open mind.
I'm Victoria, the founder, designer and creator at Bikudesigns, a vintage kimono accessories brand in Tokyo, Japan.