A few weeks back I had another fun photo shoot with a more complex theme and location. Also I upped the number of models to two!
Dirndl vs. Kimono Photoshoot
ディルンドル vs 着物
As the name suggests it actually was no competition yet I came up with this idea inspired by the ever boiling “cultural appropriation” topic in the U.S.
Although it almost never happened, I did get called out on social media that I should not wear kimono as I am not Japanese. Interestingly enough I was called out by a French person who’s instagram timeline was showing his collection of Asian items.. (Hypocrisy much?)
Not that I generally care about the hatred spread on social media, I just find it sad when people feel appalled to wear kimono because they are afraid to be harassed with criticism. Also I feel a bit weird that most people screaming the loudest about cultural appreciation (associated with kimono) are actually not Japanese but Asian-American with different backgrounds.. I wonder why some feel the need to voice their opinion if it doesn’t directly affect them. But oh well.
Fun fact: Japanese are actually over the moon and happy if they see a foreigner trying to wear a Japanese kimono. I have never met or heard of a Japanese frowning upon! Actually Japan is trying hard to encourage and interest foreign tourists and young Japanese to wear kimono, as the industry is dying out.
(Of course I am not talking about Geisha halloween costumes and taking a small piece of someones culture to deliberately making fun of it or such things…)
If someone is trying to learn about the culture of another country, learning and showing interest how to properly appreciate and wear traditional clothing, isn’t that something wonderful? Something which brings the nations together?
Inspired by the idea of friendship and peace I thought up this fun concept of exchanging significant cultural clothing.
Since I am German I picked out the Bavarian “Dirndl” dress which kind of assembles the image of Germanys traditional clothing alongside with Lederhosen. This is not really comparable with the history of kimono and I don’t think Dirndl are really THE thing, but I think you get the idea.
In this case a Japanese wears the Dirndl and a European wears the kimono. This swap shall symbolise the cultural exchange and friendship of two very different countries.
(And in this case my home country and country of choice.)
We can learn so much form each other ♡
Aren’t these ladies just stunning?
We were allowed to shoot at a great location which gathered old and memorable buildings in Tokyo in one place as an architectural open-air museum.
I love to shoot most on my shoots outside or in buildings with a rich history because I think it makes the pictures come alive and gives them a special taste.
Some buildings were from the 1920’s others over 100 years old.
Here some fun off-shots from the preparation and the location after the shoot:
Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed the pictures.
A huge thank you again to my amazing team who got up at 5 am to wrap this up!
Special thanks also to www.miss-oktoberfest.com for contributing the dirndl for our shoot and a big thank you also to Edo-Tokyo Tatemonoen for letting us shoot on their premises with permission!
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