「撮影」Dirndl vs. Kimono Photoshoot

「撮影」Dirndl vs. Kimono Photoshoot

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.

海外(米国で特に)の言葉で「 cultural appropriation/カルチュラル・アプロプリエーション」って聞いたことありますか?
そして、今年のVOGUEでKarlie Klossは日本髪で、日本風ファッションの撮影をしたらしいのですが、また抗議にあい、モデルさんは謝罪することになりました。個人的には、日本のテーマなので確かに日本人のモデルさんを選んで欲しいですけど、謝罪するほどなのはどうかな・・・?と思ってしまいました。しかも、わたしの周りの日本の皆さんは今回の一件は何も悪いと思わなくて、むしろ驚いていたみたいです。

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:

Offshoots from location

Offshoots from location
Volunteers made fire in an old traditional house

Offshoots from location
Old bath house!

Offshoots from location
Its a wrap!!

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!


Styling & Direction: SALZ Tokyo
Photography: Irwin Wong (www.irwinwong.com)
Hair & Makeup: Misa Motoki (www.motokimisa.com)
Models: Stasia (Instagram) & ETSUYO (Instagram)

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!

スペシャル・サンクス:ディルンドルのレンタル www.miss-oktoberfest.com
〒184-0005 東京都小金井市桜町3-7-1


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Comments (11)

  • Daniel Krajeski Reply

    Beautiful job Anji! The models looked beautiful and the photography second to none. Great choice of locations also. I can see the Drndil becoming a popular cosplay item in Japan if it isn’t already is.

    October 5, 2017 at 11:55 PM
    • Anji SALZ Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind words!
      It was a lot of stress to plan and shoot all but everyone was really great and the photographer really top notch!

      October 6, 2017 at 12:12 AM
  • Naruyuki Reply

    Hello Anji, Nice to meet you.
    My name is Naruyuki, my friend introduced your articl to me, I took it soon:)
    Your works very well.
    My priend likes Japanese culture and Kimono(Yukata)very much, sometimes she try to wear it at the festival or Japanese culture events in her country.
    She are anxious about her height.
    So, she is tall and she is thinking that kimono doesn’t suit tall woman.
    I always say to her, don’t mind about that 🙂
    What do you think about it?
    Could you give me(her) some advice?
    As for me, Dirndl is one of European culutural cosutume.
    The custume which model is wearing is traditional type? Or for fashion or for cosplay?
    Collaboration of culture between Europe and Asia is so nice.
    I’d like to watch it more.
    Please update your site from now on too.
    I’ll check it:)
    Thank you for reading.

    November 30, 2017 at 7:56 AM
    • Anji SALZ Reply

      Hello Naruyuki,
      Thanks so much for your kind comment!

      I think kimono also look good on tall women. It only depends where you tie the obi maybe to keep a good overall balance 🙂 She should just enjoy herself and not think too much about other people. Haha

      The dirndl used in this photoshoot is a littler cheaper one and not as traditional I am afraid – but not so much choice in Japan haha.

      I will keep writing here from time to time. Thanks for reading.

      December 3, 2017 at 11:47 PM
      • Naruyuki Reply

        Hello Anji
        Thank you very much for your kind answer and advice.
        And, I’m really sorry my reply was so late, because I thought the alarm arrived my laptop or mobile phone to receive your reply. That’s why I was not able to check this site. Please forgive me.
        You don’t need to be anxious about real thing or casual type kimono at all:)
        I agree with your opinion! Yes, we should just enjoy for myself! I’ll send this advice to my friend.
        As for me, I like Japanese style clothes and I’d like to try or wear Kimono for men:)
        Do you deal with Kimono for men?
        I’d like to wear it as a Japanese. Haha.
        I have tried to wear it only one time when I participated in Japanese culture event as a master of ceremony:)

        Thank you very much for reading.
        Yes, I’ll write or ask about something. Tell me if you have free time.
        Ser you later and thank you so much.


        January 17, 2018 at 7:39 AM
        • Anji SALZ Reply

          Hi Naruyuki,
          Thanks so much for your response – and don’t worry, I am also a bit slow replying ^^*

          Yes kimono for men are fun too. I haven’t worn them often yet but I have a Japanese friend who only wears the mens style in summer because it is not so hot like the obi for women.
          Give it a try 🙂


          January 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM
  • Ceci Reply

    I am not surprised that Asian-Americans and Japanese-in-Japan show different attitudes about Westerners in kimono, because the contexts are different. Asian Americans who try to keep up their traditional clothes have been discriminated against as “bad” minorities who are being weird and foreign – so when their white neighbors try out kimono just for the “exotic aesthetic”, often without even asking a Japanese person about it, of course it stings. Meanwhile you and other westerners in Japan (including me when I was there) are in the opposite situation where WE are the minorities making an effort to assimilate/integrate; naturally that gets approval. Anyway, lovely outfits and photoshoot, sorry for going on so long!

    December 1, 2017 at 12:47 AM
    • Anji SALZ Reply

      Hey Ceci,
      Thanks so much for explaining it a little more to me. In that case I understand that people get upset..
      But I also just tired of the overall mood on the internet where everyone seems to be offended about everything haha. (Same in Japan though in terms of not obeying rules etc..)

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      December 3, 2017 at 11:49 PM
  • 「戌年」Happy New Kimono Year! – SALZ Tokyo Reply

    […] to do a new years card!! Photographer Irwin Wong whom I worked with on previous shoots (e.g. the Dirndl vs. Kimono shoot) is doing some super creative cards each year with family and fellow […]

    January 23, 2018 at 10:12 PM
  • Oe.nothera Reply

    Hello Anji,

    Your pictures are really cool!
    I started following you on insta because I liked the way you mixed textures and patterns in kimono style and I’m very happy that you play with the different traditionnal cloths of those two cultures.
    I’m an illustrator that partly works on french alsacian traditionnal cloths and imagery (Alsace is really near germany) and I’m sure European patterns and colors could work with kimono style (and vice versa japanese patterns, textiles and colors used for traditionnal european cloths) !

    I’m really happy to find photoshoots like this one and I hope I’ll see others works like this in the future, good work!

    February 28, 2018 at 7:19 AM
    • Anji SALZ Reply

      Hi there!
      And thank you so much for your lovely and detailed comment! I am so happy to hear that you like what I am doing 🙂
      Yes, matching and swapping cultural clothing and patterns really works and I think its a great exchange and brings us all closer.
      I hope I can think up some more crossover coordinates. Would be great to do something African inspired as they use very bold patterns too.

      March 1, 2018 at 12:28 AM

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