University of North Texas Presents Kimono Display at NorthPark Center

The kimono has a long history. Literally translated as "thing to wear," a version of the word described everyday wear in Japan during the eighth century. The outfit evolved over the years from plain, pajama-like clothing to decorative robes. Some kimonos were works of art and could cost more than a family home. People would keep their kimonos and pass them down to the family.When Japan opened up in the late 1800s, the kimono fell out of fashion as the government encouraged people to wear Western-style clothing. Today, it is worn mostly for special occasions and weddings. The University of North Texas provides an up-close look at the iconic garment in an exhibit called "Reimaging the Kimono" through June 27 at NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway in Dallas. The exhibit features 13 kimono and kimono-inspired pieces. There are two uchikake, formal outer kimonos with elaborate decoration; chiffon gowns by Hanae Mori, who made evening wear with traditional Japanese symbols such as Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms; and gowns from African, American and European perspectives, such as Duro Olowu's kimono dress incorporating prints inspired by his native Nigeria.Annette Becker is the curator. Learn more at womenWeina Dai Randel was born and raised in China and came to the United States when she was 24. While a graduate student at Texas Woman's University in Denton, she began writing her first novel. based on the life of Empress Wu, China's only female ruler. Having grown tired of reading novels that portrayed weak Chinese women, Randel decided to tackle stronger characters and based her debut on the life of Empress Wu, China's only female ruler.After The Moon in the Palace, she went on to write its sequel, The Empress of Bright Moon. Both have received favorable reviews.Randel, who lives in Flower Mound with her husband and two children, will present a program called "Unforgettable Women in Asia" at 7 p.m. May 16 at the Flower Mound Public Library, 3030 Broadmoor Lane. She'll discuss the only female ruler in China, the first female samurai in Japan, an influential painter in Korea and others. The program, which is in honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, is free, but registration is requested. Call 972-874-6165 or email cooking class  Continue reading...

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