Wednesday, 14 May 2014


Just as stitches follow one another, the past weekend I was able to stitch together pieces of my own memory fabric.

The visit to De Rien's clothing atelier in London and a recent visit to Sommerset House where I discovered Boro.

Boro's origins date back to the Edo period (17th-and early 19th Century) 
and it was what impoverished Japanese people would wear in times of economic struggle. 
Centuries have gone by but Boro's beautiful qualities have prevailed and it is gaining increasing currency among talented designers in an array of beautiful reinterpretations.

Colour is an important aspect of Boro, hence, the indigo tones as opposed to those worn by the aristocracy like golden or red. 

The interesting part in this sequel has been to experience how things acquire a different dimension when removed from their original context.
It is also notable how this shift in time and space confers the object with new meaning and purpose.
Ironically, it is Boro's aesthetic value -though not exclusively- what current trends in design deem so valuable, making it an object of desire and inspiration. 

Boro's beauty lies in its organic quality which makes it rather humane and intriguing. The visible stitches as symbols of frailty and wounded stories. Patched and washed out, and when seen from afar, a marvellous map of light and shadow.

The relevance it has taken among some designers and craftspeople is -a lucky act for us- of openness, visual stimulation and individuality, which mass production could not replace.

Boro is the Japanese stitch work on worn out pieces of  fabric which dates back to war time when it was worn by the impoverished population and blue was regarded as a less luxurious colour as opposed to red which denoted a higher social status.