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During my seven-year stay in Japan as a college administrator, a lifetime interest in textiles led to a large collection of kimonos, each more fascinating than the next. I wasn't content to just leave them in drawers so I began designing unique garments for myself. Soon friends and strangers alike were calling upon me to share my creations with them. By 1995 I'd held several trunk shows which resulted in a feature story in a leading Japanese national newspaper.

Rich, embroidered silk kimonos. Ornate brocaded obis. Unbelievably elaborate wedding robes. Bright-colored christening gowns. All of these are the inspiration for my one-of-a-kind designs. Each textile lends itself to a particular garment or accessory.

As more people come to appreciate the beauty and history of vintage textiles, these treasured fabrics are increasingly scarce. Even for Japanese women of today, kimonos and obis are becoming family heirlooms, not everyday wear. I feel that I have given them new lives as hand-crafted jackets, tunics, vests, handbags, scarves and home accessories.

Theresa Gallup
Kimono Designs by Theresa
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