Recently, there was a special event known as “The Royal University of the Midrealm” hosted by a group known as the SCA. This event was a historical studies and crafting event where members of the SCA could take several specialized classes hosted by people who have some form of expert and authority on a subject matter. Imagine my excitement when I saw that they had several classes about Heian era dress and life! I know very very very very little about this period beyond the look of a few of the outfits worn and why they were worn.
The kosode construction class was especially interesting, as it is the root and starting point of the modern kimono. This class was backed with intense research and information from the Kyoto Costume Museum itself. Personally I found the way the women of the privileged class lived to be very interesting. The privilaged had a life style I would not care for myself but the byproducts from said lifestyle made for great advancements for the human race such as the creation of the worlds first fiction novel: ‘The Tale of Genji’ which was written by a woman.
Here is a photo of the class. The women on the left is teaching, while the woman on the right is modeling. The two estimated that a recreation of the Heian period dress properly would cost at least $1,200 in modern materials.