|Welcome to Designer Irene Camerino webpages:
All KITAHASHI COLLECTION accessories and home décor items are made using vintage Obi & Kimono (Japanese Robes & Belts).
KITAHASHI, which means north bridge in Japanese, is named in honor of my mother, Evangeline Redondo Kitahashi Arevalo. Although we
both were raised Filipino households, we have always felt an affinity for all things Japanese. I fell in love with Japanese textiles the moment
I touched them. The shibori (tie dyeing), dyeing, yuzen painting, and gold/ silver foil stamping techniques resulted in a textile like no other.
Designs are not merely stamped onto the face of the fabric but actually woven into the body of the fabric. Us TACTILE artisans can
immediately tell the difference between American and Japanese textiles the moment we touch them. Unfortunately, the Japanese textile
industry, like the American textile industry, is in decline due to Kimono/Obi being relegated to special events as Japanese tastes and
fashions have changed.
I first started collecting and hanging Uchikake. The heavily brocaded and colorful Wedding Kimono 20 years ago and would display them in
the house and rotate them as the seasons change. This led to collecting Maru and Fukuro Obi (formal obi), which I used as table runners
and wall hangings. I acquired much of my collection through Ruby of Texuba and through shopping trips to Kyoto with Kyoto Kimono. My
heart would break after seeing so many beautiful kimonos and obis, damaged by normal wear, time and soy sauce stains, relegated to the
rubbish pile. I decided there must be a way to upcycle them in new ways to preserve them and offer new generations an opportunity to
enjoy their beauty and workmanship. So I combined my sewing & design skills to create beautiful purses, pillows, wall hangings, and
accessories. I’ve become the crazy American who buys Japanese kimono/obi and vintage textiles from the Kyoto temple markets, takes
them apart, then repurposes the undamaged areas into beautiful works of art. Each piece I make is unique; my only limitation is how much
usable yardage I can recover from a damaged obi or kimono.
Seeing and Touching is the best way to appreciate my collection. So I invite you to come visit and chat with me during my shows and take a
part of Japan home with you to enjoy. ~ Designer: Irene Arevalo Camerino