Under kosode Shell
Kosode was the prototype for kimono, translated as “small sleeves,” which referred to small sleeve openings, not narrow circumference. Initially, kosode was worn as the innermost robe. Early in Heian history, this fi rst undergarment layer was almost always an undyed natural color in a plain-weave silk. Each kosode, or kimono, was worn lapped left over right to provide a stunning color sequence along the overlapping Vneck.
In this simplified sleeveless shell design, I employed an unusual construction for the overlapping Vneck that is fun to work and stabilizes the stress point of the V. Th e streamlined design is only minimally textured with an eyelet rib at the lower edge. The silk yarn I used is as soft as luxury lingerie and will certainly feel like a fi rst undergarment layer, but it can be worn equally well on its own. Try this shell under the Kumo kimono (page 120) to define your own mode of elegance.