Over the years I have introduced readers to many local Artists, Crafters and Designers. This column is no different except that this week’s local, featured Designers have travelled a little further to call our region home.
Aiko & Keiko Kondo from J-Kos Designs migrated from Japan to Brisbane before rediscovering their creativity. Combining fashion items that have both a touch of Japan and the unique quirkiness of Australia led to J-Kos being born. The move to Brisbane may have been quite recent however, their love of design started generations ago. In the 1930’s, Aiko’s Grandmother, Kaoru started studying dressmaking. As was common in those days mother passed those skills down to her daughter who in turn introduced her own daughter to dressmaking.
Kaoro also passed on her love for the simple beauty of bonsai. Aiko and Keiko have transferred that simplicity to their dressmaking. Fast forward to a new century to find that same beauty and simplicity have become their unique point of difference.
While both ladies plan to continue to creating one-off pieces with beautiful vintage kimonos they also create bags, homewares and clay/pottery buttons. ”We get a lot of inspiration from nature such as shapes/colours of flowers, trees, stones and mud for dye etc. We love the Australian way of enjoying life. It is much easier to find more time for what we really like to do, being surrounded by nature,” enthuse the Ladies.
When choosing the name for their designs Aiko and Keiko looked no further than their love for Kaoru. “Ko is Japanese for children and shows respect for Kaoru as they are both the child and grandchild of a wonderful Tokyo dressmaker. “Ko” is also a part of the word “Taiko” meaning drums. The written form for the word ‘Taiko” is made up of two kanji. The first kanji means joyful or happy. The second kanji means to support each other. The combination of these two kanji indicates the touching of one’s heart with a beat,” explains Aiko. “J-KOs wants to touch your heart with a beat when you wear their designs knowing that your design is yours and yours alone.”
If you would like to learn more about the designers and their fabulous creations visit their website www.j-kos.com.au or phone on 0417 743 185