A designer as well as a clothing maker, Tamami Watanabe creates truly natural clothing in her "tamami watanabe" clothing line. The "tamami watanabe" clothes express natural tastes, from the way they look, to the materials used.
"tamami watanabe" clothing is filled with Tamami Watanabe’s passion and care in every detail. Virtually the whole process – selecting high quality fabrics, natural dyestuffs, designing, draping, sewing, dyeing - is done by Tamami herself.
Tamami Watanabe’s clothing style (design) also makes natural materials with an elegant look. As a designer, she admires fashion designers like Madeleine Vionnet, Cristobal Balanciaga, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo. She uses draping techniques to create movement and complexity in her clothing range. Her designs contain beauty in both in still and movement.
She grew up in an environment where both her parents made things by hand. Her mother made clothing for her. Tamami was given a sewing machine as a Christmas gift when she was very young, which gave her a start in making clothing.
Although she knew how to make clothing by the time she graduated high school, she still decided to study at a fashion school in London.
Through two years' intensive study and living in London, she came up with new inspirational ideas. She absorbed those and created clothing designs, one after another. Now she sees that time as a period during which she formed her own individual style.
After two years' study at London, she went back to Japan. She started working as a pattern marker at a company but soon realized that her desire was to create her own clothing line.
She then studied dyeing, and spent a couple of years making clothing using vintage silk kimonos. After having a child, she started her line of "tamami watanabe" clothes.
She uses only natural fibers – linens, cottons and wools, as she seeks both practicality and a gentle touch. Linen attracts her because of its texture - the more you wear it, the more you feel its softness. The wrinkles create uniqueness. The drape and gather of the fabric create beautiful shadows. Linen also creates unique textures when dyed using natural dyestuffs. She also uses organic cotton produced from farms that have at least three years' organic production history.
She mainly sources thread from France and Italy which is then woven by skilled manufacturers in Japan.
She uses only natural materials as dyes – plant leaves, tree bark, insect shells etc. These are crushed - or cut up when dry - into small pieces, placed in a pot and boiled in water, then strained to remove the dye extract.
The process of dyeing clothing is also done by hand. After sewing, which is party done by others in Japan, clothing is placed in the near-boiling dye extract for about an hour and then placed into a mordant bath. The process is usually repeated two or three times. If natural indigo dye is used, the process can be repeated about 20 times.
Natural indigo creates a unique, deeper color, which will later fade gently. Synthetic dyes do not have the same qualities. Natural dyestuffs contain many impurities. These create deep and unique textures with unique colors.
With natural materials made by hand, her clothing always shows us a unique world of color.
It is her wish to continue making clothing in this natural way, even on a small scale. She believes in making clothes that people can wear for 10 or 20 years.
Tamami Watanabe knows what she wants and what makes her happy. We are happy to bring you her clothing at wabizest and to share her passion with you.
View the Tamami Watanabe collection