JAPAN: Bridal Business Enjoys A Boost
"The Japanese bridal wear business, always a buoyant sector of the ready to wear market, is currently enjoying a boom. According to Yumi Katsura, president of the Japan Bridal Association, this is probably due to the fact that virtually every Japanese bride now buys two wedding dresses - and probably three if, for some part of the ceremony, she also invests in a traditional kimono." "Every bride now looks forward to being photographed for posterity in a western style white wedding gown which she will wear for the ceremony," says Yumi Katsura. However, according to association members, white is now being challenged by pastel colours which have started to become fashionable over the last few months. Currently top of the colour charts is a soft, minty shade of green. "It flatters the typical Japanese complexion and of course we in Japan have no superstitious dislike of this shade as a wedding colour," comments Yumi, If there is also to be a Japanese religious ceremony conducted by a Shinto priest she will probably change into a kimono and obi, though these may be hired rather than bought. "This is due to their great expense in an era when the skilled labour required for the traditional hand decoration is becoming scarcer and scarcer," says Yumi. The third "essential" ensemble is a western style evening dress worn for the wedding party which has to be as lavish and eye-catching as possible and, ideally, to carry the designer label of a famous western couture house," says Katsura.
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