In a growing trend, brides are transforming Japanese kimonos into wedding dresses

(Image: Halelokahi)
(Image: Halelokahi)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A growing trend in Japan is putting a modern spin on the traditional kimono – and it's catching on in Hawaii.

More and more brides have been transforming their kimonos – traditional Japanese garments usually worn for important festivals or formal occasions – into modern, Western-style wedding dresses.

Many companies will take apart the traditional kimono to create new pieces of clothing, but a Hawaii bridal business called Halelokahi is turning the kimono into an elegant wedding dress – without cutting, sewing or making alterations.

"We want to keep the tradition alive as much as possible," said Mami Ogiwara, of Halelokahi.

They will fold parts of the garment and tie decorative bows in the back, and then suddenly, it has the style of a Western wedding gown but with a touch of Japan.

Traditions and cultures can get lost through the years, and many fear the kimono could lose its spark. But Halelokahi says the goal is to breathe new life into a historically and culturally significant item.

Halelokahi will be showcasing some of its pieces at the Hawaii World Class Wedding Expo at the Hawaii Convention Center from Oct. 20 and 21.

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