Creative Design: Undergraduate

The Weaving Princess in the Night Sky

  • Leah Aoki (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
  • Minako McCarthy (University of Hawai'i at Manoa)


The Weaving Princess in the Night Sky pulls inspiration from the bittersweet Japanese childhood origin story of the Tanabata festival as well as the Japanese gothic Lolita subculture created through Victorian era trends. The Princess Orihime sits by the milky way river weaving luxurious garments. Once a year, she crosses the river reuniting with her lover, Hikoboshi, a cow herder. The gold motifs of koi fish, yama (mountains), kumo (clouds), and kawa (rivers), represent the weaving of her shimmering threads and abstract star constellations against the deep indigo of the night sky achieved with a dark blue faux dupioni silk fabric. The garment's golden stitching, representing the golden threads, is assisted by a domestic sewing machine but takes its vision from traditional Japanese stitching techniques, such as sashiko and goldwork. The asymmetrical, one shoulder corset dress is structured and fitted with a lace-up front reminiscent of Victorian trends.

Keywords: Princess Orihime, corset dress, couture techniques, free-motion stitching

How to Cite:

Aoki, L. & McCarthy, M., (2023) “The Weaving Princess in the Night Sky”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 80(1). doi:



Published on
31 Dec 2023
Peer Reviewed