October Rust – MonoKimono Challenge & Fudangi First Friday

I’m cheating today. Someone alert the authorities! Typically, the #MonoKimono challenge occurs on the last weekend of the month, and Fudangi First Friday occurs on, well, the first Friday. However, I had other things on my mind this past weekend, and I know this weekend is going to be quite busy, so I figured I’d take advantage of a free afternoon and combine the two smack in the middle of the week.

It’s finally, mercifully, starting to feel like Autumn here so that was my jumping-off point. I had to build an outfit that was both casual and monochrome, so it felt like the right time to bust out my rusty red-orange wool komon. My Tokaido hanhaba obi is an absolute spot on match for the kimono, even down to the yellow accent colour matching the yellow weave.

I’ve seen this sort of hanhaba musubi that almost looks like a miniature otaiko and wanted to give it a shot. It worked out quite well, I think. I also like the pop of contrast the yellow side offers – it echoes the yellow han-eri on the front view and helps draw attention to the subtle pattern in the kimono itself. I still think it’s subtle enough and in a close enough colour range to count as monochrome, too. While an obijime isn’t a necessity with this sort of an outfit, I did need it for this particular musubi and I just happened to have one that was another perfect match. I’m pretty sure this is the most monochrome outfit I’ve put together for this challenge so far.

Another reason I wanted to get this outfit on the mannequin is that I have something very neat in the works, and wanted her in something that felt seasonal and was nice to look at but also was very much a “background” feel and not something ornate that would steal the focus away. I’m being evasive now, but I promise I’ll tell you all what it’s for very soon!

Items used in this coordination

Fudangi First Friday – Fall Forward

It’s the first Friday in September! It’s still feeling like the surface of the sun here in Montreal, but I couldn’t resist pulling out this wool piece. I got the obi from Kimono Yuki here during the Yatai food festival, and it seemed like the perfect piece to coordinate with the kimono.

Initially I was going to go with red accessories but I realised I’ve been doing a lot of matchy-matchy stuff and wanted to inject a pop of contrast and colour. I remembered this obijime I received from Kyoto Kimono as a thank-you gift for a project they were doing on Instagram a while back, so I thought now would be an ideal time to use it. To balance everything out I went with this ridiculously cute haneri with a blue base and red and black accents, so everything echoes at least one other part of the coordination.

I am sorry I missed Fudangi First Friday last month, it was just so hot and gross and miserable. Thankfully now that fall really is coming soon, things will eventually cool down and I’ll have no excuses. I also have a bunch of really cool reviews in the works, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

Items used in this coordination

Fudangi First Friday – Funky Punk Yukata

We’ve got a true first for this month’s Fudangi First Friday – I’ve actually never put a yukata on the mannequin until now! This coordination is actually something I had set out to wear to an event. On Wednesday, the lovely folks at Kimono Vintage Montreal organised an outing in yukata to the Montreal Jazz Festival, and what better place to wear something funky and non-traditional?

Unfortunately, the whole province was in the middle of a lethal heat wave (which has thankfully broken now).  Even when I was younger I never handled the heat well, and my chronic health problems only exacerbate the issue. I decided to be prudent and stay home, and thought it would be a good opportunity to feature the outfit on Friday instead.

I love this yukata so much, and I’ve worn it out to a street festival before. It’s got a really unusual pattern of flames, skulls, handcuffs and snakes, amongst other things. The obi came with it and from a distance looks like it’s just got butterflies on it, but up close you can see that there are skulls in their wings. It seemed like the perfect thing to wear to a big outdoor music festival.

Rather than fight against my figure and try to bind my chest in this heat, I’d already decided to use a coordinating cotton tank top underneath and wear the yukata in a loose, open fashion. I stuck with that choice on the mannequin, as well as hiking the hem up shorter than standard, and I love how it looks! I was also inspired by Nichole and her epic kimono style to use a belt in lieu of obijime, and I really love how it all looks together. I think I will make a point of finding somewhere to wear it out like this, because it seems a shame not to!

Items used in this coordination

Fudangi First Friday – Busy Beauty

It’s the first Friday in June, so you know what that means! Time for this month’s Fudangi First Friday. This kimono just barely qualifies. While it’s technically a komon a lot of effort was put into matching the pattern up, and there are metallic accents. This arabesque-patterned busy beauty gives me such conflicted feelings. The heavy, slightly rough quality of the silk and the bachi-eri (pre-folded collar) make it really easy to work with, but the pattern is so overpowering that it can be hard to coordinate.

I was determined to do something with it since it’s been languishing in storage for eons, and then I remembered I have this beautiful vintage nagoya obi that has a lot of very similar colours. It’s in bad shape, the lining’s coming unsewn and there are several moth holes in it, but it’s still solid enough to put on the mannequin. I really love how they look together, the colours are a great match and it’s just plain enough that it doesn’t compete with the obi but it’s not boring. Initially I went with all-green accessories but none of the obijime I tried felt right, so I pulled out a cream and red one that echoes the base colour of the kimono and I think it’s perfect.

I’m glad I’ve found another way to use this piece. There’s just something so captivating about all the different colours and patterns in it. I feel like I find something new every time I look at it.

Items used in this coordination

Fudangi First Friday – Kodomo no Hi

Tomorrow (May 05th) is Kodomo no Hi, こどもの日, or Children’s Day. So of course, as in previous years, I had to get out my beloved koinobori obi. This year, I thought I’d coordinate it with this vintage shishi komon that is eventually going to live with Naomi. Until then, though, I figured I may as well have a little more fun with it!

Koinobori, or carp-shaped streamer flags, are a traditional decoration for the holiday, which is why I always use this obi somehow during this time of year. The other pieces were chosen primarily for their look, not any real symbolism. The haneri is a new one I got in a package from Ichiroya recently and I really liked how the pattern meshed with the kimono. I used other pale purple accessories to pull it all together. As much as I love this obi, I tend to forget what a nuisance it is to work with. It’s got seams in odd places, it’s very slippery, and it’s short even by vintage standards. I’m pretty sure it was a kimono or a juban at some point in its life, before it was remade into an obi. I also can’t believe I was ever able to wear it!

Thankfully I’m already starting to feel much better since my fall last Friday. I should be back at work by next week, and I have a bunch of content lined up for this month!

Items used in this coordination