🎵 Now I’m in a whole new world with you 🎵
She may not have been the titular protagonist of her movie, but there’s no denying that Aladdin‘s Princess Jasmine is a feisty, independent heroine. Nobody’s going to marry her off to someone she doesn’t love, and she craves adventure outside the sheltered palace walls.
I knew right away that I had the perfect kimono for her. While the design on this houmongi is a real place, the Shah Mosque in Iran, there’s no denying that traditional Islamic architecture had a huge impact on the art direction of the movie, and the beautiful design of the fictional city of Agrabah. The gold obi with blue and turquoise arabesque designs was the perfect complement. I knew I had to incorporate her charming tiger companion Rajah, and I found a sweet little charm with a gold tiger inside of it, but it was transparent and would have been completely disappeared against the busy gold pattern of the obi, so I set out to turn it into an obidome. Backing it with a blue-green enamel helped call back to the gem in her hairpiece, and I love how it turned out in the end.
Of course, the finishing touch was the lamp. If anyone knows how I can get a Genie out of there, please let me know.
We’re so close to finishing this project now! I hope you’re all as excited as I am.
🎵 With a Smile and a Song 🎵
Snow White – the one who started it all, the OG Disney Princess. She’s kind and sweet and beautiful, and I wanted to make sure I captured all that in an outfit that still felt classic and simple. Her costume is very straightforward, and thankfully that converted quite well to kimono.
A simple creamy yellow iromuji serves at the base, echoing the skirt of her outfit. The blue obi has birds on it, but it’s in terrible shape and has really awkward pattern placement, so they’re not terribly visible. The outfit felt like it was missing something though, until I remembered the charming red capelet Snow wears for part of the movie. The red haori is a lovely call back to the capelet, and it ties everything together. For accessories, I absolutely needed a poison apple, and tying the bright red obiage into a bow reminded me of her adorable hair bow. The finishing touches were a sweet little bluebird keeping her company and a haori chain with seven sparkling stones on it to represent her the seven dwarves.
This is probably one of the simplest outfits so far, but I think it pulled together perfectly. It’s sweet and straightforward, much like Snow White herself. And with this, we’re now more than halfway through the project! Only five more to go. I hope you’ll keep coming back to see them. 🙂
I bought this set of bud vases at everyone’s favourite enormous Scandinavian home goods store a while ago, with the intention of doing something with them, but I hadn’t decided on what. When I found a rose that was a very pale celadon green while out running errands today, I knew I’d found my project. I loved the idea of focusing on shape and colour here, and having three very balanced separate units forming one cohesive and harmonious grouping. I did debate using three different flowers to coordinate with the three different textures of vases, but in the end I felt that using the classic and neutral shape of the roses had the most impact. Thankfully, finding the pink and white ones was a breeze after the stroke of luck that was finding a greenish tinted one (I will be honest, I have no idea if it’s natural or if it was dyed for the florist’s, but either way it worked out quite well for me!) I think the soft, organic roses contrast the tactile and architectural quality of the vases perfectly, and the seeing the three of them together is like hearing three distinct notes coming together in one lovely chord. I arranged them simply on a dark surface to ensure all attention was on them without any background distractions, and I love the way they pop, pop, pop!
🎵 Dreams Do Come True in New Orleans🎵
Tiana is one of the princesses I have had the most fun with so far. I knew right away I wanted to use this green irotomesode. Not only its it the perfect shade of froggy green, but it’s also from the same era as Tiana is. While most of the Princess movies exist in a bit of an amorphous time and space, The Princess and The Frog has such a distinct and concrete setting. I wanted something that brought together Taisho-era Japan and Jazz Age New Orleans, and felt like a kimono-hime outfit would strike exactly the mood I was aiming for.
I built the outfit around the kimono, using golden yellow accents as a callback to her beautiful flowery gown. Some ivory lace appliqué on the collar and hem is reminiscent of flapper fringe, and when I found this gorgeous flower belt in the bridal section of the craft store, I knew I’d found my parallel for the lily on her gown. Of course, what is the princess without her frog? An enamel and gold brooch looks perfectly at home nestled in one of the flowers.
My original plan was to tie the obi in a more vintage-feeling musubi, especially since I used a standard niijudaiko on Aurora last week, but this obi is incredibly short and fragile, and I wasn’t comfortable putting too much strain on it. I then realised that the yellow colour tied in a puffy little square otaiko is reminiscent of Tiana’s famous beignets, so it worked out better than I’d planned. Aside from the obi, this one turned out almost identical to what I had in my head, and I couldn’t be happier that it came together so well!
Check out this utterly adorable drawing of my recent yukata outfit! It was drawn by my friend Nikki, who draws all sorts of awesome comic, pin-up, and stylised artwork. This chubby little caricature style is probably my favourite, though, and I’ve loved watching her artwork evolve over the years.
I’m amazed by how much detail she managed to fit in to such a tiny and cartoony piece. It’s super accurate without feeling cluttered or busy. She even got the ume kanzashi on my hat and the little obi-kazari down pat. For someone not in the habit of drawing kimono-related artwork, she did a fantastic job of getting the details spot-on!
The artist’s going through a bit of a rough spot financially right now, and she deserves all the best. So if you love this style as much as I do and would like one for yourself, please check out Nikki R Illustration on Facebook! Also, I always love seeing how different artists interpret my coordinations so if you’re an artist taking commissions and are interested in giving it a shot, please don’t hesitate to contact me.