Vintage Temari

Spring is still in the air, and I’m finally feeling up to dressing the mannequin! I’ve been trying to make coordinations using pieces I’ve never worked with before, and decided it was high time I use this vintage temari chuuya obi. It’s actually the reverse side of the amazing crustacean obi Naomi sent me a while back, this side is just a lovely bonus.

As gorgeous as this side is, it’s a bit difficult to work with. There are two sets of designs on an otherwise solid black base, but no matter how I tried tying it I could not get one on the front and one on the otaiko at the same time. I decided to keep the front plain and use a fun obijime so I could focus on getting the design centred on the back and make it the focal point. Maybe next time I’ll use an obidome to add a bit more interest.

My beloved purple cotton yabane kimono made a wonderful base for the obi, and I pulled the accent colours of salmon red and aqua out of the obi motif in the accessories so everything feels cohesive. I do wish I’d been able to get some sort of design on the front, but I still think that overall this was a successful outfit.

And yes, that is yesterday’s ikebana peeping out from behind the mannequin! I was going to move it for the photos but I thought it added a cute touch and I love how the yellow flowers match the yellow accents in the kimono.

Items used in this coordination

Hufflepuff Kitsuke

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;

Hufflepuff is probably the most misunderstood and misrepresented Hogwarts House, and that is a real shame. It’s also not my personal house, but their values of loyalty, honesty, love, and hard work are things we should all aspire to. Hufflepuff’s colours are yellow and black, and they’re often associated with Herbology, food, and gardening in general, so of course this yellow kimono with roses and black obi with karabana were perfect. I wanted to tie in the earthiness I associate with this house, so brown accessories did that well.

Again, like with the Gryffindor lions, I wanted something more subtle than just finding a badger-shaped brooch and slapping it on, and I realised this fake fur collar I have looked very much like badger fur. They’re usually depicted as black and white, but in reality they’re usually brown and beige. The collar also has the added bonus of emphasising the “cozy” vibe associated with Hufflepuff.

This turned out quite well, in my opinion. I do think there could be a bit more black, maybe a different kimono with black in the designs, but since I’m trying to be more prudent in my spending for a while and using items I already own, I’m very happy. There will be a little interruption in this project while I do a #monokimono outfit this weekend, but we’ll be back on track by next week.

Items used in this coordination

A Ship in Full Sail

I’ve been itching to do something with this incredible black ship obi I got from Lyuba since it arrived, but somehow other things just kept getting in the way. Until today! I started with an iromuji that’s always kind of reminded me of tropical waters. It leans a little too far onto the mint green side, but it’s still in that watery family, and the thick textured rinzu totally looks like little rippling waves. It’s also very neutral, and since I wanted this incredible obi to be the focus, so that worked out quite well.

I went with soft accessories in the same colour family as the ship to help echo it without being overpowering, and an obijime that matches the iromuji to (literally) tie it all together. The result is a coordination that feels cohesive and thoughtful while still keeping nearly the entire focus on the beautiful hand-painted detail on the obi, which is exactly what I was aiming for.

Items used in this coordination

The obiage is quite new and I haven’t had time to add it to the catalogue yet, which is why it’s not in the item list above. My next Big Project is to finish photographing the stragglers and get all the obijime done. Hopefully over my next long weekend!

Fudangi First Fr… Saturday?

Well, that didn’t last long. Only a few months in and I missed a Fudangi First Friday. I was at work until late yesterday and then ran errands afterwards and picked up dinner on the way home. By the time I’d settled in, eaten, and decompressed it was too late to do anything. But I’m doing it today, which is better than not doing it at all, right?

I may not have made any resolutions for 2018, but I have decided that I want to try to re-use more of my collection, especially things I bought for one particular coordination. It seems incredibly wasteful of me to leave things languishing in a cabinet instead of enjoying them and sharing them here. So for today’s outfit, I decided it was time to bust out the Starfleet kimono and try to do something different with it.

Seeing the two outfits together, it’s very clear that I basically did the same outfit with a slightly different obi, so I’m not sure how successful I was doing something “different”, but I still quite like the way it turned out. Heck, I even used the same yellow haneri! I had fun making a wider, otaiko-style bow with a hanhaba obi and played with the objime knot a little though. One of the great things about Fudangi Friday is that since it’s more relaxed and casual, it encourages people to experiment a little. I just need to work on breaking out of my comfort zone and playing with more unexpected colour/pattern combinations.

A Promissory Note for Spring

I am utterly, completely fed up of winter! I am tired of the cold and the snow, and I am tired of this awful ear infection/sinus/flu situation I’ve been fighting off since the beginning of December. I really needed to remind myself that this will come to an end eventually, and spring is on its way.

This kimono always feels good for this time of year, since it’s got multi-seasonal flowers and the colour scheme is pretty subdued, but with the right accessories it can really pop. I got the obi from Lyuba of Strawberry Kimono and I suspect it’s going to be come a fast favourite. I love the bold pattern, and it’s really nice and soft, but textured enough to hold well against itself. I tend to dislike overly soft formal obi because they can also be slippery and don’t hold a nice shape, but the slightly rougher fabric of this and the fact that it feels more casual means it’s great for relaxed, natural-looking obi musubi.

Soft leaf-green accessories helped reinforce the spring vibe of the outfit, and a pink haneri helped to emphasise the pink bits of the outfit. Of course, since I got the obi from Lyuba I had to tie the obiage in a bow shape that always reminds me of her kitsuke.

After the winter-heavy efforts of the 12 Days of Kits-Mas, it felt good to do something more transitional and bright. It was tiring working through being sick to do this, but I’m glad I did!