Taisho Blues

I know, I know, I said the last outfit I posted would be around for a while. Work continues apace on updating and redoing my visual catalogue, and when I took out this Taisho-era beauty I love so much, I realised I’d never coordinated her with this vintage orange hakata obi and that seemed like a crime. They feel like they were made for each other. But then again, I think hakata goes with everything. When I first got it, I paired it with an orange obi and while I loved the colour contrast, the obi was a metallic, Showa-era blingfest that felt incongruous with the soft vintage feel of the kimono. Springy green accessories were the perfect finishing touch, including a brand new obiage I’ve never used before.

If you’re a regular reader, you know that for whatever reason I’ve always had bad luck with tying obi in tsunodashi musubi but I was really in the groove after putting this outfit together and I figured I’d give it another shot. I’m really glad I did, because it worked out perfectly. The ohashori is quite puffy-looking, which is unfortunate, but sometimes it’s inevitable due to the shape of the mannequin.

Now this is definitely an outfit I’m happy to leave on the mannequin until I’m finished everything else I have in the works.

This One’s For the Birds

Thank you all for sticking with me during my unanticipated little hiatus! Life is finally calming down, and I wanted to celebrate the new year with a new outfit on the mannequin.

I got this hawk obi on eBay a few months ago for a whopping $9. I certainly didn’t need a new obi, but I loved how flashy it was and it was too much of a bargain to pass up. I love how it looks with my blue embroidered irotomesode and red accessories. I feel like this is a wonderfully bright and auspicious outfit to ring in the year. The obi is also brand new and very stiff, which makes it a pleasure to tie. It keeps its shape beautifully. I can’t wait to see what else I can pair it up with in the future.

I hope this year brings you all plenty of joy, health, luck, and fortune. Last year was a bit of a wreck for a lot of folks, so let’s all keep our fingers crossed for great things to come.

I will be going out of town this week and next but when I get back I am going to do my best to stick to a regular schedule. I have more coordinations planned as well as some reviews and a giveaway in the works! Please check back regularly and if you want a quick and efficient way to be notified of updates, follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

Lovely Layers

Go figure, as soon as I change the blog’s colour scheme to summer, the real summer vanishes. It’s cold and damp and dreary out, and I was inspired to play with layers. I wanted to replicate the look of a vintage dounuki (under-layer kimono that usually coordinates or contrasts with the layer above it), but using modern pieces. I love the lush look of something very patterned beneath something simpler so I paired up my yagasuri komon and rich blue flowered tsukesage. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to use an awesome tsuke-obi I hadn’t yet coordinated with anything. Yellow accessories contrasted nicely but tied everything together, since there are yellow accents in the obi, and yellow centres on some of the flowers of the kimono.

One thing I learnt is that dressing a wobbly mannequin in multiple layers is even more difficult than dressing yourself in multiple layers. Thankfully my poor, long-suffering father was happy to help by holding her in place and holding layers together while I tied things up. I do think it was worth the hassle though. It looks rich and sumptuous, and all the colours tie together quite harmoniously. I don’t think this outfit is something I would wear out (way too hot and bulky), but I’m glad I put it all together nonetheless.

Whale, whale, whale…

What have we here?*

 

I found this obi online several months ago, and kept coming back to look at it. The whales are just so adorably goofy and charming, and I fell completely in love. Eventually I found myself with a bit of cash to spare on something special for myself, and after being enabled by pretty much every single one of my online friends, I went for it. I bought it from Murata, a store based in Vancouver, BC, here in Canada. It only took a few days to get here, and believe me, after over a decade of ordering almost exclusively from Japan that speed made me giddy. Kazue and Fumie were also both an absolutely pleasure to deal with, and I look forward to ordering from them again in the future.

I felt that this obi is so fun and special that it had to be the focus of the outfit, so I went the vaguely monochrome route again. I thought this modern poly komon had a bit of a watery feel to it, and I love how it matches the obi but still manages to fade into the background, making sure all eyes are on the whales! This obi is also incredibly long, to the point where I had to wrap it around the mannequin three times, rather than the usual two. This means I’ll be able to wear it myself, and be able to tie all sorts of fun musubi with it. I can’t wait!

(I would apologise for that terrible title, but I am not remotely sorry!)

 

Outfit of the Week: Mystery Dragonflies!

While folding and organising some of my older kimono the other day, I came across something that threw me for a loop. I do not remember procuring this kimono in any way. I don’t know if I bought it, if it was a gift, something I rescued from a thrift store… I really have no idea. In my dozen-plus years of collecting, I can tell you where nearly every piece in my collection came from, down to things like tabi and haneri. To have forgotten an entire (lovely!) kimono is quite a feat, I think.

That being said, I’m not complaining! This is a gorgeous piece. It’s a casual summer piece, very lightweight. I’m not positive on the fabric but it feels like a linen blend of some sort. It might be cotton, but it’s definitely softer and more refined than a yukata. The collar is conveniently sewn down and there is a light lining in the bum area and across the shoulders for cleanliness and reinforcement. It’s a beautiful dove grey with dusty blue foliage and adorable little dragonflies. The era is a bit hard to pin-point; it feels like it could be quite old, or it could be more modern but made to look vintage.

I wanted to make the coordination very cool and comfortable-feeling, so I kept things simple with a hanhaba obi. I also learnt a valuable lesson – this particular obi, while one of my favourites, is a finicky little thing that refuses to hold tight. I managed to get the kai-no-kuchi musubi to stay in place with the help of an obijime, but would not be comfortable wearing it out of the house like this. At least I know for the future!