Pride Rainbow!

June, as you may know, is Pride month for the LGBT+ community. Here in Montreal we have a Pride festival of our own in August, but I wanted to do something for June. I don’t really own any rainbow-themed items, but I realised I could assemble a rainbow of solid-coloured pieces! My fabulous purple komon with silver lamé designs, complemented by a red haori, yellow haneri, orange obiage, green obijime and blue hanhaba obi. I love how bold and vibrant this outfit is! It would be fun to wear this to an event, but it’s all lined synthetic and incredibly hot and heavy, even just to dress the mannequin.

The finishing touch was a beaded rainbow choker I’ve had for eons. I know necklaces aren’t technically proper for kimono but this outfit is already all over the place formality-wise to suit the rainbow theme, so I just ran with it.

I do apologise for the photos, my flash batteries are close to dying and I didn’t realise how badly balanced they were until I got downstairs and started processing them. Unfortunately, it’s nearly 40 C (100+ F) in my living room right now and I can’t deal with the idea of going back upstairs and taking more photos.

The world is a scary place right now. Just know that I love you all, whatever your orientation and gender may be. Stand tall and never be ashamed of who you are inside, even if you’re in a place where being yourself openly puts you at risk.

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

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

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.