Kits-Mas Day 9 – Softly Subtle

As we get further and further away from December 25th, I’m trying to stick to the theme but keep things a bit less obvious. This softly subtle and desaturated coordination is still within the realm of festive greens and reds, but in a much less in-your-face way.

The flowers on this kimono may lean more towards the pink spectrum since they’re so pale, but I think pulling in the darker tones on the haneri and obiage bring it back towards the richer tones. This is definitely a more transitional outfit than some of the previous ones, but I think it still accomplishes what I was aiming for so overall, I’m pleased.

While I’m happy with the coordination, the kitsuke itself is a mess. The mannequin’s shape has never been perfect for kitsuke (I have to use padding on her!) but it seems more obvious than normal today. I also couldn’t get the obiage to cooperate, so I tied it in a Lyuba-style bow. I’m sure there’s a proper name for that, but I will forever associate it with Lyuba of Strawberry Kimono, so there you go. The ohashori is also a rumpled mess but it’s late and I have work tomorrow, so I don’t have the energy to redo it and take new photos.

By the way, next time I get a harebrained idea like changing the mannequin every day for twelve days in a row, someone please talk me out of it! The end is in sight but I’m running out of steam. XD

Kits-Mas Day 4 – Merry and Bright

How are you doing? It’s painfully cold here, but at least this outfit feels warm and happy! Maybe in tomorrow’s pictures there will be a roaring fire going on in the background. We’ll see.

Today’s outfit was built around a roll of gorgeous Christmas ribbon I found at the craft store. I admittedly bought it without anything specific in mind, I just really liked the texture of it. I’m glad I did though, because when I started this project I realised I could find a way to work it into an outfit.

The obi is actually one of my favourite old standbys, this red tsuke-obi with black flocking. I simply used temporary adhesive dots to cover the pattern on the otaiko with the blingy festive ribbon, and then added an accent on the waist segment too. It happened to be just the right width for the eri, so I used it for that as well to tie everything together. The kimono in shades of green and white makes me think of trees in snow, and of poinsettia leaves. Either way, it works well with the holiday theme! The gold accessories are technically too formal for the kimono itself, but this whole project is more about the overall mood of each outfit than about adhering to strict rules. I wanted to draw more attention to the gold in the ribbon, and this felt like the most effective way to do so.

I love how fun and merry and bright this coordination worked out to be. It’s definitely festive and it makes me happy. I’m so glad I bought that ribbon!

Fudangi First Friday

Hello! Welcome to Fudangi First Friday, a sort of new feature here on Kimono Tsuki. Naomi and Lyuba of Immortal Geisha were inspired by the recent Fudangi Fun event in NYC they were lucky enough to attend, to create a day where kimono-lovers can focus on relaxed, wearable, casual outfits. We all love the vibrant formality of furisode or the subdued elegance of kurotomesode, but it seems like fudangi, which includes things like wool and cotton kimono, simple komon, and other informal relaxed pieces, often get overlooked. So they decided to create Fudangi Fridays to encourage all us kimono lovers to appreciate these everyday pieces.

However, I know that committing to do something every single Friday is just a recipe for disaster, especially with the holidays coming up. For those of you who don’t know, I work in a specialty collectible toy store, so this time of year tends to be incredibly busy for me. So I’ve decided to combine Fudangi Friday with a phenomenon known as First Friday, an art/networking/entertainment community event that happens in a lot of big cities in North America on the first Friday of every month. People gather to share ideas, show off creative endeavours, etc. Forcing myself to do this once a month without fail is definitely more achievable for me. I may even manage to dress myself for these on occasion, since the majority of my wider kimono are casual pieces.

I purchased this haori on a whim from the same seller as the beautiful kurotomesode I got recently. In the auction photos, it looked like a creamy white with ume blossoms, so imagine my surprise when I opened the package and a leafy green haori with sakura on it fell out! I’m not complaining though, it’s even more adorable and charming than I was expecting it to be. I had no idea what I was going to pair it with, but I had it out while taking photos for my updated collection catalogue and saw it sitting next to the vintage-style blue komon Naomi gave me years ago and I realised how perfect they were for each other. The colours reflect each other perfectly, and they both have a young, spring feeling to them. I finished the outfit off with a hanhaba obi and cotton haneri in shades of cream and green, and a skinny orange obijime for a little pop of colour. This outfit is definitely fudangi, and it’s definitely fun!

Happy Otsukimi!

Today is Otsukimi (お月見), the autumn full-moon viewing festival! It’s incredibly overcast here and they’re predicting thunder storms all evening so I won’t get to enjoy the moon here. I have some mochi waiting for me at home, thankfully. However, earlier today Kornelia of Kanzashi Yume shared a link to an utterly adorable little mobile game and I had to check it out and share it with you all.

The game is called (unsurprisingly) Otsukimi, and it’s a straightforward brain-teaser game where you have to solve little puzzles in order to escape from a room, but everything is Otsukimi-themed. Plenty of rabbits and mochi for everyone to enjoy, regardless of where you live or whether the moon is visible in your sky. It’s a very sweet, relaxing sort of game. There is no time limit, nothing to frustrate you. Just simple fun puzzles and beautiful graphics. It will take between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on how quickly you solve the puzzles, but you can take as long as you need to. Once you’ve finished the primary objective of escaping the room, you can play a much shorter second mini-game, finding the hidden rabbits in the room. It’s an incredibly sweet and charming little game and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a nice way to relax and unwind while celebrating the Autumn full moon!

Otsukimi is available on Google Play for Android devices as well as the iOS Store for Apple devices. Please check it out!

The company who developed this, Jammsworks, has many other similar escape games including one called Hakone which takes place in a beautiful Japanese house and garden, and Obon which takes place in a beautiful summery field of sunflowers. You can bet I will be checking those ones out soon as well.

Art Gallery – Yukata Cutie by Nikki R

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.