A Little Maiko Inspiration

Sometimes, despite my best efforts to avoid it, I find myself browsing Kijiji for local kimono-related things. Imagine my surprise when I came across someone right near my work, selling a pre-tied darari obi! A darari is the very long, dangling style obi maiko wear. Han-darari means “half-darari” and they’re still cute and dangling, but a much more practical length. They’re typically worn by minarai, the young women in training to become maiko, but can also be worn for stage performances or as a dramatic stylistic choice. This one is actually a bit longer than a standard han-darari, but not long enough or thick enough to be a full darari. I suspect it may have been for a young teenage girl, or a stage show.

Colour-wise, this one was such a perfect match for the beautiful kakeshita a very kind friend sent me, so I thought I’d steal a little bit of maiko inspiration and go for some bright, youthful drama with the bold colour scheme, long obi, and trailing hem of the kimono.

I won’t lie, I’m a little jealous of the mannequin right now! These pieces just look so good together. I think I will make an attempt to wear this outfit later myself, when it’s not 40 degrees centigrade out. Even just coordinating this outfit made me feel gross and overheated. I forgot how many layers this kimono has; not just a secondary hiyoku but it’s got a layered collar and fully double-lined sleeves as well. You could almost get away with not wearing a full juban with it, and that’s very likely what I’ll if I ever get around to putting it on myself.

The nice thing about wedding kimono is that in general, they tend to fit me right now even though I am, to put it delicately, not very small. There’s another fun hint for you all – kimono that are meant to be worn trailing will often be wider as well as longer, giving a bigger person more “wiggle room”.

Items used in this coordination

Rapunzel – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵 Flower gleam and glow 🎵

Rapunzel is definitely one of the more “fun” princesses. She’s got a chameleon for a best friend, she can fight with a frying pan, and she undeniably has the best hair of anyone. I wanted to find a way to acknowledge that amazing, magical hair without using a wig.

How better to emulate a long gold cascade than a gorgeous gold obi tied darari-style? This style is typically worn by maiko, but I feel like it was the best way to capture Rapunzel’s hair in a way that still felt true to the project. The addition of some silk flowers really kicked it up a notch. Of course I had to use a pink and purple kimono to echo her pink and purple dress. I purchased the obijime on a whim a while back, and I realised it would be a great reinforcement of not only the colour scheme but also her braided hair. Not only that, but the pearls on them form sweet little flowers that call back to the golden flower that granted Rapunzel’s healing powers. After that, braiding a few obiage together really pulled everything together, I think. And of course, Pascal the chameleon had to make an appearance.

And with that, all of the brave, brilliant, beautiful Disney Princesses are done! I’ve assembled a master post for the entire project, and I’m so happy with how they all look together!

Items used in this coordination