October Rust – MonoKimono Challenge & Fudangi First Friday

I’m cheating today. Someone alert the authorities! Typically, the #MonoKimono challenge occurs on the last weekend of the month, and Fudangi First Friday occurs on, well, the first Friday. However, I had other things on my mind this past weekend, and I know this weekend is going to be quite busy, so I figured I’d take advantage of a free afternoon and combine the two smack in the middle of the week.

It’s finally, mercifully, starting to feel like Autumn here so that was my jumping-off point. I had to build an outfit that was both casual and monochrome, so it felt like the right time to bust out my rusty red-orange wool komon. My Tokaido hanhaba obi is an absolute spot on match for the kimono, even down to the yellow accent colour matching the yellow weave.

I’ve seen this sort of hanhaba musubi that almost looks like a miniature otaiko and wanted to give it a shot. It worked out quite well, I think. I also like the pop of contrast the yellow side offers – it echoes the yellow han-eri on the front view and helps draw attention to the subtle pattern in the kimono itself. I still think it’s subtle enough and in a close enough colour range to count as monochrome, too. While an obijime isn’t a necessity with this sort of an outfit, I did need it for this particular musubi and I just happened to have one that was another perfect match. I’m pretty sure this is the most monochrome outfit I’ve put together for this challenge so far.

Another reason I wanted to get this outfit on the mannequin is that I have something very neat in the works, and wanted her in something that felt seasonal and was nice to look at but also was very much a “background” feel and not something ornate that would steal the focus away. I’m being evasive now, but I promise I’ll tell you all what it’s for very soon!

Items used in this coordination

Fudangi First Friday – Fall Forward

It’s the first Friday in September! It’s still feeling like the surface of the sun here in Montreal, but I couldn’t resist pulling out this wool piece. I got the obi from Kimono Yuki here during the Yatai food festival, and it seemed like the perfect piece to coordinate with the kimono.

Initially I was going to go with red accessories but I realised I’ve been doing a lot of matchy-matchy stuff and wanted to inject a pop of contrast and colour. I remembered this obijime I received from Kyoto Kimono as a thank-you gift for a project they were doing on Instagram a while back, so I thought now would be an ideal time to use it. To balance everything out I went with this ridiculously cute haneri with a blue base and red and black accents, so everything echoes at least one other part of the coordination.

I am sorry I missed Fudangi First Friday last month, it was just so hot and gross and miserable. Thankfully now that fall really is coming soon, things will eventually cool down and I’ll have no excuses. I also have a bunch of really cool reviews in the works, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

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

Kits-Mas Day 12 – The Grand Finale

Okay, maybe not such a grand finale after all, but a finale nonetheless! Today’s outfit serves two purposes – the last day of this project as well as Fudangi First Friday.

This kimono, despite being quite casual, has always looked somewhat festive to me. Something about tartans and plaids just feel like Christmas. It’s a common pattern on wrapping paper, and (as you can see in my photos) tree skirts and decorations. So using this kimono in an outfit was a given, clearly.

Pairing it up with red to make it punchier might be a fairly straightforward and expected coordination but it just works so well! I love how the faint stripes in the obi echo the other colours of green and navy. Initially I had no plans to take a picture of the back of the mannequin without the red haori, but I realised as I was tying the obi that the karuta musubi looks like a present, so I had to capture that too.

Okay, so this is certainly not the most dramatic or exciting coordination of the project, it’s comfortable and cute and worked out quite well. It was also easy to put on after a frustratingly long day that started with me slipping on ice and smashing my elbow and ended up with me nearly being trapped at work because the lock on the front door froze. I honestly didn’t have the energy for anything more complicated.

While this has been a mostly enjoyable project, if I’ve learnt one thing from it, it’s to never commit to twelve consecutive days of anything, no matter how much you enjoy it. Between holiday stress, work, family stuff, etc, I am burnt the heck out right now . I think I will be taking a little hiatus from blogging for a bit, maybe a week or ten days. I’ve got lots of stuff in the works though, so I promise I’ll be back in full force very soon! <3

 

Kits-Mas Day 5 – Festive Florals

Today is sort of a double-whammy. I know I said I’d only commit to doing the first Fudangi Friday of each month, but I figured since I was doing this project anyway I may as well do something that’s applicable to both challenges. These casual but still festive florals fit the bill perfectly. I realised while I was plotting out coordinations that these two pieces I have both fit into the colour scheme I’ve got going for Christmas and have somewhat seasonally appropriate motifs. Kiku is generally a late fall/November flower, and ume is a late winter/February sort of thing, but since we’re sort of smack-dab in the middle of the season I feel like putting them together works out well.

The green haneri and obi help pull out the bits of green foliage in the haori, but red and creamy white still dominate this outfit, which is fine with me. The Christmassy aspect of this one feels much more subtle to me than yesterday’s, for example, but in the right context it feels no less thematic. This outfit wouldn’t feel out of place at a relaxed holiday gathering, but it also wouldn’t feel out of place at any other event during the winter, even if it’s not a holiday-specific thing. I like that. It’s versatile!

Also, I don’t know if anyone other than me noticed this but the poor mannequin has been progressively sinking lower and lower lately and I finally got fed up and tightened her up. Considering one of my primary considerations when buying kimono is my own height (newer readers who are mostly familiar with the mannequin and not photos of me might not be aware but I’m 179cm or 5’10” tall) so as she shrank, the kimono I was putting on her were getting longer and more unruly XD

Lastly, here’s a better photo of today’s furry guest star, since in the main ones he’s kind of hiding behind everything. Poor Vinnie, can’t catch a break!