This incredibly cute artwork was done by an artist with the incredibly cute handle of Sleepy Time. I let her choose the outfit she wanted to draw so I was thrilled when I received this one – if you're a regular reader you know how much this furisode means to me. :)
I really like the interpretation of the designs on the kimono. It may not be entirely accurate but it's such a fussy thing to draw that I think these designs were a wonderful compromise. She also put a lot of effort into making sure all the details were included, even the embroidery on the haneri and the lace tabi. I also think the face is completely adorable!
This piece was actually done for a contest on Gaia, and it was definitely one of the most amazing entries I received. As you may know, this particular furisode is incredibly special to me so of course I'm going to be biased when it comes to artwork of it. But look at the sheer amount of detail in this piece. The artist, Elsa Lee, put in a painstaking amount of work to faithfully reproduce the pattern on the kimono. What's more, can you believe she did it with a mouse?! My hand hurts just thinking about it.
If you want to see the incredibly high-resolution version of this (and believe me, you do!), you can check it out on Elsa’s DeviantArt account
So today is Seijin no Hi (成人の日), or Coming of Age Day in Japan. Traditionally, it's a day for young adults who have acheived the age of maturity, twenty, to celebrate. It's traditional for young women to wear their brightest, most fun furisode (long-sleeved kimono), sort of as a way of saying goodbye to childish things. Once women get older and marry, they no longer wear this type of kimono, so for a lot of girls it's the last “appropriate” time they'll have to wear one.
This year, I will be turning thirty – not twenty. However, I also currently live with my folks (who are incredibly awesome people, and I will get to that again shortly), I work in a toy store, and aside from kimono I collect toys and comic books. It would not be a stretch to say that mentally, I have not really reached any reasonable level of maturity XD. So I figured I may as well bust out one of my furisode, since I rarely have the opportunity to wear them anyway. I chose to wear my mauve peony and bamboo furisode, since it's beautiful and has special meaning to me – I bought it the first time I went to visit my best friend. I paired it up with my irridescent blue-green paving stone obi, and hot pink accessories. Oh, and an eyepatch. As I mentioned in my previous entry, I managed to use my mad coordination skills a week ago to scratch my cornea with a fork. Yes, you did read that right. And yes, it was as painful as you'd imagine. Thankfully it is getting better!
Now, to one of the many reasons I have awesome parents. I really wanted to try doing a furisode-appropriate musubi with this outfit, but I don't own any tools to tie them on myself. My amazing dad offered to help me out, and using his magical engineer brain figured out how to tie a fukura suzume (chubby sparrow) knot in a few mere minutes. Unfortunately, this obi has no core and is incredibly floppy. The bow looked great as long as I stood perfectly still. As soon as I moved, it would just sort of collapse in on itself and look like it had melted. He tried several times, but through no fault of his it just wasn't going to work. This obi is just too soft. In the end I decided to work with the floppiness and make a sort of a poofy bunko/chou-chou bow-style knot. I think all things considered, it turned out quite well.
I also decided to go a bit nuts with my footwear and layered some pinky-ivory lace tabi over some dark purple tabi. I really like how this looks.
Black Hanamaru Kofurisode
This is a piece I've already shown you, I wore it the first day it arrived, but it also needs a decent catalogue entry, so please bear with me.
Yamatoku was having a sale over the summer of graduation kofurisode overstock. Kofurisode are shorter-sleeved furisode, typically worn with hakama. Girls often wear them during high school and college graduation, so about a month after graduation season, kimono retailers will typically have a large number of modern, synthetic, mass-produced kimono available for good prices.
I don't usually like modern kimono, and furisode even less, so I honestly wasn't expecting to pick one of these up. However, when I found this one I had to cave in. It's komon-style (all over pattern), so it doesn't scream “furisode” to me. If anything, between the sleeve length and the bright all-over pattern, it looks more like a vintage everyday kimono than a modern graduation outfit. Because it's modern, it's nice and large and actually fits me nicely. It was also a steal at $19.95. How could I say no?
The patterns are hanamaru, which are decorative balls of flowers. They're primarily fall and winter flowers; ume and kiku. There's also some sort of berries or tiny flowers, I have no idea what these represent. If you know, please comment and help me out! There's also some subtle trellis designs which add a nice geometric element and keep it from feeling too twee or girly.
The hakkake is a deep yellow, and there is a matching built-in kasane-eri. I hate those damned things, but it does add a nice vibrant touch of colour up by my face, and helps to break up the black, so I'll probably leave it in there.
It's 32 degrees out (90 F). So what do I do, as soon as I come home and find my brand new lined synthetic kofurisode in the mail? Lovingly admire it and fold it away for cooler weather, like a sane person would? Of course not! I decided to coordinate an outfit and put it on ASAP.
I decided to pair it up with my pink and white hakata obi. This thing is like cardboard! It was a huge pain in the posterior to tie, but once I got it, it totally stayed put, which was awesome. I used my hellow shibori obiage and hakata obijime, to go with the yellow kasane-eri that was already built into the kimono. Some purple tabi tied in well with the flowers. My Aikoku Fujinkai obidome was the perfect finishing touch, it almost looks like it was made for the kimono.
And of course, my big orange lug insisted on making an appearance.
I really love how the whole outfit turned out, and I will definitely wear it out, possibly on my birthday in November when the lining and the motifs all make more sense with the weather!