Think Pink Ikebana

Very, very pink! I think I was inspired by the #monokimono challenge and ended up doing a #monoikebana without really intending to. I found the two different shades of alstroemeria and thought they’d make for some interesting texture and colour interplay, and then I stumbled across a gerbera daisy which just happened to match exactly. The pink vase seemed like the next logical step after that.

Typically when I buy flowers I choose my own greenery and avoid the fluff and frill of ferns (woo hello there alliteration!) but I was rushing to an appointment and there was a new girl behind the counter, so when I saw she’d taken the greens out I decided to just run with it. I do like that they add a good grounding base to the whole arrangement, and another layer of texture. However, the arrangement felt like it was missing height and balance, and I racked my brain to think of something I could add. The green bamboo-like bits are actually simply the stems of the alstroemeria flowers that I cut off. I love the idea of giving them a second life that also helps make the whole arrangement feel more harmonious. I might have to revisit this sometime, working with the entire stem, not just the bloom.

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink!

You know how I’m always joking about how I love every outfit I coordinate on the mannequin? Well, today I learnt that nobody can hit a home run every time!

I’ve been wanting to do an all-pink coordination on a Wednesday in honour of the iconic Mean Girls quote for a long time. It seemed like a good opportunity to use this gorgeous pink hakata obi I got in the huge obi bundle, and I tried to build the outfit around it using other pink items in my collection. While I don’t hate it, I’m not crazy about it either. Sometimes a theme or idea just isn’t a winner. I love all of these pieces independently, but together they feel like something is lacking. It even feels like the kimono isn’t hanging quite right on the mannequin. However, it’s been alarmingly hot here (over 40C/105F) for several days now, and I knew there was no way I’d have the energy to re-dress her. So I figured I would give you guys a small glimpse into what happens on the rare occasion that I’m not thrilled with how something turned out!

Hopefully once it cools down I’ll have more energy to do something a little more inspired 🙂 If not, I have a few book reviews to get done.

Soft and Feminine

Today is going much smoother than yesterday did, so I thought I would attempt the soft, girly coordination I had in mind for Hina-matsuri. I chose this beautiful pink takara houmongi that my good friend (and Naomi’s charming husband!) Arian bought for me ages ago. It’s one of the softest, most demure kimono I own and it felt right for this outfit.

As much fun as I have been having lately with hime-style and non-traditional kitsuke, I was in the mood to make a very “normal” outfit this time, so I pulled out coordinating pastel accessories and this lovely but painfully soft gold fukuro obi. I attempted a tsunodashi musubi, but it’s so floppy it looks a little deflated, unfortunately. Overall though, I very much achieved the aesthetic I wanted!

Outfit of the Whenever: Sugar & Spice

I have accepted that calling this feature Outfit of the Week is unrealistic. I will try to continue posting at minimum once a month; we’ll see how that goes 😉

I’ve been wanting to do an outfit using a blouse in lieu of juban for quite some time now, but never really found inspiration until now. The other day I found this ruffled, high-necked, almost Victorian-inspired black blouse and everything fell right into place. I went with a very simple colour scheme, just using black and dusty pink. The kimono is an iromuji with a really lush, textured silk weave. The obi is actually my lobster tsuke obi wrapped backwards so it’s just solid black. I realised as I was dressing Tsukiko that it was coming across as a very pretty, demure, sort of outfit so I ramped that up with pearls and an ume kanzashi from GirLinKimono on Etsy used as an obidome. It seemed very fitting for Valentine’s Day.

I love how soft and simple this coordination is, without being remotely boring. I also really like how the blouse-as-undergarment turned out, and I may end up having to try this out on myself sometime in the near future. It seems like it would be easier and more comfortable than worrying about juban and everything.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! May it be filled with love and chocolate or whatever else makes you happy.

Basho, bunnies, and a buzz cut!

Hello! I’m back, sort of! As some of you know, I had a cranial decompression back in April. I won’t elaborate because it’s a bit creepy and involves my brain meats, but feel free to ask me about if you are curious. Suffice to say it went very well, and my health is improving in leaps and bounds, but until recently I have not had the energy or stamina for kimono.

Earlier this week, Katsura Sunshine, the only foreign rakugo performer in the world, was on the local news discussing his upcoming performance at the Montreal Botanical Gardens Japanese cultural weekend. Queue several days of me getting very excited, planning an outfit, and being generally annoying.

One thing I was certain of, I wanted to wear my hakama. I’m still quite a bit heavier than I used to be, I tire easily, and I was going to be tromping around in a garden. The hakama would cover a multitude of sins. I then decided that since I’d be surrounded in foliage, it would be an excellent opportunity to wear the bizarre basho-leaf houmongi I bought eons ago and never had the chance to coordinate. I realised my bunny geta matched the colours in the houmongi quite nicely, so I went with a bunny haneri to tie things together. I was so excited. The whole outfit has a very soft/girly feel to me, all in shades of pink and purple with pale blue accents, so I decided to wear my pink lace tabi too.

This morning rolls around, dark and drizzling. I started having misgivings about going, but I figured it would be a good excuse to get out of the house. Until I checked ticket prices. It’s nearly thirty dollars a person to enter the Botanical Gardens, plus an estimated $15 to $20 for an afternoon’s parking. My father was going to accompany me, since I am not allowed to drive and was not up to spending an hour on the subway in a kimono. That would have been quite an expense, only to end up getting rained on.

Undaunted, I decided to put the outfit on anyway and take some photos in the yard of my lovely next-door neighbours. Their pear tree is bearing fruit, and was a great place to pose. All in all, I’m glad I decided to get dressed. It was wonderful for my morale.

Kimono and buzz cut, an excellent combination! You can see the charming hole in my head here, or at least what’s left of it… Thanks for looking! Hopefully now that I am starting to feel less sick all the time, I will be posting somewhat regularly again.