Harvest Gold

Does anyone remember harvest gold appliances? Thankfully we never had any in my household but we did have an avocado green dishwasher for a very long time! It’s funny how colours go and out of fashion, isn’t it? And how they can look so lovely on a kimono but so ghastly in a kitchen!

This kimono was actually the emergency back-up I purchased for Belle’s outfit, after it seemed like the one I wanted had got lost in the post. Eventually the first one did show up, so I got to use it as I’d planned, but it seemed like quite a shame for this gorgeous vintage piece to languish in storage so I vowed to do something with it today.

My initial plan was a gold obi, but since I wasn’t doing the Belle outfit anymore I figured I had more freedom, but for some reason I had a heck of a time finding a coordination that did the piece justice. Most of my obi were either too flashy and metallic or too dark, and the soft, delicate quality of the yuzen around the hem would have been completely overwhelmed. Then I thought I could use the yellow nagoya obi I used last week but that seemed repetitive and overly monotone. Then I debated an orange hakata and a grey masculine-feeling nagoya that both didn’t quite work either. Then I found this beautiful dusty taupe nagoya with a subtle bit of gold. It perfectly balanced the kimono, pulling out the grey-brown tones of the flower cart and helping anchor it. Simple green accessories and one of the charming new subtle haneri I bought rounded things off.

The outfit feels very soft and elegant to me, stylish in a very understated sort of way that looks fantastic on a mannequin but I could probably never pull off in person! It also feels very seasonal right now, despite having more spring and summer flowers on it. The colours reflect the changing leaves outside, which makes me very happy.

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!

Belle – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵 Tale as old as time 🎵

Beauty & the Beast has always been one of my favourite classic fairy tales. From very traditional to a middle-eastern interpretation told from the Beast’s perspective, to cheesy steampunk romance novels, it’s just always called to me. Disney’s version is no exception. Belle was a heroine for all of us awkward book-worms, she was stubborn all while being courageous and devoted.

I found this kimono on eBay back in June, and all I could see was Belle’s famous golden ball gown. Even the heavy kinkoma embroidery roses on it seemed too good to be true. I threw out a fairly high bid on it just to be safe and was shocked when I won it uncontested. That was the catalyst for this entire project. I figured if I was going to do Belle I may as well try all the Princesses. While waiting eagerly for this one to arrive, I scoured my collection and began plotting out the other outfits, trying to use as many things I already owned as possible.

Weeks passed with no sign of this kimono. I’d already started the project and I couldn’t very well just leave my favourite princess out, so I scouted out a few other viable alternatives and eventually settled on one. It was pretty, and suitable, just nowhere near as perfect as this one. The seller was kind enough to refund my purchase and I accepted that this one was lost for good. I began working my way through the other outfits, but I hadn’t yet found my motivation to do Belle. I knew what accessories I was going to use, and even made an obidome with roses and the magic mirror on it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to actually dress the mannequin.

So imagine my shock when the kimono arrived in the mail yesterday, three months after I won it! I was so excited to coordinate it that I scrapped my other plans for today to put the outfit together. To emphasise the rose motif, the obi is tied in bara musubi with a red silk rose tucked in as an accent. Two rosebuds tucked into the front pull in a tiny pop of red, while yellow and gold accessories round the outfit out. Of course, I had to include Lumiere (who was purchased at Disneyland in California earlier this year) and the Enchanted Rose (which I made myself using craft supplies and the dome from an old clock), and even managed to catch a cameo from my very own beast.

I am so happy I waited, everything turned out exactly as I’d pictured it in my head. 💖

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Jasmine – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵 Now I’m in a whole new world with you 🎵

She may not have been the titular protagonist of her movie, but there’s no denying that Aladdin‘s Princess Jasmine is a feisty, independent heroine. Nobody’s going to marry her off to someone she doesn’t love, and she craves adventure outside the sheltered palace walls.

I knew right away that I had the perfect kimono for her. While the design on this houmongi is a real place, the Shah Mosque in Iran, there’s no denying that traditional Islamic architecture had a huge impact on the art direction of the movie, and the beautiful design of the fictional city of Agrabah. The gold obi with blue and turquoise arabesque designs was the perfect complement. I knew I had to incorporate her charming tiger companion Rajah, and I found a sweet little charm with a gold tiger inside of it, but it was transparent and would have been completely disappeared against the busy gold pattern of the obi, so I set out to turn it into an obidome. Backing it with a blue-green enamel helped call back to the gem in her hairpiece, and I love how it turned out in the end.

Of course, the finishing touch was the lamp. If anyone knows how I can get a Genie out of there, please let me know.

We’re so close to finishing this project now! I hope you’re all as excited as I am.

Tiana – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵 Dreams Do Come True in New Orleans🎵

Tiana is one of the princesses I have had the most fun with so far. I knew right away I wanted to use this green irotomesode. Not only its it the perfect shade of froggy green, but it’s also from the same era as Tiana is. While most of the Princess movies exist in a bit of an amorphous time and space, The Princess and The Frog has such a distinct and concrete setting. I wanted something that brought together Taisho-era Japan and Jazz Age New Orleans, and felt like a kimono-hime outfit would strike exactly the mood I was aiming for.

I built the outfit around the kimono, using golden yellow accents as a callback to her beautiful flowery gown. Some ivory lace appliqué on the collar and hem is reminiscent of flapper fringe, and when I found this gorgeous flower belt in the bridal section of the craft store, I knew I’d found my parallel for the lily on her gown. Of course, what is the princess without her frog? An enamel and gold brooch looks perfectly at home nestled in one of the flowers.

My original plan was to tie the obi in a more vintage-feeling musubi, especially since I used a standard niijudaiko on Aurora last week, but this obi is incredibly short and fragile, and I wasn’t comfortable putting too much strain on it. I then realised that the yellow colour tied in a puffy little square otaiko is reminiscent of Tiana’s famous beignets, so it worked out better than I’d planned. Aside from the obi, this one turned out almost identical to what I had in my head, and I couldn’t be happier that it came together so well!