Ariel – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat?🎵

Six weeks ago, I found a kimono on ebay that was perfectly reminiscent of Belle’s yellow ballgown from Beauty & The Beast. I snatched it up, and thus the ridiculous Disney Princess Kitsuke Project was born. I spent the following weeks plotting out coordinations for every single one of the official princesses. Made a few purchases, but mostly tried to use my existing collection. However, six weeks in, that gorgeous gold kimono still hasn’t arrived. I felt my frustration setting in and my motivation up and running away. I knew the only way to keep myself on track was to work on some of the other princesses in the interim.

Ariel seemed like a good starting point, as she was the first “new” princess of my youth. I definitely identify the most with Belle (nerdy idealistic brunette? come on!) but had very strong memories of Ariel too so she seemed like logical next best thing. I chose my teal green hakama to mimic her tail, a sparkly purple komon to match her purple shell bra, and my shell haneri. It’s not very visible, but of course I had to use my whale hanhaba obi under the hakama, right? Last time I was at the craft store, I kept an eye out for charms and decorative items I could use in this project, and the first thing I found was a cute little shell charm. I figured I could work with that, and then I stumbled across the dinglehopper and couldn’t have been happier! I assembled them together with some silver chain, and some pearly beads and starfish charms finished it off perfectly.

Overall, I think this first outfit in the project came out exactly how I wanted it to. Which is a good thing, because now my motivation is back on track for the rest of them! I’ll likely be aiming to doing one a week, and then a big collective entry when they’re all complete. I hope you come back to see the others.

 

Princess of Themyscira

This outfit was inspired by the strong and compassionate warrior whose name is on everyone’s lips these days – Wonder Woman! I’ve had so much fun doing geeky-inspired kitsuke in the past (Star Trek, Bitch Planet, and Star Wars) and I wanted to give Diana her due. My initial plan was going to be a blue kimono and red haori, but I realised the vaguely onna-bugeisha style of a hakama would be much more balanced and representative of her red top and blue bottom. I felt like the kiku motif of this vivid red kimono was reminiscent of the star motif of her outfit, and a navy hakama grounded the whole thing. Of course, I had to bring in gold as the accent colour of the haneri and obi. The sword seemed like a foregone conclusion once everything came together, and what would Wonder Woman be without her golden lasso (or in this case, her golden obijime)?

Overall, I feel like this was another ultimately successful cosplay-style kitsuke. I would love to wear this outfit to a convention or something at some point, along with a tiara and bracers. It’s the sort of outfit that would take a minute to “get”, but I think once people recognised it, it would go over really well.

Art Gallery – Spring by Tsubame-Kimonoya

This precious piece was done by Tsubame-Kimonoya on Tumblr. I love how she was inspired by the adorable dog Luka in my original photo from Gofuku no Hi last year, and added not one but two dogs! The only thing better than one dog is two dogs. And the details in my outfit are perfectly spot-on.

The weather here in Montreal is finally turning a corner. We got snow on Friday but it’s been lovely since then, and this art feels like a welcome breath of the spring that’s to come.

One Kimono, Four Ways – Week 2: Modern and Monochrome

For this week’s outfit featuring my mint iromuji, I wanted a big departure from the very standard coordination from last week. This adorable kitty haneri is a very deep rich teal, and it struck me that I had a bunch of similar items in various shades of the same colour. I think pairing the iromuji up with them and using cooler lighting than last week’s photo really drives home the point that I was trying to make, that one kimono can look incredibly different with different accessories, and in different situations. Surrounded by the cool tones of the haneri, obi, and hakama the kimono itself leans much more towards the blue side of things than it did against the gold and lavender of last week.

So far, I think this experiment is going swimmingly! I look forward to seeing what else I can do with this piece.

One Kimono Four Ways

Back to School, Meiji-Style!

I have always loved the look of the traditional Meiji/Taisho era schoolgirl outfits; the youthfulness of the hakama, the timeless feel of the yagasuri kimono, the modern and almost masculine touches of little leather ankle boots. When I splurged on this teal hakama a few months back, I’d imagined pairing it with my red and white yagasuri komon. What I hadn’t thought of was including this vintage taffeta haori I love to death, but as soon as I saw the three pieces sitting together in a pile I knew I’d found the perfect finishing touch to this outfit and with lots of schools starting this week, it seemed like an ideal time to pull it all together.

I knew I wanted to use a black obi to help anchor everything, but I don’t actually own a black hanhaba obi. Thankfully, because I was just dressing the mannequin, I could fudge things a little. I used the waist part of a two-piece tsuke-obi and a big obi-makura in the back to give the hakama something to anchor to. The plum motif of the haneri might not be totally seasonally appropriate for a “back to school” outfit, but the colours felt so right I had to run with it.

Aside from the haori (which is incredibly narrow, even by vintage standards), these pieces are all quite large which means I can totally fit into them. The hakama especially makes it easier and more comfortable for me, so expect to see this coordination on yours truly at some point in the near future. A cute pair of ankle boots would make things easy and still be appropriate to the ensemble. I just need to invest in a proper black hanhaba obi and then find somewhere to go and hope that the cooperates!