Taisho Blues

I know, I know, I said the last outfit I posted would be around for a while. Work continues apace on updating and redoing my visual catalogue, and when I took out this Taisho-era beauty I love so much, I realised I’d never coordinated her with this vintage orange hakata obi and that seemed like a crime. They feel like they were made for each other. But then again, I think hakata goes with everything. When I first got it, I paired it with an orange obi and while I loved the colour contrast, the obi was a metallic, Showa-era blingfest that felt incongruous with the soft vintage feel of the kimono. Springy green accessories were the perfect finishing touch, including a brand new obiage I’ve never used before.

If you’re a regular reader, you know that for whatever reason I’ve always had bad luck with tying obi in tsunodashi musubi but I was really in the groove after putting this outfit together and I figured I’d give it another shot. I’m really glad I did, because it worked out perfectly. The ohashori is quite puffy-looking, which is unfortunate, but sometimes it’s inevitable due to the shape of the mannequin.

Now this is definitely an outfit I’m happy to leave on the mannequin until I’m finished everything else I have in the works.

Gofuku no Hi, a day late and a dollar short.

Yesterday, May 29, was  着物着ます (Gofuku no Hi), or Wear Kimono Day. It is a day to encourage kimono enthusiasts around the world to get out and wear kimono and have fun. Unfortunately, yesterday was an absolute no-go for me. I had work, I wasn’t feeling well to begin with, and it was incredibly hot and humid. So I decided to dress Tsukiko today instead.

I have been dying to pair this basho (banana leaf) houmongi and kikyou hakata obi for years now, and just never found the right opportunity until now. This kimono is one of the few that actually still fits me properly, but it’s still much more comfortable for me to dress the mannequin. I absolutely love the hints of icy blue in the leaves on the kimono and decided to accessorise in the same colour, to emphasise the cool feeling. I love how this outfit turned out, nearly monochrome but with the hits of blue for punch.

Obi bundle part I – Hakata obi

I apologize for the lack of entries lately! I’ve been preoccupied with work, an incredibly severe migraine that ended up with me in the hospital, and an actor named Benedict Cumberbatch. What can I say, he’s got an intriguing face and a charming personality? XD

Anyway, I’ve finally found time to start sorting and cataloguing all the obi in the incredible bundle I posted recently. I think the easiest way to handle it will be to separate the obi into types and do one entry per type. With my love of hakata, there was no question as to which ones would be posted first!

Navy blue and white cotton hakata fukuro
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1

This one is interesting – in most lights it’s so dark that it’s nearly black, but with light on it the obvious navy blue makes itself apparent. It’s also a very thick, durable-feeling cotton blend of some sort, rather than the traditional squeaky silk hakata is often made of.

Vivid pink hakata fukuro with geometric designs
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1
I still can’t believe the other girls were willing to let me have this one, it’s incredibly stunning and unique – I’ve never seen anything like that interesting interlocked pattern on hakata textiles before. This one was constructed like a chuuya obi, backed in black silk. However, the silk is rotting away with age so I’m going to disassemble it and just keep it as a single layer, since most hakata obi are constructed in that manner.

Butter yellow, red, and black hakata fukuro with asanoha
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1
This is another one that I’m shocked I managed to walk away with. It’s incredibly unique, and I love how it’s off-balance and has the asanoha motif worked in. It does have a fair bit of patina that is very evident with flash photography, but it’s quite subtle in person so I suspect it won’t detract from the piece when it’s worn. I may just have to tie it creatively to hide some particularly dark bits.

White on white traditional hakata fukuro
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1
This is a much more standard-style hakata obi, but I’ve wanted a white-on-white one for quite some time now, since they’re so neutral and versatile. I’m quite pleased with this one.

Taupey olive grey hanhaba hakata
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1
I tried to get the colour of this fairly accurate, but it was very hard to capture. It’s very interesting – from a distance it looks quite drab but up close it shifts from an olive khaki colour to a steely blue-grey to a warm taupe, and the weave almost reminds me of shark skin. It’s got an interesting subtle elegance to it, and I’m looking forward to finding the right kimono to pair it with.

Obi bundle!

Just a quick post today, because I’m too excited not to share this! A few months back, Naomi was kind enough to orchestrate and organize a huge obi bundle split amongst a few members of the IG forums. After much negotiation and wheedling, we each ended up with an amazing selection, and I got my box today! Here’s a little preview of all the glorious goodies I’ll be cataloguing over the next little while.

Obi bundle

Hakata and momiji chuuya obi

I’ve professed my love for hakata obi many times before, and I’ve been lusting after unique, vintage chuuya (night-and-day reversible) obi for a bit now. When this one came up on eBay I was positive it would shoot out of my price range, especially since I was preparing for a trip to New York City and couldn’t afford any big-ticket items.

With a day left and barely any bidding, I figured I’d have to toss out a little bid, but I was really resigned to saying goodbye to this beauty. I guess the universe was feeling sorry for me because I picked it up for a song.

One side is a stunning, delicate yuzen-dyed momiji (turning maple) motif on indigo-purple diamonds. A few of the more visible leaves also have a bit of embroidery along the veining, which is a really pretty and delicate touch. The inverse is a lush burnt orange hakata weave, and both sides are incredibly lush.

It does have a slight bit of age-related patina, but it’s nearly invisible except under direct close-up flash photography. It’s wonderfully wearable, and I think it will go very well with the irotomesode I just received.

Momiji and Hakata chuuya

Momiji and Hakata chuuya

Momiji and Hakata chuuya