I know I have not been posting in this blog anywhere near as frequently as I used to, and I apologise. However, yesterday I got an overwhelming urge to coordinate a kimono I’d never worn before, and decided to pair it with an obi I’ve also never worn before.
The kimono is a half-lined synthetic piece with tiny white fans in a sort of gradient pattern. I won it at the Astoria street fair in NYC in the summer of 2012, and it’s been sitting in an armoire ever since. I decided to pair it with a bright red faux-shibori obi I got from Ame years ago, and couldn’t resist using my ubiquitous lemon-yellow shibori obiage and hakata obijime.
Something about the combination of tiny patterns felt a bit retro to me, and I’ve been obsessively reading the Sano Ichiro series of novels by Laura Joh Rowland lately, so I decided to aim for a bit of an Edo-style silhouette, tying my obi much lower than usual and going for a more pigeon-shaped and natural-looking bust. I’m not sure how well it succeeded, but it was very comfortable! To emphasize the period feel, I had on a pair of black geta with pinstriped hanao, but they got cut off in the photos. Haha. Whoops!
Closeup of my adorable chidori-in-chidori obidome from Kansai_gal:
And a portrait. It doesn’t really show off my outfit, but I liked the way it looked anyway.
Well, would you look at that? I’m not actually dead! Summer here was insufferably hot and damp, intolerable kimono weather, and my health hasn’t been great lately. I’ve been less than motivated to do anything kimono-related recently, but I’d been kind of itching to wear this particular blue tsukesage since it arrived.
The perfect opportunity showed up when I bought tickets to the Montreal Pipes and Drums Whisky-Tasting fundraiser. At first, it might seem a bit incongruous to wear a kimono to a decidedly Scottish event, but the Quartermaster for the band is my friend Nick, who shares and encourages my silly kimono enthusiasm. He specifically requested I wear kimono, and who was I to say no? Initially I’d wanted to wear my tartan komon, figuring it would be much more appropriate, but it’s too narrow in the hips to comfortably wear out to an event, especially one where I’d be sitting in a western-style chair at a tiny bar table. So I finally got to bust out this blue beauty.
Inevitably, I got a few “what are you wearing?” and “I like your costume!” comments, but the response was overwhelmingly positive nonetheless. I think the best question I got was from the (very attractive) bouncer at the venue, who came up and said “Can I ask you a question?”. I cringed, expecting the usual “what is that?” or “geesha girl” type question, but instead, he said “Do they have a Japanese Whisky back there or something?” which made me smile.
Anyway, I’m rambling a bit. Here are the pictures! The angle of these ones is a bit funny, since my tripod attachment is MIA so my father kindly held the camera for me.
It wouldn’t be a Kimono Tsuki entry without a visit from my two favourite furry photobombers, now would it?
Thanks for looking! Hopefully I’ll be posting more frequently now :)
With summer rapidly (and hotly) approaching, I figured it was high time I invest in a few more ro pieces. I managed to snag these two for a great price, and since they were from the same seller and summer sheer weave is very light, the shipping was very affordable too. When all was said and done, I paid just over $20 for the two of them, shipping included.
Grey-blue ro tsukesage with flowers
I love how soft and painterly this looks – like an impressionist watercolour. It’s definitely got a cool, breezy feel to it and I really can’t wait to wear it. I think it will look lovely with my white sha hakata and pink accessories.
Cream komon with suzu
From a distance, this doesn’t look like much – just beige with yellow dots, but up close you can see that the “dots” are actually adorable little round bells, printed in a sort of faux-bingata style. It’s absolutely adorable! Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly narrow, so I need to get off my wider-than-average butt and widen the side seams.
So as most of you know, I am a moderator over at the Immortal Geisha webforums. I do this as a labour of love, not expecting anything in return. However, every so often, the kind and wonderful community of forum members there will flabbergast me with beautiful gifts. This year marks the incredible ten-year anniversary of the forum, and in thanks, Naomi and the members secretly arranged for the moderators to get incredibly generous gift certificates with which to buy kimono.
I’d been eyeing this particular synthetic komon for a while, mainly because I thought it would coordinate perfectly with my moorish arches nagoya obi, which, until now, I’d been unable to wear. That obi was also a gift from a forum member, so it seems incredibly fitting that not only did I get to wear them together, but they look absolutely perfect together. The kimono itself is quite a strange colour; the sale photos looked grey, in indoor lighting it looks navy blue, and in sunlight it looks almost purple. Thankfully, all three of those permutations happen to look fantastic with the brick-rust colour of the obi, and the cyan accents are a near-perfect match. The lining of the kimono is even a similar rusty colour to the obi.
I paired it up with my well-loved orange and blue shibori obiage and coordinating hakata obijime, and an awesome spade obidome from ChidoriyaWorld. I thought the spade shape mirrored the arches on the obi quite nicely. My father and I headed off to the park near my house to take pictures, and we were treated to perfect weather.
I also stole my dad’s hat, I couldn’t resist.
We also had company in the form of this silly little squirrel, who was carrying around a napkin. Not kimono-related, but too cute not to share!
And, just for reference, photos of the kimono by herself:
I found this beauty on eBay, and was initially drawn to it because of its length – a whopping 69 inches or 175 centimetres. At my height, finding long kimono is always exciting. The thumbnail makes it look quite odd – almost unfinished, like there are just big white blobs on a blue surface, and I think this worked in my favour, because nobody else bid on it.
Up close, however, the white “blobs” are incredibly soft, delicate botan with gentle pearly grey shading and gold centres, and then these interesting solid white kiku. They are definitely hand-painted with white and grey dye, not unfinished. The contrast, though, gives the kimono a very bold, modern look while still being soft and girly.
I absolutely can’t wait to wear this, I am thinking of pairing it up with the gold and white obi from this bundle. It will be nice to have both a kimono and an obi that fit me very well and don’t require fussing and fidgeting all evening ;)