MonoKimono Challenge – Misty Mint

Does anyone else love Misty Mint candies? If you’ve never had them, they’re these wonderful, creamy, melty mint candy drops in beautiful pastel colours. They don’t make them anymore, sadly, and even if they did I couldn’t eat them since I’m allergic to dairy now, alas. However, the colour of this iromuji makes me think so fondly of them!

This coordination is basically a revisit of this monochrome outfit, but I wanted to do something softer, and without the hakama. This one feels more wearable, overall. I used the same kimono and haneri, but switched up to this shiny fukuro obi and accessories that blend in with the kimono itself. I had fun doing a sort of bunko variation with the obi, I quite like how it looks and it was very quick to do.

It’s also very interesting to me how this colour family photographs. In the original outfit with the hakama, it looks much more blue, today’s photos look much more green, and the catalogue photos below feel somewhere in between. All due to ambient light, time of day, and other external factors.

We’re halfway through the #monokimono challenge! I’m proud of myself for sticking with it, and already have plans for the second half of the year. Are you doing the challenge? If so, please share links in the comments, I would love to see!

Items used in this coordination

A Ship in Full Sail

I’ve been itching to do something with this incredible black ship obi I got from Lyuba since it arrived, but somehow other things just kept getting in the way. Until today! I started with an iromuji that’s always kind of reminded me of tropical waters. It leans a little too far onto the mint green side, but it’s still in that watery family, and the thick textured rinzu totally looks like little rippling waves. It’s also very neutral, and since I wanted this incredible obi to be the focus, so that worked out quite well.

I went with soft accessories in the same colour family as the ship to help echo it without being overpowering, and an obijime that matches the iromuji to (literally) tie it all together. The result is a coordination that feels cohesive and thoughtful while still keeping nearly the entire focus on the beautiful hand-painted detail on the obi, which is exactly what I was aiming for.

Items used in this coordination

The obiage is quite new and I haven’t had time to add it to the catalogue yet, which is why it’s not in the item list above. My next Big Project is to finish photographing the stragglers and get all the obijime done. Hopefully over my next long weekend!

#Monokimono Challenge – Rose Pink

This certainly seems to be the month of pink! First there was the pink ikebana, then there was the pink sakura artwork, and now for this month’s #monokimono challenge, an experiment in pink and texture.

For the first one, I focused on pieces that had a lot of pattern going on, but had the colour in the background. This one, I decided to use pieces that were essentially solid, but all in the same soft dusty rose pink tones and lots of varied texture. I started with my iromuji with the really thick watery rinzu, and then the reverse side of the pink-and-grey sakura chuuya obi. It’s solid and smooth and contrasts perfectly with the rich texture of the kimono. Then this amazing new lace haori, which is slightly less saturated in colour but adds yet another layer of really thick, tactile interest. Throw in a few more shades of pink and interesting textures in the accessories, and I think this is a very successful monochrome outfit. It feels both timeless and modern somehow, and could be worn to so many different events.

Items used in this coordination

Since I’ve nearly completed cataloguing my entire collection, I thought I would add this little mini-feature to coordination entries. I still have obijime left to add, but once that’s done I will be going back and adding these detail images to entries over time. What do you think?

Subtly Spooky

Happy Halloween, everyone! I had tons of fun last year doing a month’s worth of various Halloween coordinations but this month was too busy to devote myself to anything like that. I knew I had to do something though, and that’s where this suitably subtly spooky outfit came from!

The starting point was unsurprisingly the obi. Obi with seasonal, spooky, or gothic motifs tend to be quite popular, and as such, also quite expensive. This one cost me nearly nothing, since it’s the reverse side of an obi I already owned! I found this gorgeous iridescent gemstone skull sticker at a craft store. It’s actually a Martha Stewart brand product, of all things. Once I had the skull, I knew I wanted to decorate an obi with it but I was worried it would be too plain, but then I found a spool of adhesive ribbons and trims and I was all set.

I knew I wanted a fairly plain kimono so that the focus would be on the bling-tastic obi. I waffled over a few choices, debated buying something, and then I remembered I had this little beauty, a gift from the same dear friend who sent me the vintage kakeshita a while back. This piece is quite old, and quite fragile. The silk itself is very clearly sun-damaged, faded in spots, and has several tears and frays where the seams are coming apart. It’s also one of those odd hybrid kimono that we hardly ever see anymore. From a distance, it is (or was, before the fading) a solid uniform purple shade with a single crest, which would place is straight in iromuji territory. But up close, it’s shot through with gold stripes, which is not something you’d generally see in a modern iromuji. Whatever you want to call it, I’m so glad I finally found a way to use it!

The finishing touch for this outfit is a brooch I made a while back with supplies from the very same craft store. It wasn’t made with kimono or any particular event in mind, I was just feeling creative. But it works so well with this outfit, you’d think I’d done it on purpose! I tied everything together with black, red, and dark raspberry pink accessories and came up with what I think is a very spooky but also very wearable coordination!

Are you dressing in kimono this halloween? If so, please share photos!

May the Fourth Be With You

It’s no secret that a huge part of Star Wars’ visual identity owes much to traditional Japanese aesthetics. From Darth Vader’s samurai-like helmet to the kimono-inspired robes of both the Jedi and Sith, the influence is apparent in many facets of the Universe. May the Fourth is known as Star Wars Day to many people, a play on words about the date sounding so much like the traditional May The Force (be with you) greeting.

I had been wanting to do a Jedi-inspired kitsuke using beige and brown toned items ever since I did the Star Trek themed one a while back. What can I say, I am an equal opportunity fangirl! I found these two iromuji for a song a while back and thought today would be the perfect day to do it. I tried to keep the actual dressing manner quite traditional, aside from taking the liberty of using a second kimono as a long over-robe, instead of finding a haori. I wanted something I could try to fake the appearance of a hood with, and something that would flow to the ground. I used my spider obi flipped inside-out to get a rough-textured beige obi, and a brown mottled leather obijime to replicate the belts usually worn by Jedi. The finishing touch was one of my Jedi symbol earrings clipped to the obijime as a little decoration.

I really like how well this all came together. It’s really evident to see the kimono origins of the Jedi robes when it’s all set up like this, and now I’m very tempted to adapt this outfit to wear to a convention. Maybe I’ll hike up the hem and wear brown leggings and boots underneath it for comfort and ease of movement. Of course, this means I’ll have to get myself a lightsaber!