The Outfit IG Built

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.

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!
Squirrel with a napkin

And, just for reference, photos of the kimono by herself:

Oh I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay!

I sleep all night and I work all day!

I’d been waiting for the right opportunity to wear my lumberjack kimono, and I was starting to worry winter would come and go before I had the ideal combination of weather and free time. I guess the universe took pity on me, because we had a rather spectacular blizzard overnight!

I decided to pair it up with my ume and momiji tsuke-obi, since it seemed seasonal, thematically appropriate, and practical. I dressed in a sort of comfortable casual style, forgoing a proper juban for a turtleneck and a pair of tights. I figured the ridiculous hat and boots completed the outfit well.

I only realised as I was getting undressed that I’d forgotten my obijime – the perils of wearing a tsuke-obi, I suppose! I think it’s fine in this particular case though, since my kitsuke is so non-conventional to begin with.

And in case you don’t know where the title and opening bit of this entry come from, I present to you, The Lumberjack Song, from Monty Python:

Red and black plaid casual set

When I saw this, I knew I needed to have it. It reminds me so much of a stereotypical lumberjack shirt and it called out to my inner Canadian. I’ve already got an outfit in mind for it, including an obi with a maple leaf, a fur hat, and my winter boots. I’ve just got to wait for snow! The fact that it’s incredibly long (167cm) was an extra bonus.

It’s a wonderful thick taffeta silk, much like my other plaid kimono. What I really love about this set though, is that the jacket is a dochugi, not a haori. Dochugi are more casual, and have a substantial decorative cord at the front where they cross over completely, rather than a haori which should hang open, held together with a small set of ties. I’m looking forward to wearing this dochugi with jeans and a black top as well.

As far as I can tell, this set is also brand spanking new. It’s still got the original basting threads and the white lining is completely pristine, and still stiff.

Lumberjack Kimono & Dochugi

Lumberjack Kimono & Dochugi

Lumberjack Kimono & Dochugi

Lumberjack Kimono & Dochugi

They followed me home, I swear.

If you’re an avid collector, it can get to the point where kimono and related items really do just start following you home. As I mentioned in this entry, I came home with a bunch of kimono in my suitcase, despite my best efforts. One of them is a gorgeous Tokaido piece I’d actually purchased on eBay and had shipped to my friend Jamie, due to the postal strike, and it will be getting its own entry. Here are the other two.

Mauve-brown pussywillow komon
Pussywillow Komon

Pussywillow Komon

We were out browsing and shopping in Soho and Jamie started getting amusingly evasive and vague about our next destination. I was so touched when we ended up at Kiteya, a beautiful gem of a shop. The front of the store is filled with wonderful Japanese handicrafts, jewelry, art objects, etc. The back room has two big comfy chairs (which made the rest of our group very happy) and a bunch of kimono (which made me very happy). The service was wonderful, everyone was very friendly and helpful. There were some incredibly gorgeous vintage pieces, but their prices were pretty much gallery-standard, and while they were not unreasonable they’re more than an online bargain-hunter like myself is used to paying, and the only piece I was tempted to justify a big price on (Taisho houmongi with gorgeous peacock design) was just waaaaay too short for me. I was about to give up when I noticed this modern synthetic piece buried under a bunch of other things.

This colour is not only impossible to describe, it was impossible to photograph too. It’s sort of a dusty mauvey brown taupe something I dunno. A pinkish brown, a brownish pink, I’m not sure? But I do know it’s completely adorable. I love pussywillows, they remind me of my grandmother, who always had a bundle in her living room. The ones on here are very adorable too, in soft springy shades of pink and blue. It’s a nice versatile spring kimono, and I look forward to wearing it. I needed more wearable, unlined pieces anyway.

Black tsukesage-komon with diamond fan design
Black fan tsukesage-komon

Black fan tsukesage-komon

This is kind of a funky oddity – it’s a half lined komon but arranged in very specific stripes, there’s even a seam across the hips to help ensure the pattern falls properly. I actually won this awesome piece in a raffle at the street fair mentioned a few entries back, and it’s not only unique and quirky, but it fits me really well. It’s so awesome. It’s half-lined in bright red, but the top is unlined which will help keep it airy and breathable. I also love how the design from afar just looks like little diamonds, but up close they’re actually fans. It’s so charming.

Two recent komon – meisen and BUNNIES!

My track record of “adopting” things from other folks once again rears its head today. Both of these were inherited from prior owners.

Sythetic hitoe with BUNNIES!
Bunny Hitoe Komon

Bunny Hitoe Komon

I’m sorry, I’m just far too excited by this piece. It’s just so cute! Jaclyn bought it and another komon with bunnies at the same time, and decided that the other one was more to her liking. I’d mentioned how cute I found this one, and she knows how difficult it is for me to find kimono that fit me well, so here it is! This thing is a whopping 171cm/68″ long, and 140cm/55″ wide. It’s enormous, and the only kimono I own that fits me properly. It’s unlined but not summer weave, so I should be able to get a fair bit of wear out of it in this climate.

Purple geometric meisen komon
Purple Geometric Meisen Komon

Purple Geometric Meisen Komon

Naomi got this in a large bundle, and kindly gave it to me when I was down there visiting a while ago. It’s just about long enough for me to fudge a tiny ohashori out of, and if need be I can wear it without one due to how casual it is. The colour is so rich and lush.