Soft and Feminine

Today is going much smoother than yesterday did, so I thought I would attempt the soft, girly coordination I had in mind for Hina-matsuri. I chose this beautiful pink takara houmongi that my good friend (and Naomi’s charming husband!) Arian bought for me ages ago. It’s one of the softest, most demure kimono I own and it felt right for this outfit.

As much fun as I have been having lately with hime-style and non-traditional kitsuke, I was in the mood to make a very “normal” outfit this time, so I pulled out coordinating pastel accessories and this lovely but painfully soft gold fukuro obi. I attempted a tsunodashi musubi, but it’s so floppy it looks a little deflated, unfortunately. Overall though, I very much achieved the aesthetic I wanted!

Shifuku and Usagi Houmongi

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve technically already seen this particular kimono, when I wore it out to the park (and then subsequently dinner, but I did not take photos of that) a few weeks back. I finally had some time to take proper catalogue photographs, and it’s a piece that really needs to be appreciated in detail.

The kimono is a subtle pastel gradient. I honestly did not even notice the gentle lavender at the shoulders until I hung it up to take the reference photos. The gold is also really soft and gentle. I don’t typically like large areas of gold leaf on a kimono, but on this one it’s not in-your-face.

However, the real magic is the embroidery on the front panels. I was informed that they are shifuku, or silk pouches used to protect items used during tea ceremony. The embroidery is done entirely in french knots, a technique known as saraga nui. I cannot imagine the time, patience, and skill required to do this.

The most special shifuku in my eyes is by far the one with the adorable white rabbit on it. It’s the sole reason I bought the kimono. He’s just so charming and quirky, on what is otherwise a very subdued and mature kimono.

Trip to the park in a bunny houmongi

I’m back! Sort of! I’m still not 100% better, they’re working on figuring out exactly what is wrong with me. Fun fun. However, I do have a bit more energy now, so when this adorable houmongi with french knot embroidery and a bunny arrived this morning, I decided to tackle it with gusto! I paired it up with a greeny blue fukuro obi with pinkish lavender lines and my blue and red shibori obiage and hakata obijime. A pair of gold and red zori pulled out the gold leaf accents on the kimono nicely.

Astute readers may have noticed something slightly different about my hair ;) Being trapped inside the house on sick leave for extended periods apparently makes me do wacky things.

In case you’re wondering what my earrings are, they are turquoise Calaveras (day of the dead skulls) with roses in their eyes, from Polished Two on Etsy. They arrived this morning as well, and were the exact same colours as the embroidery on the kimono. I figured I had to wear them.

And in honour of the recently departed Gary Coleman, RIP.
What’chu talkin’ bout, Willis?

For more images, and larger versions, please check out My Flickr.