🎵Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat?🎵
Six weeks ago, I found a kimono on ebay that was perfectly reminiscent of Belle’s yellow ballgown from Beauty & The Beast. I snatched it up, and thus the ridiculous Disney Princess Kitsuke Project was born. I spent the following weeks plotting out coordinations for every single one of the official princesses. Made a few purchases, but mostly tried to use my existing collection. However, six weeks in, that gorgeous gold kimono still hasn’t arrived. I felt my frustration setting in and my motivation up and running away. I knew the only way to keep myself on track was to work on some of the other princesses in the interim.
Ariel seemed like a good starting point, as she was the first “new” princess of my youth. I definitely identify the most with Belle (nerdy idealistic brunette? come on!) but had very strong memories of Ariel too so she seemed like logical next best thing. I chose my teal green hakama to mimic her tail, a sparkly purple komon to match her purple shell bra, and my shell haneri. It’s not very visible, but of course I had to use my whale hanhaba obi under the hakama, right? Last time I was at the craft store, I kept an eye out for charms and decorative items I could use in this project, and the first thing I found was a cute little shell charm. I figured I could work with that, and then I stumbled across the dinglehopper and couldn’t have been happier! I assembled them together with some silver chain, and some pearly beads and starfish charms finished it off perfectly.
Overall, I think this first outfit in the project came out exactly how I wanted it to. Which is a good thing, because now my motivation is back on track for the rest of them! I’ll likely be aiming to doing one a week, and then a big collective entry when they’re all complete. I hope you come back to see the others.
It’s hot out there, you guys. It’s so hot! I really needed to make an outfit that felt summery and breezy to counteract the oppressive weather. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this adorable card-suit obi that followed me home from California. It seemed like a good place to start. Even before I’d brought it home, I was thinking it would work well with this hydrangea hitoe komon I’ve had for years that never gets enough love. It’s way too tiny for me to ever wear, and I admittedly only bought it because it was bundled with an obi I wanted, but the light colour palette and seasonality of motif fit perfectly with the breezy summer concept I was aiming for.
This adorable shell haneri from Kansai_Gal seemed like the ideal finishing touch for the outfit. Rather than default to my usual standbys for a hanhaba obi (chocho musubi or karuta musubi) I thought I might try to be inspired by Choko and her amazing ability to improvise soft and relaxed-looking obi musubi that would also fit with the airy and relaxed style I was aiming for. I would like to think I’ve succeeded.
A few of us here in Montreal are having a kimono meet-up this coming weekend and I do wish there was some way I could get this kimono to fit me, but even if I were to lose a huge amount of weight it would still be too narrow across the back and too short, sadly. It would look so cute with pink lace tabi and my card-suit geta, but that’s a coordination for another person on another day. I will likely end up wearing my bunny komon and teal hakama, and you can be sure I will take tons of photos so check back early next week for that.
Most of the arrangements I’ve done so far have been fairly loose and natural in feeling, working with the shape of the flowers instead of forcing them. I really wanted to try something more sculptural and geometric and work with straight lines and the very linear quality of lucky bamboo (which isn’t really bamboo) seemed like an excellent starting point. While I was at the florist’s I saw these gorgeous miniature purple calla lilies and I knew I’d found the perfect counterpart for the bamboo.
I focused on the diagonal lines to draw the eye from the top of the arrangement to the bottom. Initially I’d just wrapped the vase in the faux banana leaf but the colour balance felt off. I found this ribbon while packing for vacation; it’s actually the belt from a dress I have. The mauve was a perfect match for the calla lilies, and it really helps to anchor the whole arrangement and make it feel much more balanced. Overall, this one turned out very close to what I’d initially had in mind, and I’m very happy with it!
I said I’d be trying to do at least one ikebana arrangement per month, but that was the bare minimum. I was inspired to do a second before April ends.
I wanted this one to feel much more natural and organic, a bit like a rock garden at the edge of a pond. I found the beautiful white and purple ranunculus first, and then found the smaller filler flowers in the exact same colour scheme and knew I wanted to experiment with texture and repetition instead of the more traditional shin/soe/hikae structure of a more vertical arrangement. The roundness of the glass vessel echoes the rocks and the shape of the flowers, and and the colours repeat each other which gives the whole piece a feeling of cohesiveness. This has a very different feel from the last one, which makes me feel very happy. I can’t wait for the next strike of inspiration to hit me!
At last, we’re coming to the end of this month’s theme project. It’s been fun, but honestly I am glad it’s over. I’m getting a little tired of this iromuji! For the last outfit, I decided to try to accomplish the one thing this style of kimono can be very difficult to do; a simple, casual cooordinate. Typically, iromuji can be a lot of things, but relaxed town-wear is not one of them. To make it work, I stuck with otherwise casual pieces. A coloured haneri, a bright meisen haori, and one of my favourite nagoya obi all in shades of purple all pop against the cool mint tone of the kimono itself. The early-afternoon sunlight today helped to keep things soft and warm. I’m not sure this outfit was as successful as some of my other attempts during this experiment, but I do really love how the haori and kimono look together.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with his whole experiment. It’s been really interesting to work within the constraints of the one single kimono. I may do it again sometime later with something other than an iromuji, to make it more of a challenge. I’ve also got some fun craft projects in the works and I can’t wait to share them with you all.
One Kimono Four Ways