Continuing my deconstruction of that huge obi bundle. I was initially planning on doing a separate entry for each type of obi, but since there were only two chuuya obi and two tsuke-obi, I figured I would put them in one entry in the interest of efficiency and expedience.
Black bingata tsuke-obi with cranes
Or, as I like to call it, the roast-chicken obi. Something about the shape of the birds in flight reminds me of a trussed-up cooked chicken. I absolutely love the design of this one though, despite not usually being fond of cranes. The construction is a bit odd for a tsuke, it's all one piece. I've yet to figure out how to put it on and have it look perfect, but I'm working on it!
Black tsuke with ume and momiji
I'm so glad the other ladies let me have this one – I'm really in need of more cute, versatile tsuke obi for days when my health is not great and I don't have the energy to tie them myself. I think this one is incredibly charming.
Green multi-technique chuuya
I'm not entirely sure how to describe this, aside from gorgeous. It's rich, slightly dusty colours, lots of different techniques , and the silk is incredibly soft and buttery. It's a typical chuuya with black on the opposite side, and the black silk is rotted beyond salvation, but I've replaced the silk on other ones before, and it's not difficult.
So called because one side is purple and the other has grapes. How could I not? This is so gorgeous, the grape-and-trellis side is sort of a rough blend, and the wave side is a rough cotton or hemp. It's quite casual, but so unique. I can't wait to find the right kimono for it.
I received these two gorgeous handmade hair accessories, or kanzashi, from Kornelia and I really encourage you to visit her Etsy shop.
Card Suits Hairband
As I've said many times before, I am a sucker for card suit motifs. I cannot wait to wear this with my card suit geta, spade obidome and a haneri I haven't shown off yet. This is adorable, and I have to say I have never seen card suit motifs done using this method before. It's so charming! I also really love that it's on a hairband, so I can wear it no matter how short my hair might be.
Pastel pink ume clip
This is a much more traditional-looking kanzashi, but I don't find it any less beautiful or charming. It's such a delicate colour, but it's a nice substantial size, so it doesn't feel too twee or childish for someone of my age and height. The alligator clip needs a little more hair to grip than I currently have, but I'll be growing it out a little bit again for the fall so I'll be able to wear it during the winter, when it's in season.
With all the new things I've been buying lately, a lot of older pieces I never had the opportunity to wear have been sitting around neglected. Today I decided to remedy that, and discovered (much to my dismay) that I've gained so much weight lately due to sloth and massive water retention that a lot of these things just don't fit me very well anymore. In this case, my loss is Naomi‘s gain, I know she loves this piece and it will definitely fit her better, so into the giveaway pile it goes.
That being said, I'm glad I managed to wear it for a few photos at least, because it's such an incredibly fun and gorgeous piece. There's a tiny bit of green accent on the plum branches, so I decided to emphasize that with a green hakata obi, green haneri, and some new geta with sexy green hanao.
I also dressed a little unconventionally today – it was my first time using an eri-sugata (easy collar) and a susuyoke (half skirt) rather than a full juban. It worked really well because the kimono was so snug, the bulk of the juban was making it impossible to fit. I also love how easy it is to get the collar of the eri-sugata nice and low! It's sort of sad that I know I'll never be able to wear this kimono out, but I'm glad I finally got off my butt and put it on, and I'm glad it's going to someone who will be able to wear it.
I have mentioned the tradition of Senbazuru, or the act of making one thousand paper cranes to grant a wish before, and mentioned that I had an outfit in mind for that obi, but I was waiting for something. That something was a gigantic box of awesome from my dear darling Naomi and today that box arrived. I am going to be a busy blogger for the next few days, but here's a little teaser.
One of the things from this box I was most eager for was the black haori with the orizuru (origami cranes) motif. My origami skills are lacklustre, to say the least, but I wanted to put together an outfit as a show of solidarity and hope for Japan. I will be taking better photos of the jacket soon but I was so excited to put the whole outfit together that I decided to do it today. There were a lot of modern dressing aids in the box too, and I thought they would save me a huge amount of time and effort. Boy, was I wrong! I think actually making a thousand paper cranes would have been less stressful and exhausting than the harrowing experience that was getting dressed today. In the end I broke down and did everything the old-fashioned way, and it worked out eventually. It may have been a hassle but I really like the way it turned out in the end.
I know one of my kimono resolutions was not to buy things just because they were affordable and kind of cute, but I technically bid on this at the end of 2010, so I'm safe, right? Also, it's exceptionally adorable and I did indeed get it for a steal. I've also resolved to wear kimono out of the house more frequently, so casual washable kimono are always a good thing to have.
When I bid on this I only noticed the big spider kiku and the sakura. I'm not generally a huge fan of sakura (strange, I know, considering my love for kimono and how frequent a motif they are) but I love spider kiku with a fierce passion – two of my favourite pieces of my collection feature them prominently. They're what drew me to this kimono in the first place.
When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised – there are tons of flowers for all the awase (lined kimono) seasons – kiku, ume, and sakura, as well as the wavy stripes being bordered by decorative cords which are a lucky/auspicious motif. I thought they were just lines, based on the auction photos. This is much cooler!