Gentle Vintage Mood

I received this absolutely gorgeous piece yesterday, from a friend who was clearing out some of her collection. I am slowly turning into the kimono equivalent of a crazy cat lady, but I’m fine with that. I love how soft and subdued this piece is, and I wanted to emphasise a very gentle vintage mood with the coordination.

It started with this breathtaking haneri I posted on Instagram recently. I won it back in late October or possibly early November, and I had entirely given it up as lost. I got it at quite a bargain so I didn’t even bother pursuing the issue, since I suspected it was Canada Post’s problem. not the sellers. So imagine how thrilled I was when it showed up unexpectedly earlier this week! I thought the two pieces would complement each other very well, since the haneri has a bit of a vintage feel to it despite being a modern piece. I was really taken by how well the lilac tone matched the brown of the kimono and thought it would be a good opportunity to use my repaired lilac bird obi.

Some days, the actual physical act of dressing the mannequin goes very smoothly. Some days, every step is a struggle, almost as if the mannequin herself is fighting me. This particular outfit was somehow both! Putting on the collar and kimono went off without a hitch. Smooth lines, clean v-shape to the collars, flat and even ohashori. But then came the obi. This obi is gorgeous but my god it’s a nuisance. It’s floppy and slippery, the pattern is laid out very oddly, and it needs to be pressed again as it’s somehow turned almost puffy. No matter how many different ways I tried to tie it, I could not get birds to show up on the front and the back. Eventually I realised it would be an excellent opportunity to feature this stunning brooch I got from Pinto Pony Productions and use it as an obidome. Rather than fret about the lack of interest on the front of the obi, I worked with it to make it a canvas.

I know I say this a lot, but I love how this finally all pulled together. It’s such a soothing combination, and looking at it just makes me content.

Items used in this coordination

Fudangi First Fr… Saturday?

Well, that didn’t last long. Only a few months in and I missed a Fudangi First Friday. I was at work until late yesterday and then ran errands afterwards and picked up dinner on the way home. By the time I’d settled in, eaten, and decompressed it was too late to do anything. But I’m doing it today, which is better than not doing it at all, right?

I may not have made any resolutions for 2018, but I have decided that I want to try to re-use more of my collection, especially things I bought for one particular coordination. It seems incredibly wasteful of me to leave things languishing in a cabinet instead of enjoying them and sharing them here. So for today’s outfit, I decided it was time to bust out the Starfleet kimono and try to do something different with it.

Seeing the two outfits together, it’s very clear that I basically did the same outfit with a slightly different obi, so I’m not sure how successful I was doing something “different”, but I still quite like the way it turned out. Heck, I even used the same yellow haneri! I had fun making a wider, otaiko-style bow with a hanhaba obi and played with the objime knot a little though. One of the great things about Fudangi Friday is that since it’s more relaxed and casual, it encourages people to experiment a little. I just need to work on breaking out of my comfort zone and playing with more unexpected colour/pattern combinations.

#Monokimono Challenge – Mustard

Anna of KimonoTEKA recently came up with the #monoKIMONO challenge; the last weekend of every month in 2018, challenge yourself to make a monochromatic outfit! I am always up for new kitsuke ideas, and I know I can handle one-a-month type challenges, so you know I’m going to go for it!

My first thought was red or pink, but as I was flipping through my collection for ideas, this odd mustard yellow colour jumped out at me. You might remember this kimono as my emergency backup piece for Belle that I ended up falling in love with. It’s not a piece I’ll ever be able to wear, even if I were to lose an unhealthy amount of weight it would still be too narrow for my broad back and too short for my giant self. Also, this particular colour looks lovely on a lot of folks, but utterly terrible on me. However, I’m always excited to find ways to coordinate it, and I realised I have a vintage obi that’s nearly the exact same colour. A few similarly ochre-toned accessories and voila, a beautiful, wearable, vintage monochrome outfit.

This whole outfit pulled together so smoothly and easily, I hope it’s a sign of things to come for both the challenge and the year as a whole. Are you participating in the #monoKIMONO challenge? If so, I’d love to see your coordinations!

Items used in this coordination

Kits-Mas Day 8 – Sho Chiku Bai

Sho Chiku Bai (松竹梅), or Three Friends of Winter, is an auspicious motif comprised of plum, pine, and bamboo. I’d initially wanted to do an ikebana on this theme, but finding flowering plum branches here at this time of year proved utterly impossible. But then I remembered that this beautiful vintage kurotomesode I got recently had it as a motif, along with other bright and auspicious items. I know it hasn’t been long since I coordinated it last, but it still felt like the perfect start for today’s outfit.

I debated doing a simple and traditional coordination with a metallic obi and white accessories, but something felt lacking so I ended up doing a more geisha-styled outfit with the red obiage and then coordinated with a wide red-and-green obijime. I tend to do this a lot with my vintage kurotomesode, but somehow I feel that it does them more justice. Also, these accessories just feel so much more vibrant and festive, don’t they?

I love how these pieces look together but this obi is in really rough shape – there are several places where the weave is basically just shredded. So there’s my first (and likely only) resolution of the year; I’m going to convert this into a tsuke-obi because it’s beautiful but I don’t want to risk tying it again in the state it’s currently in.

I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start! I’m hoping this will be an excellent year for all of us.

Kits-Mas Day 6 – Looking Forward

Goodness, it’s almost the end of the year! For today’s coordination, I wanted something that was still within the Christmas colour scheme but felt more spring-like. Looking forward to the new year, if you will. I love this green irotomesode, and it pairs so perfectly with my pink and white hakata obi. I brought a small bit of red in with the obiage, but still tried to it in the same desaturated and vintage-feeling colour scheme. The flowers and colours around the hem of the kimono have always felt like they had one foot in winter and one foot in spring. Considering how blisteringly cold it’s been lately here in Montreal, I need a reminder that this utterly miserable weather won’t be around forever.

This one may not scream “festive” in the way the previous ones have, but I’m still quite pleased with how it’s turned out. It’s a nice subdued coordination, a calming breath before the next few outfits I’ve got planned. Be sure to check back to see tomorrow’s!