Quiet afternoon kitsuke time

I know I have not been posting in this blog anywhere near as frequently as I used to, and I apologise. However, yesterday I got an overwhelming urge to coordinate a kimono I’d never worn before, and decided to pair it with an obi I’ve also never worn before.

The kimono is a half-lined synthetic piece with tiny white fans in a sort of gradient pattern. I won it at the Astoria street fair in NYC in the summer of 2012, and it’s been sitting in an armoire ever since. I decided to pair it with a bright red faux-shibori obi I got from Ame years ago, and couldn’t resist using my ubiquitous lemon-yellow shibori obiage and hakata obijime.

Something about the combination of tiny patterns felt a bit retro to me, and I’ve been obsessively reading the Sano Ichiro series of novels by Laura Joh Rowland lately, so I decided to aim for a bit of an Edo-style silhouette, tying my obi much lower than usual and going for a more pigeon-shaped and natural-looking bust. I’m not sure how well it succeeded, but it was very comfortable! To emphasize the period feel, I had on a pair of black geta with pinstriped hanao, but they got cut off in the photos. Haha. Whoops!

Quiet afternoon kitsuke

Derpy face!
Quiet afternoon kitsuke

Closeup of my adorable chidori-in-chidori obidome from Kansai_gal:
Quiet afternoon kitsuke

And a portrait. It doesn’t really show off my outfit, but I liked the way it looked anyway.
Quiet afternoon kitsuke

Royal blue tsukesage/houmongi with kiku and botan

I found this beauty on eBay, and was initially drawn to it because of its length – a whopping 69 inches or 175 centimetres. At my height, finding long kimono is always exciting. The thumbnail makes it look quite odd – almost unfinished, like there are just big white blobs on a blue surface, and I think this worked in my favour, because nobody else bid on it.

Up close, however, the white “blobs” are incredibly soft, delicate botan with gentle pearly grey shading and gold centres, and then these interesting solid white kiku. They are definitely hand-painted with white and grey dye, not unfinished. The contrast, though, gives the kimono a very bold, modern look while still being soft and girly.

I absolutely can’t wait to wear this, I am thinking of pairing it up with the gold and white obi from this bundle. It will be nice to have both a kimono and an obi that fit me very well and don’t require fussing and fidgeting all evening ;)

Royal blue tsukesage with botan and kiku

Royal blue tsukesage with botan and kiku

Royal blue tsukesage with botan and kiku

Chidori Obidome

This adorable obidome was one of the awesome things in the last box of goodies Kansai_gal sent me. I love chidori, but I also love the amusing multi-faceted aspect of this particular piece.

Chidori Obidome

Chidori is the Japanese term for plover (a type of small wading bird), and when it comes to kimono the term generally refers to depictions of this bird. The depictions can be realistic, or very stylised, much like the depiction of the silver bird on this particular piece.

However, due to the similarity in appearance, the Japanese name for the houndstooth pattern on the background is also referred to as chidori. So this particular piece is technically chidori-on-chidori! Isn’t that cute?

Bunny Geta

I know I am starting to sound like a broken record, but I apologize for the gap between updates lately. I’m stuck in a perfect storm of being too sick to dress myself, too poor to buy new items, and too busy to catalogue old things, and it sucks. However, Kansai Gal sent me a box of all sorts of awesome stuff and these geta were in it, so here’s a little something to tide you over. And yes, I still have that giant box of obi to work my way through.

There are no words to express how adorable I find these things. The straps are thick white chirimen, and they’re embroidered with adorable pink bunnies and fireworks. I can’t wait to be able to wear them with this awesome bunny komon.

Bunny Geta

Bunny Geta

Obi bundle part I – Hakata obi

I apologize for the lack of entries lately! I’ve been preoccupied with work, an incredibly severe migraine that ended up with me in the hospital, and an actor named Benedict Cumberbatch. What can I say, he’s got an intriguing face and a charming personality? XD

Anyway, I’ve finally found time to start sorting and cataloguing all the obi in the incredible bundle I posted recently. I think the easiest way to handle it will be to separate the obi into types and do one entry per type. With my love of hakata, there was no question as to which ones would be posted first!

Navy blue and white cotton hakata fukuro
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1

This one is interesting – in most lights it’s so dark that it’s nearly black, but with light on it the obvious navy blue makes itself apparent. It’s also a very thick, durable-feeling cotton blend of some sort, rather than the traditional squeaky silk hakata is often made of.

Vivid pink hakata fukuro with geometric designs
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1
I still can’t believe the other girls were willing to let me have this one, it’s incredibly stunning and unique – I’ve never seen anything like that interesting interlocked pattern on hakata textiles before. This one was constructed like a chuuya obi, backed in black silk. However, the silk is rotting away with age so I’m going to disassemble it and just keep it as a single layer, since most hakata obi are constructed in that manner.

Butter yellow, red, and black hakata fukuro with asanoha
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1
This is another one that I’m shocked I managed to walk away with. It’s incredibly unique, and I love how it’s off-balance and has the asanoha motif worked in. It does have a fair bit of patina that is very evident with flash photography, but it’s quite subtle in person so I suspect it won’t detract from the piece when it’s worn. I may just have to tie it creatively to hide some particularly dark bits.

White on white traditional hakata fukuro
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1
This is a much more standard-style hakata obi, but I’ve wanted a white-on-white one for quite some time now, since they’re so neutral and versatile. I’m quite pleased with this one.

Taupey olive grey hanhaba hakata
Obi bundle, part 1 Obi bundle, part 1
I tried to get the colour of this fairly accurate, but it was very hard to capture. It’s very interesting – from a distance it looks quite drab but up close it shifts from an olive khaki colour to a steely blue-grey to a warm taupe, and the weave almost reminds me of shark skin. It’s got an interesting subtle elegance to it, and I’m looking forward to finding the right kimono to pair it with.