Rebirth and Renewal

I have always tried to keep this blog apolitical. It’s a hobby, a place of beauty fun and a bit of a distraction from the “real” world. However, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that in the modern political climate, remaining detached is essentially an impossibility. This is not to say that I’m suddenly going to change the focus of things here, but I am having a harder and harder time keeping my mouth shut about the state of things. Syria, Brexit, Trump… we are living in a world that is increasingly on the defensive; cold and closed and unwelcoming.

So with that in mind, I needed a subtle reminder that there is always hope in the world, always a chance for rebirth and renewal. I bought this obi along with the hawk obi from my last coordination, and had intended to pair it with my leaf-green iromuji from the get-go. The obidome and obijime were bought at the same time, and seem like the perfect little complement. I’ve always had a soft spot for pearls, and they draw the eye to the silvery buds on the obi that otherwise blend in and nearly disappear. This felt like the perfect time to tie everything together.

The outfit feels as though it’s looking forward to Spring, but also looking forward in general. In a time when everything seems uncertain, at least we know the leaves and grass and first buds of the flowers will be back soon enough. It may not be much, but at least every time I see it I will be reminded that after every hideous, frozen, deathly winter there will inevitably come a spring when everything is reborn.

Oh, Canada!

Today is Canada Day! It is the anniversary of the first unifications of British colonies into the country we now call home. Since then, though, it has become much more. To me, it’s a celebration of all things Canadian, of our heritage, our cultures, the beautiful tapestry that makes us who we are, our country as a whole.

I knew I wanted to do a Canadian-themed kitsuke, but at first I wasn’t sure where to start. All I knew is that it had to include red, white, and maple leaves! My kiku houmongi, with its gorgeous red background and bold white flowers, seemed like a logical jumping-off point. I pulled out a vintage obi with maple leaves and a maple haneri. The obidome is a poppy, hand-beaded by a friend of a friend in a nearby Mohawk community. To me, it represents remembrance and appreciation of the First Nations people who were here first.

I wasn’t sure how this would look all together, I was worried the orange of the obi would clash with the kimono, but I was really happy seeing it all come together. I even like how the orange of the obi picks up on the salmon lining of the kimono, and the purple in the obi is echoed subtly in the haneri. The outfit is entirely inappropriate, seasonally, but thematically I think I’m spot-on.

Summer Breeze

Summer may officially start tomorrow, but it’s here with a vengeance already. It’s blisteringly hot and humid out, and even looking at the heavy, layered outfit that I’d left on the mannequin was making me hot! I got this adorable ro komon with bells a few years ago but never had a chance to wear it. It’s very long, which is great, but it’s also very narrow. Even at my thinnest, it never fit. It’s just too cute to get rid of, and I figured it was high time it had a moment in the (blistering) sun.

The obi is not usumono, but it’s a thin hanhaba, and the yellow colour really draws the eye to the yellow-gold bells on the kimono itself. I used my pink seashell summer-weight obiage and obijime to add an accent colour. I went with the ubiquitous pink set because it’s actually the only summer set I have. I’ll eventually invest in more sets, but as I currently don’t own a single usumono kimono that fits me, it’s not really a priority right now. I tied the obiage in a bow to echo the obi in back, to add a bit more softness and girliness to an otherwise very simple outfit. It feels light and airy, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

 

What’s Black and White and Red All Over?

A while back I got the idea of a bold, geometric, black & white outfit into my head. I got out my black diamond tsukesage-komon and my favourite black and white hakata tsuke-obi. The lining of the kimono is a bright red, which made the accessories a no-brainer. Black, white, and red is such a classic, timeless combination. A red obiage, objime, and red card suit patterned haneri pulled everything together but I still felt like the outfit was missing something. This black handbag with red Bakelite accents is one of my favourites, and fit perfectly with the mood I was building. The finishing touch ended up being my Deadpool pocket-watch. This is an outfit I can totally see myself wearing as soon as I fit into the kimono again.

Gofuku no Hi, a day late and a dollar short.

Yesterday, May 29, was  着物着ます (Gofuku no Hi), or Wear Kimono Day. It is a day to encourage kimono enthusiasts around the world to get out and wear kimono and have fun. Unfortunately, yesterday was an absolute no-go for me. I had work, I wasn’t feeling well to begin with, and it was incredibly hot and humid. So I decided to dress Tsukiko today instead.

I have been dying to pair this basho (banana leaf) houmongi and kikyou hakata obi for years now, and just never found the right opportunity until now. This kimono is one of the few that actually still fits me properly, but it’s still much more comfortable for me to dress the mannequin. I absolutely love the hints of icy blue in the leaves on the kimono and decided to accessorise in the same colour, to emphasise the cool feeling. I love how this outfit turned out, nearly monochrome but with the hits of blue for punch.