Mulan – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵True to you heart,
You must be true🎵

When I started this project, I knew Mulan was going to be a challenge. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to lump a lot of traditional Asian clothing together – quite often you’ll find Chinese cheongsam labelled as kimono, and vice-versa. I wanted to find a way to avoid compounding the confusion by putting Mulan in a very straightforward outfit. However, kimono are legitimately inspired by and derived from ancient Chinese hanfu so I knew there had to be a way to make this work.

After finding this gorgeous creamy yellow dress at the thrift store, everything clicked into place. By bustling a green iromuji over the dress I was able to achieve an outfit that evokes her outfit quite well while not deviating from the theme of the challenge. I finished the outfit off with a blue obi with a metallic tiger’s eye type pattern and red accessories to echo the red sash around her waist. The necklace is something i’ve owned for a while and reminded me of Mulan’s makeup in the matchmaker scene, and the pink floral corsage is a callback to her hair comb. Of course, I had to include a nod to Mushu, and this dragon was the perfect finishing touch.

I think I struck a good balance between hanfu and kimono, and I quite like the way it looks, but I’ll be happy to go back to a more traditional look for the last few outfits.

Snow White – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵 With a Smile and a Song 🎵

Snow White – the one who started it all, the OG Disney Princess. She’s kind and sweet and beautiful, and I wanted to make sure I captured all that in an outfit that still felt classic and simple. Her costume is very straightforward, and thankfully that converted quite well to kimono.

A simple creamy yellow iromuji serves at the base, echoing the skirt of her outfit. The blue obi has birds on it, but it’s in terrible shape and has really awkward pattern placement, so they’re not terribly visible. The outfit felt like it was missing something though, until I remembered the charming red capelet Snow wears for part of the movie. The red haori is a lovely call back to the capelet, and it ties everything together. For accessories, I absolutely needed a poison apple, and tying the bright red obiage into a bow reminded me of her adorable hair bow. The finishing touches were a sweet little bluebird keeping her company and a haori chain with seven sparkling stones on it to represent her the seven dwarves.

This is probably one of the simplest outfits so far, but I think it pulled together perfectly. It’s sweet and straightforward, much like Snow White herself. And with this, we’re now more than halfway through the project! Only five more to go. I hope you’ll keep coming back to see them. 🙂

Spookitsuke – We Can’t Giggle, It’s A Crime Scene!

Last week, I promised the next instalment of this feature would be creepier, and I’m fairly certain I’ve succeeded! It started with this bizarre haori Naomi sent me a while back. I’m assuming it’s supposed to be clouds or some sort of abstracted design but we both thought it looked like blood spatter. It seemed like the perfect place to start a Halloween outfit. I decided to run with the blood splatter and aim for a crime scene feeling. The kimono is another that Bonita sent to me, along with the gorgeous wedding kimono from a few weeks back. It is mofuku, and is in incredibly fragile condition. It’s tiny and several of the seams are coming apart, and between the fact that it’s funerary wear and the shape and size of it, I know it will never get worn. It seemed thematically apt for the outfit though, so I layered it over a red under-skirt. I found this crime scene tape ribbon and thought it would be interesting to use as an obi-jime. However, I misread the listing and ordered waaaaaay more than I actually needed, but I think it worked out in my favour. I love how it looks wrapped around so many times. The red shigoki obi evokes more blood, literally and figuratively tying it all together. I’d hate to run into the person wearing this outfit at the end of a dark alley!

We’ve got two coordinations to go, and they will both be more costumey than creepy. I hope you’ll check back to see! And yes, before anyone asks, the title of this entry is indeed a reference to BBC’s Sherlock.

Spookitsuke October 2016

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.

Tokaido hanhaba obi

A while back I found a Stations of the Tokaido hanhaba obi on eBay that was quite similar to this one, but it was a bit expensive for a hanhaba, in my opinion. I let it slide, but honestly I regretted it after the auction was over.

Fast-forward approximately a year and this little baby shows up on eBay for a starting bid of one penny. Not only was it in a much more affordable price range, it also had much nicer contrast – the stations and reverse are a lovely golden yellow colour. On the first one I’d seen, they were a deeper red than the obi’s base, so they were pretty indistinguishable.

Tokaido hanhaba

The front side is a lovely brick red with simplified interpretations of the start point of Nihonbashi Bridge, the end point of the Bridge to Kyoto, and Station2 – Kawasaki. The reverse is a nice versatile warm gold asanoha weave design.

Tokaido hanhaba

Tokaido hanhaba

Tokaido hanhaba

Tokaido hanhaba