Art Gallery – Yukata Cutie by Nikki R

Check out this utterly adorable drawing of my recent yukata outfit! It was drawn by my friend Nikki, who draws all sorts of awesome comic, pin-up, and stylised artwork. This chubby little caricature style is probably my favourite, though, and I’ve loved watching her artwork evolve over the years.

I’m amazed by how much detail she managed to fit in to such a tiny and cartoony piece. It’s super accurate without feeling cluttered or busy. She even got the ume kanzashi on my hat and the little obi-kazari down pat. For someone not in the habit of drawing kimono-related artwork, she did a fantastic job of getting the details spot-on!

The artist’s going through a bit of a rough spot financially right now, and she deserves all the best. So if you love this style as much as I do and would like one for yourself, please check out Nikki R Illustration on Facebook! Also, I always love seeing how different artists interpret my coordinations so if you’re an artist taking commissions and are interested in giving it a shot, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Festival Yatai MTL! and yukata outing

 

 

What’s this? Another outing for yours truly?! It feels good getting back into the swing of things.

This weekend a friend was in town, and the first Yatai MTL! street food festival was happening, so we decided to go in yukata. Since she was visiting from a ways away, I lent her one of my yukata and obi, and I’m glad to see it getting some use.

One of the awesome things about Montreal is the sheer number of awesome events and festivals that happen during this summer. This year is no exception, because the city is celebrating her 375th birthday. This weekend alone, aside from the festival we went to, had the Formula E electric car races, Just For Laughs!, the International Fireworks competition, and quite possibly other small ones I’m not even aware of. Because of all this, all the public transit in the city was free. However, because of this, the public transit in the city was also the busiest I’ve ever seen it. We were delayed getting out, and the metro was a horrible swamp of humanity. However, we made it to our first stop without too much drama. We began the afternoon by fortifying ourselves with lovely microbrew beers from Dieu Du Ciel, an awesome local brewery. My friend’s brother came with us and was kind enough to act as photographer for the day.

Thus fortified, we headed to the festival on foot. It was a gorgeous day, and yukata were perfectly comfortable and breezy. The walk to the park where the festival was being held was short, and we got there uneventfully. That’s when things went sideways. This was the festival’s first year, and they were clearly massively unprepared for the volume of people attending. We got there less than an hour after opening, and the lineups for food were over two hours long, and they had already run out of several dishes. We worked in shifts, taking turns in the line, and eventually got our okonomiyaki, which was the only dish available at the kiosk we got to. It was absolutely delicious, I will give them that! I also found a vegan mocha popsicle, which warmed my shrivelled little dairy-intolerant heart. However, considering how long we’d been waiting it wasn’t nearly enough food, and none of us were willing to wait another two hours we decided to find a restaurant to fill us up.

After another quick jaunt on uncomfortably crowded public transit we found our way to Kurobuta Izekaya & Ramen-Ya, an awesome homey Japanese pub-style eatery. I got two of my standby favourites, agedashi tofu and takoyaki, and they were both delicious. My dinner companions both got ramen, and I tried a bit, it was delicious too. If you’re looking for a comfortable, entirely unpretentious Japanese eatery in the Mount Royal area of Montreal, I highly recommend a stop here.

The day may have been waaaaay longer than we’d anticipated, and there was an awful lot of frustrated, cramped, waiting around but in the end good food with good company in adorable outfits made it all worthwhile!

Punk yukata at the Astoria Street Fair

So you may have noticed that there’s been a bit of a dearth of updates lately, and I sincerely apologize for that. I spent last weekend in lovely New York City, meeting up with some friends. Some I’d not seen in years, and some I’d never met before. We all knew each other from an online community. It was a wonderful experience, everyone was incredibly awesome and we all had a blast. Knowing my obsession with kimono and Japanese culture, Jamie (who lives in NYC) was kind enough to arrange a trip to Kiteya SOHO and to the Japanese street fair in Astoria. I bought a lovely komon at Kiteya that I will be sharing with you during the week, but I thought that I would at least post a few photos of the outift I wore to the street fair.

I’d been dying to wear the punk yukata Arian got me so I figured this would be a great time to bust it out. I decided to tone it down a bit with a green hakata hanhaba rather than the pink obi it came with. Unfortunately, it was murderously hot and we spent the morning on public transit and brunch at a lovely restaurant before getting to the fair, so I look a bit melted and rumpled. I’d like to take a moment to give enormous thanks to my friend Ben for taking these photos, carrying my crap, and fanning me when I got overheated.

Can I just say how much I love my new glasses with this outfit? XD And a super-cute minion! I didn’t win him, just posed with him.

I also won an adorable tsukesage-komon at the fair, and will be sharing that soon too! If you would like to see more photos of the day, they are available in my Facebook album.

Navy yukata for a good cause

After the devastating earthquakes in Japan just over a month ago, several of my friends decided to raise money by auctioning off items in their collections, with proceeds going to Global Giving for disaster relief. When I saw the adorable navy yukata that Jess had listed, I knew I had to have it. It’s got such a fun, summery feel to it. I love the trellis-like design, and I can’t wait to wear it.

Blue yukata

Blue yukata

I know it’s going to look adorable with my green hakata. I just have to wait for the weather to improve! I love how I keep ending up with more yukata and nowhere to wear them.

Punk-style yukata and obi set

This amazing set was a gift from Arian, because he is a goofball. I saw it on Rakuten and fell in love with the unexpected designs. They remind me of old-school tattoo flash or motorcycle art, sort of Von Dutch or Ed Hardy style. There are hot rod flames, skulls, roses, handcuffs, snakes, and lord knows what else. Every time I look at it I find new things to ogle. The obi is pretty awesome too – on the surface it looks like a pretty mundane pink obi with white butterflies, but on closer inspection, the butterflies (like those on the matching geta are actually decorated with human skulls. I think the fact that these are much more subtle than the vivid, cartoony skulls on the yukata are what make the items work so well together.

I can’t wait until it gets warm enough for me to wear this out somewhere! I think it’s an item that kimono and non-kimono people alike will appreciate.

Punky yukata & obi set
Punky yukata & obi set

Punky yukata & obi set
Punky yukata & obi set