Bridal Redux

Bridal kitsuke is probably the most complex and exhausting of all standard forms of kitsuke. I’ve done it on the mannequin a few times before, but always having to improvise a little. I’ve done  fully coloured ensemble and an all-white ensemble, but when I found this red and gold accessory set for a fantastic price, I knew I wanted to do the transitional style often done for a reception. I paired the bold accessories with my flamboyant and loud uchikake but kept the demure subtle white kimono and obi. I think this is actually my favourite type of bridal ensemble.

I think I’m finally getting the hang of wrapping hikizuri-style kimono to get that lovely x-shaped drape of the hem. It’s not perfect, but I can see definite improvement every time I attempt it. The collar’s pretty mangled, but let’s not speak of that… Because this is my first real, full set of accessories, including a proper-sized bira and an actual kakae-obi, I couldn’t resist taking a bunch of detail shots. I hope you enjoy them!

It’s very satisfying to see the whole thing put together like this. Maybe one day someone will let me dress them up in the whole ensemble.

Kimono Coordinate Checklist Printable

Have you ever put together an outfit you liked so much you wanted to wear it again and again? Or maybe you’re travelling and want to make sure you bring all the pieces you need for a particular coordinate?

Either way, I’ve got a little present for you. Here’s a checklist printable template that includes places to write down every visible component of a full coordinate, including optional pieces. You can always just leave things like hakama and haori blank if they’re not part of the outfit you’ve put together. All three templates are the same, I just thought I’d make a bit of variation in colour schemes; hopefully you find one you like!

Feel free to download and share these! Clicking on them will open them in a separate page where you can save the full sized version, which should print at 4 inches by 6 inches. I made them to be used. I hope you find them helpful. 💖

Tsubaki Aoi Kitsuplay

Typically, when I do character-inspired kimono coordinations or kitsuke-cosplay (kitsuplay), it’s an adaptation; a translation of what the character might look like in an alternate reality. Today though, I was able to pretty much exactly reproduce a character’s outfit!

I recently watched a charming anime called Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi (かくりよの宿飯, Bed & Breakfast for Spirits) and imagine how excited I was when Tsubaki Aoi, the protagonist, changed into this green iromuji and purple obi, and pretty much stayed in this outfit for the bulk of the series!

I already owned every single piece here. The kimono looks more yellow in these photos than it actually is; in real life it’s almost identical to hers. The only thing I had to do was tie the obi with the back side visible to hide the embroidered design, since her obi is plain purple. The only thing I initially didn’t have was her leaf fan, a gift from a very important character in the show. I’d actually been holding off, trying to look for a synthetic tropical leaf when my mum brought home a bunch of flowers that just happened to have a real, fresh one! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and changed the mannequin right away.

I really loved doing this, and I think I’ll be working on another Anime with Kimono Eye-Candy post in the near future, so I can look for more outfits to reproduce.

Items used in this coordination

Summer Farewell Ikebana

The weather here is finally getting cooler, to the point where I’ve actually felt straight-up chilly the past few nights. It’s wonderful! It’s a sure sign that summer is on the way out.

I don’t like summer but I know lots of people do so I wanted to do something to give my least-favourite season a proper send-off before we say hello to Autumn (the best season). My mother brought home an enormous bouquet of mixed flowers the other day after she was out running errands, and I was able to make three separate compositions with it. This is the first one.

The colours of these bold gladiolas and smaller flowers are the perfect bridge between a mid-summer sunset and warm fall foliage. The whole thing feels almost tropical but still very familiar. The green leaf was actually a fantastic slice of serendipity, and you’ll find out why later this week in an upcoming entry.

I’m not sure how I feel about the overall shape and composition of this one; I’d realised nearly everything I do is the composed, structural moribana style, and wanted to try a more relaxed nageire arrangement but to me it feels less like ikebana and more like a random western-style bouquet to me. I’ll have to keep trying!

Nugoo Tenugui – A stylish and affordable alternative to han-eri

Most folks who collect and love kimono already know the merits of a good han-eri, or decorative under-collar. Not only do they protect the collar of your juban from dirt, sweat, and makeup, they’re a fantastic way to add a bit more detail and individuality to most outfits. While very formal outfits such as a full mofuku ensemble or a kurotomesode ensemble require plain white han-eri, more youthful or casual coordinations can have all manner of fun ones. Typically, they’re silk or polyester

One thing you may not be aware of, though, is that tenugui (traditional Japanese cotton towels) can make excellent han-eri that are bold, fun, breathable, and washable! Today I’m working Nugoo Japan to show you how well some of their all-over motif cotton tenugui work with traditional kimono ensembles.

They were kind enough to send me three different examples, I let them choose ones that would be a good representation of their products and they’re all really gorgeous and work so well!

They sent me three different motifs that work perfectly for this particular usage, since the patterns are bold and evenly distributed across the whole tenugui. First, the small blue asanoha. Asanoha, or hemp leaf, is one of my favourite geometric designs, and this one will definitely be getting a ton of use. The next one they sent was a beautiful traditional indigo suisen or narcissus. This one is big and bold and adds a ton of drama to a casual outfit. Sadly, the particular tonbo motif they sent me has been discontinued, but there are some lovely alternatives. I can’t wait to pair this one with my tonbo summer kimono.

First, we have a plain white collar; not only is it boring, it’s a little discoloured with age and use. Not stylish at all! Then we have the tenugui carefully folded over the juban collar, and you can see how much more fun and distinctive the coordinations become with this one small change!

The only warning or caveat I have is that these are hand-dyed using traditional dyes, and when you first get them they may not be entirely colourfast. The indigo suisen one stained my nails slightly as I was arranging it, so I imagine after a long hot day of wear the pigment could absolutely transfer onto your kimono or juban. If you plan to use one of Nugoo Japan’s beautiful indigo tenugui (or any naturally dyed fabric) as han-eri, I would absolutely suggest washing them a few times first!

Please check out Nugoo Japan on their website, facebook, and instagram. Along with traditional tenugui they also have lots of lovely items and home goods made from them, such as coin purses and bento products.

 I received this item from the retailer or manufacturer for honest review purposes.If you have a topically appropriate craft, product, or service you would like me to review, please contact me.