Autumn Wedding

Sometimes a girl just wants to put a wedding outfit on her mannequin for no good reason, right? I received this beautiful vintage maru obi as an extra when I bought the ume hikizuri, and for a while I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. It recently hit me that it’s the same sort of desaturated vintage colour palette as my beloved Taisho bridal kimono, and roughly the same level of flashiness, so it was worth trying them out together.

I really love how these look together, with the pops of red and gold from the obiage, obijime, and kakae obi to break things up. It looks beautifully autumnal, and since it’s snowing today and winter’s creeping up on me, I want to hold onto that fall feeling as long as possible.

It’s not as tidy as it could be, and that is a sad, floppy-looking bunko musubi but I was out of spoons and didn’t want to fight with it anymore (even with my poor long-suffering father helping me out). I figured I’d share the outfit as-is, rather than getting frustrated and not posting it. I’m still not feeling great, to be honest, and there’s a bunch of stuff happening in my personal life that I won’t bore you with. I just want to reassure you that while posting has slowed down somewhat these past few months, I’m still here and I’m not going anywhere.

Items used in this coordination

Halloween Pumpkin!

When Kimono Stylist Sala Okabe shared this picture, I was smitten! She didn’t post instructions, but it looked fairly straightforward, some variation on an otaiko musubi and I decided I really wanted to give it a shot. I haven’t been in much of a state to do kitsuke recently; not only am I still feeling worn down mentally, I also took quite a tumble down some stone stairs a few weeks ago. I tore up my legs, twisted my wrist, and bruised several of my ribs quite badly. However, I’m feeling a little better and thought Halloween would be the ideal time to put this together!

The orange hakata side of this chuuya obi was the obvious choice. I paired it with green accessories to look like the leaves and vines of the pumpkin plant, and went with a small-patterned black and white kimono to keep with the “spooky season” colours without being distracting. I would have loved an orange haneri but I don’t own one, but this mustard yellow one is pretty darned close and still fits with the autumn theme.

I also decided not to pleat the obi like Sala Okabe did, because this one is so soft and floppy it’s hard to get it to hold a shape. But I think the woven design does an excellent job of looking like the ribs of a pumpkin! Overall, I think I managed it quite well, considering I had to guess at the obi musubi construction and I’m still not totally feeling like myself. Hopefully my motivation will come back properly soon.

Items used in this coordination

Gardens of Light 2019

I don’t know if it’s the changing seasons or the general state of the world or what, but my motivation for new content hasn’t been fantastic lately. Also, I’m still unreasonably enamoured of the last outfit I put on the mannequin and don’t want to change it yet.

However, I don’t want to leave you guys hanging for too long! And I’ve been sitting on these photos trying to decide if they were relevant enough to share for a year. A year! I’m such a trash panda sometimes. That said, I figured I may as well get off my butt and share.

Every year, the Montreal Botanical Gardens holds a lantern festival called Gardens of Light. The reason I was hesitant to share this initially is that the bulk of the lanterns are in the Chinese Pavilion, and I try to avoid encouraging that “all far-east Asian cultures are analogous” mentality. But there are also displays in the Japanese Garden, as well as exhibits of Japanese items inside the smaller Japanese pavilion. Also they’re just beautiful lanterns and we all need some beauty right now.

Last year, I was lucky enough to finally meet Elsa of Elsa Eats after knowing her online for nearly fifteen years now. She and her sister were in town for a short period of time, so we hit up a food truck gathering, then the lantern festival, and then drinks and snacks over at Le Blossom Bar. We all had a lovely time, and one day when I find myself on her side of the pond we can do this again.

And without further ado, the photos! First up, of course, the lanterns.

The Lanterns

Japanese Pavilion

Blossom Bar

Art Gallery – Haruka & Michiru Wafuku Re-Draw

Forget Usagi and Mamoru, everyone knows that Haruka and Michiru were the real power couple of Sailor Moon. I’ve always loved it when wafuku shows up in anime, so of course I’ve got a soft spot for this iconic imagery of these two in kimono but the colour and design choices always felt a bit arbitrary to me. I’ve had some free time recently (thanks, covid!) and thought it might be fun to redraw that screenshot but put the two of them in kimono that more closely reflected their outfits and personalities.

Haruka’s dressed in a typically maculine style, with colours lifted from her Sailor fuku. There’s a pattern of clouds and thunder dragons on her haori as a nod to her powers. Michiru’s in her typical palette of blues and teals, with a seigaiha wave design on her houmongi. Her obi has a subtle motif of sheet music to reflect her love of the violin. A simple background pulls everything together without being distracting, and I’m quite pleased with how this turned out.

Furisode Glam

Ahhhh! I can’t get over the pairing of this kimono and obi! It’s just.. *chefs kiss*. The obi was part of my final Ichiroya purchase and I fully admit I didn’t have any particular pairings in mind when I bought it, I just thought it was pretty. But it occurred me last night that it might look good with this kimono and man, was I ever glad to be right. The pinks tie in perfectly and the dusty navy accents on the obi call back to the hem of the furisode in the best possible way.

I decided to go full modern furisode glam today; a big bold haneri, gold and green kasane-eri, shibori obiage, and bright tasselled obijime. The obijime looks more orange than it actually is in the photo. In reality it’s a more warm salmon-pink shade that works really well with the obiage and the shadowed parts of the lilies on the kimono.

Like last week’s outfit, this coord is very “proper”, but definitely has a much more vibrant and youthful feel. Just goes to show that correct kitsuke doesn’t have to be stoic or subdued!

I followed this tutorial for a big poofy obi musubi and I am thrilled with how it turned out. That homemade sanjuhimo I made a while back works really well. I normally don’t include a close-up of the back of the outfit but I was proud of my work and felt the need to show off.

Items used in this coordination