As anyone who reads this blog regularly has probably noticed, I have a fondness for quirky, odd, or unexpected motifs. Flowers are pretty but unless they’re really bold or interesting, don’t usually grab my eye. Birds I could take or leave. Put a skeleton, or a jellyfish, or insects of some sort on a kimono and I am making obsessive grabby-hands within nanoseconds.
There is only one shop in Montreal that sells real kimono and obi, and the first time I went there I browsed and didn’t find too much that grabbed me. The owner, Mrs. Uchiyama, pointed me towards a bin of obi that were on sale, after she realized I was actually looking for kimono to wear, not “pretty brocade” to use as home decor. That’s where I found this baby.
As soon as I saw it, I had to have it. The spiders are just so adorable and goofy-looking.
The obi itself is a really interesting texture, it’s a single layer but definitely heavy weight, a sort of raw slubbed silk. The spider webs and leaves are painted on, and then the spiders are embroidered over top of that. It’s fukuro width, but doesn’t exactly feel formal to me, due to the rough nature of the base silk.
I’ve only worn it once, sadly. It needs to get more exposure and I’m hoping I’ll have somewhere else to wear it in the near future. I paired it up with my purple net pattern tsukesage, the same one I wore with my koinobori obi. It’s a great, versatile kimono that serves as a showcase for interesting obi.
Please forgive the blousy mess my kimono is making here, it shifted while I was setting up the camera and tripod.
So what do you prefer? Traditional motifs, geometrics, or like me, are you a sucker for the weirder things in life?
I totally love this spider obi and would love to own it myself! Spiders are one of my favorite things, and to have some part of a traditional kimono with spiders on it is a dream. beautiful!
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The spider obi is awesome. Weird motifs are great. 🙂
I love this. Looks beautiful and fun. Diane, you look wonderful in your kimonos. What is the shop in Montreal that has the only authentic kimono’s that you mentioned? I would love to go there and browse.
It’s a store on Ste-Catherine called Collection Du Japon
I added a link in the post as well, I should have done that before!
They have slightly awkward hours, but I know my mother’s been wanting to go and browse for a while, since she’s never been. Maybe we could do lunch and go check it out sometime. 🙂
I love that obi!
I’ve just moved from collecting to wearing, so I feel “safer” with more traditional motifs, and love flowers and nature anyway. But a unique pattern still draws my eye, so in the future I’ll probably move into stranger things down the road.
A good way to get started with weird things is to mix them with a “safe” piece, like a simple floral or geometric kimono with a really unique obi, like I tried here. 🙂
I’m a real sucker for Autumn motifs, especially maple leaves but I do love strange things as well. I like stuff that is subtle but on closer inspection you’re like “WOW!” That always makes my day. This is a fantastic obi good find!
Maple leaves are a beautiful motif. I think they are a great combination of natural and geometric/graphic.
I don’t have anything subtly unique, unfortunately, unless an obi with crows on it counts.
I love the traditional geometric motifs. I’m not much for flowers, myself. Most of my kimono, even my formal houmongi have geometric motifs – my houmongi is triangle shapes painted in yuzen on a bright blue background. Seigaiha is a particular favorite of mine – I have two seigaiha motif obi. I’m really on the lookout for a kimono with allover asanoha or yabane patterning.
That houmongi you mentioned sounds really interesting! Do you have photos online somewhere?
Yabane komon come up fairly regularly on ebay, but the bigger and more graphic ones tend to go for a fair bit, unfortunately. I’ve got two, but I didn’t get either of them online.
Here’s a picture of that houmongi, it’s blue chirimen with yuzen patterning. Pardon the collars that are falling apart – this particular occasion was my lesson in “Don’t try kitsuke when you feel like refried death” – I had to host a Halloween party while sick with strep.
Oh, that is really interesting!
And for having strep, you look amazing 😀
Thankee! I actually spent most of the party sitting down once the set up was done, thank the kitsuke gods. 🙂