From the Archives – two casual fall outfits

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Hello, dear readers! I’m sorry for the lack of posts lately, life has just been kind of hectic. A few weeks ago I went to a comic convention and had grand plans to wear a kimono. Unfortunately, as I was getting ready in the morning I stepped on a metal belt buckle and the hook that holds it closed embedded itself into the bottom of my foot. I’ve been limping around since then in a state of abject misery. Thankfully, it is getting better! I am also going on vacation in a week, so I’ve been trying to hop around getting everything ready for that. Crossing my fingers that my foot will be healed by then!

To fill the lull, I thought I’d share a couple of older fall coordinations I put together a while back. The weather is getting cooler here and the trees are starting to turn, so it seems like a good time for these motifs 🙂

Green komon with swirling water and kiku

Buttery soft sage-green silk with dusty brick-coloured kiku. I really love this kimono, and looking at it here I wonder why I’ve never worn it out. I found this outfit very boring when I first put it on, but in retrospect I think it’s a really nice subdued combination.

Brick-red wool komon

If this outfit doesn’t scream “fall”, I don’t know what does. The kimono is wool, which even feels appropriate texturally. It’s a warm red colour with woven lines in brown, mustardy-yellow, and a few in green and a pale icy blue to balance it out. The obi has a motif of changing maple leaves, which emphasizes the season further.

Hopefully when I get back from my trip my life will settle down a bit and I’ll have more time to dress up and more shinies to share with you all!

My biggest fans!

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Wow, that title was lame and predictable, was it not? But still, it’s pretty perfect.

Kimono can get very very hot. One of the easiest and prettiest ways to deal with this is simply tucking a pretty and useful fan into your purse, sleeve, or obi. I only have a few, but they’re versatile 🙂

Two-sided dance fan


There is a long and sweet story behind this fan. The city I live in, Montreal, is one of the biggest ports in Canada, and the main entrance into the St. Lawrence seaway. Because of this, we get all kinds of strange boat traffic from all over the world. When I was very young, my parents and I were in the old port area and we came across a gentleman who happened to be a member of the Japanese Navy. His English and French skills were virtually non-existent, and he had gotten himself lost and could not find his way back to the port, or his ship. My father was working in aeronautics at the time and had a few dealings with people from Mitsubishi, and somehow had cobbled together enough to figure out what the poor gentleman was trying to say, so we happily led him back towards the port. His fellow officers were very grateful, and invited us onto the ship for sake (or in my severely underage case, juice).
This fan, along with a banner with the ship’s name, were given to my family as tokens of appreciation for the whole thing.

Stations of The Tokaido – Nihonbashi fan

Yet another item in my strange obsessive collection of Stations of the Tokaido motif items – my only fan, though!

Goldfish fan

Cute summery fan with kingyo (goldfish) motif.

White fan with silver flecks

This was included as a free gift with a couple of obi I bought.

Pink fan with flowers

Given to me as a gift quite a few years ago

Pink bunny fan

Adorable chubby bunnies. I had to have it, clearly.

Tokaido Fukuro Obi, through the kindness of another

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Every once in a while, someone does something amazingly kind that you absolutely don’t deserve, and it reminds you that there are still some truly kind and exceptional people out there. Suara, one of the members of the Immortal Geisha forums, is one of those people.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love anything with the Tokaido 53 Stations motif, and there was a gorgeous obi on eBay that I had my heart set on. Several friends and family members all offered up some cash to help me get it, and I put in a ridiculously high maximum bid. Things went perfectly until the very last second, when I was sniped. I was devastated. I posted a rather angry and expletive-laced rant on the forums, and did my best to move on.

A few days later, another beautiful obi with the same motif but different stations got posted, and I was determined to get it. Unfortunately, I’d suffered the violent death of my backup hard-drive and had to re-prioritize my finances. I bid what I could, got outbid, and yet again posted on the forums, expressing my frustrations.

Fast-forward a few weeks, after a rather long and stressful few days, when I come home to this in my inbox:

Dear Moony,

The last obi for over $170,– made you so sad and I know how much you like this series of Obis. That is why I bid and fought for this obi as a small present to you. A present to say thank you for your kind help, not only to me but also as a mod for many many people here at IG. I tryed to let this obi send to you directly, but I did not have your name and address, nor you Ebay name, and I think, the seller did not realy know what I wanted. So instead of taking any risk, that a wrong person gets it, it is on its way to me, and if you would be so kind to send me your name and address, I will send it right to you ok?

I think that you are a wonderful person, so please except this small gift to show my apreciation.

Kind regards from Germany,

Suara

I was at a total loss for words – in fact, I started crying. While the entire forum is a close-knit community, I’d never dealt directly and personally with Suara, never had any interactions that I’d have imagined would have made such an impression. I was, and still am, beyond touched.

I made a promise to wear the obi and photograph it as soon as possible – unfortunately when it arrived this morning it was too hot for boxers and a tank top, let alone a kimono suitable for this amazing piece. However, I did think that the situation deserved at least catalogue photos, because it’s too beautiful not to share.

The obi base is a soft neutral with a slight shimmer – not quite gold, and not quite cream. The three stations on it are Ishiyakushi, Ohtsu, and Odawara. They’re woven in with great detail in a mix of warm browns and beiges and cool blue and green. The obi is lush and gorgeous, and will make an amazing complement to my strange chidori houmongi/kurotomesode hybrid, as well as several other kimono.

Station 9, Odawara

Station 44, Ishiyakushi

Station 53, Ohtsu

*A quick note on my station numbering – some people may have noticed that it doesn’t always correspond with the numbering used on all websites. The problem is that some places start the road with Nihonbashi being 0 while some consider it station 1. I stick with the numbering system the first reference I used, which starts at 0.