Steampunk Adventuress

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I was so pleased with the end result of using the high-necked Victorian-style blouse under the pink iromuji a few weeks ago, I thought I would try it again! Rather than simply re-hash the outfit with a different kimono, I decided to throw caution to the wind and do a full Steampunk-style ensemble. I purchased this corset recently for a cosplay, but it seemed like the perfect jumping-off point for this outfit. While I use it fairly frequently, this outfit screamed for my Gothic Victorian Landscape houmongi. A ruffly black crinoline and a brown faux-fur stole pulled everything together neatly, and a brooch from Scotland was the perfect finishing touch. I couldn’t be happier with how this one came together. I could totally imagine myself wearing this outfit – with a fabulous hat and knee-high boots – on the front deck of an airship, travelling to Japan to do some more shopping!

Items used in this coordination

What’s Black and White and Red All Over?

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A while back I got the idea of a bold, geometric, black & white outfit into my head. I got out my black diamond tsukesage-komon and my favourite black and white hakata tsuke-obi. The lining of the kimono is a bright red, which made the accessories a no-brainer. Black, white, and red is such a classic, timeless combination. A red obiage, objime, and red card suit patterned haneri pulled everything together but I still felt like the outfit was missing something. This black handbag with red Bakelite accents is one of my favourites, and fit perfectly with the mood I was building. The finishing touch ended up being my Deadpool pocket-watch. This is an outfit I can totally see myself wearing as soon as I fit into the kimono again.

Items used in this coordination

Book Review – Kimono Now

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Kimono Now
by Manami Ozaki
Language: English
ISBN: 978-3791349497
Amazon.com Listing
GoodReads Page

Kimono Now is an absolutely wonderful English-language resource about modern kimono culture. I’ve had it for quite a while but wanted to give my thoughts time to settle before writing this review. I absolutely loved it and wanted to make sure I wasn’t jumping the gun with my opinions.

It’s a big, lush book that looks as good on a coffee table as it does in your bookshelf. It’s broken down into logical and easy to read segments, from the craftsmanship and artistry involved in kimono to interviews and featurettes on modern designers, famous kimono style icons, people remaking kimono into new fashion, and artists working in other mediums who have been inspired by kimono. While most of the people discussed and interviewed are Japanese, the book also takes into account the kimono’s influence on the rest of the world and has features involving non-Japanese artisans and collectors, which is very refreshing. It’s chock full of gorgeous colour plates and plenty of detailed information that never feels dry. It covers a little bit of everything without feeling like a textbook, which is no mean feat. It’s definitely not a how-to guide, but if you’re already familiar with how to wear kimono traditionally and just want ideas and inspiration, it’s a must-have. If I have any one criticism, it’s that someone along the line (possibly the editor or publisher) decided to go with the western standard of pluralising kimono into kimonos, which has always been a bit of a peeve of mine. It’s a very minor nitpick though.

 

 

I would recommend this book for:


-People interested in modern kimono culture
-People looking to learn more about kimono designers, models, etc
-Anyone searching for inspiration and ideas to develop their personal style

I would not recommend this book for:


-Beginners looking for how-to-dress guides
-People interested only in traditional kitsuke

 

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Outfit of the Whenever: Sugar & Spice

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I have accepted that calling this feature Outfit of the Week is unrealistic. I will try to continue posting at minimum once a month; we’ll see how that goes 😉

I’ve been wanting to do an outfit using a blouse in lieu of juban for quite some time now, but never really found inspiration until now. The other day I found this ruffled, high-necked, almost Victorian-inspired black blouse and everything fell right into place. I went with a very simple colour scheme, just using black and dusty pink. The kimono is an iromuji with a really lush, textured silk weave. The obi is actually my lobster tsuke obi wrapped backwards so it’s just solid black. I realised as I was dressing Tsukiko that it was coming across as a very pretty, demure, sort of outfit so I ramped that up with my pearls and an ume kanzashi from GirLinKimono on Etsy used as an obidome. It seemed very fitting for Valentine’s Day.

I love how soft and simple this coordination is, without being remotely boring. I also really like how the blouse-as-undergarment turned out, and I may end up having to try this out on myself sometime in the near future. It seems like it would be easier and more comfortable than worrying about juban and everything.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! May it be filled with love and chocolate or whatever else makes you happy.

Items used in this coordination

Heart Obijime Knot Tutorial

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Recently, someone posted a photo of this adorable heart-shaped obijime knot in a Facebook group I’m in. I fell in love and decided I would figure out how to tie it, and it’s surprisingly simple! It works best with a slightly longer than average round obijime. The one I used has contrasting colours which looks very sweet and also makes the tutorial easier to follow, I hope.

Step 1 – Begin with a standard obijime knot (if you occasionally have trouble with this, don’t fret! A lot of folks do. This tutorial is a great place to start).
Step 2 – With the long ends of the obijime coming out of the top of the knot, tuck them down behind the cord around your waist.
Step 3 – Make loops with the long ends and bring them back up behind the central knot.
Step 4 – Bring the long tails in front of the obiime and through the loops made in Step 3.
Step 5 – Tighten and adjust the loops and tails as need be until everything is nice and snug and in the right shape. Cross the tassels over each other, and voila! A sweet heart knot, perfect for Valentine’s Day!

I hope that was easy for you to follow. If you try this knot, I would love to see it. Please feel free to post photos or links in the comments. ♥