Haneri – the finishing touches

1.2k{icon} {views}

In my mind, one of the items in any kimono wardrobe that really helps inject personal style and flair into an outfit are haneri, or decorative under-robe collars. They are sewn onto the juban to protect it from dirt and oil as well as to add a coordinating colour and design. By default, most modern juban have a white collar already attached, but you can always sew a more brightly coloured or textured one over top.

White collars are proper and traditional on more formal and mature outfits, such as with kurotomesode, iromuji, and mofuku. However, on younger outfits involving furisode, or any outfit involving komon, tsukesage, or houmongi, the right haneri really adds a visual punch. I may even consider wearing them myself with iromuji with the right accessories (and to the right venue), and I have a few that are primarily white with some metallic accents that I wear with kurotomesode. However, I would never wear one with mofuku (funeral wear) as I feel it would be frivolous and disrespectful.

I have a relatively small collection of “real” haneri, but I have a lot of handmade and improvised ones as well. Really, any fabric that is lightweight and long enough to cover the juban collar will work fine.

White with seigaiha
haneri-7 haneri-8
This is a beautiful and delicate white collar with pink and mauve seigaiha (stylized wave) and little squares. The white silk also has a subtle reflective fleck texture.

Mauve with spiders
Naomi got this one for me to go with my infamous spider obi. It was too perfect an opportunity to pass up!
haneri-5 haneri-6

Black with ume and bamboo
I love the slightly vintage feeling of this one. I also really like dark haneri in general, especially with casual outfits.
haneri-3 haneri-4

Blue with sakura
A sort of subtle pastel one. I have an outfit in mind for this but I haven’t had the opportunity to wear it yet.
haneri haneri-2

Shibori silks
These are actually scraps of silk Naomi sent me, but they are the perfect size to wear as haneri. I love how vibrant they are.
haneri-9

haneri-11 haneri-10

Handmade cotton selection
These are hemmed quilting cotton I got in a trade with someone on the Immortal Geisha forums. They’ve all got a definite Japanese feel to them (except the striped one which is just freaking adorable) and look great with a bunch of different outfits.
haneri-12

On the merits of shigoki obi

833{icon} {views}

Shigoki obi are one of those items that really aren’t necessary by any means in a kimono wardrobe, but once you’ve gotten a couple you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. If you’re like me and are built like the offspring of the Jolly Green Giant, and you have a preference for older kimono, they are a godsend. They are a great way to hide a lack of ohashori, or one that is too short to sit properly and lie flat.

These long loose types are traditionally worn by young girls, but lately with the trend in Japan leaning towards the vintage, the funky, and encouraging women to find their own personal style in kimono, they are making a huge comeback. There is also a variation called the kakae-obi that is stiffer and solid, sort of like a wide ribbon, and typically worn by a bride on her wedding day. I really like the looks of these particular accessories, but I’ve never seen one worn simply as a stylistic element so I think for the time being I will avoid doing so.

Typically they are in the standard beni-bana orangey red that was traditional for accessories and undergarments, but more often now they are coming in combinations of fun patterns and colours. BikaBika recently posted some amazing scans from the newest edition of Kimono-hime and one outfit featured a girl wearing an adorable white-and-red candy-stripe shigoki. I would absolutely love one of these for myself.
Spring Coordination Page 2

So far I only have red ones, but they’re all slightly different shades of red and all have different fringes – two have red with gold, one has a slightly peach cast, one is just solid red. The first example is how they should be worn, the second example is using one as a substitute for the momi, the red cloth geisha wear under their obi.
Halloween 2010 Kitsuke Geiko-inspired kitsuke

If you’re building up a kimono wardrobe and looking for a way to inject a bit of fun and personality into your casual outfits, I’d really suggest investing in at least one or two shigoki obi!

My biggest fans!

601{icon} {views}

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.

Recent Acquisitions – Obiage

401{icon} {views}

Nothing exciting this morning, just managed to photograph some new obiage I got recently. I bid on a lot of three specifically to get one, but lucked out because the other two are nicer in person than they looked in photographs.

Peach rinzu obiage

This looked like a gross fluorescent orange in the auction photos – in person it’s a lovely delicate peach colour. The rinzu’s got a great subtle design of sayagata design and multi-seasonal flowers.

Vivid pink chirimen obiage

I desperately needed more casual obiage, so this was a nice addition. It’s very pink, but I’ll find places to make it work, I’m sure.

Lavender obiage with embroidery

This is the main reason I bid on the whole bundle. I was captivated by the tiny, delicate embroidery. In the auction photos it looked like a sort of a drab grey, and had what seemed to be some very visible stains. I was pleasantly surprised when it actually arrived, the grey was actually a warm dove grey, and there’s some areas of a soft lavender too. The stains, so prominent in the auction, are barely visible at all in person.

What really makes this special though, is the embroidery. Each end has three fan-shaped areas filled with plants – one has ume, one has irises, and one has pines.

As a bonus, here’s a random picture of my box of obiage. I just really like how they look when they’re all folded and organized… not that it ever stays this way for long XD

I’ve got several kimono in the mail right now, so hopefully I’ll have some nice new outfits to post in the near future, and yes, I’m still going to continue the series on size challenges in dressing. Just needed a break and a “mindless” entry to post.

Birthday splurging.

537{icon} {views}

Several weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to go visit my dearest friend in Boulder, Colorado. Aside from being a beautiful city with a firm grip on my soul, Boulder is also home to a rather unexpected Vintage Kimono Showroom. Janine, the lovely owner, was kind enough to give me an early start on her holiday sale, since I was only going to be in town for a week. I went on my birthday, of all days, since my friend was stuck at work.

I managed to snag some really awesome pieces. I did my best to not go overboard, buying only things that I found really special. One piece in particular was so special that it’s going to get its own entry soon, I am just waiting on an obi to coordinate it with. In the meantime, here are the other things I picked up, behind the cut!

First up, a great little vintage yabane komon.

Based on the colours and sleeve length, I’d guesstimate it at early Showa. The sleeves are lined in red, but just by a few inches, I think someone may have added it in on their own. The fabric on this one is quite odd, it feels almost like a cotton-silk blend. It’s nice and airy, despite being fully lined, and I feel as though I could almost wear it year-round.

I also snagged two gorgeous haori, including my first-ever vintage one. The modern one is lovely, a thick black silk with karabana (fantasy flowers) in soft pastels. The way it’s dyed gives it a great artsy feel.

I actually wore this out to my birthday dinner, along with a green cowl-neck sweater and jeans, as well as the lovely pearl necklace I got from my friend. No photos of the outfit, but feel free to enjoy a blurry shot of my ugly mug enjoying a stuffed scallop!

The other haori is amazing. It’s a lush, crisp taffeta silk in a great teal, red, black and white stripe. The sleeves are deliciously long, it’s nice to finally have a haori I can wear with my vintage kimono.

The other great thing about vintage haori is the lining fabric they used to use. Often times they were much more vivid and crazy than the haori themselves.

My last addition were two obijime.

A cute, straightforward two-sided red and black casual obijime

And an adorable vivid fluorescent red-orange obijime with pastel hakata detail. I’m really loving these hakata obiage I keep finding. Another great thing about this one is that I can wear obidome with it 😀

Overall, I’m really happy with everything I got, and I am looking forward to sharing the other special piece soon!