Montreal ToyCon October 2010

So as some of you may know, I work in just about the coolest toy store in the universe and twice a year we organze a toy convention. I usually use it as an excuse to wear kimono, and this year was no exception. I’ve been wanting to wear all these pieces for a long time now, and I’m so glad everything came together so well. The kimono is way too small so I could not swing an ohashori, but it’s a casual enough outfit that I think it’s sort of irrelevant.

I decided to pair up the purple yabane I bought last year in Boulder with the meisen haori I bought this year. I paired them up with black and yellow accessories; a black obi with yellow, purple, and orange karabana, the same yellow shibori obiage and hakata obijime I wear with pretty much everything lately, a pretty black haneri from Naomi, crazy black weiner dog tabi from Kansai_Gal, and my new moon-shaped obidome. I feel like this is a very cohesive outfit, every colour is echoed on at least one other item, so it all ties together well.

And a close-up of the best tabi ever:

If anyone needs further evidence that my job is indeed incredibly awesome, one of the cosplayers at the con allowed me to wear his handmade Ghostbusters Proton Pack and take a few photos. It was surprisingly comfy, even with the obi!

In the dealer’s room, I found an awesome little bit of nostalgia – the original Crystal Swift Wind, She-Ra’s mangical flying unicorn/pegasus. I had one of these when I was a little girl, but the plastic was thin and brittle, and someone (most likely me) stepped on her at some point and she shattered. Unfortunately, she was way out of my budget for the day, especially for a used toy, so I had to say my goodbyes. But not before getting a picture of me pouting with her.

Thanks for looking! If you’d like to see pictures of the convention itself, there is an album on my Facebook that is viewable by following that link.

Fun with kimono dolls!

Have you ever had the urge to make a kimono outfit or play around with coordination, but didn’t have time? Or perhaps your collection isn’t big enough and you don’t have a lot of pieces to play with? Maybe you’re just too tired, and want to do something fun and relaxing! Fear not, the internet’s come to the rescue again! There are plenty of very fun little interactive kimono dress-up dolls out there to play with.

Wabitas Simulator - Fun simulator with tons of colour and pattern options for the juban, kimono, and haori. Solid colour choices for obi, no options for obiage, obijime, or zori.
KainoaTec - Cute modern furisode simulator. You can choose the furisode, obi, obiage, obijime, date-eri, zori, and hair accessory. Hairstyle and face are not customizeable. There are also three different poses available.
DollDivine Kimono Maker - Slightly ukiyo-e stylized geisha simulator. You can choose the juban, hikizuri (long trailing kimono), haneri, and obi as well as tons of customization options for the hairstyle, face, and accessories. Plenty of skin tones, and lots of hair and eye colours, both natural and fantastic.
Yukata Girl - Modern yukataHIME style, with lots of crazy hairstyles, footwear options, three lengths of yukata, and plenty of customizable patterns you can layer for even more personalization.
Kimono Girl - Adorable chibi-style simulator, with tons of kimono options, as well as obi, obiage, obijime, footwear, and hakama! Skin tone, hair, and face options too.
Kimono Maker - Design a kimono. Choose the base colour and then choose patterns and accent colours. Doll itself (skin, hair, makeup) is fixed.

Have fun, and if you make any awesome outfits using these, please share! 🙂

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth geta

Pardon the cheesy title.  I seem to have a fondness for them! While browsing evilBay yesterday I realized I need to take some time and focus on the “lacking” spots in my kimono wardrobe, and started making a list. That quickly spiralled downhill into a wishlist of sorts, which I figured I would share, despite not expecting any of it as actual gifts XD. Consider this a “to buy” list for my own personal reference.

Relatively neutral, non-shibori obiage.
For some reason, I have a huge lack of these. Nearly all my obiage are either very vivid in colour, or covered in ornate shibori, or both. This makes casual outfits a bit of a challenge, especially things like wool komon. The biggest obstacle for me here is that obiage tend to be bundled with obijime, which I absolutely do not need. I bought a huge mixed lot and am set for a while. I also bought a mixed lot of shibori obiage, but for some reason have had no luck with simpler ones.

Cute juban that actually fit.
Being the gigantic hulking glamazon that I am, finding kimono that fit can be a challenge. However, kimono are made to be overly long and adjusted at the waist, so generally I can make do. Juban (the traditional middle layer of clothing, a form of underrobe that are usually partially visible), however, are not meant to be folded at the waist, and so should be as long as the measurement from shoulder to ankle. That measurement, on me, is the entire height of a typical Japanese woman, from what I can tell based on sizes. Unfortunately, this means that juban tend to be waaay too short on me. I have some that are two pieces, and so the skirt can be tied low on my hips, and that helps. I also have one that is actually a converted unlined kimono, and it works. However, I would like more variety, since the hems and sleeves of these pieces do show quite a bit, and should add some oomph to an outfit. If anyone ever sees juban over 55″/140cm, please let me know!

More 53 Stations of the Tokaido motifs.
If you’re reading this blog you’re probably already aware, but my collection has a sub-collection. I am slowly amassing kimono items that have motifs based on Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido series of prints. I am going to do an entire entry on this in the future, to catalogue the pieces I have and explain a bit of the history behind the theme as well as try to pin-point what it is about this series I find so captivating, but that’s for a later date. For the time being, I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for any related items, particularly ones that have stations I do not already own. Any items here would be awesome; so far I only have three obi and one folding dance fan. Eventually, I hope to have an entire outfit, no matter how tacky and clashing it may end up.

More lobsters, and sea creatures in general!
For some reason, I find the spiny lobster motif absolutely hilarious and adorable. I recently finally managed to snag myself an obi with one on it, but this has not satiated my need for ridiculous lobster, much to my dismay. Now would be a good time to bring my dream motif, large-scale cephalopods. However, in all my years of collecting, the only time I’ve come across anything remotely related to this was  a man’s haori with Hokusai’s Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife (note, that link is not safe for work if your work is strict) print inside the lining. Not exactly what I am looking for!

Vintage, wide vertical striped kimono.
I love the look of wide, bright contrasting stripes. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find any that fit me and are within my budget. This is sort of low on my priority list because I have a ton of kimono I’ve not worn out yet.

Hakata, hakata, hakata!
Another of my lustmotifs. Hakata is a form of weaving traditional to a specific region of Japan, and is typically used for obi.  I have several already, but I’m always on the lookout for more, especially in unusual or interesting colourways.