Autumn Fairy Tale

Both this kimono and this obi are nearly impossible to coordinate. I’ve used the kimono before, but despite having had this obi in my possession for nearly a year now, I’d never found a good way to use it. Last night it came to me while I was soaking in the bath, as many great ideas do.

They both have a sort of fantastical, storybook, decidedly un-Japanese vibe to them. The kimono has always reminded me of The Moomins and other Scandinavian childrens’ books, and the obi has a vaguely Middle-Eastern fantasy feel to it that wouldn’t be out of place in One Thousand and One Nights. I also thought the green and brown would complement each other very well, and the gold accents would echo each other nicely too.

Was I right, or was I right? I’m over the moon with how these pieces look together. I decided go with pink accessories to make the pink trees in the kimono stand out a bit more, since they can get a bit lost against the white hill. They also help to add a touch of light and contrast between the kimono and obi, which are both quite dark. It worked very well, I think. From a distance they almost read as white, just like the trees do, but when you get close you get this lovely surprise. There are also tiny pink and gold botan on the haneri, which are decidedly out of season but the colours worked so well I had to run with it. Next time I might add a gold date-eri to break things up a little further, but I think it works fine without it too. It also just occurred to me that my pink lace haori would look amazing with this too, so I will have to try that sometime.

Another neat thing about this outfit is that all the items aside from the obijime are significantly larger than average, which means I might be able to wear it if I ever have the energy to dress myself again. Something to look forward to, maybe?

Items used in this coordination

Happy Halloween 2022!

Tomorrow is Halloween! The day we celebrate errant bloggers rising from the grave, apparently. I am actually working on an entry discussing my increasing absences, and a slight shift in the purpose and focus of this blog, so keep an eye out for that. Don’t worry, it’s not bad news!

In the meantime though, I actually have a coordination for you! I bought this piece last time I was in California. I realise it’s supposed to be a sunset over the landscape, but to me it absolutely looks like a spooky forest fire scene. The spindly black trees and bright orange background just felt very Halloween to me and I decided it would be the perfect piece to get back into the swing of things.

I wanted to keep the Halloween vibe relatively subtle, but I did try to amp up the spooky factor with a black and silver spiderweb haneri and brass bat obidome made out of a vintage menuki. The obi is a solid black mofuku nagoya, paired with white and orange accessories.

I don’t have a catalogue photo of this piece yet, but that’s a problem for another day. It is coming, I promise!

Items used in this coordination

Spring Fling

I have a confession to make; I used to hate shibori. I suspect it was due to my aversion to certain textures and patterns. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve learnt to appreciate the beauty and incredible craftsmanship that goes into it, but it still wasn’t something I had much of in my collection (aside from some obiage). I also named my pet uromastyx lizard Shibori, due to the spots on his back.

This fully shibori beauty with pink botan and fans showed up on ebay, ending the same night as the rangiku piece in my previous entry. I found it with only minutes to go and only one bid. I threw out a ridiculously low bid and to my shock I won it!

It’s absolutely lush and gorgeous and I am completely in love with. What I was not expecting was how difficult it would be to coordinate!

The olive accessories were a given, they coordinate perfectly with the leaves on the kimono. However, this shade of warm salmon pink clashed with… basically every obi I could find. I settled on this silver one with tiny pink accents and it’s… fine? I guess? I don’t hate it, but it’s not as punchy as I would have liked. I’ll definitely have to hunt down the perfect obi for this piece and coordinate it again soon!

Have you ever changed your mind drastically on a colour, technique, or motif? Something you hated at first but have grown to love?

Items used in this coordination

(I haven’t had the chance to catalogue this piece either yet, but it will be added eventually!)

Chic Modern Kiku

I found this piece on eBay when it had less than an hour to go, and I just fell head over heels. I love how bold it is, how minimalistic it is despite the motif itself being huge and dramatic, I love the very simple colour palette. And of course, rangiku is one of my favourite motifs. I really lucked out here, someone actually bumped it up to my maximum bid in the last few seconds, but didn’t bid any higher so I ended up winning it by the skin of my teeth.

I was so eager to coordinate it that I haven’t even had time to take a photograph for my catalogue – I just wanted to get it on to the mannequin as soon as I had some free time.

I paired it with a mofuku nagoya obi, since I really wanted the punch of black contrast. I think the rest of the outfit is obviously enough not mofuku that I can get away with it. Ideally, I would have used accessories in the same blue as the accents on the flowers, but I don’t own anything in that specifically “blurple” colour. I went with some of my favourite blue pieces, my icy blue obiage and beaded obijime. The haneri is actually my silver spiderweb one turned inside out. That made me chuckle a bit, since in English rangiku are often referred to as spider chrysanthemums. Maybe one day I’ll coordinate it with the webs visible.

Items used in this coordination

Delightful dolls, delayed

Hina-matsuri (雛祭り, doll’s day) was this past Thursday. In the past, I’ve made my own dolls for display but this year I just didn’t have the time to do much of anything, since I work all week now. However, I did want to do a little something, even if it’s technically too late.

I knew I wanted to use this ningyo obi, despite the type of doll not being the typical dolls used for this festival. One day I will find a piece with proper hina dolls on it and I will use that, but until that happens this is what I’ve got.

This kimono may have seemed like an odd choice, but if you look closely there’s bright red accents in the beautiful embroidery. They actually coordinate quite well, I think. Also I think the pink, pastels, and adorable bunny are all ideal for a holiday that celebrates girls.

It’s been a long time since I’ve used my beloved blue and red shibori obiage or my mint and reddish-orange obijime so I was thrilled to have an excuse to pull them out again. A pretty floral haneri in shades of pink with turquoise foliage was a nice finishing touch. As well as featuring dolls, this outfit feels like a great bridge from winter to spring, perfect for early March.