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.

Slava Ukraini! Heroiam slava!

Слава Україні! Героям слава!
Slava Ukraini! Heroiam slava!
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!

This was not the outfit I’d planned for this weekend at all. But things changed dramatically earlier this week when a power-mad despot invaded a beautiful independent country full of brave people. If you’re a regular reader here, you know that I tend to deal with anxiety and grief by throwing myself into coordinating outfits. It’s a strange coping mechanism, but it helps me.

The Ukrainian flag seemed like an ideal jumping off point; in fact when I was sitting on the floor of the kimono room, feeling overwhelmed and re-thinking my entire coordination plan, my father came into the room and said “Do you have something in blue and yellow?” It was comforting to know his brain was on the exact same wavelength mine was.

I have several blue kimono, none of which are exactly the right shade, sadly. I chose this one because it’s my favourite and because the bokashi haze around the hem lightens the whole piece up, bringing it closer to the flag. Originally I’d had a gold obi in mind, but then I remembered the yellow side of this Tokaido hanhaba I own. Is it technically too casual for this kimono? Yes. Do I care? No. A matching haneri and a beaded obijime that’s the exact correct shade of blue complete the outfit. The formality is all over the place, but today that wasn’t my priority.

If you’re feeling as helpless as I am, I urge you to donate to either the UNHCR or the International Committee of the Red Cross to help assist in their efforts in helping people on the ground. Any funds generated by this blog (my two Patreon Patrons, I thank you!) will be donated to the UNHCR this month on my part.

Items used in this coordination

Lovely Winter Landscape

This obi was the first piece I ever got with a Stations of the Tokaido motif, and it’s very special to me. When I was hunting for inspiration for a new coordination I looked out the window and it hit me. Everything is very snowy and wintery and monochrome here in Montreal, and I wanted to capture that feeling of cold, blustery, no-contrast weather. Ideally a pale blue-grey iromuji would probably have worked better but I don’t own one, and this one is close enough in colour. Also the heavy texture looks like windblown snow-drifts, which helped reinforce the feeling I was going for.

I chose an obiage and an obijime in an almost-identical icy mint colour to keep things very monochrome and ensure all the focus was on the obi.

As pretty as winter is, I am very ready for it to GO AWAY. I want grass and flowers and longer days, please! Is winter bad where you are? Are you also fed up with it?

Items used in this coordination