Blushing Valentine Bride

I absolutely intended to do this yesterday, but the universe clearly had other plans. It’s never too late for a little bit of winter romance though, so here we are! For February and Valentine’s Day, I decided to do a bit of a non-traditional wedding coordination. Generally, wedding outfits will be either all white (or white with metallic accents) or boldly coloured, depending on the time, location, and whether it’s for the ceremony or reception. This time though, I decided to go white with one bright accent colour; what could be more romantic than rosy pink?

I used a pink iromuji as the under-layer, since the colour was a perfect match, and I’m glad I went for it. I love the solid colours but play of texture – the kimono has a subtle sayagata rinzu, the iromuji is much more heavily textured, there’s the nubbly shibori of the obiage, the smooth flat surface of the obi, and even the shiny bumpy quality of the beaded obiage. Everything plays against everything else to create an outfit that despite being only two colours still remains visually very interesting.

Typically, a bigger musubi like tateya or something fancy created by a bridal studio would be used with a wedding ensemble. However, this obi has no stiffener and is very floppy, which really reduces the ways it can be tied without looking sad and anaemic, so I went with a very timeless soft bunko musubi. This also seemed like the perfect time to use the heart obijime knot (tutorial here). Since beaded obijime tend to be a bit slippery and often shorter than usual I wasn’t able to do it perfectly, but it’s still quite cute I think!

I’ve also gone ahead and reactivated my Patreon account. I know times are tough and money is tight for just about everyone, so I’m not expecting anything. But if you’ve got a few dollars to spare and enjoy the content I provide, please consider pledging! Every penny earned from there will go directly back into this blog, to cover new pieces, new reference materials, website hosting, and the like.

Items used in this coordination

Showa-ing Off

Sometimes it amazes me how small the online kimono enthusiast community can be. A while back I was browsing eBay and saw a bundle of some pieces I really liked for sale by a local seller. I reached out to them to ask if they’d be willing to offer local (but socially distanced!) pick-up and about an hour later I get a Facebook message from my friend Sasa, asking if the message was from me!  😆

One of the main reasons I wanted the bundle was this particular kimono; it reminds me very much of the first “big loss” I ever had on eBay, the first time I truly fell in love with a piece and was outbid in the last few seconds. It’s got a very distinct mid-late Showa era feel to it, the bold colours contrasting against a very soft background, the fantastical floral motifs that almost feel inspired by 60s psychedelia. I chose to pair it with this slightly older obi that echoes the teal-green foliage and has hints of a pale peachy pink that ties in to the kimono background.

I really love how well it all ties together. The obijime is an utterly perfect match for the kimono, and the red obiage provides just enough punch while echoing the bold red tones in the kimono designs. The soft kimono and bold obi contrast very well and the whole thing just feels very mid/late Showa era. I’m quite pleased!

Items used in this coordination

If this combination is wrong, I don’t wanna be right

I’m back! I’m feeling motivated again and have ideas for plenty of new coordinates using new items and ones I’ve had in my collection for a long time. The little break I ended up taking did wonders for my mental health and I thank you all for sticking around and being patient. 💖

Today I’ve got something really special for you. I have loved this kimono for over a decade, ever since I was lucky enough to wear it during a fashion show at a convention. You remember conventions, right? When thousands of people gathered together, packed themselves into small rooms, hugged, laughed, and shared common interests? Funny how alien that seems in our current world! They’ll come back eventually, though.

Anyway, Naomi dressed me in this stunning chocolate brown furisode with all kinds of gentle foliage and gold butterflies, and I was smitten. Fast forward a few years to when she’s thinning out her collection and now it’s come to live with me! It doesn’t fit me at the moment, but thankfully it looks gorgeous on the mannequin.

Typically, with a furisode like this the obi should be tied in a much larger, showier musubi. However, it’s got a more mature feel than a lot of furisode, and I knew I really wanted to pair this beloved obi from my 53 Stations of the Tokaido collection with it, so I went for a more grown-up style in general. I couldn’t resist adding back a bit of youth and flash with how I tied the obijime, though.

I’m sure I’ll do a more “appropriate” outfit with this piece in the future, but right now I’m really quite thrilled with how this turned out.

Items used in this coordination

Touches of Gold

(There’s some personal emotional garbage as well as an attempt at explaining the lack of content lately at the bottom of this entry. Feel free to skip it if you’re just here for the pretties.)

My lovely friend Maral was helping someone destash some kimono and I fell in love with this green odori piece as well as a gorgeous purple and white obi that will make an appearance sooner or later. Everything about this piece makes me happy; the colour, the bridge, the willow branches, and the size. It’s deceptively large!

I decided I really wanted to play up the warm orange and touches of gold in the kimono. I used my black shishi obi to help anchor the coordination and bring in even more metallic accents, and the red obiage to tie in the red date-eri that was already sewn into the kimono. My initial instinct was a white and gold haneri but I defaulted to this yellow chirimen one that I use way too often, because somehow despite being the colour of stale mustard it seems to go with almost everything.

This outfit is quite straightforward compared to a lot of what I’ve been doing lately, but there’s a lot to be said for the classics. The whole coordination feels balanced, and just flashy enough. It’s also sort of accidentally Christmas colours, which works well because it’ll be on the mannequin over the holidays. It wasn’t intentional, but let’s pretend it was.

Items used in this coordination

If you’re reading this far, thank you. The past month or so has been rough, you guys. I was supposed to spend my birthday (Nov 16) and American Thanksgiving with my dude but then my household got exposed to the virus that shall not be named and we all had to quarantine for two weeks. As we were dealing with the aftermath of that, we lost my grandmother. She’d been ill for quite a long time and it’s a relief to know she’s not suffering anymore, but considering I was going through some emotionally messy garbage before all this happened, you can imagine how I was feeling afterwards. However, we’ve buried my grandmother’s ashes and she’s at peace, and barring another exposure incident I will be spending Christmas with Keith so I’m starting to feel better finally. I should have much more new content and a more regular update schedule in the new year. 💕

Autumn Wedding

Sometimes a girl just wants to put a wedding outfit on her mannequin for no good reason, right? I received this beautiful vintage maru obi as an extra when I bought the ume hikizuri, and for a while I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. It recently hit me that it’s the same sort of desaturated vintage colour palette as my beloved Taisho bridal kimono, and roughly the same level of flashiness, so it was worth trying them out together.

I really love how these look together, with the pops of red and gold from the obiage, obijime, and kakae obi to break things up. It looks beautifully autumnal, and since it’s snowing today and winter’s creeping up on me, I want to hold onto that fall feeling as long as possible.

It’s not as tidy as it could be, and that is a sad, floppy-looking bunko musubi but I was out of spoons and didn’t want to fight with it anymore (even with my poor long-suffering father helping me out). I figured I’d share the outfit as-is, rather than getting frustrated and not posting it. I’m still not feeling great, to be honest, and there’s a bunch of stuff happening in my personal life that I won’t bore you with. I just want to reassure you that while posting has slowed down somewhat these past few months, I’m still here and I’m not going anywhere.

Items used in this coordination