Geisha Style Coordination

It seems like I’ve developed a pattern when it comes to dressing Tsukiko; alternating experimental or non-standard kitsuke with very traditional coordinations. I’d been wanting to do something with the gorgeous geisha hikizuri that Naomi and Erica gave me years ago. The obi is a Taisho-era chuuya from the big obi bundle several of us split a while back. It’s absolutely stunning, but it’s in very fragile shape – the black silk used to line these obi tends to rot much more rapidly than the silk on the front. I repaired one with similar damage a while ago, but I haven’t had the chance to do it to this one yet. Because of this, I wasn’t comfortable wearing it myself, but mannequin kitsuke tends to be a lot more forgiving. I absolutely love how they look together, so soft and desaturated and elegant. I don’t own a momi, so I used a red shigoki obi and obiage to replicate the pop of red under the obi, and pulled out a vintage red juban with a heavily textured collar already attached. I’d initially wanted to tie the obi in yanagi musubi, which is common for performing geisha, but because the obi is so delicate I figured it would be safer to stick with something I know how to tie quickly and easily, so I defaulted to a standard otaiko musubi instead. I think it still looks quite good.

I do wish I could leave this outfit up as a display, but between the fragility of the obi and the cats being fascinated by the trailing hem (and discovering that it makes a spectacular tent), it’s going to to have to be put away quite soon.

Items used in this coordination

To the memory of Opaline Rose

Yesterday, the Immortal Geisha facebook group was informed of the untimely loss of one of our own. While I was not exceptionally close to her, Opaline Rose was a bright light in the online kimono community. She was also incredibly well-loved in the lolita fashion community, and had a wonderful knack for mixing the two styles and creating something vibrant and original. She always had an encouraging word for anyone trying something new, for anyone uncertain of themselves. I’m shocked and saddened by her passing, as are many other people.

In an attempt to deal with my feelings, I tried to honour her memory with an attempt at wa-lolita, which is the name for a style that melds traditional kimono and modern lolita fashion. Opaline often combined kofurisode with feminine skirts and petticoats to great success. While I’m not sure I accomplished the look, I’d like to think if she’d seen this she would have appreciated it.

À la famille de Marie (Opaline), je vous offre mes sincères condoléances. Elle menait de la joie et la lumière a tous ceux et celles qu’elle touchait.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I won this gorgeous green irotomesode on eBay a few weeks back. It’s so lush and gorgeous; soft old silk with a vivid red lining and a mirrored hem design that puts it in the late Meiji or early Taisho era. I knew it would be too small for me to ever wear, even if I manage to lose weight, but I had to have it!

It arrived in the mail on Tuesday, along with a cute little coordinating obijime. Unfortunately, the flu from hell also arrived on Tuesday. I barely made it through the day at work, went to bed less than an hour after getting home, and promptly spent nearly 22 hours asleep. I’m still not feeling well, but I figured since it was St. Patrick’s Day and the kimono is such a beautiful and vibrant kelly green that I had to muddle through and make an outfit with it.

I chose to emphasize the fresh spring feel of the green with pastel accessories and this lovely tachibana fukuro obi from the obi bundle a few of us splurged on years ago. The obi is adorable but badly stained, so not particularly ideal for wearing out, but I was able to put it on Tsukiko in a way that hides the worst of the discolourations. I really love how this outfit looks together.

Items used in this coordination

Soft and Feminine

Today is going much smoother than yesterday did, so I thought I would attempt the soft, girly coordination I had in mind for Hina-matsuri. I chose this beautiful pink takara houmongi that my good friend (and Naomi’s charming husband!) Arian bought for me ages ago. It’s one of the softest, most demure kimono I own and it felt right for this outfit.

As much fun as I have been having lately with hime-style and non-traditional kitsuke, I was in the mood to make a very “normal” outfit this time, so I pulled out coordinating pastel accessories and this lovely but painfully soft gold fukuro obi. I attempted a tsunodashi musubi, but it’s so floppy it looks a little deflated, unfortunately. Overall though, I very much achieved the aesthetic I wanted!

Items used in this coordination

Steampunk Adventuress

I was so pleased with the end result of using the high-necked Victorian-style blouse under the pink iromuji a few weeks ago, I thought I would try it again! Rather than simply re-hash the outfit with a different kimono, I decided to throw caution to the wind and do a full Steampunk-style ensemble. I purchased this corset recently for a cosplay, but it seemed like the perfect jumping-off point for this outfit. While I use it fairly frequently, this outfit screamed for my Gothic Victorian Landscape houmongi. A ruffly black crinoline and a brown faux-fur stole pulled everything together neatly, and a brooch from Scotland was the perfect finishing touch. I couldn’t be happier with how this one came together. I could totally imagine myself wearing this outfit – with a fabulous hat and knee-high boots – on the front deck of an airship, travelling to Japan to do some more shopping!

Items used in this coordination