Tsubaki Aoi Kitsuplay

Typically, when I do character-inspired kimono coordinations or kitsuke-cosplay (kitsuplay), it’s an adaptation; a translation of what the character might look like in an alternate reality. Today though, I was able to pretty much exactly reproduce a character’s outfit!

I recently watched a charming anime called Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi (かくりよの宿飯, Bed & Breakfast for Spirits) and imagine how excited I was when Tsubaki Aoi, the protagonist, changed into this green iromuji and purple obi, and pretty much stayed in this outfit for the bulk of the series!

I already owned every single piece here. The kimono looks more yellow in these photos than it actually is; in real life it’s almost identical to hers. The only thing I had to do was tie the obi with the back side visible to hide the embroidered design, since her obi is plain purple. The only thing I initially didn’t have was her leaf fan, a gift from a very important character in the show. I’d actually been holding off, trying to look for a synthetic tropical leaf when my mum brought home a bunch of flowers that just happened to have a real, fresh one! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and changed the mannequin right away.

I really loved doing this, and I think I’ll be working on another Anime with Kimono Eye-Candy post in the near future, so I can look for more outfits to reproduce.

Items used in this coordination

A Prayer for the Amazon

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Amazon is burning. This is an unprecedented tragedy of incomprehensible proportions. Indigenous peoples and native animal species are dying, and what is essentially the lungs of our planet is shrinking dramatically every day.

I know it doesn’t make a lick of difference, but kitsuke makes me feel better in overwhelming times like this. I’ve done it when people I’ve admired have passed away, and I did it when Notre Dame burnt and that didn’t have nearly the global significance these fires are having.

Green would have been the obvious choice, and my initial instinct; but then I thought of the lush, gorgeous foliage on my basho-leaf houmongi. I went with more bright pinks and then a green-leaning turquoise because it feels joyous and hopeful, something we all desperately need right now.

If, like me, you’re feeling scared and helpless and looking for a way to help, I urge you to consider donating to one of the charities working on the ground in the Amazon. After some research and checking with the Charity Navigator, I feel comfortable suggesting any of the following groups. If you know of any other reliable charities, or have information that these may not be ideal to donate to, please leave a comment.

Items used in this coordination

Rainbow Sherbet

This beautiful faux-shibori odori kimono came home with me last weekend, courtesy of my friend Sasa of SA Design by Sasa. I modelled a plus-size happi coat for her a while back and she was incredibly generous in offering this piece to me as thanks. I also bought a lovely obi from her, but I’m saving that for later. 😉

I really love the colour combination of purple, orange, and yellow. Despite the autumn mood of the leaves on the obi, I think the whole outfit together has a very refreshing feeling to me. It feels very summery, like a refreshing scoop of rainbow sherbet. It looks sweet and cool and completely delicious, and now I’m making myself hungry!

It’s finally starting to cool down here in Montreal, and the fashion show I’ve been prepping for is coming up really soon, so that means I’ll finally be comfortable enough and have enough free time to get back into posting as regularly as I used to. We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of me starting this blog, so I’ve got to do something fun and exciting.

Also, do you spell it as sherbet or sherbert? It seems to change depending on where you’re from.

Items used in this coordination

Showa Fabulous Christmas in July

It’s still hotter than the surface of the sun here in Montreal, but I was determined to see if I could turn my han-darari tsuke obi into a passable fukura suzume bow in preparation for the Otakuthon fashion show. I figured while I had the mannequin and obi out, I may as well go all-in and change her outfit. This isn’t going to be a full outfit in the show but it’s good practice and visualisation for something that’s in the works.

The obi has such a gorgeously shiny showa fabulous feel to it that it felt like the perfect time to bust out my precious post-war kiku houmongi. I went with gold, red, and green accessories, and while I worried initially that the outfit would feel Christmassy, it actually worked out really well. Besides, Christmas in July might help me feel a little bit cooler!

As for the obi experiment, it definitely worked in theory. I just need a few more himo to make things a little tidier, but I’ll definitely be able to pull it off properly for the show on a real model, and I’m thrilled.

Items used in this coordination

Masculine & Feminine

Yet another lull in content lately, and I do apologise. There’s a couple of reasons for it. The weather continues to be swampy misery, and it’s often too hot to do anything productive. More excitingly though, I’m happy to share that I’ll be styling some modern kimono street fashion outfits at the Otakuthon Harajuku Fashion Show this year! Unfortunately, what this means is that the bulk of my free time for the next few weeks, as well as most of my kimono-related motivation, will be focusing on getting ready for that. However, I didn’t want to just let the poor mannequin languish and not bring you guys new content for six weeks, so I was determined to do something fun today.

I’ve had this obi for years, it was tossed into my share of the huge obi bundle way back when. It’s such an odd little piece; very masculine feeling, and quite slippery in texture. I genuinely think it was a men’s juban that someone converted into an obi. I chose to pair it with this pussywillow komon because it feels graphic and elegant but still very feminine due to the pastel colours on the fuzzy flower buds. More pink and blue get pulled out by the accessories, which feels nice and cohesive to me. It’s a very subtle and quiet outfit, but a very effective one, I think.

Items used in this coordination