Winter Hikizuri in Late Summer

Recently the naughty voice in my head told me to browse eBay, despite having no job and no storage space. I figured browsing hikizuri would keep me safe as they tend to be out of my price range anyway. Unfortunately, I listened to the naughty voice, found a gorgeous ume piece with multiple extra layers that happened to be a huge size, and now this stunner is now all mine! I’m fairly certain it will fit, but right now it’s just way too hot to wear something with so many layers and so much padding. I am looking forward to putting it on eventually, but in the meantime I couldn’t wait to put it on the mannequin instead.

It was listed as a geisha’s hikizuri on eBay, but the overall boldness and huge padded hems make it feel more like some kind of stage or dance piece. Either way, it’s absolutely stunning and it’s already a treasured part of my collection. I chose metallic, heavily textured accessories to balance out the rich black and smooth yuzen. The green shibori obiage isn’t technically appropriate but I really love how it draws attention to the green accents in the kimono that almost disappear otherwise. I think next time (maybe whenever I actually wear it) I might go with a white-and-silver obi instead of the primarily gold one, since most of the metallic accents on the piece are silver, but I think the gold works just fine. I tied the musubi on a bit of an angle to make it feel a bit more chic and I quite like how that looks.

This also happens to be the 100th kimono I own, if you count men’s items, uchikake, and yukata. A piece worthy of the milestone, in my opinion.

The catalogue photo here is from the seller; this piece is just too damn big for me to photograph with my usual set-up. I’ll get a proper one soon.

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A Punch of Pink!

What’s this? I’ve worn kimono twice in less than a month?! Apparently unemployment agrees with me…

I’ll be honest, I got dressed for part of a bigger group project that I’ll hopefully be able to share with you all soon. But I figured while I was all done up I should take advantage of it. Also, you get to see part of my bedroom for once, instead of the living room. It’s a fair bit more boring, but I wanted a more neutral background. So not only do you get to see my goofy face, you get to see a small part of my ridiculous pile of collectables. I’m sure you’re thrilled.

I really do love these giant kimono from Kimonomachi. Unfortunately, Rakuten Global has shut down so ordering from Canada is way more of a hassle now than it used to be. I decided to pair the pink one with this awesome red and black faux-shibori obi in a sort of cute improvised casual musubi. Black haneri and black zori (which got mostly cropped from the photos, alas) help anchor the outfit and echo the black of the obi. I kept my makeup soft and pink to suit the kimono, since my hair is already edgy enough at the moment. My moonblossom kamon kanzashi earrings were the perfect finishing touch, I think.

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Gofuku no Hi 2020

Gofuku no Hi is a bit of a play on words – May 29 is written as Go-Fu-Ku (5-2-9), and “gofuku” is also a word for traditional clothing. So it’s become an international day to encourage everyone to wear kimono!

As I’ve often mentioned, I’m currently too big to wear almost any of my kimono comfortably. I would have put on one of my modern plus-sized poly komon, but good lord is it too hot to deal with all that today. Thankfully I came across this video by stylist Sala Okabe on Facebook (who you should totally be following if you’re not already!) showing how to easily wear a kimono as a dress without any alteration or damage. It’s actually quite similar to how I styled Lynn in the mod michiyuki at the Otakuthon Fashion Show last summer.

I decided to use my beloved bright-red kiku houmongi, which also happens to be the first kimono I ever purchased. I recently cut all the blue out of my hair, which gives me a lot more leeway colour-wise. To suit the style and era of the kimono I went with a sort of kitschy-retro vibe, pairing some vintage-inspired shoes, my beloved pearls, and this ridiculously adorable purse that looks like a camera.

My intial plan was to go to the park near my house, but I ended up nixing that because it’s just way too hot to be out in the sun, so you guys get to enjoy my living room yet again.

 

Overall I think this was a very successful experiment! I love how the kimono-as-dress looks, and it’s definitely super comfortable. Next time I’ll try it with a slightly bigger one to prevent the slit up the front, but since I am wearing a little tunic underneath it’s not a huge issue.

Did you dress for Gofuku no Hi? If you did, please share photos, I’d love to see!

 

Say Hi to Sophie!

Yesterday, my dear friend Sophie came over and I had the pleasure of dressing her in kimono! She’s worn yukata before, when we went to the Yatai! street food fest, but never anything dressier. She chose this plum tsukesage with stylised peacocks because she loves purple, and we coordinated an outfit around it. I went for a big punch of contrast with the gold obi, then chose an obijime with the same plum tones and an obiage that pulls out the icy blue of the obijime for a good sense of cohesion.

I did dress her over western clothing and undergarments, so the collar isn’t as smooth as it could be, but for someone who’s never worn this many heavy layers before, she looks great! Some people are just kimono naturals.

She was a little nervous posing at first, but once she got a little more relaxed everything just clicked. I think she looks absolutely lovey, and I do like how the gold obi and kasane-eri pop against the rich aubergine of the kimono. Sometime in the future, I’m very much looking forward to both of us dressing up and going out together.

This last photo is a bit of a conceit on my part. I really loved how thoughtful she looked, but unfortunately my flash didn’t fire and the photo ended up being incredibly noisy and under-exposed. I decided to make it look like a vintage daguerreotype, and I think it worked out quite well.

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Montreal Kimono Club September Meet-Up

Yesterday, a group of local kimono collectors got together for a casual meet-up to celebrate the end of Summer. We started in a quiet little park near my place, then to Le Petit Tokebi, a combined Korean and Japanese restaurant, for dinner. We finished up at Ca Lem, an ice cream place I love to bits because they make vegan options like sorbet and coconut milk ice cream so I can eat there and not die. I’m a big fan of not dying.

The timing of our event was perfect. Thursday and Friday were incredibly windy and rainy, to the point that nearby areas were under a tornado watch! Today is cold and damp. Yesterday, somehow, the kimono gods graced us with beautiful sun and just enough of a breeze for kimono to be comfortable. We really lucked out.

I wore my new-ish teal komon from Kimonomachi. I really love having kimono that fit me so well. Eventually I will buy a third one of these, when I have some money to spare. My initial plan was a red nagoya obi  but I realised that would have been nearly the same as the last time I wore it. I then remembered I have this cream-and-red hakata obi with asanoha that’s an absolute perfect match for the kimono! I went with fairly plain accessories otherwise, since the kimono is so bold already.

(before anyone asks – yes these two group shots were composited in Photoshop. We had nobody to capture all of us together so I cobbled together two photos)

One of the things I love about these meet-ups is the wide variety kimono and kitsuke. It’s so fun to see everyone express their personalities and personal sense of style. Kimono is so great for that – for garments that are essentially all the same shape, there’s so much that can be conveyed through colour, fabric, and motif.

Dinner was lovely too. The place was really sweet and quiet with a great atmosphere, and the staff all seemed really pleased by our outfits. There were also these adorable miniatures behind our table, and you know I had to grab some photos!

By the time dinner was done, it was cooling down a fair bit but that sure wasn’t going to stop us from getting our ice cream! I’ll be so sad at the end of September when Ca Lem closes for winter 🙁

It was a really great day, I had lots of fun with friends both familiar and new, and I can’t wait for our next meet-up!

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