Harley Quinn

I hate clowns, but I love Harley Quinn. Go figure! This was the outfit I was most looking forward to. It was the most fun, but somehow also the most awful to put together! Even though the other three outfits in this project have been relatively standard and traditional kitsuke, my plan for Harley had been a bit off-the-wall from the very beginning.

For a character who was only created in the 1990s and was never meant to be a permanent addition, Harley’s had an enormous impact on the DC universe and really pop culture as a whole. She’s had some incredible character development, and a long with that a bevy of unique costumes and looks. None are more iconic than her original red and black harlequin jumpsuit though, so I knew that one had to be my starting point.

My red ume komon was the grounding point for the whole outfit, along with a black petticoat to give off a cute feminine vibe. Over top of that, I used a ro mofuku kimono I have that’s basically rotted apart at the seams. I’ve been planning to sew it back together, but I realised that it would be perfect to use as a sort of overlay. Since the seams were already separated, I sort of bustled it in four segments over top of the komon. A red, black, and white obi and accessories with card suit motifs were the perfect next step. I added some white ruffled ribbon to the collar and sleeves, and tucked a white shibori obiage in above the obi to look like more ruffles.

Despite it being an enormous pain in the posterior to put together, I could not be happier with how this outfit turned out. I could absolutely see Harley wearing it.

This is going to be the last Batman-themed outfit for a while. It’s been great fun, but I want to focus on a few different things for the month of October. I do have loose ideas for a few more characters so I’ll likely revisit those in the future though.

Items used in this coordination

Catwoman

Up next in my Batman-inspired coordinations, Catwoman! A jewel thief extraordinaire and on-again off-again love interest for Bruce Wayne himself, no project like this would be complete without her.

Her look and costume have evolved almost as much as her origins, and my initial plan was to go for black with hints of blue-green to evoke the gritty night-time feel of Gotham as well as echo her outfits in the Batman Ninja movie. But after some discussion with a friend, I realised I could absolutely pull in the purple as well, and have a very harmonious outfit that nodded to her original costume as well as the more modern iterations.

Of course, this was the perfect opportunity to use my teal haneri with black cats on it. I also tied a variation on a standard otaiko musubi with my teal obi that gives off the impression of cat ears. I really wanted this outfit to be as sleek and elegant as Selina Kyle is, but with a sense of whimsy and a clear nod to cats. The obidome is a stylised clay cat face my father sculpted and I then decorated with pearls and rhinestones to call back to her cat-burglar past. A rich purple obiage and obijime tied everything together, both visually and literally.

Unfortunately, the weather here is awful and dreary and the light in the living room was not amazing today. Combine that with the fact that purple and teal are two of the most difficult colours to photograph. I had to process the photos quite a bit, but I think in the end they’re pretty accurate, and the outfit conveys exactly what I was hoping for, so I’m quite pleased.

Items used in this coordination

The Joker

I did Batman last weekend, but I couldn’t very well leave him without a Joker, could I? Translating the clown prince of crime into kimono was no small feat! I knew I wanted to keep the outfit relatively subtle and wearable, like I did with Batman, so I started with the colour scheme.

Purple and green are the Joker’s classic colours, and I pulled in the orange accents from Batman: The Animated Series, which remains my favourite screen adaptation. A big ridiculous orange flower seemed like the perfect accessory. Initially my plan was to use it as an obi decoration, but I preferred up on the collar, where it felt more like a lapel boutonnierere. I went with a plain white haneri as a nod to a white dress shirt you’d wear under a suit. Also, the outfit was colourful enough as-is and didn’t really need more oomph.

I think I did a good job of visually conveying the Joker in all his various incarnations. I’m actually quite proud of that, because as you may or may not know, I am utterly terrified of clowns. So you can imagine how creepy I tend to find the Joker! Oddly enough, harlequins don’t bother me at all, so I am actually very much looking forward to doing something for Harley Quinn! I’ve also got Catwoman and possibly Poison Ivy on the roster. If there’s any famous or infamous Gothamite you’d like to see, do let me know!

Items used in this coordination

Batman Day!

Today is Batman Day, a day set by DC Comics to celebrate all things Dark Knight. Ever since I watched Batman Ninja, I knew I wanted to do some Batman-themed coordinates but kept putting it off in favour of other things. I’m glad I waited, because today is the perfect day to start!

I went with the classic black and yellow colour combination, since it feels timeless. Batman’s costume has veered from blue and grey to entirely black, but keeps coming around to black with pops of yellow. The obidome is an antique menuki and feels like the perfect way to tie everything together. The motif on the kimono is fans, but from a distance it feels like it could be a swarm of bats taking off. I added some black enamel pyramid studs to a yellow haneri to add a bit of weapon-like edge and sharpness to the coordination. I would have loved to use more items with an actual bat motif, but they tend to be snatched up very quickly and cost a pretty penny, alas. Still though, I think I did a decent job of conveying a feeling without being too literal.

Stay tuned for more outfits inspired by beloved (and not so beloved) Batman characters!

Items used in this coordination

Movie Review – Batman Ninja

If you know me, you’ll know that aside from being a big kimono geek I’m also a big comic book geek. So when I saw that DC Animation was collaborating with Kamikaze Douga (an anime production studio known for some very bizarre cult titles) on Batman Ninja I knew I was going to have to watch it. I had zero plans to review this movie, I initially just thought I’d watch it for fun, since it combines two things I’m very fond of. But then I started watching it and realised I had A Lot Of Thoughts that called out to be shared.

First off, let me say, this movie is a trip and a half. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just be prepared for ninety minutes of utter ridiculousness. The animation studio are the same folks who put out some of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and all of Pop Team Epic, so if you’re familiar with either of those shows you’ll have an idea of the flamboyant craziness to expect. If that intrigues you, click through to read on! Continue reading