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

Halloween Pumpkin!

When Kimono Stylist Sala Okabe shared this picture, I was smitten! She didn’t post instructions, but it looked fairly straightforward, some variation on an otaiko musubi and I decided I really wanted to give it a shot. I haven’t been in much of a state to do kitsuke recently; not only am I still feeling worn down mentally, I also took quite a tumble down some stone stairs a few weeks ago. I tore up my legs, twisted my wrist, and bruised several of my ribs quite badly. However, I’m feeling a little better and thought Halloween would be the ideal time to put this together!

The orange hakata side of this chuuya obi was the obvious choice. I paired it with green accessories to look like the leaves and vines of the pumpkin plant, and went with a small-patterned black and white kimono to keep with the “spooky season” colours without being distracting. I would have loved an orange haneri but I don’t own one, but this mustard yellow one is pretty darned close and still fits with the autumn theme.

I also decided not to pleat the obi like Sala Okabe did, because this one is so soft and floppy it’s hard to get it to hold a shape. But I think the woven design does an excellent job of looking like the ribs of a pumpkin! Overall, I think I managed it quite well, considering I had to guess at the obi musubi construction and I’m still not totally feeling like myself. Hopefully my motivation will come back properly soon.

Items used in this coordination

Man Vs. Kitsuke – Yakuza Style

Despite not being part of the lolita fashion scene, I watch a few lolita youtubers. Recently Tyler Willis/ScarfingScarves (of Last Week Lolita News) did a fun little video entitled “Man Vs. Kawaii” where she got her cameraman/partner to coordinate an outfit. It was a charming video and the end result was pretty amazing!

Now, I don’t have a lolita wardrobe, and I don’t have a cameraman/partner who can physically explore my collection. I do, however, have an incredibly tolerant and patient dude in my life who puts up with my long-distance shenanigans and kindly accepted my request for him to pull something together for me to put on the mannequin. Red and black is kind of his thing, so I wasn’t remotely surprised when he chose this colour palette to work from.

He told me he was going for a sort of a pinstripe suit/Yakuza style and I think it totally works. This kimono is wool and has a slightly nubbly texture, very much like a tweed suit would. I also love the obi with it. Whether it was his intention or not, I feel like it’s a great callback to Yakuza tattoos. I admit, my instinct would have been to go with a brighter colour for the accessories, maybe yellow, but I actually think the black works well, since it almost vanishes. I was also worried the Erstwilder geisha brooch/obidome would disappear against the obi, but it’s bright enough that it’s visible without being overly distracting. The only thing I had trouble with was the fan – I love that he included it but it’s hard to make it work on the mannequin. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get it to stay in her hand. So tucked into the obi it is, I guess.  😆

I think he did a great job, especially for someone whose only knowledge of kimono and kitsuke is what he’s picked up from my ramblings! He actually put together another ensemble too, so keep an eye out for that some time in the future.

Items used in this coordination

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.

Items used in this coordination

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.

Items used in this coordination