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

T is for Tachibana

Tachibana, 橘, mandarin orange

I somehow didn’t realise how many tachibana items I have in my collection until just now! It makes sense though, it’s a motif I love. I have lots of kimono I could have used for today’s coordination, but I thought I’d give this obi some love instead. It’s not in the best shape, but it’s so soft and sweet that I’m able to look past the smudges.

It’s a fukuro obi, so arguably too formal for this komon, but because it’s got an evenly-spread all-over woven pattern with no metallic and no embroidery it reads as very casual to me. On first glance, I think most people would assume it was a nagoya obi.

I decided to keep things very soft and genteel with this muted kimono. The peach accessories were already out from a previous coord (and my utter inability to put things away when I’m done using them), but I realised that not only does the peach look lovely, but the obiage actually has a motif of tachibana as well!

I’m not sure this outfit really features and focuses on tachibana but I do like how it turned out nonetheless.

Items used in this coordination

P is for Patapata

Patapata, パタパタ, onomatopoeia of “fluttering wings”

Ever since I saw this tutorial for an adorable patapata musubi with a bow accent, I knew I wanted to try it. I kept procrastinating for some reason, but now I’m glad I did because that means today I can show you this perfectly puffy pink patapata coordination! Japanese is a language full of adorable onomatopoeia, and patapata represents the fluttering sound made by bird or butterfly wings, and looking at the soft blousy folds it’s easy to see where the name came from.

I used the pink bubble side of my adorable whale obi, along with a sweet multi-floral black komon kimono. The outfit felt a little too boring as-is, so I pulled out a bright pink haneri and lace shawl to complete the look while making sure nothing distracted from the adorable obi bow.

If you’d like to learn to tie patapata musubi yourself, here is the video I followed! I love Sunao’s videos, they’re very clear and the English subtitles are very well-written.

Items used in this coordination

F is for Fudangi

Fudangi, 不断着, home wear/casual clothes/ordinary dress

That’s a delightfully vague definition. Much like the infernal “office casual” it’s a term that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. So what exactly is fudangi? The general consensus for kitsuke is that it comprises anything from wool or cotton kimono that you’d wear around the house to komon and obi without metallic accents that you’d wear to run errands or meet up with friends for lunch. Often it’s much looser and more relaxed when it comes to the rules, but you still want to avoid anything overly formal. Obi should be hanhaba or casual nagoya, obijime should be thin, fancier textiles like shibori or yuzen-dyed silk should be used sparingly if at all. Think of rough-woven and rustic textiles like wool, meisen weave, etc. Fun accessories like haneri and obidome are always a good way to inject some personality in.

To give a better idea, I’ve collected some of my favourite coordinations from last year, where I made an effort to put together an outfit that exemplified fudangi at least once per month. As you can see, there’s plenty of room for variation, all while staying relaxed and comfortable.

As much as I love really gorgeous formal furisode and kurotomesode, there’s a lot to be said for casual, cool, comfortable outfits like these.

Kitsuke à la Québecoise

Last weekend, as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I was supposed to give several presentations at Costume-Con 38. Unfortunately, in this era nothing is certain, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the con was cancelled.

Needless to say, I was gutted. I completely understand that the decision was out of the hands of the organisers, and it was the best thing for everyone involved, but it’s still upsetting to be so excited for something only to have it fall apart literally at the last minute. Aside from my own presentation, I was really looking forward to the Friday evening social. The theme was “traditional Québec” and I thought I’d have some fun with it by combining old-school Québecois Coureur Des Bois style with kimono.

Even though I wasn’t able to wear this in person, there’s nothing stopping me from subjecting the mannequin to it! I went with a wool kimono to evoke warm wool clothing, and this hanhaba obi has always reminded me a bit of a ceinture fléchée or traditional woven arrow belt. Over the top I put this weird dochugi-haori hybrid that looks like good old lumberjack buffalo plaid. Somehow, this particular coat has escaped my cataloguing efforts, along with the kimono it matches. I’ll fix that eventually.

This outfit may not make a lot of sense to anyone not from Québec, but that’s fine. Sometimes it’s good to do something that makes you happy. What are you doing to keep yourself happy in this panicky and uncertain time? Let me know!

I do plan to share the handouts and slideshow I created for the convention here when I can. Unfortunately, my Surface tablet PC (where the files were created and are stored) decided to bite the bullet yesterday. I don’t know if I can fix it, but if I can’t I’ll do my best to at least recover the files so I can upload them here soon!

Items used in this coordination