This One’s For the Birds

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Thank you all for sticking with me during my unanticipated little hiatus! Life is finally calming down, and I wanted to celebrate the new year with a new outfit on the mannequin.

I got this hawk obi on eBay a few months ago for a whopping $9. I certainly didn’t need a new obi, but I loved how flashy it was and it was too much of a bargain to pass up. I love how it looks with my blue embroidered irotomesode and red accessories. I feel like this is a wonderfully bright and auspicious outfit to ring in the year. The obi is also brand new and very stiff, which makes it a pleasure to tie. It keeps its shape beautifully. I can’t wait to see what else I can pair it up with in the future.

I hope this year brings you all plenty of joy, health, luck, and fortune. Last year was a bit of a wreck for a lot of folks, so let’s all keep our fingers crossed for great things to come.

I will be going out of town this week and next but when I get back I am going to do my best to stick to a regular schedule. I have more coordinations planned as well as some reviews and a giveaway in the works! Please check back regularly and if you want a quick and efficient way to be notified of updates, follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

Items used in this coordination

Obi Bundle part II – Chuuya and Tsuke Obi

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Continuing my deconstruction of that huge obi bundle. I was initially planning on doing a separate entry for each type of obi, but since there were only two chuuya obi and two tsuke-obi, I figured I would put them in one entry in the interest of efficiency and expedience.

Black bingata tsuke-obi with cranes

Or, as I like to call it, the roast-chicken obi. Something about the shape of the birds in flight reminds me of a trussed-up cooked chicken. I absolutely love the design of this one though, despite not usually being fond of cranes. The construction is a bit odd for a tsuke, it’s all one piece. I’ve yet to figure out how to put it on and have it look perfect, but I’m working on it!

Black tsuke with ume and momiji

I’m so glad the other ladies let me have this one – I’m really in need of more cute, versatile tsuke obi for days when my health is not great and I don’t have the energy to tie them myself. I think this one is incredibly charming.

Green multi-technique chuuya
Obi Bundle Part IIObi Bundle Part II

I’m not entirely sure how to describe this, aside from gorgeous. It’s rich, slightly dusty colours, lots of different techniques , and the silk is incredibly soft and buttery. It’s a typical chuuya with black on the opposite side, and the black silk is rotted beyond salvation, but I’ve replaced the silk on other ones before, and it’s not difficult.

Grape chuuya
Obi Bundle Part II
Obi Bundle Part IIObi Bundle Part II
So called because one side is purple and the other has grapes. How could I not? This is so gorgeous, the grape-and-trellis side is sort of a rough blend, and the wave side is a rough cotton or hemp. It’s quite casual, but so unique. I can’t wait to find the right kimono for it.

Blue embroidered irotomesode.

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So recently I was informed that there are a couple of sellers on Yahoo Japan who ship internationally, and accept PayPal, rather than necessitating a deputy service. Needless to say, this was a pretty dangerous bit of information. I set to browsing and found a few pieces I was going to make an attempt on.

I stumbled across this beauty and was instantly charmed by the rich blue colour and the incredibly detailed embroidery. It’s fairly rare to find such lush hand-done embroidery on a modern piece, which this most definitely is. I tossed out a relatively extravagant bid and figured I’d lose it anyway, due to the level of work gone into it and the size (a reasonably long 167cm!). I was pretty astounded when the auction ended at 1100 yen (just under $15 USD currently). I wondered if I’d somehow missed a pertinent fact in the auction like a huge stain or a significant tear, but no. I was just incredibly lucky.

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I cannot begin to explain how amazing the embroidery is – it’s textured but still smooth, lush, and has a wonderful sheen to it without being tacky.

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I love that the red on the crane’s head is done in sagara (french knot) embroidery to give it a different texture than the rest of his feathers.
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I also love how derpy and charming the tortoise looks. He’s goofy and adorable.
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All in all, it’s a stunning piece with wonderfully auspicious motifs, and I can’t wait to find a suitable coordination and event to wear it.

Orizuru Haori

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I’ve already posted photos of me wearing this particular item, but it really needs a proper entry to showcase it. Shinei was having a huge sale and I saw this and really fell in love with it. In the photos, it looked like a modern piece – heavy silk, relatively “standard” proportions. When it arrived I was shocked at how old it was it was, evident in the length of both the body and the sleeves, as well as the brightly patterned lining. It’s incredibly lush and thick, and the cranes are so vivid. The lining is also exceptional. I am not generally fond of karako (stylized playing children) but since it’s mostly hidden I am actually quite fond of them in this case. I love the ridiculously vivid linings on vintage haori.

Orizuru Haori

Orizuru Haori

Orizuru Haori

Orizuru Haori