Furisode Glam

Ahhhh! I can’t get over the pairing of this kimono and obi! It’s just.. *chefs kiss*. The obi was part of my final Ichiroya purchase and I fully admit I didn’t have any particular pairings in mind when I bought it, I just thought it was pretty. But it occurred me last night that it might look good with this kimono and man, was I ever glad to be right. The pinks tie in perfectly and the dusty navy accents on the obi call back to the hem of the furisode in the best possible way.

I decided to go full modern furisode glam today; a big bold haneri, gold and green kasane-eri, shibori obiage, and bright tasselled obijime. The obijime looks more orange than it actually is in the photo. In reality it’s a more warm salmon-pink shade that works really well with the obiage and the shadowed parts of the lilies on the kimono.

Like last week’s outfit, this coord is very “proper”, but definitely has a much more vibrant and youthful feel. Just goes to show that correct kitsuke doesn’t have to be stoic or subdued!

I followed this tutorial for a big poofy obi musubi and I am thrilled with how it turned out. That homemade sanjuhimo I made a while back works really well. I normally don’t include a close-up of the back of the outfit but I was proud of my work and felt the need to show off.

Items used in this coordination

Palate Cleanser

Lately, all the outfits I’ve put together have been high-concept in one way or another, be it stage hiki styling, non-traditional accents, or bugging other people for ideas. I was really in the mood for a simple, classic, and familiar palate cleanser of an outfit. I’ve also been watching the j-drama Watashitachi wa Dōka Shiteiru rather obsessively (review coming soon!) and was feeling inspired by the classic, traditional, and subtly elegant komon kitsuke often displayed in that show.

A while back I’d noticed that the dusty pink of this hakata weave nagoya obi perfectly  matched the flowers on this komon; I had been meaning to work with them for a while but kept putting it off in favour of “more interesting” pairings. But with my urge to do something clean and elegant, this was the perfect time.

A handful of matchy-matchy accessories, and this was exactly the mood I was going for. There’s enough contrast between the obi and kimono to be interesting, but nothing really screams out for attention. It just feels very balanced and effortlessly chic to me.

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

Aquatic Green Ikebana

It’s been way too long since I’ve worked with flowers! I did one little arrangement during the April A to Z challenge, and before that it was last autumn.

To say I’m out of practice would be an understatement. But I’d been itching to do some ikebana for a while now, so today while I was out running errands I dropped by my favourite florist to see if anything inspired me. These funky green bells-of-ireland caught my attention and then I found the green ball dianthus that made me immediately think of marimo. And thus this inadvertently aquatic green arrangement was born. With the water and the green ball, the hydrangea mimics sea foam or  bubbles, and the bells-of-ireland give height to the arrangement and evoke some sort of underwater plant, or possibly the tentacles of some mysterious sea creature!

As ikebana, I’m not sure how successful this was. It’s very free-form, but still evocative and sleek. Considering how rusty I am, I’m quite happy with the end result.

In other news, my finger is almost healed now, so be on the lookout for some kimono coordination in the near future!

Thank you, Ichiroya!

If you’re active in the kimono communities online, odds are high that you’ve already heard the devastating news that Ichiroya, one of the oldest and most well-established online kimono stores, is closing. I’ve spoken about them at length here on this blog, even devoting an entire entry on how wonderful they are and how to use their services. Everyone there is so kind and helpful, and they’ve always been the first place I suggest when people want to dip their toes into buying vintage kimono online. While I am very sad,t this feels like the end of an era, I wish the owners all the best for their upcoming retirement!

I also used this as an opportunity to treat myself to some items I’d been watching for a while. One of the pieces I splurged on was this beautiful vintage houmongi with genjiko motif on an utterly lush purple background. When it arrived, I realised that an obi I’d bought from Ichiroya quite some time ago was the perfect complement to the pink and green accents of the kimono, and it all fell into place.

I wanted the kimono (and to a lesser extent, the obi) to shine so I went with subtle brown and beige accessories that tied into the kimono motif without drawing attention to themselves. I can’t remember where most of the accessories came from, they’re not from Ichiroya, but they worked very well with the outfit. I love how the brown obiage almost looks like shiny gold due to the gradations on it. I hope I did these pieces justice, as I wanted to honour and thank Ichiroya for twenty years of amazing service.

I bought one other kimono and two gorgeous obi at the same time as this one, so be prepared for lots of new stuff soon!

Items used in this coordination