Timeless Elegance

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Thank you so much for being patient while I was out of town, and settling back in. I apologise for the lack of content, and if you’re curious as to why I’ve been relatively radio silent there’s a bit of info at the bottom of this post. Feel free to skip it though.

I knew I needed to get back into the swing of things, and decided to do something with the gorgeous, timeless elegance of this vintage irotomesode. Like a lot of other pieces from this era, the designs on it are incredibly soft and dusty and subdued, and I wanted to make sure the obi didn’t compete or overwhelm in any way. As you may know, I’m of the mind that hakata obi go with everything and anything, so this very pale pink and white one seemed like the ideal complement to the dusky pastels of the kimono.

I’m trying to branch out and do more interesting things with my kitsuke, so I tried doing kouken musubi and I think it turned out quite well for a first attempt! Olive green accessories and a coordinating haneri helped give the whole outfit a bit of weight and contrast, which I think it definitely needed.

It felt good to get this done. While I was down in California, two separate tragedies struck at times when I felt helpless to do anything. My friend Dan Howard, the incredibly talented and sweet and funny artist who drew this portrait of me, lost a hard-fought battle with pneumonia. The following day our tiny, grumbly, loveable cat Tribble (whom you’ve definitely seen if you’re a long-time reader) succumbed to a very aggressive form of cancer. My folks made the humane choice to end her suffering but I was thousands of miles away and couldn’t say goodbye. So I was already not in a great place mentally or emotionally, and leaving Keith always makes me sad. On top of everything else, the trip home was long, full of incidents and delays. All these things have compounded to put me in a pretty bad state of mind. Distracting myself with something as familiar as kimono really helped today.

If you read all that, I apologise and I thank you. But I’m starting to do better, and we’ll be back to a more regular schedule from here on in. 💖

Items used in this coordination

成人の日Seijin no Hi 2019

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Today is 成人の日 (Seijin no Hi, coming of age day), so of course it’s time for a 成人式 (Seijin Shiki, coming of age ceremony) outfit! It seems like the further away I get from my 20th birthday the more fun I have with these. Go figure!

I’ve been meaning to pair my newest furisode with this black-based obi to make the hanaguruma stand out more, and this seemed like the best time to do it. Since there’s already a lot going on with the kimono and obi, I went with a relatively neutral haneri that’s still bright and bold enough to feel youthful.

I used my handmade sanjuhimo and had fun improvising a big, bold obi musubi. My original plan was to use this round salmon-coloured obijime to hold everything in place, but it got a bit lost against the obi. Then I realised I could use it as a decorative accent in the obi musubi, and I love how it looks! I used a punchier lime-green and metallic obijime instead, and balanced that colour out in the obiage and kasane-eri.

The white fur collar is a very common addition to seijin shiki ensembles; since they take place in early January it’s a great way to add both warmth and elegance to the furisode. In previous years, I’ve used a brown and grey fur stole, but this year I really wanted to go with the more traditional bright white. You’ve got no idea how hard it is to find one though. I hit up a bunch of boutiques and thrift stores and even went looking in fabric and craft stores, and had no luck at all. I was about to give up when I remembered I had this sheepskin from Ikea, of all things! A few straight cuts with a very sharp blade and voila, a beautiful, fluffy white stole.

I think this is probably the most successful seijin no hi outfit I’ve put together so far.

Items used in this coordination

It’s My Party…

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And I’ll… uh… dress up the mannequin if I want to? My birthday is rapidly approaching so for the month of November, I’m just going to do coordinations and outfits based on what speaks to me at the moment. I decided it was time to feature some more of the stuff I got as early birthday gifts at the kimono bazaar last month and this furisode was crying out to be shown off, so here we go!

I honestly have no idea why I was so drawn to this particular furisode when I saw it. I tend to prefer cool-toned colours, don’t particularly like coral or orange, and think Heian-era cart motifs look a  bit like deformed marshmallows. And yet, as soon as I saw this piece, I knew it was coming home with me.

I figured I would lean in to the colour scheme, despite it being comprised of shades that aren’t particularly to my taste, so I used orange and coral accessories. Initially, I’d planned to use an obi with orange clouds and gold grasses, and while I still think it would look great with the kimono, I decided to veer off and use this gold one with hits of orange and seafoam green. I played up the green and gold with a kasane eri as well, which is something I should really do more frequently.

And of course, I thought I’d give the new sanjuhimo I made a try. It really does make things so much less of a hassle! I sort of improvised this musubi, and I think it turned out quite fun and pretty.

As much as I loved doing the Halloween Yokai project, I was really in the mood to just make an outfit based on what looked pretty, rather than having to focus on layers of meaning and symbolism. This absolutely fit the bill!

If by some ridiculous miracle you want to send me a birthday gift, I have wishlists on AmazonPinterest, and Tokyo Otaku Mode, or you can always PayPal me a few bucks. Any money received as gifts from here goes right back into the blog and maintaining my collection. Right now my two main priorities are a set of articulated arms for the mannequin, and more tatoushi for storage and organisation.

Items used in this coordination