#monoKimono Challenge – Warm Brown

If I’m being completely honest, when I embarked on the #monokimono challenge I had no real plans to do a brown coordination. Brown felt so blah and boring to me. And then I ended up with this stunning warm brown Taisho-era houmongi and all that changed. I’ve coordinated it three or four times already this year and here I am, doing it again. It’s just so pretty and soft.

My plan was intially to use my brown iromuji as a sort of dounuki, an extra inner layer. But the colours are so identical it didn’t really add anything visually, and the sleeves are so much shorter that it looked odd, so I just scrapped that plan. I’d never used this particular obi before and thought it would be a good time to feature it, since it’s got the same subdued, dusty feeling as the kimono and the brown tones are an excellent match. What I didn’t realise, however, is that it’s a hikinuki obi. Hikinuki obi are meant to be tied in a different way and the pattern on the drum is upside-down. Normally they’re much bolder designs, since they’re often used for quick changes by stage performers. This is by far the most “boring” hikinuki I’ve ever seen. I did manage to get it tied with the design the right way up though! It just took a little more fussing than I’m used to. A few more brown accessories finished things off. I only have one brown-based haneri and it’s much more modern and bold in feeling and looked out of place, so I went with basic white.

Only one month of monochrome kimono to go, and a much bolder outfit inn the works for December.

Items used in this coordination

Mature Elegance

Isn’t it funny how the older I get, the more my tastes gravitate to the bright and youthful? I’m turning 37 tomorrow and somehow I keep finding myself accumulating boldly coloured furisode and things. When I was younger, I was drawn to more shibui styles, and now I guess I’m making up for lost time?

This gorgeous bamboo houmongi is a lovely exception, I think. It’s yet another of my purchases from the kimono bazaar last month and I thought it lent itself quite well to a more elegant coordination that would still allow me to express myself through pattern and colour. The bamboo leaves are in a lovely range of blues, reds, oranges, and purples, which gave me a lot of selection to work with.

My navy and gold tiger’s eye tsuke-obi is making yet another appearance here. For a silly impulse purchase I made, it’s turning out to be one of my most weirdly versatile and beloved items. It tied in very well with the kimono, and I decided to pull out the warm maroon for the rest of the accessories. The beautiful obidome from Pinto Pony Productions worked well against the ivory backdrop here too, rotated onto its side for a little more drama.

This definitely feels like a more traditional and elegant sort of outfit, appropriate for a woman my age. But it’s not boring or quiet, it’s still got some lovely impact and personality, which is exactly what I was aiming for!

Items used in this coordination

Gentle Vintage Mood

I received this absolutely gorgeous piece yesterday, from a friend who was clearing out some of her collection. I am slowly turning into the kimono equivalent of a crazy cat lady, but I’m fine with that. I love how soft and subdued this piece is, and I wanted to emphasise a very gentle vintage mood with the coordination.

It started with this breathtaking haneri I posted on Instagram recently. I won it back in late October or possibly early November, and I had entirely given it up as lost. I got it at quite a bargain so I didn’t even bother pursuing the issue, since I suspected it was Canada Post’s problem. not the sellers. So imagine how thrilled I was when it showed up unexpectedly earlier this week! I thought the two pieces would complement each other very well, since the haneri has a bit of a vintage feel to it despite being a modern piece. I was really taken by how well the lilac tone matched the brown of the kimono and thought it would be a good opportunity to use my repaired lilac bird obi.

Some days, the actual physical act of dressing the mannequin goes very smoothly. Some days, every step is a struggle, almost as if the mannequin herself is fighting me. This particular outfit was somehow both! Putting on the collar and kimono went off without a hitch. Smooth lines, clean v-shape to the collars, flat and even ohashori. But then came the obi. This obi is gorgeous but my god it’s a nuisance. It’s floppy and slippery, the pattern is laid out very oddly, and it needs to be pressed again as it’s somehow turned almost puffy. No matter how many different ways I tried to tie it, I could not get birds to show up on the front and the back. Eventually I realised it would be an excellent opportunity to feature this stunning brooch I got from Pinto Pony Productions and use it as an obidome. Rather than fret about the lack of interest on the front of the obi, I worked with it to make it a canvas.

I know I say this a lot, but I love how this finally all pulled together. It’s such a soothing combination, and looking at it just makes me content.

Items used in this coordination

The Twelve Days of Kits-Mas

Merry Christmas to any and all celebrating today! You might remember me mentioning recently that I had a silly ambitious project in the works, Well, here it is!

Today is the first day of Christmastide, or what is often referred to as the Twelve Days of Christmas. A lot of folks seem to think it’s the twelve days leading up to Christmas, but that’s because over time it’s become sort of merged with Advent. In reality, Christmastide runs from December twenty-fifth to Epiphany on January sixth. My plan is to do one themed outfit per day, mostly revolving around the traditional colours of red, green, and gold, but with some variations. Kits-mas is a combination of the words kitsuke and Christmas, because I’m a sucker for a terrible portmanteau.

For the first day I went very simple and traditional; my favourite vintage houmongi in a rich red, paired with a green and gold hakata obi and metallic accessories. I wanted something classic that just screamed “Christmas” for today, and I definitely accomplished that! I also decided to change the mannequin’s usual position to show off our tree and decorations. It seemed fitting.

Be sure to check back every day for a new coordination until January 6th. 🙂

Items used in this coordination

 

Warm Pink on a Cold Day

This warm pink beauty made her debut as Aurora‘s outfit in the Disney Princess Kimono Project, but while I was working on that I saw these two pieces together and knew I had to coordinate them at some point. Since winter has finally hit in full force here in Montreal, I was in the mood for something happy and pleasant-feeling, and this seemed like the perfect thing.

The gold tones of the gorgeous Tokaido obi are offset by small hints of a dusty rose-raspberry colour (visible on the roofs in the back view photo) that is nearly identical to the kimono itself. There are also areas of pale blue on the obi, similar to the details in the kimono motif. Simple pink and metallic accessories pulled everything together; even the leaves on the haneri are gold. This makes for a very classic and cohesive outfit that wouldn’t be out of place at a wedding or formal event. I like how it came together very much and could easily see myself (or nearly anyone, really) wearing it at some point in the future if I could get it to fit properly.

This will probably be the last mannequin coordination for a little while; I’ve got something silly and quite possibly over-ambitious in the works for the next few weeks. There will still be updates and plenty of reasons to visit, but I just wanted to assure you all that this is still the primary focus of my blog, even though it may not look like it as the holidays creep up on us all. There will be outfits to make up for it soon enough.

Items used in this coordination