Gofuku no Hi 2020

Gofuku no Hi is a bit of a play on words – May 29 is written as Go-Fu-Ku (5-2-9), and “gofuku” is also a word for traditional clothing. So it’s become an international day to encourage everyone to wear kimono!

As I’ve often mentioned, I’m currently too big to wear almost any of my kimono comfortably. I would have put on one of my modern plus-sized poly komon, but good lord is it too hot to deal with all that today. Thankfully I came across this video by stylist Sala Okabe on Facebook (who you should totally be following if you’re not already!) showing how to easily wear a kimono as a dress without any alteration or damage. It’s actually quite similar to how I styled Lynn in the mod michiyuki at the Otakuthon Fashion Show last summer.

I decided to use my beloved bright-red kiku houmongi, which also happens to be the first kimono I ever purchased. I recently cut all the blue out of my hair, which gives me a lot more leeway colour-wise. To suit the style and era of the kimono I went with a sort of kitschy-retro vibe, pairing some vintage-inspired shoes, my beloved pearls, and this ridiculously adorable purse that looks like a camera.

My intial plan was to go to the park near my house, but I ended up nixing that because it’s just way too hot to be out in the sun, so you guys get to enjoy my living room yet again.

 

Overall I think this was a very successful experiment! I love how the kimono-as-dress looks, and it’s definitely super comfortable. Next time I’ll try it with a slightly bigger one to prevent the slit up the front, but since I am wearing a little tunic underneath it’s not a huge issue.

Did you dress for Gofuku no Hi? If you did, please share photos, I’d love to see!

 

Clear as Black and White

I’ve been rolling the idea of an all black and white coordinate for quite a while now. I find myself with a surfeit of free time now, due to my sudden lack of employment due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so I figured I may as well really buckle down and start doing all the kimono-related things I’ve had loosely percolating in the back of my mind for months now.

Of course, I started with my all-white shiromuku bridal furisode. The black anchor came from the homsue-hem style juban I made last summer for the fashion show. I debated removing the ruffles afterwards but decided I liked it so much I wanted to use it in other ways. I’m very glad I kept it! To balance out the black at the cuffs and hem, I went with a black obi. For the haneri and obiage, I actually used some fabric I had left over from last year’s Halloween costume, where I went as a sort of celestial moon goddess. I really love how it works here and I’m seriously debating cutting and hemming some pieces properly, to use again in the future. The final finishing touch was a beaded silvery-white obijime that echoes the sparkle of the stars on the accessories as well as breaking up the solid black of the obi.

The fun thing about this outfit is that it allows me to use pieces that would traditionally never be used outside of specific circumstances; a wedding kimono and mourning obi and accessories! But since it’s such an out-there ensemble, and the addition of the very non-traditional ruffles on the juban, I think I got away with it just fine  😉

As I mentioned up top, I have indeed (temporarily) lost my job. The store where I work is a small, non-essential business, and we had no choice but to close indefinitely. I’m incredibly lucky to share a house with my folks which means that I’m not at risk for eviction or starvation. However, running this blog and bringing you guys new and exciting content on a regular basis isn’t exactly free. Whether it be new coordinations, book reviews, DIY projects, or even just covering the cost of hosting the blog, things might take a hit if I’m out of work for much longer. I know this crazy pandemic situation is affecting everyone, so I’m certainly not expecting anything, but if you are lucky enough to be working from home and have a steady income, I’m not too proud to add a link here to my donation & support page. Thank you for reading all this!

Items used in this coordination

Bridal Redux

Bridal kitsuke is probably the most complex and exhausting of all standard forms of kitsuke. I’ve done it on the mannequin a few times before, but always having to improvise a little. I’ve done  fully coloured ensemble and an all-white ensemble, but when I found this red and gold accessory set for a fantastic price, I knew I wanted to do the transitional style often done for a reception. I paired the bold accessories with my flamboyant and loud uchikake but kept the demure subtle white kimono and obi. I think this is actually my favourite type of bridal ensemble.

I think I’m finally getting the hang of wrapping hikizuri-style kimono to get that lovely x-shaped drape of the hem. It’s not perfect, but I can see definite improvement every time I attempt it. The collar’s pretty mangled, but let’s not speak of that… Because this is my first real, full set of accessories, including a proper-sized bira and an actual kakae-obi, I couldn’t resist taking a bunch of detail shots. I hope you enjoy them!

It’s very satisfying to see the whole thing put together like this. Maybe one day someone will let me dress them up in the whole ensemble.

Items used in this coordination

Kimono Coordinate Checklist Printable

Have you ever put together an outfit you liked so much you wanted to wear it again and again? Or maybe you’re travelling and want to make sure you bring all the pieces you need for a particular coordinate?

Either way, I’ve got a little present for you. Here’s a checklist printable template that includes places to write down every visible component of a full coordinate, including optional pieces. You can always just leave things like hakama and haori blank if they’re not part of the outfit you’ve put together. All three templates are the same, I just thought I’d make a bit of variation in colour schemes; hopefully you find one you like!

Feel free to download and share these! Clicking on them will open them in a separate page where you can save the full sized version, which should print at 4 inches by 6 inches. I made them to be used. I hope you find them helpful. 💖

Harajuku Fashion Show at Otakuthon 2019

Photos courtesy of Buddy Photography

Last weekend I had the amazing privilege of styling the kimono segment in the Harajuku Fashion Show at Otakuthon, a local anime and Japanese culture convention. The main focus on the show was modern and funky Japanese street styles, so I wanted to make sure a variety of modern fashions using kimono were featured.

By the end of it, I was a hideously sweaty exhausted mess but man, seeing all these beautiful ladies together was incredibly rewarding! The models all did such an incredible job, and I love how cohesive the outfits all look together! For some fantastic individual shots by Buddy Photography and Phunkey, as well as details about each outfit, please read on.

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