Chic Modern Kiku

I found this piece on eBay when it had less than an hour to go, and I just fell head over heels. I love how bold it is, how minimalistic it is despite the motif itself being huge and dramatic, I love the very simple colour palette. And of course, rangiku is one of my favourite motifs. I really lucked out here, someone actually bumped it up to my maximum bid in the last few seconds, but didn’t bid any higher so I ended up winning it by the skin of my teeth.

I was so eager to coordinate it that I haven’t even had time to take a photograph for my catalogue – I just wanted to get it on to the mannequin as soon as I had some free time.

I paired it with a mofuku nagoya obi, since I really wanted the punch of black contrast. I think the rest of the outfit is obviously enough not mofuku that I can get away with it. Ideally, I would have used accessories in the same blue as the accents on the flowers, but I don’t own anything in that specifically “blurple” colour. I went with some of my favourite blue pieces, my icy blue obiage and beaded obijime. The haneri is actually my silver spiderweb one turned inside out. That made me chuckle a bit, since in English rangiku are often referred to as spider chrysanthemums. Maybe one day I’ll coordinate it with the webs visible.

Items used in this coordination

Matchy Matchy Mums

There’s two things “wrong” with this outfit, but when has that ever stopped me? I had another outfit planned for this week’s coordination but when this kiku furisode arrived I knew I had to pair it up with my purple kiku obi. Normally you wouldn’t match the motif of the kimono to the obi, especially not identically stylised ones like this, but the colours and the round mums were just too perfect to pass up. I also tied the obi in niijudaiko, which isn’t a musubi you’d typically pair with furisode, but I thought it added an interesting, more mature feeling to the outfit.

Since I was on such a matchy kick, I ran with accessories that were also perfect matches to some of the colours in the kimono. This outfit definitely feels very autumnal, which also happens to be my favourite season, so of course I love the end result!

What do you think? Do you like to understand the rules but deviate from them now and again, or do you prefer to stick to what works? I think both have merit; so long as you can explain why you chose to break a rule and aren’t doing it in a formal situation or stealing the focus from someone else, sometimes it can work out really well!

Items used in this coordination

Seijin Shiki 2022 – Ice Princess

Seijin Shiki (Coming of Age Day) 2022 was this past Monday, January 10. I should probably have done this outfit back then, but work kicked my butt. Better late than never, right?

It’s traditional for young adults who are turning 20 in the coming year to dress up. For young women, this means a beautiful furisode and accessories, and because it takes place in the winter, a fur stole is often used as well. These outfits can vary from subdued to very, very bold, depending on both the location and the personal style of the wearer.

My tastes tend to lead more towards the “mature”, which makes sense because I am literally as old as two people celebrating seijin shiki combined would be. So this outfit is more quiet than a lot of options, but I love it nonetheless. I decided to for a wintery, icy pastel coordinate.

I went for my well-loved blue and pink kiku furisode. Since pastel blue and pastel pink together make pastel purple, this lilac and silver obi seemed like the perfect complement, along with a purple haneri and obiage. A pink and silver obijime was the finishing touch the outfit needed, a bit of contrast against the obi while still flowing with the subtle pastel vibe of the whole thing.

I did try to make a more dramatic and showy obi musubi, but this particular obi is so soft and floppy it just would not hold a more structural shape. I eventually caved in and just went with a sort of poofy bunko musubi. It’s not quite what I originally had in mind but I think it worked out alright.

This Outfit has a Secret

And that secret is efficiency! At first glance there’s nothing “unusual” about this, it just looks like an everyday casual coordinate, right? What you can’t tell immediately is that both the kimono and the obi are two-piece “easy-wearable” items. The two-piece, or nibushiki, kimono, can be worn with an obi over it like this to resemble a regular kimono, or it can be worn more like a dochugi and wrap skirt. It’s common to see pieces like this worn by restaurant workers and other people who need to be comfortable and able to change easily. It’s also synthetic and went through the wash once already with literally  no ill effects.

It also has the benefit of being much easier to adjust if you’re a non-standard size, as you can wrap the bottom half however you’re most comfortable and then adjust the top half separately. It makes dressing so much easier, more convenient, and more accessible.

The tsuke-obi is more common. I’ve had this one in my collection for literal decades and it used to be in very heavy rotation. Ones like this, with an otaiko-style musubi, are much easier to camouflage than the butterfly-style polyester ones that come with beginner’s yukata, and I think with the right accessories they’re perfectly acceptable for a more casual occasion.

The salmon pink accessories were a bit of a surprise, I will be honest. I liked how the navy obijime tied in to the kimono and figured I’d run with it. It’s unexpected but it works! My gut instinct was to go with the same yellow set I use for basically… everything. I’m glad I refrained.

Items used in this coordination

“Group of Seven” Landscape Houmongi

When I saw this gorgeous landscape houmongi up for auction recently, the Canadian in me just had to have it. It reminded me immediately of something by the Group of Seven and while I realise it’s a Japanese landscape it could just as easily be any of the wild, untamed nature of this beautiful country.

I actually have a handful of obi that will all look incredible with this piece but for my first time showing it off this metallic hawks-over-water nagoya obi felt like the right direction. I love the idea of the birds flying high over the landscape, and the heavy gold of the obi helps up the very subtle gold decoration in the hem pop. It also increases the formality of the whole outfit, and since the kimono has one crest it can be dressed up a bit. I went subtle with the rest of the accessories to let the kimono and obi speak for themselves, and I think it worked well.

 

I can’t wait to do other things with this stunning piece. I’m so happy I was able to add it to my collection.

Items used in this coordination