Scarves in Solidarity

Today I am participating in the Scarves in Solidarity project, which aims to show support for the Muslim community in NZ by wearing a head scarf. It’s a small gesture, but one that helps show that we’re all united in the face of terror and white supremacy. Several years ago, Quebec had a much smaller but similarly motivated attack, so the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, last Friday hit especially close to home here.

Personally, I am an atheist. However, I firmly believe that a place of worship (be it a mosque, church, synagogue, temple, shrine, or any other) should always be a place of hope, faith, and safety. To attack people in during their prayers is the height of cowardice. I wanted to do something to show my support for the survivors of this attack and their families.

Of course, I had to wear my beautiful mosque houmongi for this project; I could think of no more appropriate piece in my collection. I could barely get it around my hips, but I was determined to make it work.

I wore a light blue-green buff underneath to tame my unruly blue hair, and then this beautiful green and gold scarf over top, which ties in to the green and gold tones in the hem of the kimono. I think it looks perfect together. Gold obi and accessories finished off the outfit well.

Whatever your view on religion in general, or religious head-coverings may be, I think we can all agree that nobody deserves to be targeted for their beliefs. People of Christchurch, NZ, and Muslims around the world, we are with you.

Items used in this coordination

Jasmine – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵 Now I’m in a whole new world with you 🎵

She may not have been the titular protagonist of her movie, but there’s no denying that Aladdin‘s Princess Jasmine is a feisty, independent heroine. Nobody’s going to marry her off to someone she doesn’t love, and she craves adventure outside the sheltered palace walls.

I knew right away that I had the perfect kimono for her. While the design on this houmongi is a real place, the Shah Mosque in Iran, there’s no denying that traditional Islamic architecture had a huge impact on the art direction of the movie, and the beautiful design of the fictional city of Agrabah. The gold obi with blue and turquoise arabesque designs was the perfect complement. I knew I had to incorporate her charming tiger companion Rajah, and I found a sweet little charm with a gold tiger inside of it, but it was transparent and would have been completely disappeared against the busy gold pattern of the obi, so I set out to turn it into an obidome. Backing it with a blue-green enamel helped call back to the gem in her hairpiece, and I love how it turned out in the end.

Of course, the finishing touch was the lamp. If anyone knows how I can get a Genie out of there, please let me know.

We’re so close to finishing this project now! I hope you’re all as excited as I am.

Items used in this coordination

Iran So Far

I’m sorry, that was a terrible title. I don’t even like SNL that much but the title of that song got stuck in my head, so there you have it. I’d been itching to dress since I got back from my trip, but I’ve also been itching to wear my gorgeous mosque houmongi for a while now. I thought I’d try it out before the weather got too warm to wear awase (lined kimono), but clearly I mis-judged. I was SO HOT by the time I was finished getting dressed. I also want to apologize to the lovely kimono angel who anonymously sent me the moorish arches obi – I was totally going to wear it as well after I’d photographed it with the one here, but by the time I was done I was so insufferably hot and my cardiac issues were giving me grief, I was unable to. I promise though, I will wear them together at some point!

This kimono is so spectacular that I really wanted the focus all to remain on the hem. In that vein, I decided to go very subtle with all the accessories. I thought the gold obi brought out the desert tones in the hem really well, and I happened to have an obiage on hand that is virtually the exact same colour as the kimono. Finished it off with an off-white haneri with embroidery and a flat gold and green saga-nishiki obijime. I decided to emphasize the theme subtly by using my moon obidome, to honour the Islamic Crescent. I thought it was very appropriate without turning the outfit into an overly thematic costume.

I also managed to tie one of the best nijuudaiko musubi I’ve ever tied. Unfortunately I somehow also managed to not take a single decent back photo of it XD Oops. I did get a few side views though. Yes, that is a little bow in there – I tied the ends of the obijime in a bow to get them out of the way and thought it looked cute.

Shah Mosque Houmongi

I don’t know if anyone remembers that I made a resolution only to buy really special pieces. Unfortunately, my complete and utter lack of dedication has pretty much thrown that to the wayside, but I am trying to keep an eye out for particularly spectacular items. I blame BikaBika for this, she posted the link to the auction on the Immortal Geisha forums and I knew then and there that I needed to have this item. Thankfully Naomi was there to help me get it through YJA. It finally arrived in the box of stuff I mentioned last Friday, and I was so excited to finally get it so I could see it in person and write about it.

I’ve always been fascinated by architectural motifs on kimono, but I’d never seen one with a mosque on it. In particular, the blue dome and heavy Moorish ornamentation would suggest that this is the Shah Mosque in Iran. The yuzen dye work is absolutely stunning, the whole piece looks like a soft painting but the details up close are breathtaking. The silk is incredibly lush as well, it’s got an interesting nubby texture, almost like shibori but it’s woven into wave-like stripes and not part of the actual visual pattern.

Shah Mosque Kimono

Shah Mosque Kimono

I have several coordinations in mind for this particular kimono, including one using the gorgeous Moorish Arches obi I received as a mystery gift, but also a more subdued modern look. Hopefully I will find the time for one or both of them in the near future.

Moorish arches nagoya obi

Recently, I won a kimono from Yahoo Japan with a mosque around the hem. It hasn’t arrived yet, so I don’t have photos, but it’s absolutely unique and stunning. When I posted about it on the Immortal Geisha forums I got a lot of questions and suggestions about coordination. Several people actually found the same obi on eBay, a deep rusty reddish orange with blue archways on it that had similar Middle-eastern style ornamentation on them. Technically it’s a little casual for the kimono but thematically it would have been perfect. Unfortunately, I’d pretty much blown my budget for a while on the kimono itself, so I had to pass it up.

I should also mention that around the 2010 Holiday season, I organized a gift swap on the forums. Since I was the one arranging it, I wasn’t technically able to participate. In the end I did get a lovely gift from one of the members, due to my own disorganization – I’d accidentally left her out of the swap so I sent her things from my own collection and she graciously sent me a package of lovely handmade things in return.

Fast forward to this morning, when my father informs me that I got “a ton of mail”. I am expecting a few things so I wasn’t terribly perplexed, but when I started opening the package I had no idea what it was. I was worried maybe one of the sellers had mixed up my order, until a note fell out of the package.

Moony, thank you for the work you put into the ImmortalGeisha forums, especially the Winter Swap. You didn’t participate, but here is your surprise gift!

There was no name and no signature, and since several people brought the obi to my attention I really have no idea who sent it! I did make a post on the forums thanking whoever it was and explaining that in the end I did get a package though. ~.~;; In any case, it’s stunning and very appreciated, and will be cherished. I can’t wait for the kimono to arrive so I can put them on together.

Moorish arch nagoya obi

Moorish arch nagoya obi

Moorish arch nagoya obi