Jorogumo – Yokai Halloween 2018

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I’m fairly certain that to most people, Jorogumo is the creepiest of the alluring yokai I’ve chosen to feature in this project. A spider who can shape-shift into a beautiful woman to ensnare young men and feed off them is pretty terrifying, even if you’re not arachnophobic.

I have several friends who have done some absolutely stunning and very creepy Jorogumo outfits, complete with terrifyingly detailed makeup. I wanted to come at this with a more “normal” and ultimately wearable kitsuke that evoked things in a more subtle way.

Of course, I had to start with my spider obi. I’ve mentioned this before but I have such a love/hate relationship with this obi. It was the first piece I bought here in Montreal, and it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. I love the rough, textured feel of it, and of course the spiders. But it’s SUCH a pain to tie. The spiders are in locations that make it difficult to tie while keeping them visible both on the tare and the tesaki, and the texture makes it grip to itself in a way that makes it virtually impossible to adjust once I’ve wrapped it. But man, it’s so worth the effort!

The kimono is one of the pieces I bought at the bazaar over the weekend; it’s technically a motif of branches and fall foliage, but it feels like a spider-web, and the leaves are a nice callback to the leaves caught in the webs on the obi. It’s in rough shape, but it was easy enough to work with on the mannequin. I’ll repair it sooner or later. I attached a single spider patch to the front and I actually think this was quite effective. It blends in well with the kimono pattern and feels very natural.

Of course, I had to use my spider haneri, and some olive-green accessories tied everything together. I used a fun little spider ring as an obi-kazari because there’s never too many spiders.

Items used in this coordination

 

Subtly Spooky

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Happy Halloween, everyone! I had tons of fun last year doing a month’s worth of various Halloween coordinations but this month was too busy to devote myself to anything like that. I knew I had to do something though, and that’s where this suitably subtly spooky outfit came from!

The starting point was unsurprisingly the obi. Obi with seasonal, spooky, or gothic motifs tend to be quite popular, and as such, also quite expensive. This one cost me nearly nothing, since it’s the reverse side of an obi I already owned! I found this gorgeous iridescent gemstone skull sticker at a craft store. It’s actually a Martha Stewart brand product, of all things. Once I had the skull, I knew I wanted to decorate an obi with it but I was worried it would be too plain, but then I found a spool of adhesive ribbons and trims and I was all set.

I knew I wanted a fairly plain kimono so that the focus would be on the bling-tastic obi. I waffled over a few choices, debated buying something, and then I remembered I had this little beauty, a gift from the same dear friend who sent me the vintage kakeshita a while back. This piece is quite old, and quite fragile. The silk itself is very clearly sun-damaged, faded in spots, and has several tears and frays where the seams are coming apart. It’s also one of those odd hybrid kimono that we hardly ever see anymore. From a distance, it is (or was, before the fading) a solid uniform purple shade with a single crest, which would place is straight in iromuji territory. But up close, it’s shot through with gold stripes, which is not something you’d generally see in a modern iromuji. Whatever you want to call it, I’m so glad I finally found a way to use it!

The finishing touch for this outfit is a brooch I made a while back with supplies from the very same craft store. It wasn’t made with kimono or any particular event in mind, I was just feeling creative. But it works so well with this outfit, you’d think I’d done it on purpose! I tied everything together with black, red, and dark raspberry pink accessories and came up with what I think is a very spooky but also very wearable coordination!

Are you dressing in kimono this halloween? If so, please share photos!

Items used in this coordination

Spookitsuke – We Can’t Giggle, It’s A Crime Scene!

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Last week, I promised the next instalment of this feature would be creepier, and I’m fairly certain I’ve succeeded! It started with this bizarre haori Naomi sent me a while back. I’m assuming it’s supposed to be clouds or some sort of abstracted design but we both thought it looked like blood spatter. It seemed like the perfect place to start a Halloween outfit. I decided to run with the blood splatter and aim for a crime scene feeling. The kimono is another that Bonita sent to me, along with the gorgeous wedding kimono from a few weeks back. It is mofuku, and is in incredibly fragile condition. It’s tiny and several of the seams are coming apart, and between the fact that it’s funerary wear and the shape and size of it, I know it will never get worn. It seemed thematically apt for the outfit though, so I layered it over a red under-skirt. I found this crime scene tape ribbon and thought it would be interesting to use as an obi-jime. However, I misread the listing and ordered waaaaaay more than I actually needed, but I think it worked out in my favour. I love how it looks wrapped around so many times. The red shigoki obi evokes more blood, literally and figuratively tying it all together. I’d hate to run into the person wearing this outfit at the end of a dark alley!

We’ve got two coordinations to go, and they will both be more costumey than creepy. I hope you’ll check back to see! And yes, before anyone asks, the title of this entry is indeed a reference to BBC’s Sherlock.

Spookitsuke October 2016

Spookitsuke – Getting Gothic!

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It’s October, and that means it’s time for a new month-long feature here on Kimono Tsuki – Spookitsuke! (If you’ll pardon my silly portmanteau of spooky kitsuke). By now, we all know that kimono in and of themselves do not a costume make. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no room for overlap! Every Sunday this month, I will be putting a thematically appropriate outfit on the mannequin. From creepy motifs to an outfit lifted straight out of one of my favourite comic books, every one of these coordinations would fit right in at the scariest costume party! If you’re thinking of wearing kimono to a Halloween event, whether it be just a thematic outfit or detailed costume, I hope you find a bit of inspiration in the coming weeks.

This first week’s is a straightforward outfit using my tried-and-true gothic landscape houmongi. This piece is one of my favourites, due to the unique motif. It’s a great modern piece and a pleasure to work with, since the silk is heavy and textured and the collar is already sewn in half. I paired it with this shiny tsuke-obi I bought on a whim a few months back, and I’m so happy with how well they work together! I used pale blue accessories to draw attention to the foggy mist on the kimono. Overall, it’s a perfectly “normal” outfit, until you look at the hem of the kimono. Victorian-style lanterns, wrought iron railings, and even a hill with tiny cross grave markers all evoke a creepy, crawly, wonderfully Halloween feeling.

Spookitsuke October 2016

Items used in this coordination