Haori with crows or ravens

Kansai_gal sent me this in the box of amazing things that included the bunny geta from the previous entry. She knows my tastes so well, I am totally smitten with it!

On the surface it looks like a plain black three-crested formal haori, but it’s scattered with black urushi birds that appear to be crows or ravens. I suspect it’s also relatively old, it’s quite long (even on my tall frame), and the crests are larger than modern ones, but the sleeves are short, so either it’s from a pre-war transitional period, or the sleeves were cut short at some point. Either way, it’s a beautiful and unique piece that I look forward to wearing, possibly with my crow obi (although now, comparing the birds, I think it’s more likely that the birds on the obi are indeed stylized cormorants, but I will continue to refer to it as crowbi because I am stubborn that way).

Art Gallery – Vintage kimono artwork

Tiranaki (Naki for short) is someone I met on Gaia quite a while ago while we were both moderators. Naki is a lovely, talented lady. Aside from her awesome artwork, she makes beautiful handcrafted jewelry and hair ornaments and designs funky clothing and accessories, under the banner of Koana Designs. She makes some great origami-paper kanzashi that would look absolutely love with kimono, so definitely give the site a look.

The kimono she drew is quite ornate and doesn’t fit me ideally so it was fairly rumpled in the pictures I provided for her so the amount of detail she put into it is a testament to her skill. I love how both the background and the painting style have a wonderful vintage feel to them, it suits the age of the kimono, I think. To view the larger version, see iton her DeviantArt or click the one in this post, as always.

Hakata and momiji chuuya obi

I’ve professed my love for hakata obi many times before, and I’ve been lusting after unique, vintage chuuya (night-and-day reversible) obi for a bit now. When this one came up on eBay I was positive it would shoot out of my price range, especially since I was preparing for a trip to New York City and couldn’t afford any big-ticket items.

With a day left and barely any bidding, I figured I’d have to toss out a little bid, but I was really resigned to saying goodbye to this beauty. I guess the universe was feeling sorry for me because I picked it up for a song.

One side is a stunning, delicate yuzen-dyed momiji (turning maple) motif on indigo-purple diamonds. A few of the more visible leaves also have a bit of embroidery along the veining, which is a really pretty and delicate touch. The inverse is a lush burnt orange hakata weave, and both sides are incredibly lush.

It does have a slight bit of age-related patina, but it’s nearly invisible except under direct close-up flash photography. It’s wonderfully wearable, and I think it will go very well with the irotomesode I just received.

Momiji and Hakata chuuya

Momiji and Hakata chuuya

Momiji and Hakata chuuya

Orizuru Haori

I’ve already posted photos of me wearing this particular item, but it really needs a proper entry to showcase it. Shinei was having a huge sale and I saw this and really fell in love with it. In the photos, it looked like a modern piece – heavy silk, relatively “standard” proportions. When it arrived I was shocked at how old it was it was, evident in the length of both the body and the sleeves, as well as the brightly patterned lining. It’s incredibly lush and thick, and the cranes are so vivid. The lining is also exceptional. I am not generally fond of karako (stylized playing children) but since it’s mostly hidden I am actually quite fond of them in this case. I love the ridiculously vivid linings on vintage haori.

Orizuru Haori

Orizuru Haori

Orizuru Haori

Orizuru Haori

Vintage pink ume komon outfit

With all the new things I’ve been buying lately, a lot of older pieces I never had the opportunity to wear have been sitting around neglected. Today I decided to remedy that, and discovered (much to my dismay) that I’ve gained so much weight lately due to sloth and massive water retention that a lot of these things just don’t fit me very well anymore. In this case, my loss is Naomi‘s gain, I know she loves this piece and it will definitely fit her better, so into the giveaway pile it goes.

That being said, I’m glad I managed to wear it for a few photos at least, because it’s such an incredibly fun and gorgeous piece. There’s a tiny bit of green accent on the plum branches, so I decided to emphasize that with a green hakata obi, green haneri, and some new geta with sexy green hanao.

I also dressed a little unconventionally today – it was my first time using an eri-sugata (easy collar) and a susuyoke (half skirt) rather than a full juban. It worked really well because the kimono was so snug, the bulk of the juban was making it impossible to fit. I also love how easy it is to get the collar of the eri-sugata nice and low! It’s sort of sad that I know I’ll never be able to wear this kimono out, but I’m glad I finally got off my butt and put it on, and I’m glad it’s going to someone who will be able to wear it.