Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I won this gorgeous green irotomesode on eBay a few weeks back. It’s so lush and gorgeous; soft old silk with a vivid red lining and a mirrored hem design that puts it in the late Meiji or early Taisho era. I knew it would be too small for me to ever wear, even if I manage to lose weight, but I had to have it!

It arrived in the mail on Tuesday, along with a cute little coordinating obijime. Unfortunately, the flu from hell also arrived on Tuesday. I barely made it through the day at work, went to bed less than an hour after getting home, and promptly spent nearly 22 hours asleep. I’m still not feeling well, but I figured since it was St. Patrick’s Day and the kimono is such a beautiful and vibrant kelly green that I had to muddle through and make an outfit with it.

I chose to emphasize the fresh spring feel of the green with pastel accessories and this lovely tachibana fukuro obi from the obi bundle a few of us splurged on years ago. The obi is adorable but badly stained, so not particularly ideal for wearing out, but I was able to put it on Tsukiko in a way that hides the worst of the discolourations. I really love how this outfit looks together.

Items used in this coordination

New Feature: Outfit of the week!

Everyone, please say hello to the newest contributor to this blog. Her name is Tsukiko, she has no head, and she will be modelling outfits and coords that are either too small or too fragile for me to wear myself. As you probably know, my health is still not fantastic, and dressing myself simply for photoshoots is tiring and not ideal. Hopefully having Tsukiko around will encourage me to post more frequently! I am aiming to do one coordination a week, but we’ll see how long that lasts 😉

Today’s coordination was mostly an excuse to use this gorgeous antique irotomesode/komon hybrid. I have been in love with this thing since I received it, but it’s incredibly delicate and fragile silk and it’s very tiny. Realistically, even if I lost a hundred pounds, it still would not fit me. I paired it with a vintage remake obi I love to bits that’s also awkwardly small, and I love how soft and dusty they feel together. The obiage, obijime, and haneri are all modern, but they have a similarly desaturated pastel feel and I think they look perfect with the kimono. Please click on the images to see larger versions.

Items used in this coordination

Obi Bundle part II – Chuuya and Tsuke Obi

Continuing my deconstruction of that huge obi bundle. I was initially planning on doing a separate entry for each type of obi, but since there were only two chuuya obi and two tsuke-obi, I figured I would put them in one entry in the interest of efficiency and expedience.

Black bingata tsuke-obi with cranes

Or, as I like to call it, the roast-chicken obi. Something about the shape of the birds in flight reminds me of a trussed-up cooked chicken. I absolutely love the design of this one though, despite not usually being fond of cranes. The construction is a bit odd for a tsuke, it’s all one piece. I’ve yet to figure out how to put it on and have it look perfect, but I’m working on it!

Black tsuke with ume and momiji

I’m so glad the other ladies let me have this one – I’m really in need of more cute, versatile tsuke obi for days when my health is not great and I don’t have the energy to tie them myself. I think this one is incredibly charming.

Green multi-technique chuuya
Obi Bundle Part IIObi Bundle Part II

I’m not entirely sure how to describe this, aside from gorgeous. It’s rich, slightly dusty colours, lots of different techniques , and the silk is incredibly soft and buttery. It’s a typical chuuya with black on the opposite side, and the black silk is rotted beyond salvation, but I’ve replaced the silk on other ones before, and it’s not difficult.

Grape chuuya
Obi Bundle Part II
Obi Bundle Part IIObi Bundle Part II
So called because one side is purple and the other has grapes. How could I not? This is so gorgeous, the grape-and-trellis side is sort of a rough blend, and the wave side is a rough cotton or hemp. It’s quite casual, but so unique. I can’t wait to find the right kimono for it.

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.