Y is for Yabane

Yabane, 矢羽, Arrow fletching

Yabane (also yagasuri for the small, tightly-repeating variation) and hakata; two of my favourite things together! I love all depictions of yabane, but particularly these big, semi-random depictions that were so beloved in the Taisho and early Showa eras really get to me. I’ve loved this kimono ever since I first bought it back in Boulder, Colorado. It’s an odd fabric, it feels like a mix of silk and cotton. It’s very light and breezy, despite being lined, and is smoother than cotton but has a lovely grip that makes it a pleasure to put on. However, I still can’t believe I ever wore this comfortably though. It’s so tiny!

I’m glad I had an opportunity to use this dusty rose-pink hakata nagoya obi. It’s really subdued but the texture of it makes it feel so lush. I couldn’t resist using my spider haneri which is a near-perfect match to the obi. Also, you guys, I’m so proud of myself. I did an ensemble with yellow accents and didn’t use that lemon-yellow shibori obiage and hakata obijime I use all the time. Will wonders never cease? I did use a yellow obiage, but a much more subdued one. The obijime was a better choice in theory than in practice I think, but it’s not terrible. I just know I can do better next time. XD

Items used in this coordination

Kits-Mas Day 11 – Aggressively Festive

Since yesterday’s outfit turned out entirely not Christmassy, I thought I’d remedy that with today’s aggressively festive coordination. Red, green, and yellow/gold abound! For some reason, I thought the grey areas on the kimono were a lot lighter, but I think it still works out well and provides nice contrast for the obi.

I’m actually incredibly fond of how the yellow accessories pop against the darker kimono, and I think I’d very much like to see this outfit with a different obi. I guess I’ll just have to try it out later. Aside from that, there’s really not much to say about this outfit. It’s festive, it’s cute, it’s not terribly exciting.

Tomorrow’s the last day! The end is in sight! And honestly, it can’t come too soon. As fun as this project has been, I’m very much ready to have a few days off in a row and share some other things with you all.

Items used in this coordination

Kits-Mas Day 3 – Pretty Package

First I did something thematic colour-wise, then I did something thematic subject-wise, so today I thought I’d do a little bit of both. I love the graphic visual punch of both yabane and hakata motifs, and thought they’d make pretty fantastic wrapping paper. So here’s my attempt at a giftwrap-inspired outfit!

I honestly don’t have a ton to say about this outfit. I kept the accessories very simple and tied a very fluffy bow-style knot for the obi. My cute little maneki neko netsuke added a final little accent of red and a bell for that perfect finishing touch. Jingle all the way!

There’s really not much more to say about today’s coordination. I think the simplicity of this outfit is what makes it so effective. Tomorrow’s will be more fun and vibrant though, so be sure to check back!

Items used in this coordination

Merida – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵 Chase the Wind
and Touch The Sky 🎵

We’ve done a Renaissance-era princess and a Silver-era princess so it felt like it was time for one of the modern revival princesses. Merida is one of my favourite princesses. She’s snarky, she’s witty, she’s tough but still vulnerable, and she’s determined to be the architect of her own fate. I found a few kimono online that were close in colour to her dress, but nothing really jumped out at me until I found this utterly perfect vintage piece. Not only is the base of it nearly the identical colour to Merida’s dress, but the yabane, or arrow fletching, motif could not have been more appropriate.

I debated using a brown obi to echo her brown belt but it made the whole outfit feel too heavy and overly mature. Instead, I went with a plain white hakata tied in a very practical karuta musubi, and amped up the warm brown tones in the obijime and dusty embroidered haneri. The bow was my grandmother’s, and I have fond memories of learning to shoot with it as a kid. Using it was pretty much a given. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that it’s actually a bright candy-apple red, but that’s nothing a little bit of photoshop couldn’t fix.

I really feel like this project is just continuing to build momentum, and I couldn’t be happier! It’s really satisfying to watch these come together. Maybe one day I’ll try to coordinate a fashion show or something and see them all at once.

Items used in this coordination

こどもの日 – Kodomo no Hi – Children’s Day

In Japan, May 5th is こどもの日, Kodomo no Hi, or Children’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate and appreciate children, to pray for their health and prosperity in the coming year. It was originally a day to celebrate boys and fathers, while Hina-matsuri was a day to celebrate girls, but in the late 40s, it shifted to a day to appreciate all children and their accomplishments!

Koi-shaped streamer kites, known as koinobori, are tradtional decorations for this holiday. There are typically two large koi depicting the parents, and then one smaller one for each child in the family. I found this obi with koinobori on it on eBay eons ago, and it remains one of my all-time favourite pieces. It’s a strange duck, softer silk than obi typically are, and full of awkward seams on the back side. I suspect it started life as either a kimono or some sort of decorative piece, but someone decided it would make a lovely obi and I’m so glad they did!

Arrows are also a fairly typical motif for the holiday, so I paired the obi up with this bold Taisho-era yabane komon, and I’ve always thought this adorable car obidome Kansai_gal got for me looks like a little toy car, so it felt like the perfect finishing touch for the outfit.

Items used in this coordination