Punk yukata at the Astoria Street Fair

So you may have noticed that there’s been a bit of a dearth of updates lately, and I sincerely apologize for that. I spent last weekend in lovely New York City, meeting up with some friends. Some I’d not seen in years, and some I’d never met before. We all knew each other from an online community. It was a wonderful experience, everyone was incredibly awesome and we all had a blast. Knowing my obsession with kimono and Japanese culture, Jamie (who lives in NYC) was kind enough to arrange a trip to Kiteya SOHO and to the Japanese street fair in Astoria. I bought a lovely komon at Kiteya that I will be sharing with you during the week, but I thought that I would at least post a few photos of the outift I wore to the street fair.

I’d been dying to wear the punk yukata Arian got me so I figured this would be a great time to bust it out. I decided to tone it down a bit with a green hakata hanhaba rather than the pink obi it came with. Unfortunately, it was murderously hot and we spent the morning on public transit and brunch at a lovely restaurant before getting to the fair, so I look a bit melted and rumpled. I’d like to take a moment to give enormous thanks to my friend Ben for taking these photos, carrying my crap, and fanning me when I got overheated.

Can I just say how much I love my new glasses with this outfit? XD And a super-cute minion! I didn’t win him, just posed with him.

I also won an adorable tsukesage-komon at the fair, and will be sharing that soon too! If you would like to see more photos of the day, they are available in my Facebook album.

Navy yukata for a good cause

After the devastating earthquakes in Japan just over a month ago, several of my friends decided to raise money by auctioning off items in their collections, with proceeds going to Global Giving for disaster relief. When I saw the adorable navy yukata that Jess had listed, I knew I had to have it. It’s got such a fun, summery feel to it. I love the trellis-like design, and I can’t wait to wear it.

Blue yukata

Blue yukata

I know it’s going to look adorable with my green hakata. I just have to wait for the weather to improve! I love how I keep ending up with more yukata and nowhere to wear them.

Punk-style yukata and obi set

This amazing set was a gift from Arian, because he is a goofball. I saw it on Rakuten and fell in love with the unexpected designs. They remind me of old-school tattoo flash or motorcycle art, sort of Von Dutch or Ed Hardy style. There are hot rod flames, skulls, roses, handcuffs, snakes, and lord knows what else. Every time I look at it I find new things to ogle. The obi is pretty awesome too – on the surface it looks like a pretty mundane pink obi with white butterflies, but on closer inspection, the butterflies (like those on the matching geta are actually decorated with human skulls. I think the fact that these are much more subtle than the vivid, cartoony skulls on the yukata are what make the items work so well together.

I can’t wait until it gets warm enough for me to wear this out somewhere! I think it’s an item that kimono and non-kimono people alike will appreciate.

Punky yukata & obi set
Punky yukata & obi set

Punky yukata & obi set
Punky yukata & obi set

Montreal Matsuri Japon 2010

I went to the annual Matsuri Japon last year and really enjoyed it, so when I found out it was happening again this year I was eager to head out. I wore my black ume yukata and blue and white hanhaba hakata obi to work all day, and after my work day was over my mother joined me and we drove down together. Since there are so many photos here, I’ve put smaller versions than usual in the post, please click on them to see bigger versions 🙂

Unfortunately, the festival had changed locations this time around, and it was in a much more cramped location in the middle of the busiest and most tourist-filled area of the Old Port of Montreal. The traffic flow was not ideal and the stage where the taiko drummers were was virtually impossible to get to. I was a bit let down. However, there were plenty of lovely yukata to see and photograph, and a few great bargains to be had.

At first I didn’t realize that the festival had moved, so I tracked down a guide and asked them where to go. This lovely gentleman then came up to me and asked me where to go, he was as confused as I was! After posing for a photo at my mother’s insistence, we headed off to the new area together.

At the gate, I saw the always-radiant Akane, who I generally run into at these sorts of events. She’s such a sweetheart.

And in the long-standing tradition of goofy photos of me with food in my mouth (if you have me on Facebook you’ve probably seen some others) I found some takoyaki! It was yummy.

This lovely young woman had the most luscious raspberry-red yukata with great shibori all over it, and a really pretty obi with some urushi-like flowers on them, she looked great!

Another beautiful young woman who was doing custom calligraphy.

She made me a very nice interpretation of Tsuki and Hana (moon and flower), on some beautiful Japanese paper.

Three little dolls looked absolutely adorable in their yukata and heko obi! Love the hats, too.

A beautiful family! The young boy on his daddy’s shoulders had the cutest “Chip & Dale” jimbei!

There was not much in the way of kimono to purchase, thankfully. However, I did manage to find some very cute obijime for a steal, $5 each!

And I couldn’t pass up this adorable origami crab jewelry! I will probably turn the pendant into some sort of obi-kazari, as I always wear one of my pearl necklaces, but I couldn’t pass it up!

There are plenty more pictures in my Flickr Account, if you’d like to see! I’d also like to give a huge thank-you to my mom for taking a lot of these photos!