August 29, 2010

Three outfits spring 2010

Ok, here are three ensembles from this spring to show that I do really wear this stuff. Now that I have a blog, the photos will be better! My kitsuke isn't great, especially in the first ensemble, so be kind! :)
#1. Ok, the ensemble (Disheveled kitsuke day!) on the far left is from 2010 Matsuri in Phoenix, day two. Matsuri is a huge 2-day Japanese festival and always the last weekend in February. The first day the weather was typically gorgeous, about 80 degrees and sunny, which was great since I played taiko as usual on the ASU stage. I had also just bought the kimono, hakata obi, and haori that day from a vendor! Woke up the next day thinking we might get the same weather, so I'd planned on wearing the yukata I usually bring. However, it had rained all night and was sprinkling and about 58 degrees out! So out with the new wool komon and hakata obi! I dressed fast (Should have folded the obi over a third, it's too wide) and luckily I had brought the two-tooth geta with me. Not exactly appropriate with the komon but great for fording small puddles. I just happen to have the red tabi sox with me as well as the cute purse. Of course, it was super damp, so my hair looks odd and my obijime is drooping, but otherwise, not too bad of an outfit. I absolutely love that kimono though! The pattern has a wonderful retro feel to it. I looks to me like potsherds on a backgroud of pink sqiggley lines on dove grey. Very tasteful and subdued.

Detail of grey wool komon
Detail of russet haori

#2. Center ensemble was for a life-drawing class I modeled for in early April. My kitsuke wasn't too bad at all. I showed the instructor a few kimono that I could wear and she really loved the cobalt blue of this lovely orchid komon. Even though I was indoors, the students loved the red bangasa. It was all about the color combination: cobalt blue, red, white, and gold. You can't see in the photo, but I had white tabi and red/black zori and a small red handbag. My toes fell asleep posing for 20 minute intervals.

#3. This was also a session for a life-drawing class. I was outside, sitting under a tree looking at a book for this pose. It was warm, maybe pushing 90 degrees. But this time I was wearing my white bush clover yukata and again, the pink hakata obi. (It goes with almost everything!) As you can see this time I have it folded so it's not so wide. I also have layered two han eri collars to add some more color to the neutral outfit. Unfortunately, I hadn't received my black bunny geta at the time, so I'm wearing my old blue geta, not quite as well-coordinated. But check out the fun pink daisy obidome! It's one of those metal flower pins from the 1960's. The wide obijime fits in the pinback perfectly. This was a fun day of posing and despite being hot, it was nicer sitting outside. One of the artist's paintings from this session sold right away. I'll see if I can get a photo of it.

I will put up more pictures of new coordination soon since several events are coming up, including a stargazing festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix. I think it's in October.

August 27, 2010

More birthday kimono

My kimono and andon bakama (Woman's undivided hakama) arrived today from Yamatoku! I was not super interested in the hakama, mainly the kimono, but together they were only $29.99, so a steal even individually.
I  really wanted the kimono since it was perfect for my purposes: new, washable sythetic, the right length and a very bold red and white yabane pattern that will go with many obi. I love komon and especially big, bold patterns. Great for the festivals and some of the taiko events that I go to. There's always a chance of moving a drum or getting shave ice dripped on you, so washable kimono are really very practical. The hakama may turn out to be really cool though, but I will have to wait until it actually gets cold here before I wear it since this means adding a 4th layer to a typical kimono ensemble! The color is lovely, similar to the photo, a true eggplant purple. As you can see in the photo, you wear hakama over the kimono. This look is often seen at graduation ceremonies. I also bought this obiage/obijime set from Yamatoku since I really needed a red obiage. (I'm really lacking in obiage) It's a very nice all-shibori with roses and in nearly perfect condition. The obijime is really cool though!

It's magenta and black and wider than average. I'm very happy that it isn't red since I already have a couple of red obijime. Now time to go back to work!

August 24, 2010

My other summer vacation

I was in California for two Obon Festivals in July: San Jose and Monterey! I used to live on the Monterey Peninsula, so going back to visit friends, see taiko performances, eat strawberries, and dance at obon was a real treat for me. I still miss that part of the world, despite the fog,. the dampness, and cold waters. Here are some photos of the trip, including yukata and kimono!
One of three yagura at San Jose obon.
San Jose yagura at night.

A closer look at the black ro komon and my black bunny geta!
The yagura at the Monterey obon.
Shinso Mugen Daiko performing. My friend C is in orange on the far right. 
Me in my new black ro komon and new white ro hakata obi. My obiage is totally askew though! It was actually tucked in at one point...
This is a kabuki actor/dancer (Bando Hiroshichiro) that performed at obon. He was absolutely amazing! Earlier in the day, he offered to help with with my obi in the dressing area since there was a lack of mirrors. He didn't say who he was but I recognized him on stage later.

August 23, 2010

All purple and turquoise, all the time

Hi all
This is my first posting! Woohoo! I've been thinking about doing this blog for months; now here I am. My first post is about my recent purchases at Vintage Kimono in beautiful Boulder, Colorado! Janine Thorman is a wonderful women and has a fantastic selection of vintage Japanese clothing. I went in looking for a turquoise or bright blue yukata but of course succumbed to the beauty of the silks. My birthday was coming up, so that gave me an excuse to look and buy.
My first Meisen kimono! This one is a lovely purple komon with an unexpected lining colors:
My favorite thing about it (Besides the wonderful satin-y crisp fabric) is the repair to the lining. Someone loved this kimono so much they did a beautiful hand-sewn patch in the green part of the lining. Of course it's still too short on me, but I can manage a tiny ohashori.

The yukata. I found the most perfect turquoise blue brand-new yukata with white spider mums on it. Janine only had one yukata and it was exactly what I was looking for. Like many newer ones, it's long (About 64-65"), which is great for me. Sleeves are still a bit short of course. My mom generously bought it for me as a birthday gift. How cool is that?
I do have at least two obi I can wear with the yukata: pink hakata obi and a white ro hakata nagoya obi. I also just happen to have a wonderful pink and turquoise obi jime!

The ultraviolet haori.

The ultraviolet haori was a total splurge. I don't usually wear haori often and wasn't really looking for one but this one was spectacular. It's probably pre-WW2 because of the sleeve length and I'm thinking early Showa period but I'm not exactly certain. Either way, the length is elegant and the colors are so rich: ultramarine violet with buttery yellow shibori. The lining is a subtle rinzu. I particularly love the orange. And as I hung it up to take the photos, I noticed the stylized roses!

Now I just need to find the perfect obi to go with the Meisen. And wait for my next purchase to arrive in the mail: red and white yabane komon kimono with purple andon bakama from Yamatoku! I'm post photos soon.


PS: at some point I will post photos of me wearing all of these beautiful items, but for now, it's still hot hot Arizona summer, so too hot to wear! Soon it will cool down a bit...