November 30, 2010

Taisho Chuya Obi

Ok, here it is, the coordination first. The Taisho chuya obi does go with one kimono that I own: a navy blue tsumugi iromuji with a single mon. I havent worn this obi yet, I was waiting for the perfect obiage and I think I'm getting closer. The kimono is almost like the  "little black dress" in my collection. It goes with virtually every obi I have.

I have paired the kimono and obi with a pale yellow rinzu obiage and a pale yellow/salmon colored obijime. I also have an ice blue obiage that will probably work as well.

The colors of this obi are so mellow, I'm assuming partially because of it's age. It's a chuya obi, which is about the same length as a fukuro obi, but it's reversible. This type of obi has a pattern on one side and usually plain dark silk on the other, hence the name, "day-night obi". It was worn informally in it's heyday and is pretty soft and apparently difficult to get a decent o-taiko musubi from one. I haven't tried tying it yet; for now I'm content with just looking it it's fantastic pattern.

 As you can see, it's yuzen-dyed (Rice-paste resist) and has all types of auspicious images on it: treasure ships, waves, sakura or plum blossoms (probably both), shippo patterns, and all kinds of cool stuff. I love the colors: soft eggplant, aqua, sage green, toffee brown, olive green, cream, teal, soft black. The colors are amazing, the design stunning; the colors are so soft and complex. Soft and complex works well with certain kinds of kimono....I don't have anything like that in my collection so far.  What this obi needs is a fabulous Taisho-era houmongi in soft, rich colors that will do it justice!

But in the meantime, my "little black" dress navy iromuji will do just fine. I'll wear it stay tuned for photos!

November 29, 2010

More kimono coordination

Now I'm down to the random bits or color coordination.

First one up is the pink and navy sensu (folding fan) pattern komon I got on eBay for a penny. I haven't worn it yet, mainly because I'm stumped as to what color obi will work with it. Well, it looks like the Hawk obi looks very good. I think it's the only obi I have that will work with it. I have paired it with a cream rinzu obiage and a pink, white and black yabane patterned obijime that I picked up in San Jose Japan town in July.

One possible color coordination clue is the lining is pink and a light yellow-tan color. So maybe a light yellow obi with a big bold pattern would be a good choice. That would give some contrast with the small sensu motif.

Next is my grey wool  "atomic potsherd" pattern komon. This is one of my favorite kimono and I have worn it with my pink Hakata obi. It also looks good with the gold hanhaba obi.  It's probably mid-Showa period and a bit small for me (as most of these older kimono are, especially if you are a tall-ish westerner), but with a tiny ohashori under the obi is fine with these vintage pieces. (More on wearing vintage kimono later.)

But surprise surprise! It looks amazing with the blue plaid cotton kasuri obi! I wouldn't have thought it would have coordinated so well, but I'm still honing my kimono skills. I have paired it with a pale yellow rinzu obiage and a round vermilion obijime.

For something that looks a little bit more modern, my Taisho chuya obi, black side out, with the cobalt blue orchid komon. This might be my favorite combination! I like the drama of black with different shades of blue and white. Way more fun than light blue, white, and grey! Although this blue kimono looks good with the gold hanhaba obi and the peach wool obi, I like this combination the best. I've worn this kimono several times, it's turned into a kind of a 'workhorse' of a dress. The obijime has a beautiful woven pattern that is unusual and wider than most and is in shades of blue and white, it reminds me of those "god's eyes" I  made as a kid out of yarn and Popsicle sticks.  If I ever see another one like it, I will definitely buy it! The obiage is icy blue with shibori maple leaves on it. 

More on the Taisho chuya obi in the next post-- 'cause it's special!

November 28, 2010

Green Pierre Cardin Iromuji

Pierre Cardin does kimono? I was surprised as well! The lining of this lovely spring green iromuji kimono has Pierre Cardin logo lining! Check out the image of the lining below! I noticed it after I bought it. I think this is an eBay purchased from a couple of years ago. It's in flawless condition and the silk is soft and buttery.
For kimono newbies, an iromuji is a solid color kimono. It has no pattern, not even a tiny print. The pattern you see above is woven in one color, like a jacquard fabric. This kimono fabric is called rinzu. Mine has water patterns on it of flowing  streams and waves. Iromuji often have a family crest on the back, called a mon or kamon, this one  has a single Paulownia mon on the center back of the kimono, this means it can be worn formally. This solid color makes it endlessly versatile and appropriate for any age woman. Every kimono enthusiast should have at least one iromuji!
+ my formal nagoya obi with a karabana
pattern, a black obiage, and
vermilion obijime. I have vermilion
and gold zori to wear with this fancy outfit!

Here are three different combinations of the obi and the green iromuji. I can also wear it with my pink hakata obi and formal gold and white fukuro obi, but I didn't get around to dragging them out of the drawers. Plus they are both basically solid-colored, and I needed to see some pattern with the solid green.

+ the black side of my Taisho chuya obi,
a fuchsia shibori obiage, and a bold hot pink obijime

+ the hot pink rose nagoya obi, cream obiage, and a cream/green striped obijime. I have a pink and green handbag made from woven ribbon that will look great with this!

Blue Music komon

More coordination pictures from yesterday's photo shoot! This is a synthetic komon kimono in soft shades of blue. I bought it at Kimono Lily in their "$45 and under" section. It's brand-new. It features lovely images of tsuzumi (A small drum) and fue (transverse flute), plum blossom, maple leaves, and some unknown petals and leaves. I like it because it's synthetic and washable, so it's great for some of the various festival-type events I go to. I like the soft colors in it and it seems to lend itself to many colors and styles of obi! That makes this kimono very versatile.
Blue music komon

As you can see in these photos, it has an all-over stripe pattern as well as a subtle grid in lighter blue. The drum/flower pattern is small and covers the whole kimono, this style print is called komon. The repeated pattern makes it casual but it can be dressed up for an outing with a more formal obi. Compared to western clothing, it's probably equivalent to a casual daytime dress. For kimono, it is the lowest in rank for formality.The subtle coloring tells me it's not for a young lady, but for a married woman.

Detail of the tsuzumi pattern

+ my olive green shippo obi, carmine pink
shibori obiage, and pale pink and silver obijime
Now you can see how many different colors can go with this kimono. That makes it fun to dress up or down and either subtle or bright.
Next: coordinating the green iromuji!
Arigato gozaimasu!

+ a peach wool hanhaba obi, cream, obi age, and turquoise blue obijime

+ Beige yabane hanhaba obi, carmine pink
shibori obiage, dark red obijime

+ Hawk nagoya obi, carmine pink obiage, and
(Not shown) red obijime

+ hot pink rose nagoya obi,
cream obijime and obiage.

November 27, 2010

Red yabane komon coordination

The red yabane komon from Yamatoku
I got out of taiko early today because of the holiday, so I started doing something I've been wanting to do for a while and usually do not have time for: taking photos of kimono coordinates. Its easier to just lay things out than to put them on, especially when you have to take the photos yourself in the mirror. I laid out a kimono + obi + obiage  + obijime on my ironing board and started playing with color and pattern combinations. I started with my new red and white yabane. Yabane is a pattern of arrow feathers or fletching, and since the pattern on this kimono is repeated all over, it's considered a komon. Komon kimono are the casual daytime dresses of the kimono world. I haven't worn it yet, but kimono-wearing events are coming soon, so I wanted to figure out what works as far as colors, patterns, and textures. Apparently, a red and white yabane pattern kimono is pretty easy to coordinate- it seems to go with everything.

+ black and cream wool "kawari"
hanhaba, magenta shibori obiage,
and black and magenta obijime

+ purple hakata obi, cream
obijime, and light purple obiage

+ blue-grey cotton daisy
nagoya obi, creamy yellow
obiage, and dark red obijime

+ dark blue cotton kasuri obi, creamy yellow obiage, and a cream obijime

+ gold hanhaba obi, cream obiage,
and cream with bronze and red stripe obijime

+ Navy daisy hanhaba obi, ice blue
obiage, and dark red obijime
Next up: the pretty Blue Music komon I bought from Kimono Lily several months ago.

November 22, 2010

Obi for the new yukata

I had a half-day off today (I'm working Wednesday and Friday this week, so don't think I'm slacking!) and ironically I went shopping  at a department store (!) with a friend.  For some reason when I got home, I thought of the new yukata and wanted to looked at my obi collection to see what will go with it.
Detail of the new yukata fabric (See previous post for the story)

Olive green silk shippo pattern obi
It looks like I have two candidates- an olive green shippo (Sometimes spelled shippou) pattern and a black and cream wool patterned hanhaba obi. Shippo or shippo-tsunagi is a pattern of interlocking circles signifying the seven treasures of Buddhism. This obi is really wonderful since the texture is like a hakata obi  and it's 12" wide, so you have to fold it in half. It's unlined as well. I love it for yukata or komon kimono and since it's wide, it makes a wonderful-looking bunko musubi.
Cream and black "kara-ori" pattern hanhaba obi
The cream and black obi was sold to me as "kawari" but it could be a misspelling of "kara ori", meaning the pattern is of Chinese origin. I can't find very much information on this so I'm not sure if it's accurate. It's a hanhaba, so only 6" wide and appropriate for a yukata or komon kimono. It's a bit heavy, very "woolly" in feeling and appears to be woven in one piece; it's also fairly soft, so it will be interesting to work with. I haven't worn it yet. I think this one probably looks best with the yukata since the olive green shippo doesn't have as much contrast.

For the rest of the ensemble, I'm probably going to turn to my favorite black bunny geta and probably dress up the obi with the cream + bronze obijime shown in the last post.
New bronze and cream obijime

Black bunny geta
Handbag? I'm not sure. I don't have anything cream, black, or olive but I do have dark red with black trim. That might be good for adding a little color contrast and to pick up the red bits in the geta. I'll have to figure out a day to wear the new stuff  very soon!

November 21, 2010

Neutrals from eBay

I got some new items form eBay in the last month and now I can finally share them! The first item was a lot of six obijime that I got for a very good price.
From the original photo (The above photo is not the original though), it looked like at least three were really gorgeous...actually four turned out to be excellent. One of the six is a light blue-grey looks home-made and is stained, so not worth keeping.
The teal one is actually much shorter than the rest, so it is probably meant for a little girl. It's beautiful though and in perfect condition.

These three are the best of the lot: pale pink and silver, cream with deep green wrapped sections and cream with bronze sections. Strangely enough, this one matches the colors in the new yukata perfectly. The two cream obijime are very elegant-looking.

These three obijime made the package worth it since they are so nice and it great condition. These will look great with darker-colored obi. There is one odd one that could be home-made as well; it's a twisted dark blue and cream and very thin. I will probably use it for something other than kimono kitsuke since it's so thin. It's in the top photo.

Then there is the yukata I got for $20. It's strange print, but I like the subdued color palette- tasteful rather than garish. The awesome thing is that it's brand new. From the photo on eBay (below), it was hard to tell what the pattern was. It looked like strange fruit...possibly giant olives on a striped ground. I'm into weird prints, so of course I bid on it.

But now I can see that it looks like black dianthus on big olive-green dots with shibori-print leaf shapes and tan stripes on a cream background. It's an unusual print but I like the more unusual prints and color combinations anyway. I'm not sure what color obi to pair this with, but my first thought was deep red, chocolate brown, or maroon but the right black-and-white patterned obi might give it a funky and fun look. I'll start looking around to see what will go with this yukata and keep you posted! I have a few obi that might work really well....