January 21, 2011

Flowers, leaves, and metallic swirls!

This obi looks like it's ready for a festive occasion! I was attracted to this obi becasue of the color: I'm a sucker for anything fuchsia, magenta, red-violet, or hot pink. And from what I have seen in my few years of kimono collecting, red-violet is not that common of a color in kimono or obi and accessories. Medium pink, dusty rose, and bubble-gum pink, yes; but deep, rich reddish purples seem to be rare. So when I see something in this color, I usually consider it. But then again, I seem to be attracted to unusual colors and patterns, motifs that seem outside the commonplace sakura (cherry blossom) and ume (plum).  

The arabesque swirls or karakusa in metallic silver thread give this nagoya obi a touch of elegance and the fun colors of the flowers (Possibly thistle or bell flower and some springs of bush clover?) make me think of matsuri. The bright red, yellow, and turquoise green of the flower pattern gives the design a youthful feeling and the silvery spirals give the whole design movement. 
The silk is very soft and bordering on translucent, but it doesn't seem to be ro or sha. It does have a very slight ribbed texture though, so I'm not sure of the type of fabric. I will venture that this is probably a spring or summer season obi, but I won't be absolutely sure until I show this to some other kimono enthusiasts to see what they think of the design. It's from Kyoto Antiques and in virtually perfect condition.

This might be gorgeous paired with my red and yabane kimono or if it's seasonally appropriate, it would be a perfect match with my sheer black ro summer komon with the garnet-red flowers. I'll have to see how it coordinates and hopefully be able to wear it soon....maybe to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Seattle!

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