May 28, 2011

Coordination fun- when it's too hot to wear it

It's getting late here in the Sonoran Desert and it's cooled off to about 86 degrees....a gorgeous evening! I think it was about 100 F today. Not the greatest time of the year to wear anything remotely kimono-like! But I wanted to play with the two new obiage and see how they work with some outfits. So I did some quick coordination on the ironing board!

First on the board, the sha magenta and beige yabane summer kimono with the ro nagoya obi and the new ro cream/pink obi age! I still don't have the right color summer weave obijime, but this cream and pale pink one will do for now. I think it looks pretty good! I will probably add a pale pink han eri collar as well.

Next, the ultra-blue yabane kimono with a gold hanhaba obi, bright orange obiage and a retro cream and rust obijime. I think the bright orange obiage might be too much but it does add a little punch to the whole outfit. The gold obi seems to be the only obi I have that goes with this kimono. The obi is not quite as bright as it is in the photo, my lighting was a little weird (too much flash) and you can only do so much with Photoshop.
Then I decided to put the new gorgeous deep violet shibori obiage with the obnoxious purple bokashi kimono. The new obiage is waaay too nice for this kimono though. And that beautiful and opulent obijime also looks too good! For the first itme, I noticed it has metallic threads woven into it. It's a stunning piece.

This is definitely an "all purple, all the time" kind of look, which is what I'm going for anyway since the event I'm wearing this outfit to has a color theme. I'm not sure if the striped obi works, but it's all I have for now and it's kind of fun.
My purple hakata obi just doesn't have enough contrast. An obi in pale lavender or very pale yellow would be really fun for this. Maybe I'll call it Purple Rain after the Prince song.

Ok, now I need to go make dinner!. Something that doesn't require the oven, like maybe a cooling salad.
Have a great rest of your weekend!

May 27, 2011

Deep violet and pale summer

Two new acquisitions! The first one is a pale, creamy pink ro shibori obiage. The ro obiage is to wear with a summer kimono, such as the sha yabane Meisen kimono I received recently. "Ro" is Leno weave sheer silk gauze and ro kimono and accessories are only to be worn during the summer months. I have worn summer kimono and yukata in spring because it's warmer here earlier in the year than most places in the United States and Japan. This particular obiage has some nice deeper pink sections that remind me of cherry juice stains.

Next up:
Deep violet shibori obiage! This one is very richly-colored. I don't see too many obiage that are intensely colored,  so this really caught my eye.

Plus, I already have a deep violet/white obijime that I have had for a few years but haven't worn. I bought it from Ichiroya thinking it was blue and it arrived deep violet. So now I have a set!
On a side note, the seller of this lovely purple gem sent it from Sendai. Receiving a tiny package from Sendai really made my day, and hopefully made the seller's day too.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

May 23, 2011

Immortal Geisha has a wiki page!

How  cool is this?? The famed Immortal Geisha website now has it's own Wiki page!
Click here to check it out!

May 20, 2011

White hana hat

Remember this hat I made a while back? (Very loosely based on an Okinawan hanagasa). It was made out of paper. Well, a performance artist saw it and contacted me almost two months ago to commission me to make a white version for her. It's white because it will have video images projected onto it. This one needs to be more durable than the paper original since it will be used in more than one performance. Plus it needs to be much lighter.
Fast forward to this week, and it's 98% finished!

It's made from a hi-tech fabric called Fosshape, made by this company. I have wired the rim and the "petals" on top with millinery wire, so it's more of a sculpture than a hat. The whole thing is hand-sewn. It's also really big: 24" in diameter and 12" tall. Next week, the performer is stopping by for a final fitting (There will be a cap inside) and I will have some photos of her wearing it to post!

I finished the White Hana Hat Tuesday! It now has ties to keep it on and "stamens" on top. Here is an updated photo:
Soon there will be more pictures, including the performer wearing the whole costume (hat + white kimono).....I should have more photos next week!

May 19, 2011

New Zori

Just a short post, I need to get to work!
I just received this cute pair of zori a couple of days ago and I thought I would share. Brand new in the original box and very reasonably priced. I like the casual look of the black vinyl with the cute red hanao; they look almost like geta. These should go very well with komon kimono. They also seem pretty comfortable!


May 8, 2011

More kimono style by Kimonography

My friend updated her site again, with a couple more gorgeous kimono ensembles! One features my fan komon again, this time another double obi confection in lavender, pinks, and black.  Check this out: she used my blue music komon with my olive green hakata obi! I love the spark of the orange obiage in this outfit. Very cute! I've never worn this kimono yet, but now I will have to for sure!

It was a beautiful day today, but typically warm, probably around 95 F. A little too warm to try anything on beyond a yukata. This evening, as it cooled down, I played around with coordinating the two new Meisen kimono. Unfortunately, someone is borrowing my camera, so no photos of the ensembles I have created.
The fun part is that a friend of mine let me borrow her "dress form" (it actually might be  a type of mannequin, you can't put pins into it) for a project I'm doing. Today was the first time I used it to create ensembles. This "Dolly" in particular is a bit odd, since it's smaller than any real woman I know, but she got it for free. It works OK for trying out various color combinations, even if  this Dolly isn't shaped correctly. (The waist is's more like Barbie!).  I also made a very interesting discovery today:  I may already have a sha obi that might work with the sha Meisen! I got this nagoya obi sometime last year. The flowers are a bit of a mystery, but it's really cute. I have not worn it yet.

The part I'm not sure about is that it matches the magenta in the sha Meisen almost exactly.I tried the outfit out on Miss Dolly and it actually looked pretty good. I paired it with a red shibori obiage (sorry, I don't have a ro or sha obiage yet!) and a pale yellow obijime.
Maybe Ikue can recommend some other accessory colors to make the obi pop a bit more. Colors that come to mind for me are picking up on the the deep teal green and the bright yellow in the obi. Of course I have nothing in these colors!
Here I have recreated the look in Photoshop:

So, matchy-matchy isn't exactly my style, but it does seem to work OK. I do love magenta!
I'll see if I can get some real photos of these outfits soon!

PS: Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms in the world!!

May 5, 2011

Meisen Surpises!

My two Meisen arrived! I'm both pleased and surprised! The hitoe kimono (magenta yabane pattern) is actually sha, a sheer silk fabric for summer. That is excellent, however, now I have to shop yet again since I wasn't really looking for sha!
This illustrates the perils of buying online: sometimes the seller doesn't reveal all of the information you need; there was no mention of sha, just that it was unlined, or hitoe. Because it is sha, it needs a ro (Another type of summer silk gauze with a distinctive Leno weave) or sha summer obi, a summer weave obijime and obiage, and a summer juban in silk gauze or maybe even linen.
My one summer obi (White hakata) doesn't seem to work at all with the kimono. This kimono demands something darker/ more contrast and with maybe a small pattern. And it needs to be in a summer-weight silk. A summer juban with longer sleeves would be nice too! Oh, then there is the color: it looks like magenta and white in the sellers photo but it's really magenta and beige. But it's in beautiful shape. I love it! But I will have to wait awhile before I can wear it.

Surprise #2: the blue Meisen with the orange circle pattern and yellow yabane pattern arrived....beautiful! But the overall color is decidedly more subdued than the sellers photos!
Sellers photo of Meisen fabric
The yellow yabane stripes look more gold, what I thought was bright orange is more like burnt orange. The background color that looked like brilliant deep Ultramarine blue is actually a nice deep blue violet with a dark grey cast to it.
A photo I took showing the more subtle colors.

The cute hanhaba obi I found that I thought would go with it looks a bit brash with it, so I will have to do some more serious coordination this weekend to see if it will work.  But I have a more plain gold hanhaba obi that seems to go nicely. This kimono is also in nice shape and might have been relined.
Sometimes surprises happen and it's always best to take them in stride.
More photos of the blue-violet Meison soon....I'm looking forward to wearing it! Maybe Ikue has some great coordination ideas for me as well.

May 3, 2011

Komon Kimono stylin' by Kimonography

I'm totally excited! As you probably read in the previous post, my new friend and kimono stylist extraordinaire Ikue borrowed some of my pieces to play around with. (It turned out I have more kimono stuff that she has...) She might use some of the pieces in an up-coming photo shoot. She has started posting photos of her style experiments!
Ikue of Kimonography has so far transformed my everyday blue orchid komon and my pink fan komon into two outfits that are way beyond expectation! First, she uses two hanhaba obi (!) at the same time for this amazing combination of pink and blue! The folding on the pink and black striped obi is amazing and adds so much added dimension. What she has done with my pink fan kimono is equally awesome: she used the pink and black obi as an obiage with her own fukuro obi! And it looks perfect with the striped obijime.
Fabulous Ikue!

May 1, 2011

Kimono show and tell day!

My new friend Ikue came over to see most of my kimono collection today. She will be borrowing some of my collection for a photo shoot in the future, so she wanted to see what I had. We looked at kimono, obi, obijime and obiage today. Next weekend, haori!
I brought things out until we had the table covered with kimono....then next out came pretty much every obi I own. Here are some photos of the "damage" we did this afternoon.

I let her borrow three kimono, two obi and some accessories so she could play around with coordination on her own time. She owns two mannequins that she uses for dressing, so she will be styling those with some of my pieces. She wants to get some ideas for the photo shoot. The photo shoot isn't until June, so she has time to play around and also do a little shopping on ebay for fukuro obi. I think she likes fukuro obi since they are so versatile. I only have a few though.
This is what she borrowed:  three komon kimono: blue orchid, pink fan, and my blue music komon; my olive green hakata obi, the new pink and black stripe hanhaba obi, two patterned pink obijime, a blue and white obijime, a bright orange obiage, a pink shibori obiage, and a red shigoki obi.
So take a look at her blog over the next few days and see what she comes up with! I'm sure it will be brilliant...she is a professional!