July 24, 2011

Blue Sample Fabric Juban

I received a cute mihon or sample pattern juban, all in shades of blue. The silk fabric shows a textile manufacturer's many patterns and colors on one bolt of fabric; so this is not a patchwork, it's made from one bolt.
For kimono-newbies, a juban is an under-kimono, basically underwear, worn under a kimono just like a full slip is worn under a western-style dress. Mihon juban are always more expensive than regular solid color juban of the same era. This one is probably mid-Showa. New juban are usually fairly plain and in pastel colors, so this will be fun to coordinate with various kimono.
I love all of the various motifs, so I made a kind of grid showing most of the different designs and fabrics. Images range from water, grasses, wheels, fruit, flowers, fans, and a few I do not recognize! I will post them separately in the motif gallery as I figure out what they are.

July 10, 2011

Update on the costume for Archipelago

Remember the posts about the white hangasa and shiromoku? This is an update on the costume I created for performance artist Denise Uyehara. She did a performance of her piece-Archipelago: Islands of Land, Water and Legend in LA at the National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival recently.
Here is a link to some video shorts, a promo for the festival, etc. It's unfortunate that I was unable to see the performance in person, but she will be performing the piece again.
Promo picture for Archipelago

Photos were taken by professional photographer Kevin Mapp during a rehearsal. The photos must be purchased from the photographer in order for me to post them to my blog and I'm still viewing all of them to see which ones I like the best! Archipelago will be performed again in it's entirety in California and Tucson in the future.
This week, Denise and I are getting to getting together discus and do a preliminary fitting for phase 2 of the costume- a custom haori-style jacket with very long sleeves.  
More soon!

July 5, 2011

Stage and dance costume trick

I wanted to post some photos of one of the alterations I did to the shiromoku I used to create D's costume. One small thing I did was something I heard about from my kimono sensei. Her daughter used to perform Japanese classical dance when she was younger and often they danced either on an outdoor stage or in a parade and/or had to dress in tents at festivals. Not the best conditions for wearing light-colored kimono, silk or synthetic. She said she would line the hem of the kimono with lightweight, clear plastic used to protect tablecloths.That would keep the hems cleaner and from wearing and the plastic could cheaply and easily be replaced.
Seeing that one of the first photo shoots D attended was in a dirty warehouse and she needed the costume before I was totally done with alterations, I can attest how fast the hem got dirty even though she was very careful. Something needed to be done so it would stay looking good for the performances!
I found the clear plastic at Anna's Linens, a discount bed-bath store near my house. I spent about $4.50 on a oblong "table protector". You can pick these up at any store that sells table linens. Buy the thinnest, cheapest version the store carries, your needle will go right through it.

It was perfect. I cut a strip off the tablecloth about 7" wide, pinned it, basted it on and then cut the excess. I let the plastic wrap around to the outside of the hem about 1" or a bit more, enough to cover the padded hem, and it overlapped the inside about 4 inches. It worked really well and barely shows. It barely adds any weight or bulk since it's so thin.  D was pleased with the look and loved the idea since dry cleaning the shiromoku would be pretty costly. So for stage, it seems like a very good solution. I may consider adding it to the hem of my kurotomosode to prevent further wear.

I will post pictures of the finished costume soon, possibly even this week since D is back from LA. Apparently the performance was amazing and the costume and hat I made got rave reviews!