August 28, 2011

NATC- kimono stuff

I was at the North American Taiko Conference (NATC) in Palo Alto last weekend. Of course it was exciting, fun and all taiko, all the time for 3 days! Surprisingly, I managed to find some kimono and accessories when I was there. I even found a kimono at the conference marketplace...a vendor from Japan selling tabi, drums, and bachi had a box of kimono and yukata...everything was $15. Of course I had to check it out! I found a funky wool hitoe in excellent shape. It's fun, rustic and has a bit of a Rastafarian vibe. A perfect kimono for cool fall evenings. A little bit itchy though, but I think the right juban with deal with that problem.

Please excuse the odd photos, these were taken at an angle because I have costume stuff set up in my studio so I have a lack of blank walls at the moment. 

Coordination with my existing wood hanhaba obi
All this kimono needs is a green obi and Bob Marley would be proud! Maybe I can find a cannabis-leaf obidome too....that would be awesome!
After the conference, I stopped at Nichi Bei Bussan in San Jose's Japan Town on the way to the airport to see if they had anything I was looking for. They sell used kimono items on consignment and often have great stuff. I was supposed to just buy accessories but I found this amazing hitoe beauty as well:
The print is multi-seasonal: pine, cherry blossom, rose, bamboo, bellflower.

The background color is deep periwinkle blue, and the flowers are cream, deep gold, and pale yellow. The fabric seems to be  a blend, maybe silk-rayon or silk-wool but I'm not sure. It's a very smooth, fine weave, light-weight, and a matte finish. I'm not usually drawn to pastels but this one really spoke to me. (Maybe because it's not pink!). The sleeves are longer and someone had sewn tucks into the shoulders to make it fit someone with a smaller frame. I removed them right after I took the photo and it fits well considering it will be worn "vintage style" with no ohashori. (I'm too tall to wear these vintage pieces in the traditional manner). I had an obi in mind that actually looks decent (My brown thistle obi) but it looks rather heavy visually.  I may look for something lighter, maybe pale yellow? Yellow with violet accessories would be stunning!

The other items I purchased were items I had been looking for for a while: a soft turquoise chirimen obiage and a bright orange obijime as well as a couple of pairs of fun tabi socks. Maybe I will post photos of those items later in the week!
Until then,

August 12, 2011

A riot of color and pattern! (Plus a couple of vacation photos.)

I've been on a couple of trips (Chicago area for work and Seattle for family) recently and am going to leave again for the North American Taiko Conference next week. So I've been a little bit lax in my postings! It's too hot to wear kimono anyway though.

First, I thought I would share this tidbit from my trip to the Seattle area: it's a park near my brother's house called Japanese Gulch. It was named after the many Issei (First generation Japanese) that lived here in order to work at the local Crown Lumber Company. Unfortunately, the mill closed in 1930 and they moved away to find other jobs. The area remains as a beautiful park for hikers; the houses long gone. 
And here is a nice sunset view of  Puget Sound and Whidbey Island. I also saw a pair of bald eagles, great blue herons, ferry boats, etc. It's a gorgeous area!
And do not forget the grilled salmon and halibut, the Everett farmer's market, and the cool weather. The trip was a refreshing break from the desert heat.  

Ok, enough of nature, now for the kimono stuff! This is a fabulous silk nagoya with a dyed pattern of a tsuzumi (hand drum) and sensu (fan) on a karabana-esque background of pale greenish-beige leaves and colorful flowers. It's in really good condition with some dye transfer (that hot pink seems to have migrated a bit) and some silver-leaf looking paint flaking off in a few places. The design is so busy that you don't even notice any dye issues, it just looks like part of the design. 
It has so many colors in it it will probably go with almost any komon kimono in my collection. I especially like the bits of turquoise,hot pink, and yellow; it lends the design a youthful feel to it. It's truly a riot of color and pattern. I can't wait to wear it when it gets cooler. I think this will look particularly nice with my navy blue tsumugi iromuji or blue orchid komon. It's the perfect obi to wear to an autumn taiko concert!

Hopefully the next posting will be some taiko conference photos. I may even get to wear a summer kimono!