October 30, 2011

Danse Macabre...

I found this fabulous dance obi to wear with the purple hail kimono in the All Soul's Procession. It's coming up next Sunday, so photos of the ensembles of all involved will be posted soon. Our dance group will probably be doing some kind of classic Dias de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) skull make-up, hence the "danse macabre" reference!

If you are starting out in the world of kimono, dance obi came be a great choice and fun to wear to a costume party, or festival. They are often inexpensive and synthetic (just like dance kimono), so most are easily washable. This one is heavy jinken (rayon). They always seem to have some kind of metallic bling to varying degrees. This one is pretty tame as a dance obi and it's a nagoya, so it might end up being worn with a komon kimono one of these days. It definitely has a festive feel to it!

Dance obi have very bold, high contrast patterns and colors, usually reversible. Stripes and checks are common motifs and sometimes you will see silver on one side and gold on the other. Most of the ones I have seen for sale are hanhaba or fukuro style. They are definitely worth looking into if you are looking for obi for costumes. Some can even work with a yukata. Be careful though...the really bright and flashy metallic ones can be really difficult to pair with a regular kimono, so remember TPO: Time, Place, Occasion!

October 27, 2011

Kitsuke kit from Kyoto Antiques

Kyoto Antiques always has really nice items, I've had great luck with their Meisen peices...all have been gorgeous and excellent quality. They are also a nice vendor to deal with and don't seem to over charge for shipping.

One item they seem to always carry is their "Kimono Kits". If you are just starting out with yukata and kimono, or have been wearing yukata for a while and are ready to take the leap into kimono, this new kimono kitsuke set from Kyoto Antiques is a very good deal.
The $34.99 price includes free shipping from Japan. It's a much better deal to buy this set than trying to accumulate these items separately and some of them, like the korin belt, are hard to find on eBay.

This set is nice since it includes a korin belt and the obi makura is the larger type. The obi ita is very lightly quilted and has clips, which are really nice since you can put it on before you add the obi. Sounds simple enough but it's very handy when you are fighting with 12 meters of  heavy silk fukuro or maru obi! The other items include 3 koshihimo (pink ties) and 2 eri shin or collar stays. The items are of good quality!

You can also buy another set just like this but with an added kimono hanger. A bit more money ($44.99, free shipping) but if you need the hanger, probably worth it.

October 21, 2011

Mo' betta Mihon

I picked up another mihon or sample pattern juban. I think these are really, really cool because of all the different patterns. Once you go "mihon", you will find regular pastel-colored, plain juban very boring! This one has wonderful fabric variety- which is what caught my eye.
It's got it all: patterns in red, pink, green, white, black, and turquoise! It looks unlined (Hooray for hitoe!) and appears to have a decent-looking han eri sewn to it. These are the seller's photos.
More on this little gem when it arrives!

October 17, 2011

Archipelago: the costumes

Woohoo! I have photos!
Here are images of the costume and headdress I created in May for Denise Uyehara from the magical high-tech material and the shiromoku. For those of you that missed earlier posts, this is for a performance art piece called Archipelago and was performed in LA in June. It will be performed again in Tucson, AZ early in 2012.
The whole costume is an homage to the very colorful Okinawan dance kimono and headdress called  "hanagasa". My white version of the hanagasa is similar in shape but a bit over-sized. Everything is white for a reason: during the performance, video images are projected upon both the kimono and headdress.

These photos were taken outside before the performance. The objects in her hands are kachi-kachi, traditional bamboo percussion instruments similar to castanets and are used in Japanese and Okinawan dance.
Kevin Mapp is the photographer.

If you would like to borrow these photos for your own use, please contact me. They are copyrighted.

October 16, 2011

Otsukimi photos

I'm looking at different photographer.....

Myself, Emma, Murray
We had a great time at Otsukimi in Phoenix last night! It was a great turn out; the event is really getting popular. Since it starts in the evening, we only took a few photos before it got dark. My friends manage to get some nice photos of Emma and I before the sun disappeared.
I dressed Emma in her gorgeous new tea green yukata and purple and hot pink obi. She added a matching pale green open-weave obijime to dress it up and I added an  improvised a pink flower pin as an obidome! Emma has made up eri collars for our yukata; they look really cute. I'm wearing my new indigo and white yukata with a design of pine and hawk (taka) feather mon (Family crest) on a striped background. The obi is a simple woven ocher-colored hanhaba. I've added a navy and white striped obijime for a extra festive touch! Murray wore his own wonderful ensemble he got in Japan. He plays taiko with Fushicho Daiko, so we got to see him play later. Nice chappa solo Murray!

We needed those fans...it was about 98 degrees F that day (Now you know why I did not wear the usual kimono!) but cooled off nicely once the sun when down. Good thing we arrived fashionably late!

October 11, 2011

Otsukimi at Ro Ho En this weekend in Phoenix, AZ

The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix is holding their annual Otsukimi, or Moon Viewing Festival this weekend! It's a wonderful event and the perfect time of year to visit the garden. Plus Fushicho Daiko is playing!

October 10, 2011

Yamato concert at Centennial Hall

 First kimono event of the fall season: Yamato concert of the University of Arizona campus. I got to wear two recent purchases- a vintage tsuzumi Nagoya obi with the turquoise chirimen obiage. It was a gorgeous day, really perfect kimono weather.

The tsuzumi (small hand drum similar to an okedo) obi is very soft silk, almost floppy, so it's doesn't make the best-looking obi musubi. However, the design and colors are really wonderful and look very elegant with the solid navy kimono; the perfect obi for a taiko concert. I also wore my first date eri! I found a tutorial online and managed to make it look pretty decent! And it stayed in place even though I'm not wearing a korin belt. It was not that difficult to attach; I will definitely try this accessory again soon!  I found a few on eBay recently for a song.
Enjoy, more photos soon: Otsukimi next weekend!

PS: I'm also "debuting" the blue mihon (Sample pattern) juban. The sodetake was a little short for the iromuji, but I wore it anyway....I was itching to wear the new juban! It's so fabulous.

The rest of the ensemble: