December 28, 2011

Its easy to wear men's Japanese Kimono 男着物(浴衣)を着る方法 v1.00

The music in this video is what makes it so fun! Enjoy.

December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Joyous Yule, and everything in-between! 
I'll be spending time with my lovely husband in Santa Fe over Christmas. When I get back next week I should have some posts about  new fun kitsuke items due to arrive over the holidays: a fabulous out-of-print book on obi tying, new zori, two new obi, and more! Can't wait to share!
Ciao and cheers!

December 15, 2011

Christmas Cocktail Party Kitsuke

My taiko group did a very small gig for a private holiday cocktail party put on by the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau. It was held at the new Casino del Sol south west of Tucson. There were only four of us: three drummers and myself dressed in kimono and greeting people with cookies. We were there to "set the stage" for the event as people arrived, so it wasn't a big production with lots of taiko, just a fun event to do.
I only got one photo (Sorry!) and it was at the end of an evening of standing around for two hours. As usual at these types of gigs, it seems I never have enough time to do perfect kitsuke and this time I dressed in a humongous hotel bathroom with relatively tiny stalls!

Being pressed for time, I dispensed with the red obiage and went with the glittery holiday "bling" I found at the local craft store the day before! As you can see, I decided on a red and green Christmas holiday look that would coordinate with my cohorts red and white happi coats rather than Japanese seasonal coordination.
My ohashori is wrinkled and could be a bit larger and my collar was creeping up but the new hakata obi looks good with the iromuji! It was slippery though....not what I expected with a hakata obi.
I did get a chance to wear two more new items: the multi-colored mihon juban and my new red, white, and black zori. The juban is wonderful... it's a perfect fit for the green kimono and the various patterns (many have red and green in them!) are a nice contrast with the solid green silk. The zori fit pretty well and are fairly comfortable to wear.  Overall, a decent outfit for a holiday event.

December 8, 2011

Holiday finds: red and white Hakata-Ori

I received a couple of new obi recently. Both are red and white, so they look like they are just waiting for a holiday party! Both are silk hakata weave hanhaba obi. I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived, as the seller indicated the condition on both was "good"; however, they are both gorgeous and in excellent condition. One is a two-sided obi; with a kokeshi and stripe design on one side and red on white classic hakata geometric pattern on the other side. The kokeshi side has thin green stripes in  the center that reminds me of Christmas wrapping paper! It still has the original label in it. The red shimmers against the white silk and looks very festive to me. It's really a fabulous obi and is so elegant, I think it might work with my green iromuji for a wonderful holiday ensemble.
That's one of the advantages of hakata-ori: versatility! Depending on the fiber content (I have a cotton hakata obi), and type of obi (hanhaba, nagoya, fukuro), it can be worn with most types of kimono. The pattern is considered season-less, also a plus for people with a limited kimono collection. Hakata are easy to tie and to wear and I have noticed that they are not as heavy as other obi as they are often hitoe. Though both of these are awase (Two layers of fabric), they are lightweight and crisp but not stiff.

The other hakata obi is white on red hakata weave. The red is a vibrant cherry red and is backed with plain solid red silk. It's also in near-perfect condition and has that wonderful feel and drape to it that only hakata has. This will work really well with most of my yukata and maybe even a couple of komon kimono.

Happy holidays!