March 26, 2012

Pink and Green Accessories to arrive this week

I'm lacking in kimono accessories such as obiage, obijime, handbags, juban, and a few obi. I don't really need any more kimono, so I have decided to focus on items to make that I have work together better.

Mainly I have been looking for rinzu and chirimen obiage and round obijime (easier to tie!) in lighter pastel colors such as pink,  light grey, blue, lavender, and two-toned obiage as well as round obijime in solid colors.
A little shibori on a obiage is OK, but as a rule, I usually avoid the ultra textured full-shibori, since these are more formal and associated with young ladies wearing furisode. However, once I saw the striking vibrant green with the light pink, I knew it would be perfect for spring.  It's a gorgeous color combination and I can't wait to see it in person.

This cute and basic-looking obijime is solid pink, in a nice classic color which should be really easy to coordinate to create multiple outfits.
These two together will be pretty awesome and the green/cream obijime I just bought recently in LA will go beautifully with the obiage as well. I ordered both of these beauties from Angie at Blue Moon Antiques and Vintage Kimono and should arrive in a day or two! I've bought from this vendor before and they are very nice to deal with and ship from Texas, so shipping is much less than coming from Japan, if you live in the United States.
I'm going to a Sakura Matsuri (in a mysterious city to be announced soon!)  in April, so I wanted to create a nice spring ensemble that included a little light pink as a nod to the cherry blossoms which may already have bloomed by the time I get there! I will be very happy to say I was there, even if the warmer weather has caused the trees to put on their show a month early.

March 23, 2012

Fun Friday: sake packaging

I was just at our local "Joy Asian Market" near my home and stopped in for rice and gomashio and found this wonderful sake! I admit I bought it just because of the lovely packaging. It's in the fridge chilling now, so I will have to update you on the taste later.

Detail of the label.

Hakutsuru is a well-known brand of sake, so it should be pretty good!
Have a wonderful weekend!

March 22, 2012

Kimono-wearing opportunities coming up in Phoenix

There are several events open to the public in March and April where you can wear yukata and kimono, all at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix.  Anime Night is tomorrow at 7:00pm and the Taiko Experience show with Fushicho Daiko is Saturday, March 24th. My favorite event is their spring fundraiser, Strolling in Yukata in April.
I'll be at Taiko Experience this weekend and now I just need to determine if I want to wear a ro kimono or a yukata! Weather might dictate what I end up in, so stay tuned for photos.

March 15, 2012

Obiage Collection: 14

I don't have a ton of obiage, but I thought I would share. I seem to wear yukata more often than not and often wear komon without obiage, so maybe that's why I'm lacking!
Right now I'm trying to collect more rinzu and chirimen rather than shibori since shibori is usually more formal and associated with younger styles. I'd also love to find a few obiage with large patterns but those are sometimes difficult to find. I need a couple more ro (silk gauze worn only with summer kimono) obiage as well. I have one and it works with both of my summer kimono but it would be nice to find some other colors, so I'm looking for teal or turquoise, yellow, or blue violet. These are all impossible colors to find in ro but maybe someday!
My one ro obiage

Rinzu a type of silk damask. I use the  light yellow and cream colors the most.

Six shibori, a type of resist-dyed silk with a bubbly, crinkly texture. I use the magenta one in the center the most. It's almost flat, so it's not quite as formal and the color is electric!

Chirimen, a crepe-like silk fabric with a distinctive texture. The eggplant/beige one is actually slightly more blue in real life.

March 8, 2012

Article: Twilight for the Kimono

I found this article a couple of days ago while I was searching for something else online. It's from 2006, so I was surprised it's still up. It mentions Yasujiro Yamaguchi, a master weaver of Nishijin and how traditional kimono weaving is a dying art form.
Here is a also a video of  Yasujiro Yamaguchi.

March 4, 2012

Obijime Collection: 30

I don't really need to buy too many more obijime. However, looking at them in the drawer made me realize I should post photos of them. There are still some colors I'm missing and I'd like to have more summer weaves.Then again, with accessories, you really can't have too many!
First up in the above photo, anticipating the season with open-weave obijime for summer. From top to bottom, lime green, deep red, white with fuchsia accents, and yellow and white woven together in a triangle pattern make up this set.
The neutral or almost-neutral group. The one on the far left is rust and beige and wider than most and a heavy weave. To the right of it is cream wrapped with small sections of bronze and deep red, cream with small wrapped stripes of  leafy green, half palest pink and half silver-white, black and white yabane with pale pink on the back, a flat-weave cream, and solid black.
From left to right: elegant graduated gold flat weave, salmon and creamy yellow with a bead and multicolored tassels, solid pale yellow, cream and red stripes, intense orange, and formal scarlet red with tiny flecks of gold thread. The bright orange one still has the paper slip around it, indicated I have not worn it since I bought it last summer!
 From left to right: festive deep violet and white with a subtle metallic thread woven in (new from Ichiroya), lavender and pink with sakura blossoms, medium pink with a teal stripe, solid hot pink, multicolored stripe with magenta, and my favorite wide obijime in magenta and black with a modern design.
From left: two cream and green (the far left one is a "new" vintage- I just bought it in LA), turquoise with flecks of silver thread, shades of blue woven in a diamond pattern, wrapped style in navy and faint red stripes on beige, and more stripes in navy and white. The teal obijime in the center is very short, so it's probably for a child. It has wonderful tassels though!

Which ones do I wear the most? Mainly the classic colors, like cream, scarlet, light yellow, blue and white with an occasional hot pink and summer obijime thrown in for good measure.

March 2, 2012

Red-hot Matsuri weekend: Sunday was kimono day

The temperature on Sunday was similar to Saturday but a little breezier. I didn't have to play taiko, so I was able to avoid sweating too much if I stayed in the shade. I carried a pink bangasa (paper umbrella) for a while but got tired of having to open and close it to avoid hitting people in the head in the crowds. Since the weather was so summery, I chose to wear a very lightweight hitoe (unlined) wool or wool-blend vintage kimono in cream with touches of pale yellow, caramel, on a deep periwinkle background. It does have 26.5" long sleeves, so it's definitely a vintage piece.
The multi-season pattern featured sakura prominently, which seemed appropriate since this was the Cherry-blossom Centennial Matsuri celebration.

I also wore my new purple embroidered zori, an olive-brown chuya obi featuring thistles in cream and violet, a light gold obijime, and finally a really cute grosgrain ribbon handbag by Jordan-McMillan that I bought years ago. I couldn't find the handbag I wanted to use but realized colors in this bag are perfect with the obi. I didn't use an obiage since I tied the obi in a bunko style, so functionally I didn't need it and didn't want the extra fabric because of the heat. The chuya obi is really soft and floppy, so it's difficult to tie into a different musubi anyway.

I managed to beat the heat somehow and was pretty comfortable probably because I dressed in a slightly looser style and didn't wear a hadajuban, just a juban and susoyoke underneath. Removing that one extra layer on top seemed to help. Lace tabi would have been nice though, as well as a mesh obi ita!

If I ever receive any better photos of myself from friends, I'll certainly post them!

Here are a couple pics taken by DVH of Odaiko Sonora. My friend Emma is wearing her gorgeous tea green yukata and had borrowed my dark red hakata obi since she had forgotten her obi. She was performing "Hana Hachijo" later and she wanted me to dress her. You can see my juban peaking's red with white dots so it looks pink form a distance. I eventually would like a pale yellow juban for this kimono; I think it would be a better color combination.