January 22, 2014

What's new: basic red and formal black

Today, two kimono from the Yamamtoku box. I'm sharing an every-day komon and an elegant kurotomosode.

First up, the komon, or daytime dress of the kimono world.
This cute komon (a casual kimono with an all-over repeating pattern) has two patterns: tatewaku or "rising steam" design all over the fabric and round designs that look like mon, or Japanese family crests scattered around. Both patterns are repeated all over, so it's considered a komon kimono. It's partially lined on the bottom half (suso) of the kimono in a matching deep red. The fabric has a nice texture, probably polyester. It's in excellent condition, 60" long, and has a 50" wingspan.
It would be a great "first timer" kimono for the newbie since it's most likely washable, would be easy to coordinate with hanhaba obi, and not as heavy as most kimono that are fully lined. This is a perfect kimono for ladies who live in the sunbelt of the USA. Since it's so casual, you could wear it without a visible ohashori!

Front & back of the red komon

Pattern detail

Next up: kurotomosode-the most formal kimono in a married woman's wardrobe!

A kurotomosode is kind of like a ball gown. You see these for sale on eBay all the time, probably since not many woman have occasions for them and they can be rented nowadays. Commonly worn to weddings in Japan by the mother of the bride.  I have seen these worn by kimono enthusiasts outside of Japan to the theater, a formal dinner or back-tie event. It all depends on how bold you want to be!

This kurotomosode has a subdued design, practically austere- not as colorful and rich as usually seen in such a formal garment. It has yuzen work and also features gold and silver dyes but no embroidery or couching. Motifs include ume (plum), kiku (chrysanthemum), stylized floral patterns that look similar to karabana, as well as some grey tonal stripes that are really cool. It's 59" long and has a 50" wingspan and is in excellent condition- probably only worn a couple of times. 

Front & back

The back spread out to show the pattern

Detail of the center back
Detail of the front panels overlapping left over right
I don't think I would ever wear this one since I already have a gorgeous kurotomosode but since the design is low-key, I'd be tempted to wear this a bit dressed-down and brightened up- maybe with a gold or coral-colored hakata obi, pale grey obiage, an orange obijime, and light-colored zori. Silver or gold metallic formal zori are customary but why not a fun pastel metallic zori like light blue, salmon, or pearlized white?   
Cheers and have a great weekend.

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