sunnuntai 15. syyskuuta 2013

I got another gradient kimono!

Got myself another gradient striped kimono! Yes! Come to me baby! Now I have a (near) twin sister of my green/grey gradient komon.
Image of the seller's auction.

maanantai 2. syyskuuta 2013

I got a new obidome! And a new tsuke obi!

From GirLinKimono on Etsy.

I also sewed a new tsuke obi for myself. I've been planning a lot of kimono related things to come. I'm starting japanese lessons next week and I am planning to wear kimono to the lessons. If not for anything else, I can get to wear kimono a week. <3

One side is dark chocolate brown polka dot pattern and the other one is dark blue-white gingham. Now to plan a kitsuke ensemble!

maanantai 19. elokuuta 2013


GISHWHES has ended and we are allowed to submit our glorious insanity for all the internet. God help you all.

Item #120 Your most dramatic interpretation of "Death by Chocolate"! As a Pratchettian, this was just toooooo gooooood to pass by without doing it! (if you don't know what I mean, go read Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time, trust me, you're going to love it!).

I dug out my old white halloween/cosplay kimono that I made YEARS ago and was never happy with it. Why? I knew I was going to be laying down on a grass, and grass stains are a pain to get off... Also, death + white kimono = need I say more?

Just goofing off and daydreaming about chocolate. You can see I even dressed R-over-L. What you cannot see is that it's raining. Really hard and the grass was really wet, so it's a good thing I'm not wearing a more precious kimono. That's a young apple tree I'm leaning against.

Practising my Death pose...  And what I learned? It's damn difficult to smudge your face with chocolate on purpose!

This is the actual submission image. There's something rather Romeo&Juliet like in it... I just realized it...

The other item we did on the same day was #49 Take the road less travelled.

We shot these before the Death images. It was raining pretty hard so I decided that I would not wear the pretty green kimono I planned earlier. Because it is a silk kimono and I didn't want to get it wet.

lauantai 27. heinäkuuta 2013

New things arriving

I haven't been kimono shopping in what feels for ages! I even bid in an auction, and won!

The first one has dirt spots, but I'm hoping they won't be so prominent in the actual garment.

And I got another white based odori kimono. I seem to have a thing for these. For my next trick I might try getting more people into kimono, dress them in all of my odori kimonos and take a group photo. Oh, it would be wonderful! I just need a few more juban and dressing accessories.

Images are from the sellers auctions.

tiistai 4. kesäkuuta 2013

It's all Asian right?


The point of today's post is about cultural diversity in traditional clothing. In Asia. Meaning mostly China, Japan and Korea. These three get mixed up all the time. What made me write this post is the fact that I'm actually rather tired of hearing "chinese" when in full kimono. And while explaining, get the comment of "Well, it's Asian so I wasn't that far off!". No, you were just a whole culture off.


First let's look at China, since the the kimono of Japan and the hanbok of Korea both shaped themselves from it.


Hanfu, like the kimono, has many varieties and formalities. There are probably people more knowledgable than me on this, and even a small google search will give you quite a lot of answers. It is said that hanfu's history might go back  even as far as three millenias.

The hanfu also has three layers of formality: Informal, semi-formal and formal. A typical hanfu outfit is two to three layers, but during formalities, there can be more layers.

There are two types of formal wear, shenyi. The top one is for men and the bottom one is for women. You can easilly spot the differences in the sleeves and how the hem is shaped. The female version is a lot more of the "wrap-around" kind than the men's. The women's shenyi portrayed in this picture is called a guju and the men's shenyi a zhiju.

This is a type of informal wear for women, a ruqun. You can clearly spot the similarities of the garment to the Korean hanbok.

Cheongsam / Qípáo

Most people I've met associate the cheongsam as the traditional garment of China, even if the garment was created in 1920s in Shanghai for upperclass ladies and sociaties.

Nowadays it's still widely in use as uniforms and workclothes. Some airline hostess' uniform is a cheongsam. The garment in itself bears a striking resemblance to the traditional vietnamese áo dài:

Áo dài


Hanbok / Chosŏn-ot

Korean traditional dress is typically a short vest/jacket and a long skirt.  There are two different names for the same garment as the hanbok is used in the South and Chosŏn-ot is used in the North. Hanbok was born during the Chosŏn dynasty. The high officials and the aristocracy changed their styles according to foreign styles, but the commonwealth kept using the garment we today know as the hanbok. It's used in semi-formal and formal occasions nowadays.

You can see how much the style resembles the informal chinese ruqun dress, with the jacket and the skirt.



Japan probably has the most known (appart from the cheongsam) traditional dress of these three, the kimono. In western speech a wrap-around clothing is instantly named a "kimono". A kimono is T-shaped garment that one wraps around to dress and ties it with a wide belt called obi. Female kimono is a lot longer than the men's and it varies in styles and formalities. Kimono comes with three formalities, just like the hanfu: Informal, semi-formal and formal.

For more information on kimono, you can go to my post on types of Kimono

I could go on an on, about the Asian traditional dresses but let's stop for now. The hanfu, section became longer than I wanted, but there was just so much information...  I hope I made it clear about which dress goes to which culture. Thank you and have a nice summer day!

sunnuntai 26. toukokuuta 2013

Wave odori with yellow accessories

I'm sloooowly turning to the wave odori for the graduation kitsuke. But I wanted different accessories than the white obiage and white/blue obijime. A trip to the local fabric store provided me with a yellow/orange cotton fabric for obiage and dark reddish gold "obijime".

Now I'm only pondering, wether to leave the juban collar white, or make it blue...

torstai 23. toukokuuta 2013

Kitsuke testing on Dolly

Hiya! Remember me?
Well, I'm a week away from possible graduation so I tried different combinations on what to wear.
Dolly graciously let me use her for this purpose... I don't know which one I'll actually be wearing, but it was fun to do this.

First up is the beautiful olive green, flowery kimono I purchased from the awesome Lyuba of StrawberryKimono. I wanted something pretty and flowery, without thinking much of the formality. I matched the kimono with my trusty silver nagoya obi. I only wished I would have more suitable accessories.....

The next is an odori kimono I got from Shinei's final eBay sales. It's a little small for me, as you can see I hardly got any ohashori done. Paired with vividly purple nagoya obi, it created a fully purple combo.

This one I got nearly two years ago, but never got around to wear it. Yet. I just felt I have not had an occasion to wear it. I used blues and watery themes as we are planning on going for a boat ride after we get our papers, but I'm also a little dubious on wether or not to use this as we are also planning on going to a restaurant. It's the white color that's making me edgy, I would not like to drop anything on it.

As a ro-houmongi, this one is the lightweight of the lot. I've worn it once before, last summer, so it might be time to take it out again. Paired with orange it's a rather nice, warm combo. There is a pattern on the waist part of the obi, but I tied it so that the pattern accidently is places under the left sleeve. D'oh!

And finally, the magical pain in the butt -kimono. Since some of the flowers are golden, I felt it might be festive enough to wear. And because it will soon be too hot to wear this until autumn comes. I kinda like the way it works with the "Cursed Vase" nagoya obi and the green accessories. I really don't know why I hung the Eye of Sauron necklace to the obi. I just felt like it....

keskiviikko 1. toukokuuta 2013

Testing the May Day kitsuke, updated!

It's Vappu (May Day) here today, so before going out I tried the outfit I was planning on Dolly.

It's the purple checkered tsumugi paired with bright blue lupine patterned obi. I found a strip of bright blue fabric which I stiched onto the juban collar.

I'm not 100% of the hand crocheted "haori", but it's rather windy today, so I better wear something over the kimono.

So, it took me time to get atleast one photo of the kitsuke on me. I'm sorry about the exhausted look o my face and messy hair as I had just trudged, like a little trooper, 10km on foot, in kimono, to get to work today.

What I learned? I need better shoes (my feet are aching), a closing mechanism to the vest (it kept slipping) and softer material for the haneri (it kept scratching my neck). And if I do all this, I could atleast try to get a decent photo.... phooee...

maanantai 15. huhtikuuta 2013

The magical kimono is a pain in the buns

So today (finally) I tried on the red "magical" kimono. It's pretty, it's magical, it's silky, it's one heck of a thing to put on! The collars are slipping open all the time! And I need to find a good, calming obi to wear with it. Although I think that in it's spirit it's a rocker, as it seemed to go nicely with the leather tsuke obi.

And because since the Avengers won Best Fight and Best Movie and Best Villain (*Fangirl moment* YES! CONGRATULATIONS MR. HIDDLESTON!!!*end fangirl moment*). Still no progress with the jacket. Phooee on me for working so slow....

lauantai 6. huhtikuuta 2013

Just goofin' off

My bright red, arabesque flower komon. I was just trying to figure out which obi to wear with this one. If tomorrow turns out as sunny and bright as today, it shall be kimono day!

There's something magical about this kimono, I don't know what it is, but when I saw it on Ichiroya, it just grasped my attention and refused to let go. After fighting the buying urge for a week or two, I gave in and home it came.

In my eyes, there's something Harry Potterish in this kimono... but I'm not sure... whatever the mystery is in this kimono, it refuses to share it with me. Which makes it interesting! As it also refused to look good with the obi I was planning to wear it with... Back to the drawing board!

perjantai 5. huhtikuuta 2013

Decorative mon

I uploaded pictures of decorative mons into my flickr while uploading photos of the History of Women's Costume in Japan. I was puzzled about them, because I had never seen those kind of mons before.

See what I mean? I've only seen geometric mons in use, but not these pretty embroidered mons. Which lead me to look back in the book and see what kind of mons where in use before this. There wasn't any mons on clothing. I was a little perplexled, but while getting in info for my last post, I opened the book on the mon section and Liza Dalby writes like this about the history of mon:

The social significance of crests has varied throughout japanese history. Heian nobility used motifs on carriages and personal articles, although not, apparently, on clothing. During the Kamakura era, and with the rise of the samurai, crests were writ large on banners, armor, tents, and other military paraphernalia, indentifying friend from foe on the battlefield. During the Tokugawa period, crests were divided into heraldic and decorative usage. Regional lords and samurai adopted certain mon as family insignia, but at the same time townspeople developed the inherent design possibilities of crests purely for fashionable clothing.

So the decorative mons that have puzzled me in this book, could be the design mons the townspeople of Tokugawa period developed for the fashion of the day. It also explains why I could not find any mons before this time period, because there was no mons in kimonos before this time.

 In the few images the book has about the decorative mons the floral design seems to have been rather popular. Atleast all the images depict a floral motif.

During the same time period there was also the mons as we know them today. If we take Liza Dalby's word for it, this woman is part of a samurai family and higher class than the ladies wearing the decorative mons, if I have understood my reading correctly.