maanantai 28. tammikuuta 2013

What is a tomesode-houmongi?

Remember the mystery kurotomesode I bought for cheap? This one:
It had pine patterning also on the left breast as well as the hem of the kimono. After asking (and forgetting the whole damn thread) in IG, I got some idea what this might be and what formality it is.

Image provided by Muhvi.
In formality such a kimono sits right behind tomesode, before houmongi, as it's a hybrid of these two. Kokoro from IG found out that: "Lately at theaters and parties where the guests will sit in chairs both black and colored tomesode are worn with designs at the shoulders and sleeves as well as at the skirt."

Kimono owned by Moonblossom.
 As when you are sitting down at a table, a theatre box etc. the hem patterning does not show, but giving the hints on shoulders and sleeves that there is a pattern on the kimono makes it festive rather than mistaking is for mourning wear (if obi is not visible).

Image provided by Muhvi.

The quote Kokoro provided is from 1979 so this kind of hybrid is rather new installation.

Image provided by Muhvi.

Also the kurotomesode is considered "mother-of-a-bride" so having splashes of pattern on the breast might be considered more youthful and less formal, while still being on the highest levels of formality. Moonblossom asked Yuka from Ichiroya about this kind of kimono and she said that this kind of kimono can be worn to very formal occasions by unmarried women.

These kimono are not always silk. Atleat the one I own feels like it's synthetic.

maanantai 14. tammikuuta 2013

Maybe finally I could start with 2013...

Well, my new year's resolutions were blown on the first weeks, HA! Must be a record even for me. But seriously, school/work has been hell lately and I've been busy as a beaver for the last two weeks. Last week we had the first of our two big tests and everybody was cranky/stressed and some didn't show up at school, which meant more work for those who did as we had to patch up. Long story short, I passed the test but I'm not waiting eagerly to the next one in the spring.

But something kimono related, I bought a charming little book called The History of Women's costume in Japan and it arrived last week to cheer me up. The book is in japanese.

The Cover
It's a pocketbook size book with 255 pages of goodyness. With Costume Museum's help I identified the first chapter to be (possibly) the Ancient Burial Mounds era or Ancient tomb culture.

It was interesting to flip through these first pages as the clothes resemble (atleast to me) very much of the Korean hanbok. The belt is also quite wide compaired to the later centuries until the obi starts it's rise in the Edo period. Also, everyone who has gotten any information about kimono, will know that the kimono collars go left-over-right, but in these early pictures right-over-left seems dominant. The next chapter shows that both styles were in use, but the left-over-right is starting to be dominant.

During this chapter the chinese influence is more visible than Korean, but this was the time that the japanese fancied the chinese court and modelled their own fashion according to the chinese. When the Heian period is rolled in, the left-over-right is the only dominant way to put the collars on a living thing.

The other interesting feature I didn't realize until I was near the end of the book. Soemwhere along the Edo period my eyes caught this very fanciful design on the kimono and it took me a while to realize that it was the family crest as the same pattern was repeated 5 times on the places where the mon's are located.

Pretty isn't it? There was a few other similar mon design. I flipped back and forth in the book trying to find mon's on the earlier periods to see what kind of design they had. But couldn't find any. I also noticed the more "normal" geometric mon designs during the Edo chapter, but these decorative mon's really sparked my interest.

I have to keep a lookout for a book on men's kimono history so I can compare and see when did the mon's appear on male garments.

As always, better scan's are in my flickr page. I did not scan the whole 255 pages of the book! Just a few selected bits and pieces!

To Flickr: The History of Women's Costume in Japan