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.

The usage of black accessories

I have long been in the impression that black obijime and obiage are used only in mourning. Lately I have seen a lot of black accessories used with kimono and they have made me dubious of my own knowledge of things.
Black obiage from Kimono Style Book 3.
Black obiage and black/white obijime from Casual Kimono Life.
From kimono style magazines and photoshoot online the usage of black obiage has been increasing, so I was thinking maybe it's the style coming over the mofukuness. But to go down to my facts, I turned into the trusty kimono bible, Kimono; Fashioning Culture by Liza Dalby.

And sure enough, there was an answer:

In the most intense expression of mourning, a solid black kimono tied with a black obi is worn with black obi accessories and sandals. Monochrome, unpatterned kimono can be turned into "light" mourning wear by the addition of a subdued obi and black obi cord. The black obi cord is the last vestige of mourning. When that gives away to an ordinary colored one, mourning has ended. By the same token, black can never be used as a fashion color for an obi cord.

The text says nothing of the color of the obiage except when the mourning is of high intense and paired with mofuku. So maybe the black obiage is not such a "That's funeral wear!" as the black obijime and the usage of it in fashion can be more freely. You tend to see more black obiage than blackish obijime.

The black'n'white obijime the lovely Anna Tsuchiya is wearing in the later photo might be pushing the rule of black obijime a little, as in the second picture you can hardly tell it's black'n'white except for that little white spot on the knot.

So, to my understanding now is that black obiage is ok to wear matched with a colorful obijime, but black in obijime should be used with consideration.

keskiviikko 3. huhtikuuta 2013

New boots to go with a kimono

My American Duchess boots arrived! Finally! I ordered these from the pre-order sale somewhere around November/December when they were just going into production. Later I also ordered the buttonhook to help getting the buttons closed.

Boots and buttonhook

Close-up from the hook.

I really want to try something Meiji-inspired with these... Or steampunk... Oh, the possibilities! And they look good with jeans too^^

American Duchess Shoe Shop