Kimono Winter (Awase)

October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

auberginefleur at 05:58|PermalinkComments(0)

May 31, 2014

AF's Kimono Calendar: April-May 2014

Kimono Calendar 2014 May Word 2-photo_ed


OR, my kimono life in the US-of-A

So, as many of you (FB friends) already know, I am in the US for a year on sabbatical from my university, doing research on summer kimonos and yukata in American collections.

I arrived here on April 1st and between the issues involved in renting an apartment and buying a car—I have no income in the US (since I have a fellowship from my university) so just image what all the agencies involved thought of that—anyhow, initially I had no leeway to get myself in kimono. Although, perhaps, if I had just showed up in kimono either all and sundry would have thought I was even weirder than they already thought, or maybe they could have understood my situation better and made the whole thing less of a hassle, but most likely the former…

Once that was all settled, I had planned to wear kimono every Friday—you know, “dress-down-Friday” or “casual Friday,” but it rained, EVERY SINGLE FRIDAY. So, it’s now “Kimono Wednesday” at the museum that is hosting me for my sabbatical.

2014-5-7-wed-7So, my first kimono day turned out to be the last Wednesday in April. The next Wednesday I also did an introduction to kitsuke (how to wear kimono) for those at the museum who were interested. Three people owned kimono, all in the conservation department. I dressed two that day and another on the next day because she had been out the previous day.

I had meant to bring seven kimono the first time around (I later sent 23 more to myself in the US from Japan), but apparently brought six: Sakura motif awase (lined), Purple stripe awase, Pink Ojiya awase tsumugi, Taishō era light teal awase, Blue bingata awase, and Beige and blue plaid hitoe (unlined) tsumugi. Probably the seventh didn’t fit in the suitcase in the end. (I also packed several obi and two nagajuban and had to bring some Western clothes, lol). My lily hitoe I sent in the box later, and apparently gave up on bringing my purple yūki kasuri tsumugi hitoe, and how could I have left out my pink bamboo hitoe…

In all honesty, leaving Japan is like ripping my soul from the fabric of my life in Tokyo, and if it not for bringing my kimono to console me, I could never have done it, which explains why I spent more time planning what kimono to bring than anything else…


* All the images below are taken in a mirror, hence they are reversed. Don’t worry, I am wearing my kimono properly left-over-right.
* すべての下の写真は鏡で取ったので、左右が逆になっていますが、ご心配なく、着物は左上を間違いなく着ています。

2014-4-30-F-n-B


2014-05-07 front n coord


2014-05-12 front n back


2014-05-07 collar n coord 2



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auberginefleur at 02:13|PermalinkComments(0)

April 18, 2014

AF's Kimono Calendar: March 2014

AF's Kimono Calendar 2014 March


March was a busy month finishing up university work and preparing for my sabbatical, but I did manage to get myself in kimono four times this month despite everything. I really try to wear kimono at least once a week, usually on Saturday or Sunday. When I don’t manage to, I go into kimono withdrawal symptoms, and my kitsuke (kimono dressing) really shows too if I am without regular practice.

2014-3-2
March 2nd (Sun)
At the end of last month (Feb 27), I went to a kimono event with the theme of purple (Murasaki no Kai), and one of the kimono wearers there had an obijime cord decorated with beads, which I thought was supper cool. While walking through the Seibu department store, no doubt collecting necessities for my trip to the US, I spied a bead store with two strings of purple pearls, and then searched for a white obijime to sew them on to. This is the photo of the work in process, and I later wore this beaded obijime to the university Shaonkai party.



2014-3-3March 3rd (Mon)
I visited the Awai kimono shop to order a washable asa (ramie) nagajuban for use in the States. This is a wonderful kimono shop run by a husband and wife couple – I am always so envious of them, what a wonderful couple who get to work together doing what they love, a very rare and precious happenstance. Their shop is a bit pricey but has many beautiful and practical kimono accessories, not to mention also kimono and Hakata obi. Almost everyone I know who works professionally wearing kimono has one of these asa nagajuban. And, Onoe Hiromi’s wonderful wafure brand lingerie, which she designed based on her own experiences, is basically designed to wear under this type of nagajuban.

2014-3-8

March 8 (Sun)
I bought the new issue of Utukushii Kimono magazine and it came with a free bag with a design of tachibana (a type of aromatic citrus fruit).



2014-3-9-nanohana ed


2014-3-15-Front-n-Back


2014-3-16-Front-n-Back


2014-3-19-4-kimono-n-yofuku 2


2014-3-29-Front-n-Back


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March 10, 2014

Sakura Kimono for March

Sakura Kimono in Book



So it’s about time to start thinking about cherry blossoms, even though it is still cold and windy in Tokyo.

Anyway, I was picking up my apartment recently and happened across this photo in a book (きものの文様 ―格と季節がひと目でわかる), and thought, “Wow, it reminds me of my lavender sakura kimono.” For no particular reason, I decided to post the pictures here together.

I wore this kimono last year, first for the Shaonkai university party ostensively given by the just graduated students for their professors, then I wore it with a more causal obi for open campus day on the last weekend of March, then I wore it again, but the exact event escapes me. *Remembered, temple visit.


no title
2/19/2013
University Shaonkai Party






University Open Campus & Sakura Festival 2013









2014-3-19

2/19/2014
University Shaonkai Party




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auberginefleur at 15:59|PermalinkComments(0)

February 28, 2014

AF's Kimono Calendar: February 2014

Kimono Calendar 2014 Feb



Between having a cold, university work, snow, and moving house, I only managed to get myself in kimono twice this month. Depressing all around – except for the new condo apartment – I like that.


2014-2-1February 1st (Sat)
I had friends visiting from the States, and they wanted to stay at an Onsen (hot springs). Friday, the day before, we visited the Mashiko pottery town in Tochigi prefecture located just north of Tokyo, and the home and kiln of Hamada Shōji, a major figure in the Japanese mingei folk art movement. That night we stayed at the Satoyama Resort Hotel in Mashiko, returned to Tokyo the next day (Sat), and finished off the evening at the Kabukiza in Ginza.

This kokeshi doll (on the left), which is probably about half a meter tall, was made in the image of the Kami-san (proprietress) of this ryokan inn. The designer Linda Kentie made a digital kokeshi doll for me, and I wish I knew where to go to have it made into a real wooden one like this one.


2014-2-5


February 5th (Wed)
Aqua-blue komon design awase
Vanilla Hakata Obi (O-taiko bow)
Crimson and grey obiage from Awai
Pink obijime and pink coral obidome


A couple of days before the Onsen trip, probably on Thursday (1/30), I met my visitors in Asakusa, and we went kimono shopping for a friend (not present) of one of my visitors. The kimono chosen for the friend was a beautiful ¬dark brown-black Ōshima-esque (大島風) kimono, perhaps in a synthetic fabric. The obi selected was an expensive genuine Hakata obi in half-width (hanhaba 半幅). Since apparently there was only 10,000 yen to spend, and with bargaining, basically we just paid for the expensive obi, and the kimono itself was all but free.

I bought the aqua-blue kimono I am wearing here at the same shop in Asakusa. It is very short, and even with my experience in wearing too-short-kimono, it is still quite a challenge. The kimono, despite being a lined awase, is still rather thin and actually too cold for the chill temperatures of early February. It would be a good kimono to wear in late April or early May, when the temperatures ask for a lighter unlined hitoe, but tradition and formality demand a lined awase. Since I just bought it, I craved to wear it despite lack of common sense, and came down with bronchitis the day after. And then it snowed…and not just a little bit.


2014-2-14-1February 14th (Fri)
磯田湖龍斎画「吹雪になやむ美人図」天明期(1781-89)
Artist: Isoda Koryūsai
Title: Beauty Confounded by a Snow Storm
Edo period, Tenmei era (1781-89)


Then it snowed again, and not just a little bit this time either. To mark the event in the calendar for prosperity, I added this ukiyo-e painting, not print -- BTW, a ukiyo-e painting is called nikuhitsu 肉筆 in Japanese. Someone uploaded this photo of the painting (from a catalogue to this exhibition 歌麿・写楽の仕掛け人 その名は蔦屋重三郎) into FB, and I copied it. I hope all will excuse me. This photo is only a detail; the painting actually has inscriptions by several people at the top.

I do believe this painting is now in the Okada Museum collection, but am not sure. I am interested in this painting because it shows a woman wearing an obi that looks like a Hakata weave (but could still be a Nishijin 西陣 weave), and of course because of the umbrella-in-snow motif. For more on my love of umbrella-in-snow motifs see the obi here and also Umbrellas in Snow.


Murasaki-no-kai-1(5)


February 27 (Thu)
Purple Nishijiin weave stripe tsumugi

西陣織縞紬 鳩羽紫色
Edo Bingata Nagoya obi
Crimson and Grey Obiage from Awai
Purple and white Oshare Obijime cord
Lavender obijime with blue cut-glass kiriko 切子obidome
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar



AFs Kokeshi Doll ed
AF's Digital Kokeshi Doll
Designed by Linda Kentie
(see the original ensemble here)



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auberginefleur at 03:58|PermalinkComments(0)

January 31, 2014

AF's Kimono Calendar: January 2014

AF's Kimono Calendar January 2014




2014-01-01-Wed

1/1 NY's Sunrise with friends
Pink Ojiya Tsumugi (小千谷紬) Kimono
Synthetic Hakata Hanhaba obi (reverse side)
Purple and white Oshare Obijime cord
Nagajuban with white collar




2014-01-03-Fri

1/3 Friday Night
Purple Nishijiin weave stripe tsumugi
西陣織縞紬 鳩羽紫色
Synthetic Hakata Hanhaba obi
Purple and white Oshare Obijime cord
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar




Jan 5 Kabuki

1/5 Kabuki with Friend
BLUE Ōshima Awase Kimono
Umbrellas in Snow Nagoya Obi
Crimson Obijime cord
White Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar



2014-01-13- Mon

1/13 First Tea Lesson of the Year
Maroon Small-Flower Komon Kimono
Blue Nagoya Obi with Pink Flowers
White Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Crimson Obijime cord
Nagajuban with white collar




2014-01-17-Friday

1/17 Friday Night
Pink Ojiya Tsumugi (小千谷紬) Kimono
Blue Nagoya Obi with Pink Flowers
White Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Crimson Obijime cord
Nagajuban with white collar




2014-01-18-Sat

1/18 Saturday Night
Purple Nishijiin weave stripe tsumugi
西陣織縞紬 鳩羽紫色
Blue Nagoya Obi with Pink Flowers
White Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Crimson Obijime cord
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar






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auberginefleur at 16:35|PermalinkComments(0)

January 09, 2014

Obi Conundrums: First Tea Lesson of 2014

Taisho-esque Kimono Coordinations


I am thinking of wearing this (above) Taishō-esque maroon awase (lined) kimono on this coming Monday for the first tea lesson of the year. Because, Tea-Sensei said that the design looks like shuttlecocks, and is appropriate for the new year since a battledore game is traditionally played by young girls on New Year’s.

The issue is what obi to wear with it.


Of the pictures above, personally I like Maroon-1 and Maroon-5 the best, but they are not especially NewYear-ish, and I feel like wearing something else anyway. I do really wish I had a more NewYear-ish theme obi, but anyway I don’t…

Maroon Taisho-esque Kimono Detail

Besides the main color of maroon, the other colors in this kimono are Taishō-esque dusty pink, aqua-blue , and off-white.



Nishijin Nagoya Obi
Choice One: Nishijin Nagoya Obi

Personally I think this is the best bet, but I really can’t tell for sure until I put the two together in real life. This obi has basically the same colors of the kimono with squares in light blue and pink and dots in green and sherbet-orange.

IMG_2196_1_1
Choice Two: Semi-Formal Yūsoku Pattern Nagoya Obi

The colors of this obi pretty much match the colors of the kimono, but I think the obi is just a too formal for this kimono, albeit perfectly appropriate for the first tea lesson of the year.

Koppori Geta Motif Nagoya Obi
Choice Three: Koppori Geta Motif Nagoya Obi

Koppori geta kimono clogs somehow do make me think of little girls (who would be playing battledore for New Years), but although the colors do match, again I think this obi is too formal for the kimono.

Green Batik Nagoya Obi
Choice Four: Green Batik Nagoya Obi

And now for some different colors…

I already did blue, pink, and maroon above. This green Nagoya may or may not match in real life, but if I were really going to wear it with this kimono, I think it would work better in late spring towards the end of the awase season to welcome in early summer.



Black Nagoya Obi with Suzu Bells
Choice Five: Black Nagoya Obi with Suzu Bells

Besides that the Suzu bells on this obi remind me of Christmas tree ornaments, and although this obi might work with a different kimono for Doll’s Day, I think a black obi is just too dark for this kimono.



Maroon Genji Incense Motif Nagoya Obi
Choice Six: Maroon Genji Incense Motif Nagoya Obi

Since this maroon Nagoya obi matches this small-flower motif maroon kimono, it would also match the Taishō-esque maroon kimono at issue here. But, somehow the Genji incense motif just doesn’t seem very NewYear-ish to me…



Maroon Genji Incense Motif Nagoya Obi
And now for something completely (?) different…

As it turns out, I wore this same Taishō-esque maroon kimono last year for the first tea lesson of the year (see here), so perhaps I will wear this small-flower motif maroon kimono instead, with a blue butterfly-motif Nagoya obi.

* And indeed I did, for result see here 1/13 First Tea Lesson of the Year

Blue Butterfly Nagoya Obi




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December 31, 2013

AF's Kimono Calendar: December 2013

AF's Kimono Calendar Dec 2013


Black Oshima & Snow Obi

BLACK Ōshima Awase Kimono
Umbrellas in Snow Nagoya Obi
Teal Green Obijime cord
Crimson and Grey Obiage sash
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar


I wore this ensemble for the University end-of-year party, and tried to dress as chic as I possibly could. (The picture, BTW, is taken in my office mirror.) I totally fell in love with this obi a few days before I wore it here. I love the colors and I love umbrellas, and the metallics and feel of the obi, plus with the snow is perfect for winter! The obi depicts umbrellas from above walking along a stone path, perhaps to a temple. If the obi is wrapped around in one direction, the front shows the stone path above and a single teal-green umbrella below off-center to the side (as seen here). If the obi is wrapped around in the other direction (as I wore next), instead of the stone path, a pinkish lavender and a teal-green umbrella appears instead. I chose this side of the obi here for this event because I thought it was more chic. What do you think?

Blue Oshima & Snow Obi

BLUE Ōshima Awase Kimono
Umbrellas in Snow Nagoya Obi
Crimson Obijime cord ?
Green? Blue? Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar


December 24 (Tue)
Much to my annoyance I had to attend a meeting for the National Center Entrance Exams on CHRISTMAS! So I could not visit my parents and brother’s family for Christmas this year. Instead, to console myself, I went to kabuki on Tuesday to see the Genroku Chūshingura play staring Kichiemon. I go nearly every year, but this time I made my reservations too late, so couldn’t sit in the seat I always do, but maybe the seat I got just by luck was actually better than my normal one, being on the other side of the hanamichi.

Anyway, this time I wore my blue Ōshima kimono and umbrellas-in-snow obi, but as I recall, I reversed the colors of the obiage sash and obijime cord; this time wearing a bright crimson obijime and a light green obiage with minute red dots in shibori. I went out after the play, and forgot I hadn’t taken a picture of the ensemble, and unfortunately only remembered after I had already taken off the obiage and obijime.



Purple Tsumugi & Mum Hanhaba Obi

Purple Nishijiin weave stripe tsumugi
西陣織縞紬 鳩羽紫色
Hanahaba Silk obi with chrysanthemum motif
Egg-shell white Obijime cord
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar


December 31 (Tue)
The last day of the year, I ended up going out to dinner with a friend, and wore this purple tsumugi with blue stripe kimono. I had recently purchased this obi, and thought this was probably the last chance to wear it this season; chrysanthemums not being particularly seasonal come January.



Mum Hanhaba Obi Bow



Purple Tsumugi


auberginefleur at 16:42|PermalinkComments(0)

November 30, 2013

AF's Kimono Calendar: November 2013 - PART 2

AF's November Kimono Calendar


pink tsumugi kimono
Nov. 23 (Sat)
Crimson-Pink Tsumugi kimono
Synthetic Hassun Nagoya Obi with Embroidered Leaves
(probably kudzu or grape leaves)
Tanuki Fur Edged Shawl


I do believe I bought this kimono the week before, the week I didn’t wear any kimono. I was in Kagurazaka on Monday the week before (see here), saw a kimono I liked at went back for it, but it had been already sold. However, I fell in love with this one at first sight, and the shop staff confessed that this kimono was much nicer than the one I had seen the week before. Luckily it was not only on sale, but since I also bought the yellow Nagoya obi with chrysanthemum pattern the kimono was paired with, I also got a set discount. Nice! I couldn’t wait to wear this kimono, so when a friend came to visit me from England I wore it to meet her and walk around Ueno.

* Note to self: Should try wearing Vanilla-chan Hakata obi with this pink tsumugi next.

Pink Tsumugi Back
Synthetic Hassun Nagoya Obi with Embroidered Leaves
Tied in the Tsunodashi Bow (角だし)
Sherbet-orange obijime
Blue, or possibly green, obiage with crimson shibori dots


Since this kimono is too small, and the sleeves ridiculously short, I wore the nagajuban I had resewn to fit my too small recycle kimonons. Nevertheless, the sleeves of this nagajuban were still too long for the kimono, so I had to pin them up.

* The shop staff thought there was no way I could wear a kimono this much too small for me and at first resisted letting me try it on. But I insisted sure I can wear it; I am used to too small kimonos, and sure enough, I can just barely wear it, but will eventually have the sleeves lengthened.




Blue Oshima & Hanhaba Hakata
Nov. 24 (Sun)
Blue Ōshima Tsumugi Kimono
Synthetic Hanhaba Hakata Obi
(came as a freebie with my hōmongi shibori yukata)
Blue & Periwinkle Obijime from Awai
Purple Shibori Collar Nagajuban


The next day the two of us visited the Nippori looking for fabric pieces and I ended up buying a much of buttons, and yet another cotton kimono, this time plain light blue. I do believe I have more than sufficient cotton kimono now. But, they are so great in the hot weather spring and fall in Tokyo, because you can just wash them!

We had dinner at the robataya in Asakusa, and also ran into some friends of mine there from Mejiro. It was quite a surprise indeed!

* This kimono was also a bit too small originally, but I did have both the body and the sleeves lengthened since I wear it so often. Although it is, obviously, possible to wear too-small kimono with a bit of contrivance, it is much faster and easier to wear a kimono that is the right size.

**This picture is in front of a house in my neighborhood, walking back from the coffee shop where we had breakfast.


Blue Oshima & Awai Hakata
Nov. 26 (Tue)
Blue Ōshima Tsumugi Kimono
Awai Hakata Nagoya Obi
Awai Blue & Periwinkle Obijime
Lavender Chirimen Obiage




Awai Blue Omeshi Ensemble

Above I am copying this Awai’s coordination (for the details of the Awai ensemble, see here). But, instead of a blue Omeshi kimono, I am wearing a blue Ōshima, and at the last minute, instead of a two-color Awai obiage (mine is grey and crimson), I changed my mind and wore a lavender chirimen obiage to “pop” the lavender stripes in the obi.

* Below is the event I dressed up for that day.



Kitsuke Dressing Contest Nov 2013




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auberginefleur at 16:43|PermalinkComments(0)

November 10, 2013

AF's Kimono Calendar: November 2013

AF's Kimono Calendar: October 2013


* A word on the colors of the calendar: The russet, old, and persimmon colors represent the colors of autumn leaves, and the blue represents the clear blue
skies expected in November in Japan (even though we haven’t seen much of them due to the many typhoons this year). It is either sure happenstance, or at least completely unconscious on my part, that the color schemes of my kimono ensembles match the calendar, LOL.


Blue Plaid Tsumugi
2013-11-02 (SAT)
Blue Plaid Tsumugi with Purple Mari-balls Obi


For my first ensemble of November I meant to wear something in continuation with a late October Halloween impression morphing into a fall-leaves November ambience. I had planned to wear this blue plaid tsumugi awase with the owlish cat Nagoya obi, and a sherbet-orange obijime and blue or green shibori-dot obiage.



Blue Plaid Tsumugi with Mari-balls Obi
However, due to rain, I wore this purple synthetic Nagoya obi with a motif of giant mari-balls tied in a tsunodashi bow, but with more or less the same accessories as previously planned. Out of playfulness I added a obi-kazari decoration of a suzu-bell and obi-ogre mask, still continuing over from Halloween, and perhaps to express my annoyance with the rain…



Blue Oshima with Autumn Nagoya obi
2013-11-04 (MON)
Blue Ōshima Awase with Purple Autumn Motif Nagoya Obi


Out of the blue, I was invited to join the Ikebukuro walking-about-in-kimono event, to walk about in Kagurazaka on Monday. I thought I could finally wear my blue plaid tsumugi with the owlish cat obi, but then thought that being with an older crowd likely with more conservative ideas about kimono, I should dress a bit less playfully. Because it was raining, I thought an Ōshima kimono would be the best bet, and dithered about whether to wear my brown Ōshima or this blue Ōshima, but since I couldn’t remember wear the brown Ōshima was, I went with this blue one. I love this blue Ōshima and used to wear it so often, I finally had it re-sewn so that it was long enough for me and also had the sleeves lengthened, but hadn’t worn it since its alteration quite some time ago. I t was like be rejoined with an old friend, but this kimono has never been completely taken apart, washed, and then re-sewn, so it is still quite stiff, unlike my brown Ōshima which is like butter.

Blue Oshima with Autumn Obi detail
As I recall, I accessorized it with the crimson and grey Awai Obiage sash, and periwinkle and dark blue Awai Obijime cord. I wore my lavender lace wool scarf-cum-shawl and rain geta clogs, and brought along a kimono raincoat, just in case the rain really got bad, but luckily the rain stopped after a bit and the sun came out. I also wore my nagajuban with the purple shibori collar, even though I thought I should wear a more appropriate white collar, but was just too lazy to get out another nagajuban.

Blue Pliad Tsumugi with Owlish Cat Obi
2013-11-09 (SAT)
Blue Plaid Tsumugi Awase with Purple Owlish Cat Nagoya Obi


Finally, I got to wear the blue plaid awase with the owlish cat obi! A kimono friend invited some us over to her house in Meguro for dinner on Saturday. So I did a rapid kitsuke (kimono dressing) after class for the event. BTW, S-san is a wonderful person and her husband is a fantastic cook, and all looked wonderful in their kimono ensembles, but we were so busy talking about kimono together, I forgot to take pictures!

I wore my favorite purple-strap geta in case of rain and brought a raincoat, but wore this newly purchased tanuki-fur collar shawl for warmth. It wasn’t so expensive but is very warm, and wow does it look great (or at least I think so), and it is long enough in back to cover and protect the obi.

Purple Tsumugi with Blue Stripe
Now for the rest of the month

Now what to wear for the rest of the month? Or, back to purple! I am thinking of wearing my lavender tsumugi with blue stripe (left), with a off-white with leaves Hassun obi (below left), or the same obi with the Kusagi tsumugi kimono. It is also time I wore my brown Ōshima again, let alone my grey Ojiya tsumugi (perhaps paired with the pink Pillow Book Hassun obi), also I have a dark burgundy polka-dot kimono paired with a black suzu-bell obi for a Christmas theme…

Off-white Hassun Obi with Leaves




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auberginefleur at 17:14|PermalinkComments(0)

July 22, 2013

Kusagi Tsumugi Awase Kimono

Kusagi_Tsumugi





Kusagi_Tsumugi_Haori-1
These are images taken of my for the University brochure (a few months back).

Kusagi Tsumugi (草木紬) Awase Kimono in graduated purple and green plaid.

Purple shibori han-eri collar and purple nagajuban under-kimono.

Nagoya obi from Kururi (probably), with rose motif in multi-colors.

Mint green obiage sash with red dots in shibori from Isetan (I’ve since bought a light blue version as well).



Kusagi_Tsumugi_4652
Lavender obijime cord bought some time ago, with cut-glass Edo kiriko (切子 or 切籠) obijime bead in blue.

Lavender Haori that looks like it would be a sakura motif (especially knowing me) but is actually some arabesque abstract floral motif.




Kusagi_Tsumugi_4655

And now for a mischievous facial expression…





デコ薔薇の帯 Deco Rose Obi

Detail of obi (paired with different kimono)

auberginefleur at 13:02|PermalinkComments(0)

March 04, 2013

The month in kimono: January 2013

Coordination Choices






Maroon Komono with Pink Tsujigahana obiMaroon Komon with Pink Tsujigahana obi

At the beginning of January, I had two different maroon komon kimono out, trying to decide what to wear for the first lesson of the year, which in the end was cancelled due to snow. I also had this pink tsujigahana obi out and about because I had just purchased it along with the Broken Check Blue Tsumugi Kimono (紬 紺鼠色 変わり格子風), and found that these two looked surprisingly good together. Trying to make my coordination more interesting from my ordinary set pattern, I asked all and sundry for advice. As I recall, choice ONE and THREE were the most popular, and choice FOUR was my first idea. I went with choice ONE, and accessorized the obi with a fluorescent yellow obijime from Kururi and blue and yellow obiage from Awai. I wore my lavender nagajuban with purple shibori collar, black and red kimono cape and pink rabbit fur scarf, and mostly likely my custom-made weave zōri from Awai.



Tsumugi Awase Blue StripeBlue and Purple Stripe Tsumugi with Pink Tsujigahana obi

Next up was the Kimono de Ginza, which is every second Saturday of the month. Here I wore the same pink tsujigahana obi, with this stripe tsumugi kimono, with the same florescent yellow obijime, and also the same blue and yellow obiage. Lots of purple in this ensemble, with a purple shibori han-eri collar and purple fur-edged shawl. I also wore my much warmer custom-made woven zōri with Hakata straps. NHK International was there that day and interviewed many of us, but it took so long that by the time they got to me, I was shaking with cold. There was also several young girls there dressed in adorably cute retro kimono ensembles.



Maroon Komono with Blue Obi Maroon Komon with Blue Floral obi

The next tea lesson (actually the first because the earlier one was cancelled) just happened to be on the same day as a lecture on kimono at the NHK culture center by Nagaoka-sensei, who curated the “Kimono Beauty” exhibition at the Chiba City Museum. Oh, coordination woes… I wanted to wear something a bit stylish and retro, but not too flamboyant, and also something not completely inappropriate for tea lesson afterwards.

This is probably the only kimono I have that is even remotely Taishō or even early Shōwa-esque. It is hard to see in the photo but the motifs of the kimono are in Taishō-esque pastel shades of pink, blue, and cream. I thought a blue obi would brighten the kimono, and obi with large flowers would be in keeping with the retro style. I accessorized it with the Awai crimson and grey obiage and fluorescent yellow Kururi obijime. In retrospect, I think a bright green obijime would have been better, but since I don’t own one… Since I was going on to tea lesson afterwards, I wore a simple pale silk nagajuban with a plain white color. You can see the pink of the nagajuban at my sleeve opening.

Tea sensei loved the kimono, saying it was quite appropriate for January, since the stylized design resembles the shuttle-cocks for the battledore traditionally played for the new year. On the other hand, she didn’t think my coordination was appropriate for tea, but I explained that I was dressed playfully for the kimono event, and then had continued onto the tea lesson in the same ensemble, which seemed to mollify her. Since I knew I would be going on to tea lesson, I wore my more formal grey and silver zōri, which I hadn’t worn in a while, and was surprised how cold my feet were in them. For warmth, I wore my black and red kimono cape and grey rabbit fur collar. Looking back now, I am surprised I didn’t wear my brown boucle wool kimono cape.



Black & Blue Curvy Stripe YuukiBlack & Blue Curvy Stripe Yuuki Tsumugi with Lavender Hakata obi

And now for something different…
(or maybe not?)

It is amazing how I always seem to stay with the same color scheme per month; it is partly just serendipitous because I leave the same kimonos and accessories out for a month and just mix and match, until I put them away and start with a new batch for the next month.

The next event was to go with Sheila to the “Kimono Beauty” exhibition in Chiba. We both wanted to see the exhibition, and Sheila wanted to hand-off the Travelling Kimono to me. I do believe, it turns out we both went in black and blue Yuuki tsumugi kimonos, but hers had a faint purple cast to the blue. I wish we had gotten a photo of the two of us together that day. The Hakata obi I am wearing was also a present from Sheila (thank you!), and I accessorized it with a white crepe obiage with red flowers in shibori, and a black and red obijime cord.



Komon Taisho-esque maroon




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February 17, 2013

Travelling Kimono in Asakusa 2013.02.10

Or, what I really wore…
(For my earlier conundrums on the coordination see HERE)

ensemble detail



The background
The project of the “Travelling Kimono” is one kimono is selected to travel all around the world sent from one kimono enthusiast to another, and each wearer creates an ensemble representing her or his own personal taste and style, takes photos of the ensemble against the background of a major landmark of the locale, and then sends the kimono off to the next person. The photos are then shared on both the website and the Facebook page. This is actually “Travelling Kimono” Round Two, which started with Sheila Cliffe’s kimono in Harujuku, the center of modern fashion in Tokyo. The next stop was me in Asakusa

The kimono
This kimono is so outside what I normally wear, I really had no idea what to do with it. I had pretty much set my mind on wearing the bright red synthetic obi, even though Sheila had warned me she really didn’t think it would match, and indeed it didn’t. I addition, the kimono is far more beautiful than can be garnered from the photos.
In Sheila’s words, “This kimono actually started as a role of checked meisen cloth, only 6 metres. It is not enough to make a kimono. So I asked a kimono dealer to find another piece of cloth to go with it. She found the stripes and I had it made up, to fit. It is totally unique, and I have had some wonderful compliments on this kimono.”
The kimono was a wonderful soft sheen, the fabric itself is very soft to the touch, it is also very light in weight, and easy to drape and dress in. The yellow and green squares are the Meisen fabric, and I suspect the stripe portion is a “yatara-jima” (矢鱈縞) tsumugi fabric. I think Sheila was very generous to offer this very unusual and precious kimono for the project.

Sensoji and pagoda The ensemble
At a complete loss as to what obi to wear, at the very last minute, I decided what the heck I will wear my dark blue sakura obi; it doesn’t match, but it doesn’t clash either. Interesting, I think this obi is dark blue, but Sheila insisted that it is a dark purple. Later in the day, I stopped off at the Tobu department store in Ikebukuro, and asked the staff in the kimono section what color my obi was, and he said “hana-kon,” which I guess is a purplish dark blue or a blue-ish dark purple. Anyway, turns out the contrast of the obi color and the yellow and red stripes, which appear orange from a distance, made for a winning combination. The graduated greens, yellows, and browns in the obi’s motifs also complimented the colors of the kimono nicely.

Taisho coffee shopThe next problem was the obiage and obijime. Before I came up with a solution, I had nearly my entire collection of obiage and obijime out to find a combination that would go with BOTH the obi and the kimono. I finally decided on a light lavender obiage with purple “rindashi” (輪出し) shibori flowers. I started out on this very cold day with a purple sakura-motif lined winter haori, lavender Pashmina and silk shawl, and fur collar. As the day warmed, I gradually reduced the layers, and then later on in the day, I ended up in a different haori…



Inner Gate of SensojiThe Route
I had wanted to get to Asakusa in the very wee hours of the morning, but neither Sheila nor I were up to it. It was freezing cold and I wanted to stop in somewhere to warm up and Sheila was desperate for some coffee, so our first stop in Asakusa turned out to be a retro coffee shop I often frequent there. This coffee shop is in a very old original building, probably established in the Taishō or early Shōwa era, and may have even possibly survived the war, unlike most of the rest of Asakusa.

* There is also an anecdote for the coffee shop. As we were getting to leave an older man came in and the young waitress asked if he smoked, “tabako wo suimasu ka?” And, he said, “nomimasen.” And she repeated the same question, and he repeated the same answer. As I walked by, I whispered to her that “nomu” can be used with “tabako.” Apparently, the older man walked out, saying he was leaving because she couldn’t understand Japanese. I don’t think she was a foreigner, just too young or inexperienced to know the alternative way to say “to smoke.” In retrospect, I wish I had said to her as we paid to leave, “Don’t pay too much mind, he was probably just having a bad day.” The poor thing was very upset by the incident, but if you work in Asakusa, you probably need to know how the older Asakusa folk talk.

Then I insisted we take a picture in front of Arizona, a Western style bar and restaurant frequented by the author Nagai Kafū (Geisha in Rivalry). Then we continued on to Sensōji, the temple of Asakusa, starting at the main hall and inner gate, instead of the famous kaminari-mon gate at the entrance to the temple lane.

Retro Antique ShopNext we walked along the back streets of Asakusa looking for photogenic scenes, and ran across an antique shop known to Sheila, very literally named the Kobutsu Shōten (古物商店), where Sheila spotted a retro Haori and insisted that it was so me, that I did indeed buy it and wear it for the rest of the day.

Walking back to Sensōji, we inadvertently picked up an old Asakusa guy who trailed behind us murmuring “kimatteru,” (決まっている), which in this context is quite a compliment meaning something like “really stylish.” He then invited us for tea, which is a standard pick-up line among the older Japanese crowd, but I think he just wanted a chance to talk to us. I felt kind of bad for turning him down, also in the standard response of we already have plans. Then he turned away with a sad, dejected face… I so wish we had thought to ask him to be in a picture with us.

Kaminarimon GateBack to the main gate of Sensōji, then a picture of the Kamiya Bar established in the 1880’s and famous for its “Denki Blend” electrifying alcoholic drink, a shot of the Sky Tree in the background, the beloved “Golden Turd” sculpture, which is purportedly suppose to be a flame, and the Sumidagawa river complete with a yakatabune boat in the background, finally ending the day with a beer and some cheese and sausages at the Asahi beer hall.



Sky Tree and Golden TurdMiscellaneous Other

The bridge over the river Sumidagawa.
Sheila loved the colors in this shot; the taxi, the red fence, and the kimono. Sky Tree in the background, Golden beer hall with what is supposed to be beer foam at the top, and the Golden Turd next to it.



Below the Golden Turd
Beneath the Golden Turd
Many thanks to Sheila for spending the day with me and taking the photos. I think she had a very tough time; the sun was so bright it was difficult to see the screen of the camera, but she did a wonderful job, and we had a ball! At the end of the day, she really started to get inventive with the photos; I really love this one in particular.There were so many wonderful shots, I can’t post them all…



Sumidagawa with Yakatabune Boat
I like how you can see the three layers of collars in this shot; the purple shibori han-eri, the kimono, and the haori collar. (Click photo to enlarge)

Sumidagawa



Saying Goodbye at Ueno Station
Sheila and I actually travelled together all the way back to Ikebukuro, but as we transferred at Ueno station, we ran into this character and took a photo. The character is the Iwate prefecture “wanko-soba” mascot called “Kokutchi.”

Ueno Station



Sheila's EnsembleSheila’s Ensemble
Sheila wore Western clothes this day because she thought it would be easier for taking photos. Her ensemble is just as amazing in Western dress. She is wearing her cashmere kimono jacket, and I love the fur collar with it too! And the touches of red… Altogether, just wonderful!

Thank you again, Sheila, for a wonderful day!






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auberginefleur at 13:43|PermalinkComments(3)

January 26, 2013

The Travelling Kimono Round Two: AF's Coordination Conundrums

Trvevelling Kimono Round 2The Sisterhood of the Travelling Kimono originated from an idea proposed by Naomi (of ImmortalGeisha.com and KimonoAsobi.com) to her fellow Facebook kimono friends, in which it turned out others had been pondering similar thoughts! The idea was quickly and enthusiastically embraced by the kimono community and grew from a small handful of participants to 40 people across many countries!

One kimono will be selected and sent all around the world to fellow kitsuke enthusiast, who will then create an ensemble representing their personal tastes and style, take photos to share and then send the kimono off to the next person. These photos will be shared both on the website and the Facebook page.


Sheila Travelling Kimono

Sheila gave me permission to post her WONDERFUL ensemble!

I am second up with round two with this “katami-gawari” stripe and plaid kimono in yellow, red, and green. Sheila set the bar high with her first ensemble, so I really feel challenged. It is nigh on impossible to do any better, but the challenge is a great deal of fun. I can’t wait to see others’ ensembles as well!



Purple Sakura Haori Landmark: Asakusa

We are also supposed to take pictures of ourselves in the kimono with some major landmark. I am thinking of going to Asakusa in Tokyo, where I can take pictures with the famous giant lantern of Sensōji, the Nakamise lane of shops to the temple, the incense basin of health, the temple itself, the Sumidagawa river, the Sky Tree in the background, and perhaps a rickshaw to travel around in. What fun!

Purple Sakura Haori
I plan to wear this purple haori with a motif of sakura blossoms in red and white. Likely I will also wear my nagajuban with the purple shibori han-eri collar. The problem is what obi, and what colors to choose for the obiage sash and obijime cord.



red camellia obiChoice One: Red Obi with Camellia

At the moment I am thinking this red synthetic obi with camellia flowers in shades of light metallic blue might be the best bet, as it will both “pop” the red in the stripes of the kimono, and the red sakura blossoms in the obi. To brighten it up a bit, perhaps a bright yellow obiage, and either a dark blue or a light blue obijime.



Obi Blue ClothChoice Two: Blue Weave Obi

First I was considering this blue kisawa-weave obi, perhaps with a red obiage and bright yellow obijime, but in the end thought it might be kind of drab.



Purple Atique Nishijin ObiChoice Three: Purple Antique Nishijin Obi

Looking at different obi in my collection, I ran across this purple antique obi, and thought it might work too, with a white chirimen obiage with floral roundels in rindashi shibori, paired with a bright crimson obiage, but perhaps this obi is a bit too dull in color too… Especially with the purple haori.



Bingata obiChoice Four: Bingata Obi

On the other hand, this Bingata obi might really brighten it up, perhaps paired with a bright red obijime and yellow obiage…



Peony Hassun ObiChoice Five: Colorful Peony Hassun Obi

There’s always this obi as well, but among other problems, it might be too similar to Sheila’s obi, and yet with less impact…



What to do, what to do… Any suggestions?



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January 05, 2013

2012 End of the year kimono in review:

西陣織真綿縞紬



2012-12-01 (Sat)
Nishijin-weave Stripe Purple Tsumugi
西陣織真綿縞紬「鳩羽紫」


Last kimono of the year: purple tsumugi kimono with a faint blue stripe, paired with “Choco-chan” Hakata Nagoya obi, accessorized with purple and white Kururi obijime and chirimen maroon obiage; lavender nagajuban with purple shibori han-eri collar. Designer maroon scarf-shawl with nubby boucle wool retro-esque kimono coat. Worn for orientation for incoming freshmen at the university.



紬 紺鼠色 変わり格子風



2012-11-24 (Sat)
Chikusen Hakata 4-sun (Han-haba) Kobukuro Obi
本場筑前博多織 四寸(半幅) 小袋帯


I tried a new bow with a han-haba (half-width) obi, but the length of the obi was too short for what I really wanted to do. I wanted the bow to be more fluffy with longer more curved ends sticking out, oh well. Similar to this 【ふんわり結び】, but different. This funwari–musubi requires less length and might have worked better. However, I tucked the tare end in the opposite direction here for a double layer of the outer part of the bow. Somewhere I have a sketch of what I did… Anyhow the bow is held together with a maroon and cream obijime and an obiage isn’t needed. (ps. I tied the obi in front to see what I was doing, then when finished moved it to the back.)



Plaid Kimono Coat



With the blue tsumugi kimono ensemble seen above I wore this cranberry-red and grey plaid kimono cape. Whenever possible I try to buy things that work with both kimono and Western clothes. Just for comparison, here is a picture of the same coat with Western clothes; also this picture on the right is clearer. 



紬 紺鼠色 変わり格子風 
 2012-11-10 (Sat)
Broken Check Blue Tsumugi Kimono
紬 紺鼠色 変わり格子風


Light blue tsumugi with kasuri broken-check pattern in white, paired with wine color synthetic Nagoya obi with leaves in metallic colors, bought used just recently at the Nihonbashi Kimono Club. Accessorized with grayish lavender obiage which actually goes with a summer ro obiage of the same color, and bokashi (gradated) lavender obiage with metallic stripes that really goes with a more formal kimono. Wore black velvet cloak bought used.

 DSC_2784 



DSC_2758_2012-12-16
2012-11-02 (Fri)
Broken Check Blue Tsumugi Kimono
紬 紺鼠色 変わり格子風


Usually I only have time to wear kimono on Saturday during the semester, but this time it seems I wore this on a Friday. I imagine probably because it had just arrived and I couldn’t wait to wear it. With little time after fifth period class, I hurriedly coordinated it with my old and true maroon Hakata Nagoya obi, accessorized with Awai yellow and blue obiage and Awai reversible blue and periwinkle obijime. Worn with my lavender nagajuban with purple shibori han-eri collar. Pink and brown Marui plaid shawl for a cloak.



DSC_2744



DSC_2740
2012-10-31 (Wed)
Nishijin-weave Stripe Purple Tsumugi
西陣織真綿縞紬「鳩羽紫」


Back to the purple tsumugi kimono with blue stripe. Usually I have two or sometimes three kimono out per month, and typically alternate between them, but I see on this backwards timeline that I wore the light blue tsumugi several times in a row. I must have been very excited with my new purchase. This purple tsumugi I bought last year (seen HERE) as a bit of a consolation prize for not being able to find a dark purple yuuki tsumugi.

Anyway, I aired this purple tsumugi with a purple Hassun obi with a motif of leaves floating on water, accessorized once again with the Awai yellow and blue obiage and Awai reversible blue and periwinkle obijime. Worn with Marui pink and brown plaid shawl.
DSC_2735-ed_2012-10-31_double



DSC_2756
Just for the fun of it, here is a close-up of the purple shibori han-eri collar to my lavender nagajuban (worn on 2012-11-02). For a picture of this nagajuban see HERE.




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July 21, 2012

Back-Tracking Kimono: What I Wore Early Spring 2012 (Awase)

If I don't post the kimono I have been wearing, I will forget what I worn when, which is very informative for new coordination ideas next time I want to wear the same kimono or what I did last time with the same obi.

* As always, many of these photos, but not all, were taken in a mirror at home or elsewhere, and hence the collar appears backwards in those photos.

DSC_0866-ed
2102.02.18 (Sat)

I wore this wonderfully soft and comfortable tsumugi (awase), purple with a fine blue stripe, to a Nihonbashi Kimono Kurabu (Club) likely 2102.02.24 when the photo was taken, which was the first time I met Jyun An En and also met for the first time in real life (not digital life) Rinrin Kudo. I would love to post a photo of the two of them with me, but since this is a public domain, I won’t.

This was a rare attempt on my part, and now I see why I don’t do it more often, to attempt a coordination outside my norm. Although the colors are pretty, normally I would go with white, or dark blue, or dark purple for the obiage sash and obijime cord to accessorize the obi. I did not feel comfortable in the combination I wore here, but sometimes it is good to try something new and break out of old patterns. Now I think I will go back to old patterns.

DSC_0881-ed
2102.02.19 (Sun)

Usually I wear a kimono two or three times before I put it away and get out a new one. Next time I wore this kimono, I may well have just worn it to go out drinking, which may well imply (but I don’t remember) that I put it on in a hurry and wore the first obi that came to mind. I am kind of surprised I didn’t wore my purple Hassun mon’you obi I bought in Asakusa, but maybe it was too matchy-matchy or perhaps just slightly off in color tone. Anyway, the obi I did wear I bought at the antique kimono store near my house, the name of which escapes me at the moment, probably for more money than the obi was really worth; the prices at that shop are really quite high. The obiage and obijime are from Awai, the obiage is the crimson and grey one with mostly just the grey showing.

* Now I remember from my other pictures of the same day, I wore this combination the next day to go to an exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum. It was cold and I wore my black fur-edged shawl with it.

Tsumugi with Gosho Ningyo-ed
2012.03.03 (Sat)

Next time I wore a kimono was to an Arecole event at Mr. Ueda’s Hitsujiya kimono shop, which is also the first time I met Mr. Shimano, among others whose names escape me, even though we are FB friends and I know their faces.

This is my favorite awase tsumugi kimono at the moment (西陣織湯通し済紬 民芸紬灰紺). In honor of Doll’s Day, I wore an off-white obi with a design of Gosho-Ningyo, “palace-doll children,” with maroon chirimen obiage and obijime. For more pictures of this obi and the overall ensemble, see HERE.



DSC_1031-ed
2012.03.19 (Mon)

Good grief, I didn’t really I had so many kimono ensembles to post, and still lots to go…

Back the subject at hand, I wore this Meisen-like tsumugi with a quite pricey but lovely Hakata obi from Awai (paired with the crimson and grey obiage also from Awai and I believe a white obijime with a faux diamond clasp obidome) to the university Shaonkai party the graduating students throw ostensibly for their professors, but it is really an opportunity for them to dress up in party dresses.

This kimono was given to me by the proprietress of a Shochu (Japanese distilled alcohol) bar-and-grill I go to near my home. She was deaccessioning her kimono collection, and asked me if I wanted any and showed me some pictures on her cell phone. She also gave me a Ōshima tsumugi, but this one was the one I wanted most. It is very difficult to coordinate a matching obi for this kimono (for my other earlier attempts, see HERE). Anyhow, last time I wore this kimono previous to this, I thought its lovely sheen made it quite elegant and if I dressed it up, I could wear it to the Shaonkai party, as I did in the end.

Recently, I finally got around to asking her what obi she wore with it, and she said a pink obi but that it didn’t match very well either. I also asked her if she knew what kind of kimono it was, but she said she didn’t remember, but as she is from Fukuoka, I imagine it is a tsumugi from around that area.

DSC_1070-ed
2012.03.25 (Sun)

Next was the anniversary party for my professor, Kobayashi-sensei. I wore, if not my favorite Ōshima (which is the similar blue one), then the one that I think is the nicest in my collection. I had actually wanted to dress up in an Utamaro ensemble, in honor of Sensei who is an Ukiyo-e print expert, but since I do not have an Edo-komon I like (I have a pink one, but…), and nor do I have a sarasa obi, in short I gave up. I was hoping I could pass off this black Ōshima, with its Edo-komon-like design of Kumo-tori moyō (雲取模様), as an Edo-komon, but never was able to find a sarasa obi I liked, let alone could afford. So, as it was cherry blossom season, I wore this black obi with a design of, yes, cherry blossoms, paired with a white chirimen pink rin-dashi shibori obiage and pink obijime with a cherry-blossom enamel obidome clip.



DSC_1121-ed
2012.03.30 (Fri)

I kimono friend came to visit me in Mejiro, and we traveled around several kimono related places in Mejiro together in kimono: starting at Mejiro station, including the antique kimono shop the name of which I forget, the Japanese sweets shop for lunch (they serve other things besides sweets), the Mejiro Gardens, the Kasōyō kimonoya-cum-tea shop, Jiyugakuen designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and finishing up at Ikebukuro eki.

For reasons that are now a mystery to me, I wore this ostensibly grey but actually an icky green cotton denim kimono which I hate with a passion. You want it, and are willing to pay for the shipping, you can have it, just comment me. The purple sakura-motif haori, on the other hand, I love. Anyway, the kimono is paired with a Hassun obi with leaf design, paired with crimson-and-grey obiage from Awai and crimson obijime from Kururi. The kimono bag I am carrying is made from an Hakata obi. I had been longing for it and was finally able to buy it when there was a sale.

I wore the kimono again the next day (no doubt out drinking) with my black-maroon Nagoya Hakata obi paired with the same obiage and obijime, but since I hate this kimono, I do not feel like posting another picture of it.

* For another, older, picture of this grey-green cotton kimono, see Kimono Matome (Summary): Grey Denim Kimono I

* I have now finished the early-spring awase (lined-kimono) season and will make a new post on spring hitoe (unlined kimono) I have worn this season…sometime, maybe. In any case, I give up for today.
......................................................................................................................



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auberginefleur at 15:21|PermalinkComments(9)

March 15, 2012

Tsumugi Kimono with Gosho Ningyo Obi Ensemble 20120303

Tsumugi with Gosho Ningyo Obi 20120303_ensemble



March Third is Girl's Day or Doll Day in Japan

It is one of the five holidays of Japan since the Edo period. Traditionally it was celebrated on the first snake day of the third month in the lunar year. In ancient times, the nobility held a drinking and poetry party along a stream on this day, and it is also associated with peach blossoms. Now it has become a day to celebrate little girls by arranging a display of traditional Japanese dolls in the house. But beware, according to superstition, if the dolls are not put away immediately after the celebration, one will never marry. So that's what I did wrong!

Tsumugi with Gosho Ningyo Obi 20120303_back-smallAnyway, I had a kimono Arecole event to go to on Girl’s day, and so wore this Nagoya obi with a design of Gosho Ningyo 御所人形, literally “Palace Dolls,” in honor of the holiday. The cute little children are playing with bird-shaped kites. The obi has my favorite colors, lavender, pink, and maroon, and matches almost all my kimono! This was one of the earliest obi’s I ever bought, so that I could have more fun with wearing kimono regularly, and often wear this obi around Christmas (definitely a children’s holiday), Girl’s day, or Boy’s Day.



Tsumugi Info 20120303-detail正絹 西陣織 《民芸紬》 よろけ縞
Pure Silk Nishijin Traditional-Art Tsumugi “Yoroke” Stripe Design
Purchased from 京着物 やっさん



Tsumugi Kimono with Doll's Day ObiThis lovely kimono I had just purchased and it was my first time wearing it. Mostly I buy used kimono, partly because they are cheaper but also because for the most part I just like them better than most of the kimono in style now. This kimono is a rare case of my having purchased the fabric and then having it personally tailored for me. I bought a lavender Yūki Tsumugi 結城紬 kimono from the same shop last year, and was overjoyed with the kimono and its tailoring, which apparently the same has done in Kyoto.

Since I was buying online, and couldn’t see the fabric colors in person, I was very worried whether the colors would turn out as I had imagined, and pestered the poor shop to death about the colors and what color fabric would be used to line the kimono with, all of which, the shop graciously answered. According to the shop’s description the colors are a gradation of grey-light indigo-dark indigo, with the fine lines in maroon and light green. In reality, as indeed it appears in the pictures, the light grey is actually a beautiful pale-maroon lavender and the dark indigo is closer to a deep teal blue. Anyhow, I was thrilled to death with it.



Tsumugi with Gosho Ningyo Obi 20120303_coat-ed2I had already decided I wanted to wear the Gosho Ningyō obi that day, but wasn’t sure if it would really match the kimono, until the kimono arrived and I could have a look at it. The two practically look like they were made to go together, and the color of the maroon obiage and obijime immediately fell into place too. I can tell the kimono is just perfect for me, or perfectly according to my taste in colors, because it matches so many of my obi and other kimono accessories. I am so glad I bought this kimono!

I hemmed and hawed about whether to wear an “Ama-Coat” or a Haori jacket, but naturally settled on this maroon “Ama-Coat” and maroon cashmere shawl. Shoot! I still don't have a photo, bought I wore my silver-brown and maroon zōri sandals that picked u the grey-laveder tone of the kimono and the maroon stripe in the kimono perfectly. Again, it looked like it was practically made to go together, probably one of my all time most successful kimono coordinations.



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February 15, 2012

Coordination Shiny Grey Tsumugi Awase: Part 2

* WARNING: Pictures taken in a mirror, the kimono collar only LOOKS backwards.

Shiny Grey Tsumugi Two



This lovely kimono was a gift from a friend, and though I love grey kimonos, it doesn’t not really match any of my accessories none too well. I am not really sure why, the shininess of the fabric? The tones of the colors, which have a crisper feel than the more muted soft tones I typically wear?

Also, what kind of tsumugi is this anyway? It looks like an old style of Meisen because of its shine, and I have been told that older Meisen have more of a nubby texture expected f tsumugi than they do today. However, my friend who is from Kyushu bought this kimono there, so while it is not impossible, it is less likely to be a Meisen, because Meisen are typically from Chichibu in Saitama, Ashikaga in Tochigi, or Isesaki in Gunma. In other words, in areas nowhere near Kyushu.

The previous, and first time, I wore this kimono (top photo, left), after much hemming and hawing, I wore it with my standard maroon Hakata obi since it seemed to be the best possible match among the choices from my collection. However, I thought the kimono called for a softer tone of obi, but maybe that is just my personal taste. I really wish I knew what kind of obi my friend paired it with, must remember to ask her sometime!

DSC_0815Anyway, the colors of the kimono are grey and white, with touches of pink and teal. Since I do not own any teal accessories (nor do I wish to in the future), I decided to go with this pink Hassun obi, which I just purchased both to go with this kimono, and also because I thought it would match a number of my other kimonos. Indeed, my white and pink Hakata obi would probably go best and look oh so lovely, but I don’t want to wear it out drinking in a smokey place where it will be soiled. Also, my pink and white Hakata obi is put away with my summer stuff and too much trouble to dig out at the moment.

DSC_0818_edI had planed to go with “soft,” so thought I would pair this obi with my white chirimen with pink shibori floral roundels obiage, and my pink and yellow reversible obijime. However, when I went to put it on, it just was not me. I thought of wearing my dark, nigh onto brown, maroon obijime. But decided on this one of a similar color, since it has touches of other colors in it that harmonize with the obi. Once I chose this obijime, I actually wanted to accessorize it with my gourd-shaped dark brown tortoise shell obidome brooch, but its clip was too narrow to thread the obijime through, so I wore this lighter colored fan-shaped tortoise shell obidome instead. Overall, I think I think this second ensemble better, but the first ensemble may possibly look better in the photos.

DSC_0825_edA FB friend told me that she thought the text on the obi was from Sei Shōnagon’s The Pillow Book. (Thank you SY-san!) How very appropriate for me of the Heian period!

Can you find the characters below (from The Pillow Book) in the obi?

「春はあけぼの。ようよう白くなりゆくやまぎは」




cc4248_1Perhaps you can see them better in this picture. (The first vertical row on the right.)




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February 12, 2012

Coordination Leaf-Motif Hassun Obi with Blue Tsumugi

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* WARNING: Mirror images; the collar only looks backwards!

The first time I wore this Leaf-Motif Hassun obi (above left) was a rare instance of me wearing an obi with the kimono I bought it to go with. It does not really go great with my somewhat luminescent blue Ōshima kimono, and at that time I thought I might wear it in the future with my crimson-pink Edo Komon kimono to wear to Kyoto in the fall. Needless to say, I have never worn that combination, nor will I in the future. Not only does this obi match my blue Ōshima none too well, it is also far too informal for an Edo Komon.

An Hassun Obi is so named for its size of being eight “sun” (hassun八寸) in width, pronounced more or less like “hah-soon,” which is slightly shorter in width than a regular Nagoya obi, and unlike most Nagoya obi’s unlined. Traditionally, a Hassun obi was hand-woven at home for daily wear, and hence almost as informal as it gets.

Anyway, having bought this leaf-motif Hassun obi, I have had a heck of a time trying to accessorize it with an obiage sash and obijime cord to my liking, and even posted “Obiage-Obijime Conundrums” on IG Forums.

This time (above right), instead of with the Blue Oshima, I wore it with a soft and highly textured Indigo Kasuri Tsumugi (possibly Yonezawa Tsumugi 米沢紬?), which it matches much better. The colors of the Hassun obi really cry for a teal-green obiage obijime set, but as I am not overly fond of teal, I am not likely to buy such a set for this obi alone, even me the spendthrift (when it comes to kimono, otherwise I only waste my money on sake).

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Anyway, after laying out approximately a zillion combinations with the obiage and obijime I already own. I came up with two possibilities I more or less liked. The one I wore here (above) with a fancy brown and pink obijime, paired with vanilla-orange? rusty-beige? obiage, the latter of which I did actually purchase with this obi in mind. I guessed when I saw it, and as it turns out rightly so, that it would match the light colored leaves in the obi perfectly, however boring a combination it might be. The obijime cord was the first I ever purchased, it was on sale (at Mitsukoshi in Shinjuku), it was cheap, I liked the colors, and I had no idea what I was doing; I actually bought it to go with my Hōmongi for Hatsugama, a major formality faux pas.

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The second combination I liked, but obviously not well enough to wear this time, was with a reversible periwinkle-dark blue obijime, which I think I would wear showing both colors, one on each side. And, the two-color dark blue and lime-ish yellow obiage, also with the two colors showing on either side.

So, what do your think? Which to you like best? Any other suggestions? Comments HERE.



Links:

* New Blue Oshima Tsumugi Kimono 青色の大島紬

* Blue Oshima Kimono 2 with Different Obi Bows


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February 04, 2012

Finally in Kimono Again! Grey Tsumugi Awase 2012.02.04

(Or, how to coordinate a Meisen-like shiny pale grey tsumugi kimono)

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* Meisen-like shiny pale grey tsumugi kimono
* Kunoya-san fancy obijime cord
* Awai two-tone crimson-and-grey obiage


On Saturday, the weather turned warm (well, relatively, compared to the cold spell we had been having), and I managed to escape from the university early, so I hurried home to vacuum and attend to kimono.

This grey tsumugi kimono, along with an Ōshima tsumugi (which I also haven’t worn yet), was given to me by a friend quite some time ago, probably last spring right after it was too late seasonally to wear a lined “awase” kimono anymore. I had been meaning to wear this kimono since it turned awase season last fall, but just haven’t had the time. This pale grey tsumugi is quite shiny and looks almost like a Meisen kimono, both rather “lovely” and somewhat retro at the same time. The flowers of the design resemble camellia, but I imagine they are purposely unidentifiable flowers so that the kimono is not seasonally specific. I really wish I knew what kind of tsumugi it was; also I wished I had asked my friend what kind of obi she used to wear with it.

DSC_0739When I bought the grey Ojiya tsumugi (小千谷紬) at some Tansuya last fall, I bought a cheap black Nagoya obi with crimsons flowers at the same time, just to make sure I had something to wear with it. If my dear reader has been following along, naturally, as usual I have never worn this obi with this Ojiya tsumugi I bought to go with it; actually I have yet to wear this obi at all. Since I bought this obi to match this grey Ojiya tsumugi, it dawned on me that it might match this grey tsumugi here as well, since this grey tsumugi has touches of pink in the design. Just for the record, I had intended to accessorize it in this case with a crimson obijime and the Awai crimson-and-grey obiage. However, I thought it was too harsh to go with this, for lack of a better word, “lovely” type of kimono.

DSC_0744Recently, probably last November or December (I really keep meaning to keep better records), I bought this “lovely” (neither quite elegant nor subdued, but there must be a better word) white Nagoya obi with a design of squares in somewhat metallic-like pink and aqua blue on sell in the kimono section of Tobu; where they absolutely adore me because it located between the train platform and my home, and I frequently pick something up when I walk through. Anyway, I bought this obi because I thought it might go both with this kimono as well as my blue tsumugi. I still think it will go well with the blue tsumugi.

*Note to self, at some point I must blog about my escapades at Tobu; they are hysterical, at least to me—but then this blog is pretty much about me, and more and more just about kimono. Just also blog about the exhibition I just saw, especially since originally this was really intended to be a Japanese art blog, Oooops!

DSC_0762Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I thought the blue in this white Nagoya obi was a bit too much for this kimono, and I was going to wear it out drinking anyway, so I thought it best to avoid white. Afterwards, I noted there is also a bit of light blue in the kimono, albeit a subtly different tone of aqua blue. I also have a white and pink Hakata Nagoya obi which may well go nicely with this kimono, but it is put away in the summer kimono chest since I bought it to go with summer yukata and kimono, and I didn’t feel like trying to rummage through the drawers to find it. Plus it is white, so hence the same problem as the other obi.

DSC_0752 So back to my maroon Hakata obi I wear all the time. The new obi choice naturally necessitated a rethinking of the obiage and obijime accessories. I was thinking of a light pink obijime cord paired with a white chirimen obiage with pink shibori roundel flowers (輪出しの絞りの帯揚). However, the variegated pinkish-purple obijime looked better with the maroon obi, and I had still intended to wear the white chirimen obiage (see pic at very top). However, while dressing, I decided to wear the fancy obijime from the Kunoya-san kimono boutique in Ginza. While I has many of the same colors as the kimono, I do thought it is a bit overpowering for the kimono. Anyway, having decided on that obijime, I then changed my mind about the obiage and decided to wear the two-tone crimson-and-grey obiage from Awai, folding it just so that very lightest pink shade as it graduated to grey would show.

DSC_0756_edAlso, I wore my silver and brownish-maroon zōri, my black fur-trimmed cape, and Chiyo’s sakura design black vinyl bag.




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auberginefleur at 13:09|PermalinkComments(0)

December 10, 2011

Christmas Kimono Ensemble--What I Really Wore

Grey Tsumugi


Black Mari Obi


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324312_Arecole


321756_arecole


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auberginefleur at 14:22|PermalinkComments(0)

November 28, 2011

Planning Christmas Kimono Ensemble

New Blinky Pink
Thinking Black Oshima Tsumugi, Crimson obiage sash and obijime cord, Antique off-white obi with black embroidered peonies, Mari-ball (as Christmas decoration) obi-decoration

Black Tsumugi NYs
Original site here: http://blog.livedoor.jp/
auberginefleur/
archives/52052624.html


1) Black Oshima Tsumugi





2) Paired with Black obi with Japanese mari-balls, to serve as Christmas tree decorations for this purpose (below).


Black obi balls detail



Blue Tsumugi Red obiage obijime detail


3) Crimson obiage sash and obijime cord


mari ball netsuke

4) Mari-ball (as Christmas decoration) obi-decoration (instead of cell-phone strap see here)



Black Treasures bag


5) Flying mari-balls (as Christmas decorations) kimono purse



SN3J0541_1_1


6) Fur edged shawl




Too blackie black? Kimono below better? How about with pink meisen kimono? Antique off-white obi with black embroidered peonies?

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Grey Tsumugi



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Avatar Kotatsu 20110225c





auberginefleur at 13:54|PermalinkComments(4)

September 20, 2011

Future Ensembles -- Blue Tsumugi

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* For FB readers, for original blog post see AF's Japan Now & Then @
HERE

Awai’s kimono coordination (in the previous post) reminded me of my blue tsumugi, and I would love to coordinate my blue tsumugi with the same white Nagoya obi and obijime cord. However, I probably couldn’t afford the obi, and the obijime seems to not be available for purchase, at least on their online site.

When I wore this blue tsumugi with this off-white Hassun obi with a woven design of leaves (seen here), I actually thought it was quite boring. Perhaps with a different obiage and Obijime? Perhaps in blue, grey, or off-white?



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Anyway, at present, I am thinking this blue tsumugi would look nice coordinated with the obi and haori jacket at the top of this post. Most of my kimono’s are either some tone of purple or lavender, or blue. And I like the two colors together as well. The lavender tsumugi Nagoya obi above has many colors of lavender, maroon, green, and light blue in its dyed design, so it would go with nearly everything I own. I am not sure if the design is meant to be apples and pears, or persimmons and gourds, or other yet.

The haori is a dark true-purple (Edo-murasaki) with the dotted waves in the same color of lavender as the obi, with a design of floating cherry blossoms in red and white, and green leaves. The haori jacket is quite long, and I am thinking wearing it with this blue tsumugi will lend a nice early-Shōwa (1930s-40s) period feel.


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The blue tsumugi is an awase (lined) kimono worn during the winter months from October to mid-May. So if I was going to wear it out and about in November, say to a trip to Kyoto, just the haori might not be warm enough, but I could bring along my fur-trimmed purple shawl. The only thing about this kimono is it has a wax-paper-like oily feel, probably because it either has never been washed since it was dyed or because there is some stain-resistance treatment on it. Plus, it is a touch short, so a bit of a challenge to dress in well.

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* Note to self: must remember to see if this Leaf-Motif Hassun Obi would go with Indigo Shibori Yukata.





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auberginefleur at 15:26|PermalinkComments(0)

March 30, 2011

Paying Respects in Kimono 032920011

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* Click pics to enlarge

Lavender silk Yuki Tsumugi (pongee) kimono.


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Nagoya obi with snow-moon-flower (雪月花) motif in Sino-Japanese characters.


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White chirimen (crepe) obiage sash with pink shibori (tie-dye) flower roundels.

Semi-formal lavender obijime cord.

New zori sandals not pictured.




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auberginefleur at 19:54|PermalinkComments(1)

Back into easy everyday wear afterwards

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* Click pics to enlarge

Taisho-era style informal komon design kimono.


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Informal half-width maroon Hakata obi,tied in informal kai-no-guchi bow, then moved to back.

Semi-formal light blue obijime cord to hold obi-bow together.

(Very Mama-san-ish)


auberginefleur at 19:52|PermalinkComments(0)