I have very little money right now, and I will need to be saving any money I have right now for Japan in the summer. However, I've found these are the items I really want, some before I go to Japan, some while I'm there. I really want a hoodless cloak like the one Mamechiyo offers. I would get Mamechiyo's, but it's $630.00 - way out of my price range. After the night of Asian Occasion, I decided I really want/need a winter coat for my kimono. I hope to find one of these either on ebay, or at a second hand shop in Japan. And lastly, I really want a modern geometric obi and a white obiage/obijime set for my custom made kimono. All the obi I find on ebay are usually just a bit too dated looking for my kimono. These are my goals right now, and I'm going to try not to spend any money on anything else until I get these things.
Last night we had Asian Occasion at my college. I was previously asked to be in the fashion show. Well, originally I was just going to Asian Occasion, then I was asked if I could help my friend get dressed, and then my friend asked if I would be in the show with her, because she didn't want to be in the fashion show alone. So I said I would help out... basically any excuse for me to wear kimono. I decided to wear my new royal blue tsukesage with aurora motif. I paired it with my silver saga nishiki obi and matching silver saga nishikizouri. Ideally, I would have liked to have a white obiage for this, but since I don't have one, I used my light blue obiage - which looked ok. I also was tossing the idea of either my light blue obijime or my lavender obijime when my mom was at my apartment. We both thought the blue blended into the obi too much, so we chose the purple one. Even though Asian Occasion, was pretty much accross the street from my apartment building - it was really cold out, so I decided to bundle up! I wore my navy blue Umehaori, a ivory scarf, and on top of all of that, my ame coat (it wasn't raining, but it acted as a windbreaker). So, when my freind Emma arrived to AO, we immeadiately went to the bathroom to get her dressed. She very nice red furisode, with a black tsukuri obi, and pink obiage. It all looked very cute. I found out she actually learned how to wear kimono from her mom, who aparently wears kimono almost everyday, which I thought was pretty cool. I think she was reasonably impressed with my kitsuke abilities. We made Andrew take pictures of both of us completely dressed. I think both our kitsuke came out very nicely. Her fukurasuzume looks really good, and I jokingly asked her if her mom could make me a tsukuri obi. On me, I really need to work on getting my collar back where it should be. Right now, I continually have my collar too close to my neck - which usually indicates someone more mature in age. My collar should be back where Emma's is... and I should be showing a lot more collar in the front as well. However, this was the first time I actually tied my obi correctly. Usually I just kind of fudge it, but this time I really tied it correctly - this is the first time. I was pretty impressed with my first true otaikomusubi! I couldn't believe it wasn't a disaster. Something that I was actually surprised to hear from Emma was her saying, "We should totally have a kimono party!" That made me insanely happy, especially since I want to wear mine more often.
On Halloween I wore kimono, quite literally, all day. To class, I wore a buttery yellow komon with Heian period carts. I paired it with a red hanhaba obi, white han eri, red zouri, and orangey/salmon pink obiage. After spending about 2o minutes the night before trying to figure out what obijime matched this ensamble, I opted not to wear one. I borrowed a musubi style made up by one of the women on the immortalgeisha forums (Bebemochi). Picture was taken after a 3 hour car ride from Albany, NY to Staten Island (which is why the ohashori is messed up), and about 10 minutes before I changed into another outfit for Andrew's parent's halloween party. The Halloween party was Asian themed. So, Andrew and I both took the opportunity to wear our kimono. I did not wear the same kimono that I had worn to class, I changed into another ensamble. To the party, I wore my lavender komon with embroidered rabbits, black holyhock obi (embroidered and shibori), white han eri, light blue obiage, pink obiage and obijime, and pink zouri. I actually used a suggested color combination from Utsukushii Kimono (Winter 2007). The original color combination was everything I had listed, except with a red obijime. I really loved that combination, but alas, do not own a red obijime. Andrew looked amazing!! He did most of his kitsuke himself, with the exception of his kai no kuchi (貝の口) musubi - I helped him with that. Andrew wore his blackish/brown Oshima tsumugi (大島紬) kimono and mactching haori, paired with his white obi. He did not have a juban(襦袢) at the time, which is why he is not wearing one. In my opinion, his mannerisms while wearing kimono are absolutely perfect.
This morning I bought a new kimono - an azurite blue tsukesage (付け下げ、つけさげ) . I fell in love with the color as soon as I saw it. Usually, I don't like this color - possibly because it's normally paired with red or white flowers. In anycase, I fell for the subtle white aurora looking motif. However, I made a promise to Andrew that I would only buy this kimono if it stayed on Kimono Lily (formerly Chuu) until Sunday. Luckily, this beauty stayed until I could buy it. I already have items that I think I'm going to pair with this kimono. I think my silver Saga Nishiki kujaku (孔雀、くじゃく) obi, silver zouri, and a white obijime. Ideally, I'd like to buy a white obiage to go along with it as well. I hopefully will be wearing this beauty at the Asian Occasion event at my college.
I was a bit bored this afternoon, so I decided to take photos of my kimono chest and inventory what's in there.
The chest is something that took me quite a few months to actually find. The problem wasn't so much finding something that I liked. It was more the issue of finding something to accommodate the length of the kimono tatoushi (着物たとう紙、きものたとうし) (32 inches long). Everything I looked at seemed to stop at 30 inches wide. So I was looking on Target.com - and came across this tv armoire. It happened to be just the right width. So my parents bought it for me, knowing I needed something large to put my kimono in.
This is the inside of my kimono chest. I try to keep it fairly neat, but that's a bit hard (especially with no shelves on top). The whole top is filled with kimono(着物、きもの), yukata(浴衣、ゆかた), and haori(羽織、はおり) - mine and Andrew's. Under that shelf, all my obi(帯、おび) are stored. Behind the lower doors, are all my accessories... fans, underwear, bags, kitsuke accessories, kanzashi, etc. As I said, I attempt keeping everything neat, but that becomes especially hard with my kimono and my obi.
This is obviously my first post here, so I'm obviously very new at the 'blogging thing'. I will say that I intend to use this blog to document, not only my kitsuke progress and so on, but also to document my friend's progress, and kitsuke news (from here and Japan). I also wish to show, possibly different or new methods of doing things - kitsuke wise (such as maybe tying obiage/obijime in an unusual way).
A bit about me to get this started. I'm 22 years old, and live in Upstate, NY (Albany and above). My original interest in kimono and kitsuke actually stems from my interest in Geisha culture. One thing that especially grabbed me about these mysterious women, was their specific and stylish way of dress. Since the first time I actually saw geisha in Kyoto, I wanted more than anything, to own the same beautiful items of clothing.
Since then (3 years ago), I have amassed about 30 kimono; everything from yukata （浴衣、ゆかた）, to komon （小紋、こもん）, to furisode （振袖、ふりそで）, to tomesode （留袖、とめそで）, and wedding kimono （花嫁着物、はなよめきもの）. I have a lot of time, money, and effort in my collection, and am very proud of the items I own. The only problem with this is, the more kimono I own, the more I want to buy.
Not only do I see these beautiful items as clothing, but as an art major, I also see each kimono I own as a wearable piece of art. Even if there is another kimono with the same pattern as one I own, there are still tiny, almost invisible, differences between the two kimono. I love the fact that each kimono I own, is one of a kind.