Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kimono Challenge #6

1. How did you discover and get into kimono?
2. Your dearest kimono item(s).

3. Your most used kimono item(s), not including dressing items or undergarments.

4. Your least used kimono item(s).
5. Your favorite coordinations?

6. What you like and don’t like about kimono.
7. Kimono confessions…Did you know that…
8. Your dream kitsuke items.
9. Your biggest kimono fears.
10. Your biggest kimono inspiration?
11. Your kimono collection.
12. The evolution of your kitsuke.
13. Your special kimono memory.

I absolutely love kimono (of course), so it will be easier to answer what I like about kimono versus what I don't like. I love that even though all kimono are the same basic shape, the wide variety of colors and patterns make it so that you have limitless options in coordination. Add formality and sleeve length changes and that's even more options. It's so much fun to me to sit down and try to coordinate outfits for different occasions. Also, adding new and different types of kimono to my collection is part of the draw of kimono. I love how when I go out in public (even to Japanese events), it's eye-catchingly different. I always love how even the Japanese ladies that I do tea ceremony with always marvel over the fact that 1. I can dress myself, and 2. I'm a Westerner dressing myself. I love how kimono make anyone look sophisticated, and it brings an air of gentility to even the most casual of situations. It often feels like you're going back in time while wearing kimono. They make me feel elegant when I'm wearing them, when normally I'm a clumsy fool. Last, I love how so many things in Japanese culture revolve around the kimono, whether we recognize it or not. For example, in tea ceremony, many of the movements are done so that a kimono's sleeve will be out of the way or as not the sully a clean kimono. Without wearing a kimono while practicing, the subtle nuance of those movements is lost.

Now for what I don't like... I don't like that most kimono are far too small for me, especially vintage pieces. I either have to get very lucky, buy TL sizes from dealers on Rakuten, or have things custom-made. The costs increase quickly due to the increased amount of fabric needed. I also don't like that it's not an easy hobby for many people to get into (due to cost and practice time) and most people will not have the willpower to learn to do kitsuke properly. It's also hard to do many daily tasks while wearing kimono. Sadly, the kimono is not a functional garment for today's society.

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