Monday, April 29, 2013

Awase, Hitoe, Ro... - When is the proper time to switch?

Japan has rules for everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! Kimono is certainly no exception to this. Traditionally, one wears awase (lined kimono) the majority of the year. In June and September, one wears hitoe (unlined kimono), and in July and August, one wears open weaves like ro and sha. The chart below puts it neatly together:

However, if you don't live in an area with a climate similiar to Japan, it can be very uncomfortable to stick with these rules. For example, I live in the Southern United States, and our climate isn't exactly comparable. This year, it's already been up to 85F in April. Just based on temperature, that's ro/sha weather.

So what do you do then? No one wants to look like they don't know what they're doing, but you don't want to die from heat stroke either. My take? Do what is comfortable. Explain if you have to. But don't kill yourself! While I haven't gotten to ro/sha just yet, I have been wearing some hitoe, depending on the weather of the day. For example, it was 60F when I went to tea ceremony the other day, and I wore awase. But a few weeks ago it was 80F, and I wore hitoe, even though it was early April. I'm not bold enough to switch to ro/sha until it becomes muggy (like it does every summer here). But you can bet that by the end of May, I'll probably be in ro/sha. And I'll probably be wearing it through September, since it doesn't turn cooler until October around here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

SUPER LONG Zentsuu Fukuro Obi!

A lovely person on  the Immortal Geisha forums posted a link to two zentsuu fukuro obi on eBay with some very nice length for us Western sized people. The first had a butterfly pattern, but looked more like a share fukuro obi. The second was this lovely black and silver botan pattern obi. So, you know what I did...

It's 190 inches long!! And the silvery thread dresses it up more than other one. Also, I've seen quite a few modern ensembles lately that make use of predominantly black obi like this, and they look so chic!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pink (REAL) Shibori Kimono and Lavender Hakata Obi

I have recently been looking all over for a full REAL shibori kimono. The problems I kept running into were that they were: 1. Printed, not the real tie-dye technique, 2. Too short, and 3. Very expensive. I got super lucky when I ran across this baby! Real shibori, 173 cm tall, and $30! Win!!!

I also picked up this lavender summer hakata obi. It's been about 80˚F here lately! That's above average even for us, so I guess I was thinking summer when I bought this obi.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hanami 2013

Last weekend was absolutely beautiful, and the sakura have finally bloomed, so we went hanami at the Memphis Botanic Garden. My friend Heidi got the opportunity to wear her new pink kimono. She's 6 feet tall, so we aren't able to make an ohashori, but it was pretty nonetheless. My sister let me dress her, and she did things a little Western style by wearing white strappy sandals and a big pink floppy hat! ^_^ Josh also wore kimono - his pale blue kimono with hakama. I wore my black sakura houmongi to blend in with the trees XD. We had a picnic in the pavillion and even had some onlookers take some photos of us! We had a great time!

MTAC 2013 - Geisha henshin and more!

The last weekend of March was MTAC 13 - Devil's Dozen in Nashville. I applied for and was accepted to do a panel on geisha. We had a prime slot at 7pm on Saturday. That was the highlight, but I also did a little cosplay and kimono hime on the other days. I have a lot of pictures to share!

I did a cosplay for Yuko Ichihara from xxxHolic. I wore a black butterfly yukata as a kimono with my black neko tsukuri obi. The hair gave me so much trouble because of the length, so I ended up braiding it. I had a Mokona and a kiseru as my props. We also got autographs from Jamie Marchi and Monica Rial! That evening was also the Grand Galloping Gala formal, so I borrowed my sister's Princess Celestia costume for that.

Saturday was our geisha panel. My geisha henshin group - Tsuki no Ie Okiya - did the presentation. I did the majority of the talking, but "Tsukiuma" (maiko henshin) and "Mitsurutsuki" (taiko mochi henshin)were very wonderful as well! Tsukiuma and I ("Tsukiko" - geiko henshin) had our pictures done by a professional photographer. We were complimented by many people on the authenticity of our outfits. ^_^

Sunday was good-bye day =(. I did some kimono hime to round out the week. It was an improvement on the kimono hime I did for Mid-South Con.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Princess Yukata

I bought this super obnoxious yukata today for my sister. She's not particularly interested in kimono, but she loves gyaru and other Japanese fashion, so when I showed it to her, she wanted it so bad! Now we can have yukata sister time! XD

It's a set that comes with a pretied obi (which I hate, but it'll be easier for her), and matching geta and a scrunchie.

She's threatening to wear a tiara with it. I say go for it!