Sunday, January 29, 2012


Well I`ve been on a kimono buying spree this month, but not too much wearing. So I decided I should at least start turning my one day off into a kitsuke day, it`s the day most of the markets are anyway.
But today I was meeting a friend for dinner so I had a good reason to dig through my pile of recent purchases.
Green and red vintage meisei kimono, with a pink and black hakata obi I brought from the tennoji branch of 135 yesterday.

Pretty simple look today, I wore a turtleneck instead of juban, it has been very cold recently.

Kinda of the back view. It`s brand new and so stiff to tie, not my nicest musubi. But I think it will go with a lot of my (mostly dark) kimonos.


With outerwear, my favourite haori and lambs wool collar. I wasn`t cold at all lol.

The kimono is far too short for me so I hiked it up and wore UGG style boots. It feels like a bit of  a fashion crime but I rode my bicycle to shinsaibashi (yes in kimono) and I know my feet will stay toasty warm.

Had delicious dinner with my friend, been so long since I`ve had dim sum.

And then after we went to a green tea specialty shop.
That tea was so strong I don`t think I`ll be sleeping any time soon lol.

Oh and click the button below ;D

にほんブログ村 ファッションブログ アンティーク着物・リサイクル着物へ

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review: Kimono Bancho

Kimono Bancho by Megumi Matsuda
Languages: Japanese 
ISBN-10: 4072746541  
ISBN-13: 978-4072746547
112-pages link

I saw this in a book store a few weeks ago, and when I went back I was drawn to it again and had to purchase it. It is a manga essay type book featuring lots of cords and ideas, and the kimono bancho (boss) does such lovely illustrations it is very accessible. She has connections to Mamechiyo (who positively reviewed this book) so the cords are very modern.


Chapter 1: 12 months co-ordinates

May Party Cords
October Halloween Cords
I love her outfits! Each month has two cords with ideas for adding seasonal details to outfits and general ideas for komono. She also has great ideas for tieing outfits into seasonal events in Japan like Setsubun and Valentines day (which I am definitely going to be trying). There are a few simple hairstyling ideas too for different occasions.

Chapter 2: Softening Kimono - How to guide through manga
Her kimono philosophy revolves around keeping kimono and obi to non-seasonal geometric patterns so you are able to get the most use out of them, and getting seasonal details in things like han-eri, obidome, hair accessories etc, and she has many ideas for hand making them, for example painting designs onto han-eri with acrylic paints.

Chapter 3: Special Occasion Kimono
Kimono Show
Here she talks about kimono outfits for shows and her wedding.

Chapter 4: Lets make Komono!

How to make obidome, and corsage
I really like this section, it has alot of simple crafty ideas for komono. I`m sure for more crafty people have been doing these kind of things already but for beginner crafty people (or people like me who have WIP syndrome) lots of quick things that can really personalize an outfit. It`s all in the details!

Chapter 5: How to wear kimono
hanhaba obimasubi
A short section on basic kitsuke and obi masubi with some practical hints and tips for everyday wear.

This book is going to be a staple for sure and I`m definitely a fan of Ms. Matsuda from now. I have already lent it out to a friend who loved the ideas too.

-modern seasonal cord ideas
-lots of stylish illustrations
-easy to read for those with basic Japanese
-focuses on every day wear
-simple craft ideas
-good basics of kimono coordination

-not so much for those interested in formal/traditional styles
-kitsuke and musubi are basic

I listed the cons but to me they`re not really cons per say because I`m more interested in casual funky styles, nor was I expecting much in depth kitsuke (I want tons of musubi I`d buy a musubi book).

I suggest checking out Ms. Matsuda`s home page and blog for her illustrations, if she releases another kimono book in the future I`ll definitely check it out.

Megumi Matsuda`s homepage
Kimono Bancho`s blog
Kimono Bancho`s twitter

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kimono challenge #1 How did you get into Kimono

Well time to get on the kimono challenge bandwagon! I`ve really been enjoying everyone`s posts for this!

1. How did I hear about kimonos& first kitsuke thoughts and stuff
2. My dearest kimono item(s)
3. My most used kimono item(s) (not counting jubans, datejimes etc.)
4. My least used kimono item(s)
5. My favourite coordination(s) so far
6. What things I like and what not in kimonos(&why)
7. Kimono confessions. Did you know that...
8. The massive want-to-buy-list(or in this situation what-I-would-like-to-buy-but-don't-have-enought-money-or-any-occassion-to-wear-it-list)
9. My biggest fears&wishes what comes to kimonos
10. My biggest inspirations in kimonos
11. My kimono collection
12. The evolution of my kitsuke

How did you get into kimono?
This feels like such a long time ago now! I lived in Tokyo for one year 2003-2004 as an exchange student, and of course I`d see kimono around. I wanted to learn how to wear one so badly! Then one day I stayed over at a friend`s dorm who was going to a different university. She had taken a laqure making class and the teacher was going to show her how to wear kimono in the morning. I well, invited myself along lol. I`m not sure the teacher was that happy I had come along but oh well! She showed us and another student how to put on kimono and she dressed us. I was hooked!

I had a school trip to a kabuki performance coming up so I decided to wear kimono to it. I went to a low end department store and with help from the shop lady I picked out a sha kimono (it was summer) and she basically got together all the komono for me.

With a "you can wear kimono by yourself!" book I took it back to the dorm and started practicing. in my room.

The day of the kabuki arrived, and apart from the dorm old lady fussing over my kitsuke everyone was impressed. Looking back I`m not so impressed now lol.

Teeeny 2004 keitai pictures!

And then after the performance, with all the slippage that involved with sitting down for a long time D: It looks rather plain to me now, could have been jazzed up a bit with some komono!

I didn`t buy any more kimono while I was in Japan (I already had sooo much to send back) but once I got back to the UK, I discovered ebay and it really tumbled on from there...

Origin of the challenge:

Blogs participating in the challenge:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Koakuma - kimono gal style

I`ve been thinking about my kimono style recently, in what do I like etc so I can do a bit more directed buying. Of course I love retro-modern/kimono hime style, but I also really like koaguma kimono style.

Koakuma (小悪魔)means little devil, and is basically very sexy young style of fashion featured in the hostess inspired magazine ageha, and the grown up gal magazine NUTS etc. It is mainly western style clothing, but at the popular times of years (coming of age, summer yukata) they feature kimono.

Now, agejo fashion doesn`t have a good image the older/more conservative levels of Japanese society because of the hostess connections, but I am not one to judge someone on their style or profession. I would argue that the agejo disapproval has a streak of class-ism to it, and instead of hysterics maybe parents should wonder why their daughter finds hostessing a more appealing career than working as an office lady fetching cups of tea for the bucho but I digress.....

Some scans from a mook done a few years ago.

Here is an album for the complete mook here.

It`s very OTT but it`s so outrageous and fun! The mook features a lot of make up and hair tutorials, although they are as I would say advanced and difficult to do alone. But you`d get your hair set for this kind of outfit anyway...

And it is a one stop shopping for the style, the rakuten shop sweet angel. They supply pretty much every kimono outfit you`ll see in ageha, and they`ve been spreading to the other magazines like nuts and I`ve just seen they`ve been using egg models (a teen gal magazine).
So a selection from their current catalogue.


It sparklessssss. While I love the blingness....RENTAL price is 238,000yen for a 10 piece set.

Orian lives!

Yes, koakuma will do an orian style, which is quite sexy I think. In the mook the detail how to wear it like this. For a 30 piece set rental = 348,000yen. Hostesses have a bottomless wallets (ahem sugar daddys).

Ok so while the furisode are very pretty it`s not something I could ever try.

But there are far more achievable styles.

 Something a bit more understated and practical, and houmongi are what you see the majority of hostesses wearing unless it`s a special holiday time.

These are rental cords, which cos 28,000yen. But I think this kind of chic modern look is totally achievable with 2nd hand kimono finds, koakuma is all about the accessories anyway.

Totally out of season but yukata is where you can really go to town and you do see gals dressed like this at festivals.

Sets on sale from 3000-8000yen.

The essentials of koakuma:
-big hair
-big hair accessories
-dark sexy make up
-flashy komono

Unless there are sales, I find sweet angel a over priced, but it`s a great place to browse for ideas to `glam` up your cords.

The komono like sparkly obiage and fancy han eri are available from sweet angel, but I`m sure could be recreated with some nice fabrics and a glue gun (if rhinestones, pearls, or lace can be added, add it).
The big corsages I recreate by well putting together a load of smaller (more affordable ones), I will probably make a set and think of a way of adding bling for my orian style yukata I brought at the end of summer last year (in the sale lol)

But before that I definitely want a go at creating a houmongi cord!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Street Snaps - New Years

Street Snaps
Waiting for the bf I had a few wines, and I was thinking. I had been seeing lots of people in kimono and I was like, why don`t I just say I do a blog and ask for a snap?! Of course after I decide that the amount of kimono went down lol...But I took whatever I saw, nice to see young girl`s styles.

Outside Hankyu

Kitashinchi station

Osakatengumae Station
Teshinbashisuji Shotengai. Cute fuisode!
Kitashinchi Station, uh it was windy lol.

It is cold so shawls and fur are essential as you can see! Everyone I saw looked very cute and it`s so nice to see other people wearing kimono, it`s like a special club lol.

I will definitely try to do this more, unfortunately other than new years and summer festivals seeing kimono is rare. But I guess that gives an excuse to go to Kyoto and kimono shops!

New Years Shrine Visit

So the third I was to do the first shrine visit of the year with my bf. Except he over slept and we went to Tenshin San instead. Oh well, I will visit Kyoto soon on my own anyway.


First without the Haori. I had treated myself to a new kimono from a Rakuten shop called Nico Antique, I got the evening themed colour because purple is my favourite. They have some lovely stuff there, cat themed obis and kimono...will get more when I can treat myself!

I sorted the overly long ohashori before I went out ahem, I`m kinda out of practice for kitsuke.

Obi detail

Detail of the obi, also from Nico Antique. Should have worn an obi ita, oh well! I let them chose the tsukuri obi to go with the set so it was a surprise when it arrived in the mail.

The obiage and obijime were 100yen bargain bin finds. The obijime has a nice detail of coral beads. I didn`t choose komono with too strong colour because they over powered the light obi too much.

dekaeru cord

So to go out I wore a haori from Nico Antique and a vintage fur shawl. I figured stripes were a neutral motif that I could get the most use out of because I love naga haori.
zori and tabi detail

The zori with black velvet tabi, and the classy Guy Laroche bag which I discovered is actually a coutier brand! I guess the recycle shop guy didn`t know what he had there to sell it for 1000yen...

hair front
hair back

My hair set I done myself, it wasn`t too difficult. I googled taisho hair arrange and found a tutorial. My bf who is a hair dresser was even impressed and trying to work out how I done it lol. When in doubt stick a load of accessories on lol.

OTT hat love
So I went out to wait for my bf, and got bored and went to a normal accesory shop in Hankyu Umeda station, they had some good vintagey jewerly so I brought ear rings and a hat. My god I love that hat it`s so over the top lol.

The Outing
So when my bf finally made it out of bed to meet me we just went to Tenshin san, which is a famous shrine anyway and busy.

Tenshin san at New Years

Shrine maiden
The Shrine maiden was doing a dance at the time but couldn`t get good shots because of the green netting up to stop thrown coins going everywhere.

Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba

After the shrine we went to eat lunch, okonomiyaki and yakisoba. He was very hung over, he was looking so green it was hard to be mad at him for being late lol.

Mochi Stall
Mochi and Anko

We walked down the shopping street and stopped for snacks.


He had hot mochi and I had amazake. So good on a very cold day.

We walked around the very long shopping street, and I ended up doing more kimono shopping >_< I have plenty of obis at the moment but I need to build up a few more kimonos...for variety. Oh and interesting obijime >_> I got the bug again....

Chinese style donburi

We went back to Kitashinchi and to Nari-ya near Ohatsutenshin, a kind of south asian fusion cafe/izakaiya. The master is very nice and the food delicious and spicy.

Why he`s holding my handbag I don`t know.....
And that was it for the day! It wasn`t what was planned but fun non the less. New years in Japan is my favourite time of year it is very exciting with everyone with a few days off and doing traditional things.