Friday, 4 July 2008

Summer kimono ensemble ideas from the "bargain basement"

When I saw the sale listing for Antique Ryu Japan yesterday, they had included a Taisho (1920s) summer ro (open weave) kimono bolt that I really liked, so I ordered it. It is quite OTT! There's enough for kimono, but it isn't quite as long as a modern kimono bolt (12metres - this is about 20cm shorter). Enough to make kimono for me quite comfortably. It would go well with this vintage ro silk nagoya obi in my collection -

- and this modern ro obijime and obiage set -

I think it has a very retro seaside kind of feel to it! The pattern reminds me of sand dunes and the colours of Art Deco travel posters. I won't be able to wear it for Japan Day at Liverpool though - the bolt won't arrive in time and I wouldn't have time to sew it anyway. I might wear the obi and accessories with a pink hemp kimono I made during January's kimono exhibition.

I didn't have any summer kimono when I lived in Japan. When I've returned, it is always in the middle of winter or the middle of summer. On my last trip, one of the visitors to Peaceful Heart Quilt Group's quilt exhibition wore kimono every time. She looked so cool and nice in it, I resolved to get on with some summer kimono other than casual yukata.

This karinui reminded me of that lovely ro komon -
I allowed myself some artistic licence with the obi and obijime/obiage colour - just because I love this retro abstract design -

- but this nagoya obi bolt would also coordinate nicely with the houmongi, for a more traditional look - perhaps with the green or peach obijime & obiage shown further down this post -

The black polyester ro komon bolt below is the basis for a work outfit for Festival of Quilts (if I can fit in sewing it by mid August). With this summer tsuke (2 part) obi to go with it - also poly. You wrap the long part round you like a belt and the musubi bow hooks onto the back. The obijime and obiage do the work of holding the obi tied. The bolt was only 2500 Yen (£13) and the obi 1500 Yen (about £7.50), both from Yahoo! Japan Auctions (like eBay). I managed to get two of each, so if I can only get the kimono sewn in time, both me and my assistant might be wearing them.
- with different pastel obijime & obiage sets -

This is another bolt waiting to be sewn - to go with the first ice blue nagoya obi and red obijime/obiage set. It is also polyester (very popular for summer kimono - you can WASH it!) But even cheaper than the first one - only 1500Yen, so I bought two. It might be next year's Festival of Quilts outfit!

ganbatte ne? I've got my work cut out with these !

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