Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Asian Inspiration and a Kimono Quandry


Last week I posted a picture of this Asian Inspired dress that I purchased at a thrift shop.  I couldn't wait to wear it and today, I did.  It is too sheer to wear without a slip, so I wore a black full slip that I also thrifted.  As my son/photographer were getting ready to leave to take him to VBS, I had an 'inspiration'; I found the paper fan that my niece brought me from Okinawa and decided to do some cute pictures. 
I also found the Japanese sandals and some Kimono waist ties that she brought over and wore them for a couple of pictures.



The bottom of the shoe is a wooden platform, about 1 inch high
These are the authentic sandals that are worn with summer Kimono.  They are surprisingly comfy and easy to walk in.  They have a slight rocking motion when walking, but they are easier to wear than flip flops.

Fan detail

This is how I really wore the dress today.  The Japanese accessories were just for the pictures although I really like the pink tie belt and the Japanese sandals with the dress.  Technically the dress is not Japanese style.  I think it looks more Chinese, but I was having some fun with the Asian influence and went with what I have.

This is traditional Japanese.  This is the lovely Kimono that my niece brought me from Okinawa when she travelled to the US for the first time three years ago. She was 19 at the time and it was my first time meeting her. Tiffany, my brother's daughter, is Japanese American and now lives in Tokyo.

I love the dainty print.  This is a summer Kimono.  In the full length picture, it looks very long and it is.  The dress is folded and bloused to adjust the length.

Traditional Kimonos (the word means 'a thing to wear') are not often worn in modern Japan.  There are some who do still wear them and 'maiko' also wear them.  There are typically 12 or more pieces to a Kimono and each piece is placed in a specific manner.  It's quite complicated!  My Kimono came with an instructional video, but I still have a difficult time with it.

This is one part of the Obi.  There are four other parts to mine.

This is the undergarment worn beneath the Kimono.

I love my Kimono, but I don't wear it.  It's so lovely I don't want to alter it, but I have considered shortening it so that I could wear it as a robe or a costume.  As it is, it sits in my closet looking pretty.  That's my quandary.  I don't want to alter the integrity of the piece, but I hate to let it sit.  I will keep it always, but I can't bring myself to make it wearable right now.  I won't ever sell it, so I don't have to worry about monetary value; it's value to me is that it was a gift from my niece and her mother.  I would love to enjoy it more than just occasionally admiring it hanging in my closet.  

Any opinions?  

14 comments:

  1. It's such a beautiful object, your kimono! What about finding/thrifting a dress form, then displaying it dressed in the kimono as an art object in your house?

    Your dress is more like the Chinese cheongsam outfits. Love the cut on you!

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    1. Great idea Sheila! I will keep my eyes out for a dress form. I could even rotate some outfits on it. I do have to wait for my son to return to college though..right now he is taking up some space in my office/man cave where I would put it. Love the idea.

      Thank you also for the info on my dress.

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  2. How wonderful to have an authentic kimono and all of the accessories! I have a couple of kimono from Japan, from a former blogger friend, but have had to make my own obis from silk ties. I also have a pair of kimono "thongs" (I can't think of the term for them now) and I like the way they make me walk. I love the impulse to get out your beautiful fan.

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    1. Terri...it's great that you could make your own! There are so many pieces to my Kimono! I did learn that many modern Japanese women don't know how to put on a Kimono and if they need to wear one, they often hire a 'dresser'.

      It's funny...after I made my post...I checked out the blogs I follow and saw your post with the fan too! Love the purple fan!

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  3. What a beautiful garment. So precious. The dress you wore seems a perfect compromise.

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    1. It was fun to wear that dress. Wish I had an event to wear the Kimono to! Of course would have to learn how to put it on properly. There are many layers!

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  4. Thank you for the sweet comment onmy post-I am no following your awesome blog! This kimono is beautiful!

    Adrienne
    What Lola Wants

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    1. Awesome! I am happy to have you following! Thank you for the compliments!

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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you...it was fun to wear!

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  6. I love how you styled the thrifted kimono.-- specially the belt.
    Is the kimono your niece gave you, THAT long that you cannot wear with heels. If so, I'd shorten it to the length of a long dress and wear it. You'll rock i it.

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    1. Lorena,

      Thank you for the compliment! The authentic Kimono is about two feet longer than it would be to fit an average height woman. It is that length because they are made to be folded and placed in a very particular and complicated fashion. I definitely would have to cut it to make it work. There is so much fabric I could probably make another dress from what is left!

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  7. I think you should go ahead and alter it - I mean it's amazingly gorgeous and it would be brilliant to wear. Just see a good tailor to ensure that the integrity of the piece isn't lost.

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

    P.S. Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog!

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    1. Hi Courtney...thanks for responding to my 'Kimono Quandry'.

      That may be the direction that I will take. Not sure yet...but I love the fabric so much and think I could really make it into a lovely dress, or two. I had no idea how complex and voluminous authentic kimonos are. I actually thought it would be more like a simple silk robe.

      I will have to choose my tailor carefully.

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"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain