Women’s Kimono SOKODZIKARA

Women’s kimono SOKODZIKARA
ISBN 9784860202132

Amazon.co.jp link

Topic Discussion on Immortal Geisha Forums:

Book Breakdown:

This book is a collaboration between Setsuko Ishida and Mamechiyo, and while I can’t read Japanese, I found a webpage that indicates the concept appears to be the styling of outfits based on specific movie heroines.

The main downside to this book for those of us who can’t read Japanese is that the book is very text heavy, with only 12 ensembles featured. If you are looking for something heavily picture based or with may ensembles, you won’t find it here. However, if you are the type of person who likes to look at one or two very well put together outfits to seed your creativity – this book certainly helps with that.

After the introduction, the book is broken down into six different style sections. Each section is styled either by Setsuko Ishida or Mamechiyo and features 2 different outfits recreating the look and feel with roughly two full page photographs devoted to each ensemble. The following pages after the ensembles are mostly text with a few close up photographs of various accessories and elements to be worn with that particular style.

The style sections are:

Hibotan Bakuto styling by Mamechiyo (page 18-27)
Nagareru styling by Setsuko Ishida (page 28-37)
Irezumi styling by Mamechiyo (page 38-47 also cover image)
Yoru no Kawa styling by Setsuko Ishida (page 48-57)
Zigeunerweisen styling by Mamechiyo (page 58-67)
Nyokei Kazoku styling by Setsuko Ishida (page 68-77)

The final 32 pages of the book are in black and white, and mostly text featuring some photographs of fabric swatches, actresses, and one of maiko dancing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say what the discussions on these pages are about.

My Opinions:

Personally, I enjoyed this book and it has it’s place in my collection on the eye candy/inspiration shelf.

On my first flip through, I was initially disappointed there were so few outfits, but when I sat down to study it properly, I came to appreciate how well each style was presented, especially with care taken in selecting hairstyles, make-up and the various accessories.

I particularly liked the fact they mixed and matched vintage pieces with new to create a purely timeless feel – rather than anything feeling dated or too modern. On this note, something I found rather interesting and quite relevant to all of us who collect vintage kimono was one of Mamechiyo’s ensemble. At first, second, even third look at the image, I didn’t notice it – but eventually I realized the model was wearing a vintage kimono with no ohashori! The kitsuke was immaculate (yet, comfortable looking) and the lack of ohashori honestly was not noticeable until close study. We’ve often discussed the length and/or lack of ohashori on the forums, and to see an outfit without one (and by Mamechiyo) made me feel a lot more comfortable about wearing shorter vintage kimono.

In regards to the styling, Setsuko Ishida’s ensembles were all quite wearable as photographs whereas most of the ensembles by Mamechiyo were more on the avant-garde side and something you wouldn’t want to wear outside of your home or cosplay. However, with Mamechiyo’s ensembles, the combination of colours, patterns and textures were extremely inspiring, and with adjustments to more appropriate kitsuke, would create amazing ensembles.

Recommend to:
Those who have been practicing kitsuke for quite some time.
Those interested in non-modern kitsuke styles.
Those who collect vintage kimono.
Don’t Recommend:
Those who are new at kitsuke. While it’s nice inspiration, it is important when you are learning kitsuke to understand the rules first before going ahead and breaking them. You’ll come to see in time that that what appears to be “”breaking”” the rules really isn’t so much “”breaking”” as it is people understanding them well enough to know how to bend them.
Those who prefer a lot of photographs. If so – KimonoHime may be more appropriate.
Those looking for a step by step style guide. While I can’t tell what the Japanese text says – this book isn’t really a step-by-step guide. You would need to take your own initiative in creating outfits.
Those looking for step by step kitsuke instructions. There are no kitsuke instructions in here.

Last but not least:
Anyone interested in the movies mentioned – I found some links to reviews:

Hibotan Bakuto



Yoru no Kawa

Amazon.com link for DVD

Nyokei Kazoku
Unable to find reviews.

Hibotan Bakuto inspired ensembles by Mamechiyo:

Nagareru style by Setsuko Ishida

Yoru no Kawa style by Setsuko Ishida. I’ve seen many kimono similar in style to this, but I’ve always been stumped in ideas for creating an ensemble. I’d wear this in a heartbeat.

Zigeunerweisen styled by Mamechiyo. This is one of my favourite outfits from the book, and not just because she has my current haircut. Look at those colours! Also, look closely – no ohashori!

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