Last year I went nice and subdued for Cherry Blossom Festival.
Well, this year I didn’t! I decided to re-vamp my Taisho ensemble with some new pieces. Namely the gorgeous tsuzumi obi, red accessories and zori. My batteries were unknowingly flat in my camera, so I’ve had to rely on other people’s photos: It was very windy and cold outside!
This was taken after having been dressed in kimono for 14 hours straight! (I wore it for a personal record of 17 hours – I was helping with the SF Taiko Dojo concert).
I’m sure there are full length photos of me in my haori floating about…hopefully they’ll surface…the haori is just below knee length.
This outfit received a HUGE amount of attention from everyone. I constantly had people coming up asking to take my photo, or to have their photo taken with me. I also received a very large number of compliments in regards to my kitsuke from those in the know.
The main highlights of my day however:
1. A Japanese artist instantly picking up my outfit as being Taisho, and telling me I reminded him of a famous shin-hanga artist – that I looked like I stepped out of one of his paintings. I had a great conversation with him about how Edo and Taisho inspire my outfits – in particular we discussed Junichi Nakahara, along with the state of modern day kitsuke.
2. Being praised very highly by a Japanese lady who lived in Kyoto for quite some time for how nicely pulled back my collar was at the nape. She told me I wore my kimono like stylish ladies who live in Kyoto. She also praised me for my colour choices – that while my outfit was bright – it was obvious it was well planned. We also ended up having a great talk about kimono as fashion vs. ceremonial wear.
Being self taught in kitsuke makes me feel nervous that I’m making mistakes or wearing crazy outfits – moreso when I wear it to events where I know people will scrutinize me…but Saturday helped make me feel good. I know I have a long way to go still – but, I think I’m in the right direction!’