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2012 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival – Sunday Morning

A few weeks ago we went to Fillmore Street in San Francisco to have brunch with Arian’s friend. Afterwards, we walked around window shopping when we unexpectedly stumbled across a tiny Japanese antique store. I could see through the doorway a rack of kimono along the back door and of course, immediately became excited! Ever since Genji Antiques closed, while there are a few places around, (including my favourite, Shiraku in Japan Town), I have missed having variety.

It turned out that the back rack was of more modern kimono and haori – really not to my taste. But in my haste to zoom in and look at them, I had overlooked a rack in a small alcove by the front door which had wonderful Taishō and early Shōwa pieces! Immediately, a gorgeous soft eau-de-nil background with solid, dark purple branches and leaves in silhouette form caught my eye. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it had creamy white sakura so delicately tinted with pink paired against the bolder style of the branches and leaves. It was love at first site and I knew I wanted to wear it for the festival. We got talking with the owner, and discovered he was going to be at the festival, helping a friend out with the booth – so we promised to drop by and visit him. If ever you are in Fillmore Street, SF, please be sure to check out Narumi Antiques! Not only does he have lovely kimono, he has a wide selection of dolls and other interesting antiques.

Initially, I had planned on wearing my indigo sakura and parrot chūya obi with it. In my head I could see how the branches and sakura would become an extension of the kimono. However, once I had them paired together, it just wasn’t clicking – so the parrot obi went back to the original ensemble I had planned with it and I tried to find another obi to work with this one. After a few false starts, it turned out my embroidered tsuzumi shusu obi was perfect. For fun and added contrast, I went with reds for the han’eri, obi-age and obi-jime.

We found the stall where the owner was working, and he seemed quite happy to see the kimono being worn, and loved the colour combinations. Overall, I was quite pleased. Not initially what I had planned, but I did love the outcome. Please click on the photos for larger versions.

Lily decided she wanted to pose with me. I love how she’s doing a pretty decent job of mimicking my stance!:

I love my Lily-boo!

And a close-up of my hair at the back. Because of the fun boldness of the red in the ensemble, I decided to go with a slightly more contemporary and playful hairstyle. I had it pulled back into an off-centred bun with a shape similar to marumage, accented with my bird kushi and flowers.

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