A maiko is an apprentice Geisha ( or Geiko which is the Kyoto dialect) from Kyoto and are frequently featured on tourism adverts.
Maiko wear long sleeved kimono called "furisode" that trail on the ground like the higher class women would wear back in the day called "hikizuri" or "susohiki" basically dragging hem.
Here is my collection of maiko hikizuri.
My first one that I purchased is one that is from the 1930's or Early Showa era.
It is black with 5 crests which makes it formal, it has designs of matsu (pine) and tsuru (crane) and was probably worn for new years celebrations. It is a winter piece.
I have found photos of this particular kimono being used at a maiko henshin studio (i.e. a place where you can dress up as a maiko,geiko,oiran,samurai, shichi-go-san etc)
The fact that its so old and has been used quite a lot explains why the fabric is in such fragile condition.
My 2nd hikizuri is meant for less formal engagements, it has an all over pattern (komon) and features abstract butterflies and grass motifs. This would be a transitional piece going between lined spring kimono to summer kimono. This hikizuri is "hitoe" or unlined.
My 3rd one is a summer piece made from "sha" fabric, which is an open weave to help cool the wearer down.
This would be a semi-formal piece.
The body is a pale blue featuring "hagi" or bush clover motif in purple, pampass grass in orange and yellow and its very difficult to see in the photos but tiny little wisteria bunches.
The idea with maiko and geiko hikizuri is that they are bold from afar but have fine details that you appreciate when you are closer to them.
And my new baby that I won a couple of weeks ago is a stunning, drool-worthy piece!!!
I found that maiko Fukuhina-san wore this kimono for last years Miyako no nigiwai performance (all geiko districts come together to perform dances each year under this name) so i was stoked to find it actually being worn by a real maiko!!!
The body is an amazing deep purple with blue and light purple hydrangea motifs on the shoulders.
The sleeves and hem are a pale blue with an amazing water lily motif.
I haven't received it in the post yet but i can't wait!