Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mannequin kitsuke- Purple hikizuri with orange darari obi

So I'm trying again with this kimono.
A while ago I tried to pair this kimono and my black darari obi together and was disappointed with the results.

Read all about it here

I wanted to do some kimono-y before the baby arrives.
I knew I wouldn't be able to wear kimono myself and I'd been disappointed that I wasn't able to buy any of the maiko hikizuri and darari obi that have been on YJA auctions lately so I figured I needed to suck it up as I already own some lovely pieces that don't see daylight enough as it is.

This combo came to mind as it was the last hikizuri kitsuke I'd done and I thought to myself  "It would've been better with the orange obi"
So that's what I did.
And I think this ensemble looks pretty good, if I say so myself ;)

I've been working on getting the collar lower and obi higher.
Not quiet right but getting there.

I really like this photo, the colours of the obi are so vibrant.

Although badly stained this kimono really is beautiful.
The various shades of green and the ivy leaves changing colours is stunning.
The past times I tried to photograph this kimono I felt I couldn't capture the colours and feeling of the kimono just right so I'm glad these photos give you a better representation of its colour.

So this was the first darari obi I bought, purchased back in 2010.
I think it was from Ryu Japan, either just before or just after Shinei took over? I can't remember honestly.
I remember one thing that always bugged me was when it was sewn up, it didn't have the bottom bar underneath the mon.
So i unpicked it to see what was inside. Turns out it does have the bottom bar! And as you can also see from the above photo it has a nice dirty line where it was sewn up.
Mind you I unpicked it about 4 years ago but never sewed it back up... obviously I did for these photos though.
I've never cleaned an obi before but at some time I'd like to unpick it ( again) and try to clean that mark away and re-sew it so the bottom bar is visible.
Whether that actually ever happens I can't say.

I still think the obi is from a henshin studio, the unusal mon combined with the fact its only patterned on one side is... Odd.
It could be a legit maiko obi that was owned by a struggling okiya and this was a cost saving measure?
Who knows.
I have seen this pattern on two other maiko darari obi, one is white and gold and the other in black and gold.
Here is the white and gold version.
Here is the black version ( stunning!)
It gives me a tiny glimmer of hope that my obi is the real thing, but then its more likely that the pattern is just a popular one.

But I think the obi matches well with the kimono :)


Friday, September 18, 2015

Linking a maiko hikizuri to a maiko.

For some very lucky collectors it is possible to find a maiko or geiko wearing a kimono or obi they have bought.

As I also collect odori programs I am often asked by people who have purchased hikizuri/darari obi to keep an eye out for their new treasure.
I always say I will but just the sheer quantity of dance programs I own means that's a tough task in its own.

I was contacted by a fellow collector the other day asking me to check an early 2000's Miyako odori program. They had found an old IG forum thread that said that kimono featured in the program.
So that was easy enough to do.
I checked said program and the kimono didn't make an appearance.
Disappointing but "no worries" I thought, "just check a few years earlier and later, the dates might have been mixed up."
So I went back a couple of years and sure enough I found a small black and white photo of the kimono!
Yay! I had some good news to tell the owner.
As I was flicking through the second dance program I noted how odd it was that the kimono only featured in one of the photos.
Usually the black and white photos in the back feature a small group of maiko with various temples, events or other attractions.
So I thought to myself maybe the people who put together the dance program have re-used this photo from a previous year ( not an uncommon thing to do, but you see it less in recent years)
So I went back a couple more years and jackpot!
There was the kimono in question, in colour, on the first page.
9 years earlier than originally thought, 2 years earlier than the black and white photo.
The kimono has many photos in that dance program in the black and white section so the new owner should be delighted.
I've included just a couple here that show off the kimono design best.

The kimono I'm talking about is the purple one worn by maiko Mari.
Congratulations to the current owner, knowing who is wearing it and being such a modern piece means it is a lot easier to find out more about its history.
I really enjoyed helping this person out, I was as excited as they were to find a maiko wearing it