Some of my new kimono have arrived this week and I’m very well pleased.
Perhaps the best is the black Meisen with coloured splodges. This silk is the lovely, thick, glossy silk I expect from Showa-era Meisen, and is very comfortable to wear. To go with it, I have already cut my black Nagoya obi into a tsuke obi, which effectively gives me two obi – one with a silver camellia and one in plain black. I might also stencil one of the plain sections with fabric paints, as then I’ll have three obi for the price of one.
I don’t generally wear a taiko when at home – I just wrap the narrow section of the obi right around myself and secure it with an obi-jime. My favourite obi-jime isn’t actually Japanese – it’s a beige narrow tube belt off a 1960s dress in an acrylic-lurex blend, which is slightly elastic and therefore holds the obi firmly in place while also being easy to tie.
The rust and black Taisho Roman Meisen is a lovely kimono but much more fragile – in fact, the first time I sat down in it, it gave at the seams (not at the actual stitching, but the silk itself, which is fragile), so I removed it straight away and will repair it and wear it loose as an uchikage. It is a little too small for my great Western butt, and I don’t want to put the silk under further strain.
In fact, my considerable weight gain since I started collecting kimono has become a bit of an issue. Kimono that I once found comfortable are now frighteningly snug, while those I tended not to wear because they seemed just huge are now a good fit. A shame for my figure, but at least it gives me a chance to wear those that weren’t getting much use, like my soft blue komon with roketsu-zome and purple komon with tiny flowers.
The turquoise Taisho Roman kimono turned out to be fabulous in real life, in thick rinzu and the applied goldwork is beautiful. The salmon houmongi was more of a complete-ist purchase, really, rather than to wear. It has a stain on the collar that I wasn’t expecting, but no matter, as I was planning to put kake-eri on pretty much all of my kimono anyway.
And lastly, the floral rayon juban is absolutely gorgeous – just the sort of kimono that you think of when you’re a teenager. I’ve really enjoyed wearing this under the black Meisen.
Today I’m wearing my brown, taupe and cream Showa-era komon with arabesque pattern over a pale pink ro juban and teamed with my peach Nagoya obi, cut as a han-haba. Later I’ll be teaming it with my brown and white shibori haori to go out to lunch. Yesterday was a kimono-free day but on Monday I wore my black rinzu komon with red origami cranes, with the same juban and a black obi, and felt like a princess all day. Both the juban and the komon have very long sleeves, which I prefer. The sleeves on this brown komon are a little short, so the juban sleeves have to be rolled up slightly to fit.