Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gifts from Youko-san

When we went to pic up Chicago stuff in July, my then-fiance and I stopped by Joliet to visit a kimono-friend, Youko, I made while in the city to have dinner and peruse her kimono collection. Dinner was a yummy all-you-can-eat sushi with Sapporo and Asahi beer (mmm, it was good, and started me on a Japanese beer kick). However, we were surprised you couldn't just order sashimi, and they were surprised we were used to being able to do so. So, we invited them up to Toronto to visit and we'll take them for sushi to return the treat, and for poutine (her husband has wanted poutine forever, but whenever he visits for business, they always take him for steak).
Anyway, after dinner, we looked through her kimono collection. She's addicted to YJA, and is from Nagoya, so she shops in Osu whenever she's home. She had some wonderful pieces that I seriously coveted! I'd have taken pics if it weren't so dark (it was late by the time dinner was finished). We had a good time chatting about kimono, styles, and fashion. I always get "fudangi" and "kasuaru" (casual) kimonos confused, but she said to think of it like "fudangi" is "around the house wear", like sweatpants, and the casual kimono are like capris or nice jeans. It was a fun analogy. XD One of my favorite pieces of Youko's was a black haori that had lobsters and cute goldfish and totally reminded me of Moonblossom.

She also possessed her grandmother's (or first grandmother in law's?) wedding kimono and juban; beautiful black furisode from the Taisho period and exquisite red and white shibori juban. She obviously doesn't wear them, but she was the only one in the family interested in kimono, so she inherited it. She also has a beautiful summer weave mirror-image crested purple tomesode with white flowers on it; simply stunning and in wonderful condition for it's age. I tried to convince her not to have it made into a dress; I hope I succeeded!

As we were going through her collection, she confessed she hadn't worn all the pieces, and likely wouldn't wear all of them, so she gave some to me! I was surprised and totally elated. She quite literally created my summer kimono wardrobe (now I need a kimono to wear with them). lol

I received two obi, both natsumono, a long haori (which is in style, yay retro!), and some fabric scraps as we both sew. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I'll think of something.

Click "read more" to see pics!

The first obi is a cream based summer weave, with purple flowers that have been identified as Columbine/Aquilegia. They're so classy looking and beautiful! I love purple.


The second obi is also cream-based with a cord motif in oranges with gold embroidery. She didn't like the color of the cord, but I did. Don't know what I'll wear it with yet, but I'll find something!

cord obi

The long haori is fairly large, and polyester, so it's easy to clean and I don't have to worry about it. It's got bamboo designs in fake shibori and has a black base.

bamboo haori

These are the fabric bits I received. Any ideas on what to do with them?

In addition to a sleeveless boy's kimono for scrap fabric:

More pics of these items (mostly closeups) in my photobucket gallery here.

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