Now, I do actually practice what I preach - I have to confess, I'm obsessed with the richness and versatility of kimono fabrics.
Don't tell my new hubby this, but I did have ideas about my wedding dress before I even met him... I always knew it was going to be red (I look awful in white and I can never keep it clean) and I always knew that it would have a piece of an old wedding kimono with a crane on it.
When we did get married though, the kimono had even more significance than purely my obsession, the wedding was to be our big farewell party to our friends and family before we came to live in Japan together.
My wonderful friend and business partner, Mel (the other Mel) bought the Uchikake (wedding kimono) for me as a wedding present. Tears came to my eyes when she said that it was so there was a "piece of her" at the wedding in case she and her husband couldn't make it to Australia for the wedding (they did!).
We had our fabulous designer make corsages with pieces of the fabric and with the red silk from my dress for my parents, grandmother and Wayne's mother. They did an amazing job and each corsage was different - they worked with the original embroidery on the fabric. You can see my dad wearing one in the picture.
It didn't stop there either, there were still some stunning panels left, so I sewed three of them into panels, had an ironmonger make some rods for the tops and bottoms and had scrolls made. I gave one to my parents to thank them for their support, one to my business partner and kept one for us.
Due to the weight, variety and expense, we haven't started stocking uchikake in our eBay store, which seems a bit of a shame as we see some amazing ones for sale. If anyone is interested though, please feel free to contact us and we're more than happy to go shopping for you!