Today Mummy Mel and I were invited to attend a Kimono accessorising day at a beauty salon. As some of you may know, most Japanese can't actually put on a kimono by themselves and so will go to a professional to be dressed. Most of these dressers are in hairdressing salons. The concept of today's event was that people could bring along their kimonos and obis and be shown how to accessorise them to bring them up to date with the modern kimono fashion.
Sadly, our timing was off, so we didn't get a chance to see anyone being dressed today. It did give us time however to chat to the owner of the salon. Kimonos themselves are very expensive pieces of clothing. A furosode kimono with long sleeves which is worn by unmarried girls and women can cost into the tens of thousands of dollars. Because of this, they can become family hierlooms and be passed down generations. To be up with the current fashion, it may not them be reasonable to buy a new kimono. The easiest way to update it them is with the under-collar and the obi and its accessories. Stand-alone collars can be bought and slipped in underneath the kimono collar. I have seen some really funky ones recently and have tried to think of a way of incorporating them into everyday clothes. I've seen some great ones with black lace, worn under a dark red kimono (my personal favourite combination) they can look very Victorian.
I took a close-up picture of this obi styling. You can see that the kimono and obi themselves are quite traditional. At the top of the obi, there are two scalloped shaped pieces. These are a new brilliant idea by the salon's owner. They have been made with antique kimono fabric and sewn onto a board of hard plastic. The plastic is them inserted into the obi and the item instantly updates the whole look. She sells these pieces with matching collars.
Around the middle of the obi is a thick fabric cord. This is known as an obijime. A broach has been slipped through the obijime. The stylist and owner of the shop is Mami Ichikawa. Once she gets her website up and running, we'll put a link to it on this site.
While there I took some other photos of kimonos and accessories.