Bebe Taian: Sushi night in kimono!

November 28, 2010

Sushi night in kimono!

Tonight I went out for sushi at Ichiban. It is a very small restaurant that often gets overlooked in Tampa, but the regular staff are excellent and the fish is fresh that day or it doesn't get served. The kitchen is also separated from the sushi bar so that the heat from cooking does not warm the fish and spoil it (which is actually a problem in some places here... ack!). That being said, it really is Ichiban- the best!

It was also an opportunity to dress up in winter kimono and take photos. I need to practice taking photos well. It's pointless to write a kimono blog if I never show myself, isn't it? But it's so hard to find a good angle for me in photos. It's like every flaw comes out at once. O.o So it really is a challenge to get great photos, especially in kimono. I have to especially remember to get my neck straighter; it's pretty damaged, but I can hold myself properly for short periods at a time! Actually, I did manage to get some really great full body photos tonight... and then realised that my camera's lens didn't focus properly at any point, so everything came out really, really blurry. AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHH! (Yield, I tried this time! :P)

Tonight I decided on a dusky blue post-Taisho, pre-WW2 irotomesode kimono with one crest. The colour usage was inspired by clothing I'd seen on geiko Naosome and Katsue, who wore blue/teal and gold. It was too formal for the restaurant, but since I was going to see a musician friends' performance afterwards, I thought it might be alright. I have a 1940's-1950's Nagoya obi which is like a converted maru obi typical of that time, when women were doing exactly that: converting their long, heavy maru obi into Nagoya obi. One maru made two Nagoya obi, which were easier to tie and lighter to wear. Does this mean that my obi has a twin sister somewhere?

Underneath I made somewhat of a mistake. I checked the sleeve length of the juban against the kimono's sleeves. They were about the same, so I thought it would work, especially because of the soft pink colour matching the obiage and silk fabric. However, I foolishly didn't check the width of the shoulders! The kosode (kimono) was wider than the juban by several inches, so the juban sleeves were very apparent. I wore it anyways strictly because of the schedule I was on, and hid the sleeves as best as I could.

The small accessories were modern, more or less. The hairpin was a vintage plastic tortoiseshell repro. The makura and ita are a matched set. They are very old but were largely unused; the makura is styrofoam, covered in fabric, and stitched by hand to thin cardboard with a simple flat cotton tie at each side. The ita is slightly thicker cardboard with a thin layer of silk on each side; the front is neon pink, the back, white, with a small pocket in it. They are hidden. At some point I should take a photo of them. The obi age covered the makura (pillow in back of the obi for shape) and is seen in front. It is a pale pink, nearly white silk obiage with shibori fans, woven with ryozoma and kiku motifs. The obijime is a brown-orange kumihimo, thick and flat-woven with no tassels on the ends. My tabi socks were in the wash, but no matter. I wore knee-high black socks, since I don't own white, and split the toe in front.

For shoes, I originally wore a 1970s pair of gold vinyl flower-patterened zori that I bought on Etsy. I have only worn them twice, actually, but tonight I am glad I brought another pair of shoes in the car with me! Walking around in them at my friends' show, I was admiring how well they fit. At the front, they were just the right length, and at the back, they were just a little short to give that iki too-small appearance. Even the straps fit well, which is a rarity for me. And then... one of the straps broke! O_O So much for that $50. Ugh. Hopefully I can find a way to fix them. I had to get out my black leather zori, which are far too big now that I've lost so much weight, and stumble on those half the night. I tried to at least stumble gracefully...or not walk at all. Lovecraft, my new half-Maine Coon, half-Ocicat child, decided he was going to help with the photos. 

::sighs::

So, checklist for self:
- check juban more closely
- sell black leather zori ($25, anyone want?); fix gold zori; get new zori that fit
- get better camera at some point

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