Bebe Taian: Converting Ideas into Kitsuke

April 15, 2012

Converting Ideas into Kitsuke

I'm pretty limited in what I can do with my surroundings. Living in an apartment in FL is not like living in NY. You can't just decorate any way you want to. Often, you have to get permission to put holes in the walls, even for something like hanging curtains or anchoring bookshelves (which, I really recommend doing, even if you don't have kids!), and often painting is out of the question. This means I have a TONNE of creative ideas regarding what I want to do and how I want things to look... and I'm vastly powerless to do such a thing. I prefer grey walls; my landlord wants some variety of beige, tan, or pale yellow. Oy. The cabinetry? Yellow-toned wood. Dark green countertops. Did I mention that I tend to hate yellow? With the exception of citrine, leaves, or small amounts of silk, I really hate yellow.

I cope by converting my ideas into kitsuke. I have a million fabulous outfits in my head. I have yet to make many work in real life. I think I need to start!

I love Autumn oranges, black, browns, greys, and dusky blues. This picture pretty much sums up what I love about Autumn becoming Winter. Pale grey skies, black and grey-brown bark, warm-brown, gold, orange leaves... a chilly breeze and that earthy scent in the air, the faint whiff of rain still a long way off, of old book pages and creaking iron gates. Give me rustling branches and crickets, the sounds of birds rising. This, I want to translate into an outfit. If you think of this when you see my choice, then I have done it correctly.

Recently, I realised that many of my pieces are black and orange... but that none quite go together, either because of formality level, motif, or sizing. A vintage Taisho piece just doesn't look right over a shorter-sleeved Showa or Heisei piece. Fukuro obi just aren't the same with low-formality komon. I need to work on defining what it is that I enjoy about these items and start buying pieces I can wear with them so that they don't just sit in drawers!

The point is, if there is an aspect of your life that you can't fully realise yet, maybe you can still show that taste elsewhere. This years' goal is to figure out what pieces I own that I have no matches for, and acquire matches to those outfits. This will require making a few things, but I think I'm up to the challenge!

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