Bebe Taian: Private Collection: Taisho Roses

March 8, 2013

Private Collection: Taisho Roses

 I won this gorgeous piece today! I didn't think I would, but my mother sent me some birthday cash, so I had some extra that I hadn't planned on. It's quite expensive, compared to what I'm used to paying... but I think I'll wear it more often than a geisha's hikizuri.

According to the seller, the komon doesn't have any tears or stains. Likely, there are some small stains, but they might be hard to see on a pattern this busy. There often are, so I plan on it. I'm sure when it's in bright natural light, I'll be able to see any damages better. I still have to check my juban to ensure that the sleeves fit the kosode, but other than that, I can't wait to wear it! 
The komon appears to be Taisho-era, with the lining replaced. It was listed as an antique from a trusted dealer, and the original lining is still in parts of the sleeves. Unfortunately, linings tend to rot before the outer shell does, and the rot spreads if the lining isn’t removed. Some of my other kimono have been damaged that way. I am fortunate that someone thought to take care of this one. It really is perfect! 

The pattern is so romantic. Stylish roses on stripes, a soft fuzzy weave... it's a summer pattern, though. And lined? It happens. These days, roses seem to appear nearly all year on kimono. Maybe that trend isn't as new as I thought! So, maybe in May, just before hitoe season, I'll wear it, or just when Summer turns to Autumn, just after ro season, for the warm colours before fading into deep purples, reds, and browns. 

Now: what obi to pair it with? 

I think I've ruled out anything too bright, like turquoise. Even though the small elements are there, I don't want to overdo an already busy, bright kimono like this one. I don't think browns, either, since the fine details are in black. Pink is a possibility, but I don't have any pink obi outside of the neon pink and gold dragon obi, and that is very worn. 

That leaves me with Takehisa Yumeji-style classic options: black, metallics, white, red. White by itself is too much, but if the white details were very small, like the hints on the rose petals, it might work. Angular designs to imitate the petals, or I could go with flowing designs to imitate the branches. 

Maybe the black-on-black karabana side of this one, plus red accessories?

Maybe red accessories would be too much?

Red obi-jime, dark purple obiage? Black haneri? Not flat-black, but a black-on-black woven design? Or maybe red with metallic or white designs, to match the obi-jime, while I sew a black satin eri over the existing kosode eri, Edo-style? So many options!

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