Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A summer kimono

Ok. I don't know when I'm ever going to get around to talking about patchwork again.

Yesterday Mrs. Ide came for English and look what she brought along! She decided to dress Leiya in her daughter's summer kimono so we had a quick fashion show! Great fun and I took pictures of the process. ("There Tanya goes with her camera again. Since she started her blog she takes pictures of everything!")

Actually this is a very risque picture. This is Japanese kimono underwear! Leiya said she didn't mind me posting it so now you know what is under a kimono.

The next picture doesn't look much different, but this in the next layer of kimono which has a high collar that has a stiff board in it to make it stand away from the neck. There is also a thick towel belt that disguises a woman's figure. (Not supposed to have too many curves so this makes the body flat. No waist needed! (I can feel comfortable with this concept.)

All this stuff is used to tie a person into the kimono. I think they are laid out basically in order. Different ties are needed so that the kimono won't shift position when the person walks or kneels.

And here is Leiya holding the obi, a wide belt that holds everything together and also is decorative. Since it is summer, the obi is very narrow and isn't very stiff, but you can see how long it is. It goes around the waist twice I think and then is tied in the back in a bow. Regular kimono obis I think are longer and they can be tied in very intricate poofs and angles.

And here is the obi tied in a simple ribbon in the back. Depending on the age of the woman wearing the obi there are different ways of tieing it.

This is a close-up of the kimono which is a loose mesh fabric. I don't think it's cotton. Mrs. Ide said she bought this kimono at a second-hand shop but it really is lovely and cool looking.

And this is what Leiya looks like all dressed in kimono!

I think most Japanese women can no longer put on a kimono by themselves. They need to have someone like Mrs. Ide to dress them properly and as you can imagine, it is difficult to tie that obi by yourself. The kimonos worn at other times of the year are even more elaborate and have more stuffing and ties!

Bit of trivia. I commented that with all the layers and ties and towels etc. that are needed to be properly dressed, that the poor person wearing the kimono must suffocate in the middle of the summer season, and Mrs. Ide's reply was that being able to look cool and composed while you are dying of the heat is the secret to looking feminine and beautiful.


May Britt said...

Thanks for showing this. I have always been impressed by your kimonos. They are so beautiful. But are they heavy to wear?? So much fabrics.

Nancy said...

Leiya looks gorgeous. And so does the quilt in the background!

Jane Weston said...

ooh risky underwear online!..what ever next!!!
Just wanted to let you know that I shared your post with my 4 year old...I have no idea if anything I told her sunk in..but she's learnt a new word..Obi. :) Thanks again.

Connie said...

It's a lovely garment but I wouldn't want to be the person packaged inside! Leiya looks beautiful. And your beautiful quilt on the wall is a perfect backdrop.

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing the photos and description. Leiya looks beautiful.

Elaine Adair said...

What a lovely garment - so pretty, but ... does it 'go' with jeans and a sweatshirt? 8-)

BTW, I see a lovely quilt on the wall.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

fabulous post. You answered the questions I had along the way even - I was wondering if a person could do that all by themselves. I kind of like the idea of wearing a kimono like that - bet it would hide all sorts of flaws and yet look absolutely beautiful. Leiya is a good sport as well as gorgeous. thanks!

meggie said...

Another great post. I had always wondered what type of undergarments went under the Kimono.
I felt sorry for the girl who married- was it the Japanese Prince? It was reported she was staggering under the weight of the incredible layers of heavy, ceremonial Kimonoes. The amount of metalic threads all added to the weight too- or so I read!

teodo said...

your daughter with her kimono is so beautiful.
ciao ciao

atet said...

"being able to look cool and composed while you are dying of the heat is the secret to looking feminine and beautiful."

I LOVE this idea. I don't actually meet the standard -- but I love the notion. Leiya looks beautiful in the kimono, I will have to show my daughter these photos -- we have been reading a picture book called "Suki's Kimono" which she adores!