Sunday, June 1, 2008

MEMOIRS OF A WANNABE GEISHA


Kimono for the unwed


The kimono for the wedded. Note the blaring difference?
Single = flashy
Married = boring
Take away from it what you will.

A traditional wedding kimono.

The kimono master with Rina-san

Mikami-sensei tying an obi


Tada! The finished product. This was the longest kimono they had. And sadly no, it was not mine to keep.


Kimono teacher, Rina-san, and me

I was fortunate enough to try on an INSANELY gorgeous kimono during my year in Japan. The photos above are from a kimono class that my Japanese tutor, Mikami-sensei took me to.

Everything about this way of Japanese dress is amazing, from the stunning fabrics to the obi. There's even a specific way to fold your kimono, when putting it back into the box. No detail is overlooked.

My experience below is retold in layman's terms and it was at least a year ago so bear with me if some details are incorrect:

1) You put on this cotton-filled, almost blanket-like first layer to smooth out the natural curves on a woman's body. The padding goes around the waist to give the effect of a long, cylindric shape. Since my hips are ginormous by Japanese standards, they used a lot.

2) The next layers on the body are a white cotton piece, the collar, and finally the colorful outer garment. Putting the outer garment on took forever because precision is everything. There was a lot of tucking and folding to make it appear tailor-made to my exact proportions.

3) Next was the obi. This was by far the most time-consuming. I had trouble breathing because I was vain, and didn't want to look like a giant mass of silk fabrics, so I sucked in more than I should have. They gave me the choice of oxygen or looking thin and delicate. I chose the latter.

This next thing was un-ladylike to bring up, but it is just where my mind often goes, so I asked, "How do you pee in this?" I think they all politely (and rightfully) ignored me, so I came to my own conclusion that, that's why squatters were invented.

Definitely one of the best dressing experiences to date.

11 comments:

AsianCajuns said...

What an awesome experience! What very little I know about kimonos came from reading Memoirs of a Geisha.
Your blog is gorgeous- we're gonna link ya!

yiqin; said...

I like the colors on the one for the unwedded. So awesome.

Pretty Pirate said...

Cool experiance, thanks for sharing! You look really pretty in the kimono.

styleandthecity.com - Street style & Fashion weeks in Paris said...

hi hi from Paris

what a great outfit and story in your blog you have !

as a street style photograph used to meet thousand people, i do appreciate

may be you'll like my street style photo romances in Paris
if not, i kill myself ! lol

and by the way, i met Sarah jessica Parker in Paris and... yes yes, the photos are online, as if you were there !

have a wonderful day !

ps : i hop i won't have to kill myself, because my mother love me. lol

Kamel
street style romancer in Paris

Miss at la Playa said...

I love those clothes since I saw and read "Memoirs of a geisha"
It was such a beautiful story...

Nikkita said...

I've always wanted to try on an authentic kimono!

Thought I'd come take a peek. Thanks for visiting me!

-Nikkita (TheDailyDairy.com)

Gloria said...

oxygen or thin and delicate. a tough choice, yeah?

so exciting you got to try on such an amazingly colored and complex garment...

annabananna said...

that's really interesting. and how much nicer the version for unwed women is. great pictures!

Jody Buhay said...

isn`t it great to be dressed by someone else??? I`m going to become a princess so it can happen every day. haha.

anyways- I really do believe that`s why squat toilets are still around in Japan. I went around the Tachi Neputa fest in a yukata and it was horrendous trying to use a regular toilet and it was the only time ever that the j-toilet was more convinient!

Paris said...

These are so beautiful xx

HANNAH-ZÖE said...

wow these are amaizing! lucky you, living in japan for a year. A friend of mine is living there at the moment and it sounds great.
p.s. thankyou for you coment:)