Japan

Birthday Cakes and Surgery

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

 

A few days ago I had my gallbladder removed. I was fortunate enough to have it successfully done by laparoscopic surgery. The ability of that being done and the skill of the surgeon doing it really astounds me. I really must write a thank you letter to the surgeon and to the anaesthetist.

The symptoms of the gallstones I had me howling, wailing and begging for relief, usually for 20 to 45 minutes at a time. It is great to know that, if the surgeon managed to remove all the stones, I will have no more of those excruciating attacks. I don’t seem to be recovering as quickly as expected but I daresay it will pick up a pace.

Here are some diagrams that show the gallbladder and likely positions of stones and how they are removed via laparoscopy.

picture from health.harvard.edu

picture from health.harvard.edu

picture from surgspecswfl.com


Some of my Japanese items were borrowed by Vogue magazine for a photo shoot in their Polish edition. They took them all the way to Japan for the shoot. Here are some of them…

Chanel leather jacket worn with a Nagoya obi from wafuku.co.uk

 

Cotton spotted tabi with traditional kohaze fasteners

A golden chrysanthemum adorned Nagoya obi, from wafuku.co.uk, worn with Jil Sander knitwear


 

It was my only grandchild’s first birthday in July and my daughter’s birthday shortly after, so I baked them birthday cakes. I saw cakes by thecakeandsweet on Instagram that I really loved, so pretty much copied those, although I covered mine in buttercream rather than in the fondant icing the professional had used. I decided to make them using my favourite recipe, a very reliable lemon drizzle cake. The cake is only 6 inches in diameter but, being three layers high, gives 12 to 14 slices.

This is the first one I did.

I put the gum paste icing decorations in the oven to speed up drying, as it was too humid to dry them naturally, but I got them a touch too warm and the hedgehogs, balloon and number 1 puffed a little but I wasn’t too bothered by that. I made Italian meringue buttercream to layer and coat the cake because I find American buttercream unbearably sweet, but it is impossible to make it white. I can never work out how Americans get meringue buttercream so very white. Do they have white butter? I can’t find even pale yellow butter here in the UK, it is all pretty strongly yellow and yields this cream colour of buttercream at best. \i actually shaded this cake from green up to the untinted cream colour but should have started at the bottom with darker green, the shading is too subtle to show much. I was quite happy with the colour for this cake but I would like to have the option of white for other cakes.

My grandson didn’t actually get to eat any of the cake, as he is not yet allowed any sugar or salt, but it was for a family party to celebrate his birthday and it all got eaten.

This next picture shows the one I made my daughter, who is a massive fan of the Peanuts cartoon characters, as am I.

I have no idea how but I totally miscalculated the sizes for Charlie, Linus and for Snoopy and his kennel, all of which I made before the cake. I managed to make those things twice the size I should have. Charlie and Linus should only be tall enough to reach the top edge of the cake, with the kennel and Snoopy suitably proportioned.

For some reason I had problems with the buttercream for this one. I mixed up each colour (the blue ending up too dark because I was trying to combat the fact that the buttercream’s yellowness made it rather green) then put it in icing bags and stored it in the fridge. The following day I let them soften in the warmth if the kitchen then piped them all around the cake. I’d applied it all, ready to be smoothed out, when I noticed some of the food colouring had separated, producing water droplets all over it. I had to try to mix it back together while still on the cake, which wasn’t altogether successful, so it subsequently didn’t smooth as well as I hoped. It still tasted fine but it was annoying because the buttercream on my grandson’s cake had led me to believe this cake’s coating would pose no problems and work out equally well. It didn’t.

The Snoopy kennel was blondie brownies stacked and cut to shape, then coated in rolled icing, with icing roof panels made separately, hardened and then attached. After that, the icing Snoopy was modelled and popped on the top. Charlie and Linus were just 2D and painted with food colouring.

Despite the appearance of the buttercream and the ridiculous size of the decorations on the cake, my daughter really loved it, so it was worth the effort.

Apart from a mirror glaze cake I made a couple of years ago, I think this is the first time I’ve tried making decorated cakes, so they could have been much worse.


 

This is a ro weave silk kimono, stencilled with a slightly sparkly golden moon. I recently put this on the wafuku.co.uk website. Wouldn’t it be great for Halloween? However, in my opinion, it is great for wearing anytime.


I have been slowly but steadily stocking the new website. It seems to be working fine, although is slower to load the home page than I would like.

Other than that I am fairly happy with it. It now supports secure payment by bank cards as well as by PayPal and, so far, each method has been used equally, so I’m glad I am now able to offer payment options.

I still have so much stock from the previous site to put on the new one, I now realise what a vast amount I had available on that original version of the site, thousands and thousands of items, and it is a bit frustrating to not be able to add just new items but be having to redo ones I’d previously already done. I have an astounding amount of new things for the site too and am gnashing at the bit wanting to add more of those. I do add the occasional new thing, though, such as that stencilled kimono above. The web host (Wix) requires photos to be square in shape, in order to display them properly, and virtually none of my photos is square, so every one of the thousands of stock photos needs to be altered, making it a very, very slow process and it would have been great and a zillion times faster if I could have just used them as is, without spending time changing each one.

Here are a few pictures of some of the things I’ve added to the site since my last blog post. That post was ages ago because all my time is spent working on the site, trying to get all the stock back on it, plus regularly posting to social media, which is essential to ensure my site is ranked by Google when people search for kimono, haori, obi etc. This blog tends to drop to the bottom of the to do list.

Here’s a very elegant, black silk haori, with golden urushi coated silk thread creating the woven design.

A sumptuous silk kimono, with a gorgeous take on a diamond design.

An absolutely stunning, very long, pure silk, 1920s haori kimono jacket, with tree peonies and stripes. The upper lining has little flowers and haori are so beautifully made, with seams hidden even on the inside, that they can be reversible, so you can even wear it the other way to show off that beautiful silk lining.

When you photograph stripes you often get a moiré effect in the photo but, rather amusingly, this haori kimono jacket is actually cleverly printed with that moiré effect among the stripes as part of the pattern.

 

Here’s one last piece for now, the cream of the crop. I really love the colouring in the flowers on this kimono’s delicate shade of cream silk.

This and the garments I posted above are available at http://www.wafuku.co.uk

 


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables. Discover the joy of wearable textile art.

 


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress,by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

 

#kimono #kimonos #vintageclothes #vintageclothing #vintage #haori #wafuku #hyperjapan #kimonodejack #wafuku

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Magazine and Novel – In Print

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Some wafuku.co.uk footwear was used in a fashion shoot in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of the high end AnOther Magazine. It was interesting to see my tabi and geta as part of ensembles with the likes of Alexander McQueen couture.


Here we have a pair of  wafuku.co.uk  tabi socks with Proenza Schouler dress and Feben Vemmenby shoes.


Wafuku.co.uk pink tabi socks and geta shoes, with pink Helmut Lang coat.


This froth of ruffles is a National Theatre costume worn with wafuku.co.uk taupe tabi socks and Vic Matié mules.


Alexander McQueen pink dress worn with with pink wafuku.co.uk tabi socks and geta shoes.


Taupe wafuku.co.uk tabi in the ensemble on the right.


Yesterday was International Women’s Day 2018, which made me think of the fact that the first novel ever written was written by a woman. The novel was The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari), written by the Japanese noblewoman and lady in waiting, Murasaki Shikibu, in the early years of the 11th century.

The Tale of Genji is a novel about the life of Hikaru Genji, the son of an ancient Japanese emperor, who, for political reasons, removed Genji from his line of succession, demoting him from noble to commoner. The story follows his life, especially romantic life, from that point on.

Many traditional designs in Japanese textile art, graphics etc. reference this work and there are motifs that reference it too, such as genji-gumo, a stylised shape of cloud used in early illustrations for the text, and genji-guruma, a Heian Era imperial carriage wheels. Clouds are often included in artistic scenes referring to the Heian Court because courtiers were referred to as “those who live among the clouds” (Kumo no Uebito). Genji-guruma motif, the carriage wheels, represent nobility, court life and good fortune, as only nobility from the Imperial court were allowed carriages with such huge wheels (because they did so much damage to roads, so had to be limited in numbers).


You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Padded Hanten and Burlesque Beauty

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

I’m still dealing with the slow process of putting all the product photos back on my wafuku.co.uk website. My original photo host suddenly wanted a massive amount of money to host them for my website, so I had to find new photo hosting. I then had to find the thousands of photos and upload the, changing the thousands of links to them on the website. This would have been time consuming enough but I found that I needed to colour correct 85% of the backed up photos and that is a very slow process, so, months after losing my original hosting, I am still dealing with the missing photos on the website. There are lots back up now but many, many more to still be done. It is maybe not such a bad thing, really. It may mean my site will lacking a lot of photos for still quite some time but it has made me aware of the need to fix many of them and the improvement is worthwhile. It also make me look through everything on my website and it is nice to have a good look at all the kimonos and other things and remember how nice they are.

This wonderful oil painted tomesode kimono’s photo is much more correct in colour now. I have bought a few oil painted antique kimonos but this is the only oil painted kimono I have ever found. It is very striking and the oil painting doesn’t make it rigid or anything, it is very wearable. I love its craggy landscape.


 

This reversible, padded, Japanese hanten from my website is perfect for a chilly, wintry day like today. It is so soft, light and cosy. One way round it has a Mount Fuji design and the other way it has a traditional Japanese design called Kamawanu; a pattern of sickle, circle and the hiragana script letter ‘nu’. This pattern was especially popular in Japan’s Edo Era and it represents the meaning, “don’t worry”. This is one of four padded hanten available on wafuku.co.uk, each with different patterns, each reversible and cosily padded.


 

This is actually a girl’s kimono, worn here by a UK size 8 adult of 5′ 1″ tall. These shichi-go-san girl’s kimonos are always wonderfully colourful, much moreso than most adult ones. Because children always wear their kimonos with a big tuck in each shoulder, making the shoulder narrower, and a big fold over at the waist, making them shorter, they are actually quite a good size for an adult when without those big tucks.

This one, at time of writing, is available on my site for £68.


 

 

I got a couple of lovely photos of one of my wafuku.co.uk kimonos, now owned, modelled and photographed by CherryFox, with very kind permission to us them.
By Day, Cherryfox® is a mild mannered professional photographer and Costumier. By night she is a Burlesque Fascinatrix and Sing-and-Fling show girl.


You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Wafuku is having a SALE!

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

I’m having a SALE!

On my www.wafuku.co.uk website I am giving 20% off all items priced between £55 and £350, until 14 May, 2017.

Choose from 2 ways to get your discount
1. you can have your discount as cashback, refunded to you before your order is mailed.
OR
2. you can email your order to get an invoice with the 20% already deducted, just email your order instead of using the site’s shopping cart.

If emailing an order, give the item’s code (see example under picture below) and don’t forget to include your name and address too. I will then send you a PayPal invoice to pay for your order. NOTE* You do not need to have money in a PayPal account to pay, you can simply use PayPal to pay safely with your bank debit card. PayPal does not share your bank details with me, it keeps them safe and secure.

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Postage costs are on the site; if you use the site’s shopping cart it will charge full postage for each item, if you purchase more than one and they can be sent in one package, I will refund excess postage and packaging payment.

Now is the time to consider that fabulous, genuine, Japanese kimono or to treat yourself to a gorgeous, pure silk, hand tailored haori kimono jacket. So why not check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables, while this offer is available?

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Appliquéd Kokeshi & Winter Kimonos

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Kokeshi Appliqué Waistcoat.
Back in the 70s my mother bought three appliquéd, quilted waistcoats while on a trip to America. She loves them and still wears them, so last Christmas I made her a grey one with silhouettes that represented her garden and the wildlife in it, then I made her another for this last Christmas, with chickens on it because she used to have chickens back in the 1960s and I remembered that, when I was a child, she painted little cockerels onto all her biscuit tins, so the waistcoat is a memento of those things. It will be her 96th birthday next month, so I made her one more, this time it represents my love of Japanese things. I bought a pattern for a small quilt from The Gourmet Quilter and adapted some of the appliqué items from that for my mothers new waistcoat.

Kokeshi doll waistcoat

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I also bought a couple of inexpensive kokeshi brooches for myself, as mementos of making her the waistcoat.
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Yukata Times Magazine.

I wish this magazine was easily available in the UK. Yukata are ultra-casual, summer kimonos that are still very popular in Japan and worn by many to summer festivals etc. Further down this page you can see some fabulous, less informal kimonos for winter.

yukata-times-%e2%98%86-poster


Tasuki
Tasuki are used to hold the long, swinging kimono sleeves out of the way while working wherever they might be a nuisance if hanging loose. You can get tasuki clips, like the beaded one in that picture (available on my wafuku.co.uk website), which threads through the obi and clips onto the sleeves, providing a very elegant option to hold them out of the way, or you can simply use a koshi himo (soft tie) to do the job, as you see in the diagram. I was sent the diagram picture by a friend, so don’t know who to accredit for it.

tasuki

 


Winter Kimonos
Check out all the wonderful kimonos in this wa-art.net site’s display of winter kimonos – HERE. I particularly love the three below but there are many more at that link.

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Want to see some stunning kimonos and fantastic kimono styling? Check out the Akira Times blog.

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

More Celebrities In Kimonos

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

I found more photographs of celebrities in kimonos.
These are in addition to the celebrities in kimonos I also have HERE.

Everyone loves a kimono, regardless of gender, status or era.

John & Yoko Lennon

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Gwen Stefani.
Ever gorgeous. I love that ichimatsu obi.
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I suspect her tag was meant to say #pricelessjapan

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Shirley Temple.

Looking cute in a shichi-go-san kimono.

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Culture Club, with Boy George.
George wears a colourful kakeshita kimono while the other band members go for monochrome patterned cotton yukatas.

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Evelyn Nesbitt.
She is wearing a kimono that cost $3,000 way back in 1900. Evelyn Nesbit was a popular American chorus girl, an artists’ model and then an actress. She lived a life of controversy and died in 1967, aged 82.

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Audrey Hepburn.
Wearing a lovely houmongi kimono .

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Michael Jackson.
In kimono and hakama, complete with katana.

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David Bowie in kimono.
He seemed to have a great liking of Japanese Kimonos and, of course, his Ziggy Stardust tour costumes were designed by a Japanese designer, Kansai Yamamoto. I think his short kimono type garment in the photo below is by Kansai Yamamoto.

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Marlene Dietrich posing in a very beautiful, Japanese furisode kimono, with striking design of Japanese cranes. Cranes signify loyalty and longevity.

Did you know that Japanese, red crowned cranes dance for each other. Not just to win a mate, they mate for life and continue to dance for each other. It is such an endearing trait.

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Gene Simmons from Kiss.
I posted this in a previous post but feel he should be in one that lists kimono clad celebrities.

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Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao


You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Kimonos, Cats and Cords

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Wafuku.co.uk in another magazine feature.
My website and I were part of a feature in the How To Spend It, the FT magazine, a few months ago, in their fashion edition.

how-to-spend-it


Huge Kumihimo.
I have two of these huge kumihimo; they are enormously long, hand braided, silk cords, each with a loop at the centre and lovely tassels on the end. They are unused and the tassels are still wrapped in paper. I have no idea what they are for . I think they may have been made for a Buddhist or Shinto temple, because they very thick and long, pure silk, hand made, rather special and must have been exceedingly expensive to produce. They are really rather lovely and, when you move the cord about in your hand it has that lovely sound that silk makes, like footsteps in deep, crisp, new snow.
In that photo my daughter is holding just one of them.

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Contemporary Take On Kimono.
This floaty, contemporary kimono is by Hayami Mariya.

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Pretty Kimono.
Although this will fit an adult as a beautiful robe, it is actually a girls’ kimono but girls wear them with a big tuck in the shoulders and at the waist, which reduces the size of them a lot. They are always made big so tht these tucks can be inserted, so, without the tucks, they can fit adults surprisingly well. My adult daughter, whom you can see holding the kumihimo in a photo above, wears this size of kimono a lot. She especially likes them because they come in bright colours with vibrant patterns

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Here she is again, wearing a kimono of same type and size. She is not a tall woman, so it is ankle length on her; on a tall woman they would be shorter.

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Feline Fabulous.
Check out these great cat obis. I would love these.

cat-obis

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

No Posts For Months, Then 3 Come Along At Once

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Three posts in a row.
Suddenly there is no stopping me. It’s mostly, I suppose, that I had too much to put into a single post, so have divided it into three. I find it hard to get started again when time passes but I’m on a roll at the moment and want to add the last of my current thoughts to the blog.

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Interesting shoes.
While browsing online the other day I came across these wonderful, leather shoes on a Japanese website called Sou-Sou. They are hand made to order, so the prices of about £275 to £350 ($390 to $499) per pair doesn’t seem that bad, even if a good bit higher than I pay for my shoes.

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A pair of my own.
I own this pair of shoes, not actually Japanese but from Irregular Choice’s Japanese influenced range. I have only worn them once so far, though have had them for years. I so rarely wear heels nowadays but I love an unusual shoe. These ones are suede and canvas.

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One of my kimonos featured in Beyond Magazine.
This is one of my antique tomesode kimonos, which was requested by Beyond Magazine for their World In Seven Objects feature. It is a lovely magazine, with beautiful photography and graphic design.

Beyond kimono

beyond cover

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A bit more quilting.
My 94 year old mother owns and wears 2 boxy, quilted waistcoats she bought at a craft fair in America way back in the 80s. They are very simple in shape and comfortable to wear. She has one with poppies and wheat, a couple of butterflies and a little mouse appliqued on the back and one with a large moon, a hills and a frog. The applique is done in a mix of plain and small patterned fabrics. She is very difficult to select gifts for, so I decided to make her a new quilted waistcoat as her Christmas gift. The simple shape was easy enough to make a paper pattern from; there are no darts or sleeves or tricky bits to deal with.

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I thought of something colourful, then opted for neutral, to go with almost anything, so I made the waistcoat grey and the applique black silhouettes. I chose things that relate to her own garden, her love of hollyhocks (though she only likes the single ones, not double blooms), the foxes and badgers she sees visiting her garden at night, the many, many crows of various kinds that nest in her trees and are fed by her, the owls we can hear at night (and are in the family coat of arms) and, of course, the squirrels. My mother lives in an ex-farmhouse, which has a decent sized garden and a 5 acre field. The top section of the field, visible from her kitchen window, was a solid mass of rosebay willow herb. It is a very, very tall weed with a pinkish purple spiked flower and fluffy, wind borne seeds. When it dies off in autumn, the tall, brown dead stems remain. It can be quite pretty when in flower but it is invasive and takes over and we grew to hate it. We also hated the week or so each year of the air being thick with its fluffy seeds. It is one of those opportunistic plants that grows anywhere, you see it on every piece of waste ground, every vacant lot, in every corner and crevice it can find and in roofs and drainpipes of tall, old buildings. When not in flower it is just ugly.  A few years ago my brother decided that, on his visits a couple of times each year, he would dig out the rosebay and turn that area into a wildflower field. It took him years to get rid of the stuff and the couch grass that tried o take over in its place. There are still the occasional bits of rosebay and tough grass being found and removed but in 2015 it finally came to fruition and was a mass of wildflowers for months. Mostly tall white daisies and yellow ones, with poppies, cornflowers, red campion and various others mixed through it. It was quite lovely. He and I have added loads more seeds, including hundreds of thousands of poppy seeds (I especially love poppies), so it should be even better this year. So, the cow parsley on the waistcoat represents my mother’s field because it has always grown in the field and a few bit hang on in among the wildflowers. She really doesn’t enthuse about gifts but she did enthuse about her new waistcoat, which was pleasing. She seemed to genuinely like it and its associations.

Above you can see it appliqued and layered with wadding and backing, ready to be trimmed and sewn together. It is the first time I have ever done applique.

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The finished garment.
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My brother at the edge of the wildflower field and my daughter in it modelling Japanese garments for my website.

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Another of my kimonos.
This lovely furisode style, silk kimono has a wonderful pattern of butteries on it. It has been a very expensive kimono and they have gone to the added expense of including some butterflies on the inside of the lower fronts, even though they really aren’t seen. It is a kinsai kimono, which means it is embellished with metallic gold or silver; this one has gold lacquer work clouds. I really like the flowing water pattern in the weave.

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Finally, since David Bowie died this month, much to the surprise of most of us, I thought I’d post a photo of him wearing a Japanese yukata kimono. Sadly I was unable to find a picture of the actor Alan Rickman in a kimono, who also died this month.

bowie in yukata

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Kimonos Are Not Only For Japanese Purists

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Mr Selfridge.
I was watching that television show (ITV, UK) and noticed a lovely furisode kimono in the window display. The picture is poor quality, as it is a screenshot from the ITV iPlayer and they reduce quality for streaming but it does let you see the kimono. The show stars Jeremy Piven as Mr Selfridge, the man who opened the store Selfridges that still exists in London. He is good in it, just as he was very good in his role in Entourage.

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Are kimonos only for the purists?
I read a comment on Reddit the other day, in which a Japanese woman said she felt that only Japanese people should wear kimonos and only those who applied all the strict Japanese rules about how they are worn, with obi etc., and wearing the correct kimono for the occasion and person’s age. She felt that no one other than a purist/traditionalist should be allowed to wear them, particularly those wearing them as house robes; she even said it was offensive (her word) to see the pictures of Rita Ora wearing one of my kimonos or to see anyone wearing one as a robe like that. The woman who said this is the only  person I have come across to say this, all other people I have spoken with or read comments by, including many Japanese people, do not think that way at all, in fact, quite the contrary. Needless to say I did not agree with her. To me, what she said is exactly the same idea as saying that women should not wear trousers because they were originally designed only for men to wear.
I felt she should also bear in mind that haori were originally meant to be worn only  by men but, many years ago, geisha broke that rule and started wearing these men’s jackets, after which, they became popular among other women and only then did haori start to be made specifically for women, so you now get many women wearing them. If that rule had not been broken, the women of Japan would not have haori to wear over their kimonos. If that rule could be broken in Japan, there is no reason not to break other kimono wearing traditions, especially when they are worn in The West, where kimonos are not worn as day to day, outdoor clothing and haoris not worn over them.
Since kimonos are rarely worn the same way in The West as they are in Japan, with obi or as outdoor clothes, it seems very pedantic to think that they should not therefore be worn there at all or that the Japanese traditional rules, dictating the styles and patterns for certain ages or occasions, should be adhered to by absolutely everyone who chooses to own and wear one either in or out of in Japan.
As you can see in the two pictures below, this Japanese man, in Japan, wears a kimonos with braces on top, attached to the obi, giving the traditional kimono wearing a slightly more contemporary look (photos from Akira Times). If Japanese people like him may break the rules and do that, why may others not just wear a beautiful kimono as a house robe, regardless of tradition? Why restrict them to only those who wear them the traditional way, with obi, and applying the strict age, occasion and colour rules?

The woman also thought that, if worn as a robe, it was appalling that it meant that the kimono would be worn frequently and the silk would touch the skin and therefore need cleaned more frequently than one that was rarely worn and only worn the traditional way on top of a naga-juban, so not touching the skin. She seemed to insist that they only be cleaned using the araihari method, which is a traditional one of completely dismantling the garment, cleaning the individual pieces, then remaking it, traditional method that resulted in rarely cleaning them, whereas I believe that careful dry cleaning is an acceptable alternative for a kimono that is used frequently as a robe.
Most vintage kimonos would become nothing more than moth food or be cut up and destroyed or would just sit in a box and never see the light of day and be appreciated if many were not re-purposed as robes or worn in some other non traditional way. Their being worn has to be a good thing, regardless of how they are worn, rather than all of them being hidden away, unappreciated for the majority of the time simply so they don’t get worn out or dirty.

Without a doubt, that woman would not approve of haori being worn in The West over yofuku (clothing that is not traditionally Japanese), such as you can see in the picture below. What a loss that would be. The haori is such a gem when worn with western world clothing.

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Even in Japan nowadays, young people are sometimes seen to be wearing kimonos in deliberately non-traditional ways. The traditional rules are fine for kimono purists but I do not believe it is fine to say that they may only be worn by the purists and in the ways the purists dictate. I am very glad the old kimono rules are still maintained in Japan by some, whom I admire for doing it and keeping those traditions alive, but that should not be allowed to stop their use by those who choose to not follow those rules. I really do admire any person who abides by all the strict kimono wearing rules in Japan but do not feel they should be reserved only for them. Kimonos are clothing, not religion, not part of only some private club, so should be worn and enjoyed whatever way one chooses, as long as they are worn and loved and their beauty seen and enjoyed.

No doubt she would be utterly horrified to see my sister wearing a girl’s kimono open over western clothes, as a pretty evening coat, or, as you can see below, my daughter wearing this child’s antique kimono as a dress.

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There is room for both purists and non-purists to wear wafuku (traditional Japanese clothing). It does not matter how one chooses to enjoy wearing it, it only matters that one does choose to do it and that their beauty and the work of the skilled Japanese artisans can be seen and appreciated.

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Cable companies want to slow down (and break!) your favorite sites, all so they can profit. What we have now will slow to a crawl, sites taking forever to load unless we pay a premium to get extra speed. This is what cable companies are pushing the government to give them.

FIGHT THEM now or regret it forever. It is up to US. Click here to take action.

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it.