Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Kimono Dress Up

Margie dressing me in the under-kimono

In my Japanese tea and culture class last week, we had the most amazing experience!  Our teacher dressed us in kimono, from her own collection.  Thank you Margie!

Assembling the kimono is an intricate process requiring great skill on the part of the dresser (either oneself or a helper).  To begin, you must choose the right kimono and obi.  Appropriateness is based on the event and season.  Kimono for tea are formal and refined. Dressing continues with the base layer (not shown here), a cotton gown.  Then comes the under-kimono, the white gown above.  Securing is done with ties and wraps.  Other layers can be added, based on the time of year.  Padding may also be used if one doesn't have a cylindrical kimono figure.  Finally you step into the outer kimono. 

Margie is preparing to secure my outer kimono with a tie

My sewing friends will find this fascinating...kimono are fitted to the person, but not in the way of Western thinking.  Only straight seams are used, and with lots of extra ease in the fabric.  The magic of fitting comes in the tucks, wraps and folds - the skill of the person dressing.

Margie is fitting the kimono to me, then securing it

The obi (the sash around the middle) is typically a contrasting color.  It's made from a very long piece of silk.  There are many ways to fashion it at the back.  We are using a popular "drum" style.    

Margie suggested we pull our hair back, as it's the practice to show the nape of the neck. The Japanese find this to be a very beautiful part of a woman.
In kimono, with our sweets papers and silk cloth tucked in, just above the obi

What a great day! I cannot imagine doing this dressing by myself. Margie can dress herself in kimono in less than 15 minutes!


Hootie said...

I had no idea! What a process to go through...but it does have a beautiful and sophisticated looking outcome. :)

Marilyn said...

How wonderful to have this experience. I have seen it done before, but am always intrigued. It is just beautiful!

Rosemary said...

Such a very special experience!

VeeTea said...

Oh, some my favorite Lovelies are looking so lovely! :)

CO Tea Lover said...

I can tell you are having lots of fun with this class!

relevanttealeaf said...

Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful experience with us, Stephanie! With your tiny, petite figure, you were undoubtedly a delight for the dresser.

Teafan said...

Wow - I had no idea. Cool.

The Tea Enthusiast's Scrapbook said...

Hi Steph,

What an awesome experience! You look amazing! It really is so much fun learning about customs from different cultures!

Thanks for sharing!

Blessings, Darlene

amherstrose said...

I have always wanted to have the opportunity to be properly dressed in a formal kimono. How absolutly lovely you look, dear Stephanie!
I would certainly have signed up for this class if I lived there. I am so happy that it has been such an amazing experience for you. Can't wait to hear about the remaining classes.

Angela McRae said...

OK, I had absolutely no idea how much went into dressing in a kimono! Thanks for (once again) enlightening us!

Micupoftea~ said...

What a treat! I studied Urusenke for 2 years and frequently wore a kimono when I performed the tea ceremony. I even got to meet the Grand Tea MAster when he visited Los Angeles :)