Blue Striped Komon Kimono with White Rabbit and Plum Blossom Pattern and Black and Yellow Obi

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2011 is the year of the rabbit, in the Chinese zodiac, so cute rabbit-related things have been popping up in my RSS feed for the past month or so, and it made me want to do a rabbit kimono. (By modern reckoning, I’m late, but in Japan, the New Year used to be celebrated on the Chinese schedule, between late January and mid-February, so by that standard I’m quite early!)

Of late, I’ve been inspired by the drama Osen to look at lots of vintage kimono, as the main character is the proprietor of a traditional Japanese restaurant and always wears kimono in a fun, fresh way. (I’ve found lots of good blogs along the way, but I particularly recommend Kimono Sarasa’s blog.) This is intended to be a casual, retro-style komon kimono, with large patterns all over the fabric: the bunnies are a reference to 2011, of course, while the sprigs of flowers are plum blossom, which is the first flower to bloom every year and therefore a traditional New Year’s motif. The obi, a yellow circle pattern on black, is meant to evoke — OK, not so subtly — the moon. Rabbits and the moon are linked in Japanese symbolism, because in Japan, it’s said that you can see a rabbit making mochi (a kind of rice cake) in the moon, instead of the man in the moon.

I drew this when I was visiting with my mom: we both printed out the black-and-white version and started coloring, but I finished mine, while she had to go do something in the middle and only finished her obi. Hopefully we’ll be able to see her kimono too, soon!

I’ve got a lot of things to look forward to in 2011, and I hope you all do too!

Halloween Costume Series Day 2: Violet Blue and Black Witch’s Robes with Runes and Silver Accents

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It seemed to Aithne like she was the only one of the three who bothered keeping up appearances anymore, the only one with any sense of propriety. The things her sisters wore these days! You couldn’t even blame it on a generation gap, as they were all equally old — no — they had positively lost their pride.

It had come to a head two years ago when Medea came to visit, breezing through her door with a tan and a take-out box full of hen’s teeth. First off, she had insisted on being called Madison. (Madison!) Second, she displayed her new cardigan (did she say it was from the End of the Land? Horrid place, she was sure) with wicked, rebellious delight, stretching out an arm as though she expected Aithne to pet it. Finally, she had laughed at her sister’s new robes, remarking that it looked like she had her grocery list written on her hem and that she was totally stuck in the 1800s. Aithne replied that she very well might be, but it was much better than being stuck as a newt, the truth of which she proceeded to demonstrate. Mehitabel had had to step in (and stepping was something she quite liked since she had discovered thousand-dollar high heels — imagine that, going to your kitchen, instead of having your tea come to you, just for effect) to de-newt Medea, since Aithne refused to do so without an apology, and Medea’s communication skills had been reduced to skittering around and switching her tail.

Aithne had had no contact with Mehitabel or Medea since, after yelling at the both of them that the family art was going to hell in a handbasket, a handbasket filled with pastel cardigans and Italian stilettos. They had left in high dudgeon, but she had been proved right by the grave injuries Medea had sustained attempting a ritual wearing her capris and cardigan one day; one does not, apparently, serve a traditionalist entity in modern styles.

For any of you who follow my paperdollverse, I believe that this set of robes is from a new collection from my wizard-world fashion designer responsible for this set of sunset-colored dress robes and this cool-colored set. Aithne is a witch, but she isn’t technically a part of that universe, so she had to go rather a ways out of her way for it and ended up paying quite dearly for it; she believes Medea got off lightly for insulting it.