Thursday, January 14, 2016


I thought it high time I wore this antique kimono I bought a couple years ago at Hand-Me-Ups. It still had the tags from the seller at the antique mall asking $150 Firm for it. I paid twenty. The thing is, it needed to have some of the gold thread re-stitched. Fixed-up, it could easily fetch that price, but not in the condition I found it. I did the repairs, and while I have no intention of selling it, I think it is worth the effort just to ensure the embroidery doesn't snag on anything. Anyway, it was a bargain and it drew compliments and smiles everywhere I went today. One woman stopped me in the parking lot to tell me how much she liked it.
"It is antique", I told her "Just like me!"

Since I don't know anything about kimonos, or time periods, I won't try to fake it with a web search. I've been told it dates to the 1920's, which looking at the fabric and construction sounds about right, but I can't be certain. It is surprisingly heavy, and was enough of a coat for a 40 degree day (OK, I'm menopausal, but still). 
 The inside lining has these beautiful flowers that I don't think are hand painted, but could be. I just can't tell.

The colour is more blue than purple in person, though it has definitely started to fade over the years. Thankfully, it appears to be even, so the overall cast of the robe is somewhat on the purple side. What didn't photograph well is the gold thread on the dragon's head that has been built-up over some sort of padding for a quilted effect. It is really spectacular. I've had it hanging on a dress form just enjoying it as room decor, so it was exciting to finally wear it somewhere.

The weather was glorious today, but the rest of the week will be plunging back into the arctic sub-zero stuff so I took advantage of the sunshine to wear this dress and jacket I bought recently. I thought short sleeves would be foolish though, so I layered a black top beneath. I have a love-hate relationship with bias cut dresses. I love them, but they hate me. I always feel like I'm being twisted around in them, but this dress didn't have any of those issues. What's more, the lining really did seem to take the cut of the dress into consideration-something I rarely see in modern clothing. I wasn't familiar with the brand Chelsea and Violet, but a web searched showed dresses similar to this are selling for $168.00 at Dillards. That makes the $7.99 (which I thought was a bit on the pricey side for thrift) more of a deal. Still made in China though. Sigh.
 Outfit Particulars:
Chelsea and Violet dress-Goodwill
Vintage kimono-Hand-Me-Ups
Black top-Dots, about 15 years ago
Clarks shoes-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage coral necklace-Hand-Me-Ups (came with earrings)
Vintage handbag-New Life Thrift
Turtle brooch-K Mart
Milk glass clip earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-Houbigant Orangers en Fleurs (Bibi, you were right about this one, even without my being able to smell the jasmine. Danny loves it too).
Vintage cloisonne clamper bracelet-Hand-Me-Ups

Today's problem-what to do with over 5 lbs. of leeks? Sure, soup will take care of a few, but the rest? Maybe braised with some endives? *shrug* I guess you could have worse problems. They were so cheap, I had to buy them...all!
 I'll leave you with this fellow, who was injured, or sick, or something as he was hobbling around the tree and it was daylight. Our neighbours lured him to a pet carrier with some fruit, and then presumably took him to animal control (I didn't ask). I wanted to send Danny over there today in his Little Edie costume to ask after the raccoon's health, but I didn't. They don't see like the sort of people that would be familiar with Grey Gardens.

I fed the caaaaaat. And the neighbours fed the raccoon. 


Bibi Maizoon said...

Not much I can say about that 'kimono' except it's not a 'kimono.' It is a Chinese design called a 'hanfu.' I'd guess it is from the '20's & specifically made for the western market judging by the lining & style of the embellishments. A wonderful piece of 1920's kitsch though! I collect Kewpies from the 20's 30' & 40's.

I am loving the cut & fit of that Chelsea & Violet ensemble on you! Those Clark's pumps are divine too! You could go full tilt 30's to late 20's with a cloche hat or even early 40's with a victory roll & huge fake flower hair clip with that outfit.

Isn't Houbigant's OEF FAB! It's not just neroli or orange blossom but rather like Houbigant created an entirely new flower! That's my favorite style of perfume to wear to weddings, mundans, & other 'family' or religious events - a bold white floral over a clean musk. OEF is my fragrance for attending these Desi events where I'm competing with auntys wearing rose attars & jasmine sambac by the bucketload. I've gotten tonnes of compliments on it! I got my 100ml bottle in Moscow for only $80!!! Squeee!! The Russian shop owner was like "But that's soooo old fashioned & the cheapest fragrance in the entire store!" I just said, "But it's the BEST one, & it is sooo me!" (that was after I'd sniffed & turned down EVERYTHING from Montale to Amouage to Ajmal to Byredo to Clive Christian in her shop.)

I had my 1st troll on my blog yesterday. Just so y'all know, in addition to the Talibani/Wahhabi idiots we have the Hindutva patriotards here on the Subcontinent. They're mostly in India & very anti foreigner. They love to troll & verbally attack goris (white women) on the internet, ESPECIALLY white women married to Indians. White women are evil whores out to destroy the pavitra (pure) culture of India, in their opinion. Even white women who have converted to Hinduism are not spared their ire. In addition to the usual flaming & trolling, - personal attacks, death threats, rape threats, & other physical threats to goris & their entire families are not unusual when dealing with these assholes. Every gori blogger married to an Indian I know has encountered these jackass cowards. Us gori wives have kind of banded together & vowed not to let them deter us from blogging. I draw even more ire as I'm married to a Kashmiri Muslim, probably the most hated ethnic/religious group in India. So much for 'white privilege,' eh?

Mim said...

Poor old raccoon, I hope he was okay. My friends in the US send me a White house Christmas ornament each year, which is always educational, so this year I learned Calvin Coolidge had a pet raccoon. Apparently he was sent to the Coolidges to have for a thanksgiving meal! I can't imagine eating raccoon.

That Kimono is stunning - the lining is so good, it's a shame the whole thing isn't reversible so you could choose different sides for different occasions.

Beth Waltz said...

I agree with Mimi about the provenance of the hanfu, 20s definitely and made for slinking about looking like Louise Brooks.

The coral necklace is superb with the black/red/white ensemble. Clever you, using the undersleeve maneuver! I'd gladly add those shoes to my new collection of Heels One Can Safely Wear.

Quite right about staying away from the raccoon -- and it's better not having to explain Danny in his Little Edie outfit, in any case.

Goody said...

Honestly, just ignore the trolls. Having comment approval on discourages most of them after a bit. I've had my share over the twelve years on the Internet, and really, it might piss you off, but even mentioning them on your blog is seen as encouragement-just ignore the fuckers.

I have all these old cookbooks with recipes for raccoon, woodchuck, and possum. I guess the thinking is, "Free food."

Hmmm, I've been giving serious consideration to a short bob haircut-maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something. Clarks Indigo line have a vintage feel to them, but are still comfortable shoes to wear. Worth watching eBay for too. I wear an 8 1/2 and their shoes run true-to-size.

Sue said...

What a gorgeous Kimono, I have had a hankering for one for ages and save them to my watch list on Trade Me (NZ Ebay sort of thing) all the time. I would wear it as a coat too!! A Racoon, wow! We don't get anything half as exciting as a Racoon or a Squirrel, just the odd Hedgehog.

Goody said...

Be glad you don't have raccoons, they're mean, frequently rabid, and they are known to tear through rubbish bins looking for food. They do make lovely coats though ;)