Sunday, March 14, 2010

Geisha Costume: Kimono Acquired!

As mentioned in a previous post, I've decided to do a nice starter geisha costume. My goal is to have it ready by October and Halloween, if nothing else. I settled on the very distinctive, most formal outfit geisha can wear: a 5-crest black kimono with red underkimono.

Geisha wear this outfit on highly ceremonial occasions, for example Shinaisatsu (sheen eye saht tsoo ”New Year's Greetings"), which they have right after New Year's. On this day, which I believe varies from geisha district to district, they get fully suited up and make the rounds in their local community, thanking and asking for continued future help and kindness from everyone from their dance teachers to the mistresses of the high-end teahouses they often work in to the dressers that style their wigs.

For some lovely photos featuring this type of outfit, check out the amazing ewoodham's Flickr stream collection. The first image you'll see has two geisha in the front, and an apprentice (maiko) in the back.

As I also mentioned last night, I got my kurotomesode in the mail I plan to chop up and make into a trailing geisha version. It's beautiful and I think will work well for my starter outfit. So now I can cross it off my list and start looking for the other pieces I'll need! Looking at this list, it's a good thing I'm giving myself until October...

Geisha Costume List (things I don't already have):

- kurotomesode kimono (lengthened: not yet!)
- authentic geisha wig
- red juban (underkimono) (probably will need to be lengthened too)
- formal obi, possibly a hakata weave one
- red "momi" cloth, a special wrapped length of fabric geisha wear under their obi
- the wax stick primer geisha use for their whiteface
- appropriate kanzashi (hair ornaments)
- cloth and wicker basket bag (kinchaku normally, but geisha have larger ones to keep their instruments in)

No comments: