Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spotting Fakes With Halloween Costumes

One of the requests I get most often, and can't grant, is photos of fakes, mostly due to permission issues and me not wanting to embarrass individuals.

The good news is that Halloween is a perfect time of year to test your kimono knowledge as the costume market gets flooded with knock-offs of varying quality and you can see them in-person in stores (or online if you're overseas). In all my years in America, I have yet to see a mass-produced costume that is even close to a real kimono, but it's interesting to see what gets "lost in translation" and what the designers keep.

Yesterday, I took this snapshot at a certain popular retailer. Test your knowledge: How much is wrong with this outfit? You can check your answers below.

The sleeves are wrong. There should be no contrasting hems, collars or trim. It appears to be a solid skirt on the bottom instead of one side folded over the other. The material is cheap, thin satin. The obi is also cheap satin and bunched up. They did actually get the total length and left-over-right part correct on the collar, however!

(As a note, I have nothing against people wearing these sorts of costumes for Halloween or any other costume event. :) The issue is when people assume real kimono look like the cheap costumes they've seen and get taken advantage of by unscrupulous sellers.)

No comments: