A Cherry Blossom Fashion Show

How do I describe how nervous I was being in my first kimono fashion show.  The rinzu silk kimono of gradated pink, purple and white covered in sakura (cherry blossoms) and gosho-kuruma (Court Carriage) designed by a kabuki actor and gifted to me for Christmas remains one of the most beautiful I have ever seen and my favorite of all that I own.  I was honestly scared I was going to step on it!  I was worried I had done just that when trying to climb in to an SUV to go to the Festival because my long Furisode sleeves got caught under me!  Fortunately I had not stepped on my sleeve and no damage was done to them!  But I think there needs to be a new etiquette on how you climb up into a large vehicle!

But how to do my hair? My makeup?  How do I walk? It was my first time wearing zori for so long and they had just been adjusted for me that morning.  What kind of face does one have on when walking with kimono?

I settled on a version of my favorite kimono hair that I had found in a YouTube tutorial.  A French braid crown across the front pulled loosely on purpose and a bun in the back with a small amount left down in the back.  My makeup I kept natural except for a touch of purple to match the kimono in the corner of my eyes.  I walked as the lessons in my dance videos instructed which was with a bit of a sliding motion, with your knees bent and kept together.

I tried to keep my face mild and serene with a bit of a smile but when I look at the photos it looks more like I’m plotting the downfall of some fantastical country full of leprechauns – or something like world domination – so next time I think I’ll just smile.

Me Plotting World Domination in a Kimono

It was amazing and every one of the 22 women taking part in it looked so beautiful!  Such detail, design, color and art.  Traditional, modern, serious and fun! I can’t think of a better way to spend a day!  And such an interested crowd.  At least 200 crowded the pavilion at the San Diego Friendship Garden and whether it was a demonstration of how to tie a fukuro obi in one of the most elaborate patterns, or proving that kimono could be fun with a dance to a pop song, they were cheering, clapping to the music and applauding.

I hope there are many more fashion shows in the future and we get to introduce more people to just how beautiful and joyful kimono can be!

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