Momijigari (もみじがり?) is the Japanese word for “autumn leaf hunting”, and I took a drive recently for just such a purpose.
And alright, so that last pose is pretty silly, I'm no model, but I wanted you to see the gorgeous sleeves of this Japanese haori jacket!
The term cultural appropriation had yet to be invented in the 1920's, and "oriental" fashions were rampant. The styles created then are undeniably both fun and beautiful, but traditional clothing is not a costume to be borrowed, which is why I want to be clear that in wearing a haori I mean nothing but great admiration for Japanese traditional clothing. I wrote a short post about haori, or jackets worn over kimono, a few weeks ago here on the blog (read it here), and I have been doing a lot of research on Japanese traditional clothing recently in general. I think the styles, fabrics, and techniques are just beautiful, and sadly some aspects of traditional kimono making are dying out in the modern age. It seems there is a pretty big split over the idea of westerners wearing kimono, seeming that Japanese Americans do tend to find it offensive, while people in Japan are happy to have people interested in kimono and other aspects of their culture (and I am sure there are some in each country who feel opposite to these generalizations too). While my intention is never to offend, I understand that to some people westerners borrowing any aspect of their culture is offensive, and that is a valid opinion no matter my intent. More on this topic soon, but until then, isn't this haori crazy beautiful?
The design is created by wax resist (batik) dyeing and as soon as I saw the leaf pattern I had to have it for my collection. The lining is an orangey-red silk with faux shibori designs in white. This haori, like the others I have (*cough* yes I already have 3 now), is entirely sewn together by hand using traditional Japanese stitch techniques. Though originally worn with kimono, haori are often styled with modern clothing now as they make a very stylish alternative to a blazer or cardigan. I paired my new-to-me haori with a black 1920s style dress, a vintage (possibly even antique) parasol, and my trusty Modcloth t-strap heels.
As for these photos, they were taken at Georgetown lake in the Rocky Mountains west of Denver and as you can see the aspen trees were in full fall form glowing yellow all around us along the road and dotting every mountainside. How lucky am I to live in such a gorgeous place? Fall is my favorite season for a drive into the Rockies, if only the season lasted longer before the snows arrive!
Dress: Made by me
Tights: What Katie Did
Necklace & Earrings: Made by me