Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Tips & Tricks: Where to Buy Kimono

I notice that a rather large amount of emails that I get via this blog have some variant of the same issue: where do I usually buy my kimono? Since this seems to be a very popular question, I figured it'd be best if I just made a post about it that can easily be referred to.

A majority of the kimono that you see on my blog (and even more that you don't see!) were bought online, as the internet is the easiest place to find plenty of authentic kimono. However, for every beautiful authentic kimono sold online, there are probably a hundred fake kimono that are being sold for ten times their worth.

It is important for an online shopper to be able to identify a real or a fake kimono just by looking at pictures on a screen. This can include a multitude of things - the fabric used, the build of the kimono, the pattern on the fabric. There are many indicators of fake kimono that are quite easy to spot once you get used to it.

However, as a beginner in shopping for kimono online, it will be quite difficult to tell a large number of these differences. In fact, there are some fakes that are so well-crafted that even a seasoned shopper can barely tell that something isn't quite right with it. There are also some sellers that sell authentic kimono at incredibly ridiculous prices (eg: $1,000 for a kimono that's been stained and cut to pieces!).

As such, I suggest to all beginner shoppers to stick to shops that are reputable and well known for selling good quality, authentic kimono at affordable prices.

I am outlining below the usual shops that I frequently direct my readers to as they are known to be reliable. I have bought from all of the shops listed in this post before, and can testify that all of my personal experiences with them have been good.


1. Ichiroya
Webshop: Ichiroya
eBay Shop: Ichiroya - eBay

(Note: It seems that Ichiroya's eBay shop is currently empty. Check again later, though - when they post stuff, it's usually a great deal!)

Ichiroya is actually my favourite English webshop to browse through! They always have such beautiful items, and many of them are at quite decent prices. You can always find a multitude of things of any condition from brand-new to old and antique, and from wearable items to display pieces. One thing I really like about them is that they have full kimono sets for sale, readily matched and put together so that beginners in kimono coordination don't have to feel unsure about their choices.

Another point in their favour is their Kitsuke DVD, just about the only English DVD I know of that teaches you how to wear kimono. The main "stars" of the DVD are Yuka, the owner Ichiro's wife, and their daughter.

If you register for their newsletter, you will get to read alot of interesting news about Japan and kimono-related articles every Sunday. All of the Ichiroya staff are very helpful, and if you ever need help in anything, such as finding a piece with a specific motif, or finding an obi to match your kimono, or even tailoring service for their kimono bolts, they are always willing to help you in any way possible.

One down point is that compared to some of the other shops, their items may seem a little expensive. However, I still buy from them as they do carry some rare items, and their items are usually in better condition than other shops.


2. RyuJapan
Webshop: RyuJapan
eBay Shop: RyuJapan - eBay

Ryujiro-san is another great seller with very affordable kimono. His supply isn't always consistent, but when he has a new promotion, there is always a great selection to choose from. Most of his new promotions are in line with whatever season is approaching - yukata in June, wool kimono in September, etc. His eBay shop also has a great choice of kimono and kimono items all year-round.

Nearly all of my wool kimono are from Ryujiro-san. He had a wool kimono promotion about 3 years ago and was selling them from USD1 to USD10, so I got a huge bunch of them for really cheap!

One thing that I really love about Ryujiro-san are his sales - on the last few hours of his sales, the discounts can go as low as 60%, sometimes 70% off. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten good quality yukata obi for USD4 just by waiting patiently :)


3. Yamatoku Classic
Webshop: Yamatoku Classic
eBay Shop: Yamatoku Classic - eBay

Yet another favourite! My first kimono that weren't yukata were bought from their eBay shop :) I used to constantly drool over their kimono sets, which are more expensive but also more complete than the Ichiroya ones. Recently, they have been having more sales and promotions, with kofurisode being sold for as little as USD9.99, and proper furisode sold at a 30% discount.
The main negative point about buying from Yamatoku is that you have to be quite careful with the condition of the item you are buying - quite alot of them have stains somewhere on the kimono, and are quite highly priced for kimono in such a condition. Still, their recent festivals and promotions have had many mint condition items, so maybe this only applies to some of their older stuff :)


There are, of course, far more shops than this that I have bought from and that are reputable, but these are my top picks for beginners :) This also does not include Japanese webshops and Yahoo Japan Auctions, my main source of pretties these days.

Happy Shopping! :)

Note: For those buying from Japanese webshops or from YJA, you will most likely need to use a middleman service, which may significantly up your costs. I use Noppin (http://www.noppin.com/) but there are others out there that you may prefer. I'll write another short post on using middleman websites later.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Christmas Wishlist

Every year, my family always asks me what I want for Christmas. This year, I thought I'd make it easy and put up a few things that I'd really really like, even if it's a battered second-hand copy :)

1) The Atlas of Middle-Earth, by Karen Wynn Fonstad
2) The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, by Bryan Sibley and illustrated by John Howe
3) The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth, by Robert Foster
4) The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, by Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond
5) Any of the History of Middle Earth series by JRR Tolkien
6) Any books at all on Tolkien and/or his works

^_^ My Tolkien collection is quite a small one, but I haven't read through all of it yet. Still, I'm looking forward to expanding it! My most recent acquirement is the 50th Anniversary one-volume edition of Lord of the Rings, which my sister gave to me for my birthday. I'm contemplating getting that leather-bound copy of The Hobbit that I saw as well....

It's such a pity that it's so hard to find good second-hand books in KL :/ Most of my LotR collection are actually from the UK, where I can raid second-hand bookstores or flea markets easily. Any suggestions on where in KL (besides Amcorp Mall) that I can go hunting for second-hand books?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Event Aftermath: Sleepover Night

A friend and I had a sleepover at my house a few months ago, and while we spent most of the day running around in lolita clothes, we did go for dinner in yukata! :)

Here are pictures of what we wore~


Sleepover Night: GAMP & Kimono

Sleepover Night: GAMP & Kimono

Peace Sign! XD
Sleepover Night: GAMP & Kimono

She sewed this yukata by herself! Isn't it amazing??? I really really love the sleeve lengths, which she said took some trouble to wrangle out of a normal-length bolt. And the colours and motif of the fabric are sooo pretty as well *____*

I really like the obi and accessories she picked out as well. Maybe it isn't so visible in these pictures, but there are highlights of that bright bright pink on her yukata that the obi really brings out. Also, the pale shade of yellow she uses for the obi decoration softens the almost harsh contrast of the obi and brings abit of playfulness to the colour scheme as well. (And OMG that bag is so cute and to die for XD!)

And now for my outfit:

Sleepover Night: GAMP & Kimono

Sleepover Night: GAMP & Kimono

Silly shot! (No idea what I was doing. Trying to model the bag in a cutesified way? lol)
Sleepover Night: GAMP & Kimono

I was feeling lazy to coordinate, so I just took out the rose yukata I got from the Jusco Yukata Fair earlier this year, and paired it with what seems to be my favourite obi for navy blue yukata - the Barbie pink one ^^; No surprises that I really like how it turned out - it's the same basic outfit formula for all my navy blue yukata ^^;;;;

Really lovely sleepover that night. We had loads of fun and loads of food @_@ I hope we can do it again sometime!! ^____^

Btw, the IG forums are having a friendship swap, and I'm participating!!! I'm quite excited to find out who I'm going to get, and to decide what I should give them! I'm hoping it'll be someone who's posted pictures on the forums, so I can see what kimono I have that will suit them. It'll be quite amusing if I got JL, who also joined the swap, or vice versa XD

Have a great week everyone - last month of the year!!!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Event Aftermath: Kitsuke Teach-In Session!

Earlier this year, I'd convinced my godsister Carolyn to buy a yukata, and gave her all the accessories (hadajuban, obi-ita, himo, matching obi) for her birthday. Of course, once she had all the necessary items to dress herself up, she needed to learn how to put the yukata on by herself.

And so, one Sunday in late August, I went over to her flat for a quick kitsuke session! The both of us put on our yukata at the same time so that she could imitate what I'm doing and learn that way (it's the way I learn stuff best, so I figured it would work).

This is the result. Really amazing for her first ever try wearing kimono, isn't it? Except for the obijime (which neither of us could figure out LOL) she did everything herself! I barely had to make any adjustments, and even for that, she learned how to do it quickly after I showed her.

(Just a note - I taught her how to tie the "kai no kuchi" or "clam's mouth" musubi as it's the flattest one I know, and is easier to drive in)

I really like her ensemble! She isn't a very flashy sort of person, which is why she chose a dark colour with a more muted motif. I had to convince her to wear the bright yellow obi with it, but she did say that it was an excellent choice for the yukata because of the contrast. However, in case she has days when she wants to look more mature or elegant, I also gave her an obi that's dusty pink on one side, and a softer mustard yellow on the other side.

Here is the outfit that I chose to wear (and pls excuse the derpface!):

This yukata was one of my very first, and most certainly the first one I ever bought online! It's an old UNIQLO design. However, as it is all pink, and the set came with a black obi, I've always felt it was too young for me.

On that day, I really really wanted to wear this yukata, but I also wanted to make it look a little less young. I chose a sort of dusty maroon (I'm tempted to call it "dried blood colour" XD;) obi that I feel gives some form of contrast to the yukata, but isn't as startling as black. I always think that overly dramatic contrast makes an outfit look younger. A bonus point was that the obi highlights the dark petals of the flowers on the yukata without matching their colours perfectly. I'm also wearing a matching pair of maroon geta.

I love pearls alot, but have never really incorporated them into casual outfits before, but with my new faux pearl obi-kazari, it was easy to glam up the outfit just by adding some pearl earrings and a large white rose ring. Uh, the bag is an old Prada one that I'd been using as a briefcase XD; I chose it that day because it matched the outfit, and was big enough for me to stuff my usual bag's contents and clothes.

Oh, if you're wondering about where we are - after getting dressed, we went to meet her parents and niece for a short while, then we went to Bangsar Shopping Centre for a nice lunch ^_^ These pics were taken in the mall's gourmet food section, which is just about the whole ground floor of one wing.

I left one of my kitsuke books with Carolyn, and she's been using it! She did try to dress herself again, and try new bows, and they always turn out looking great ^_^ Now, she's mentioned thinking of getting a 2nd yukata... And I'm getting her one for Christmas XD Actually, I've bought it and received it already hahaha but I won't post pics till she's received and seen the yukata :) I hope it's to her taste!

I feel really happy that someone close to me has started liking yukata. Ever we showed these pics to friends, other godsisters of mine have been asking if they could dress up, so I've promised them that after Christmas, we'll all have a girlie night out, yukata style! All I really need is just some yukata for their daughters and we're all set XD

I can't wait for Christmas to come - kitsuke buddies in the form of close friends and family members would be the best present I could ever get! :)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Quick Update~

Eh just a quick update to let you guys know I'm alive (I think). Been busy these past few months!
  1. Went to Europe for a 2-week holiday (Florence, Rome, Cambridge, Edinburgh & London) to send my brother off to Cambridge (*coughs* just an excuse to go there *coughs*)
  2. Continued holiday with a week-long working trip (Norwich, Bath, London, Berlin & Amsterdam)
  3. Spent 2 mad weeks at home preparing for a conference in Beijing
  4. Was in Beijing and Shanghai for a week for work
Yeah I'm really tired ^^;;; Must remedy that this weekend by lots and lots of sleep! XD

On a separate note, Anime Festival Asia 2010 is on this weekend in Singapore... I want to go so badly, but I've got to help with my godbrother's wedding stuff :/ *sighs*

Can someone go for me and check out their Butler Cafe? XD


Thursday, 16 September 2010

Event Aftermath: Bon Odori 2010, Shah Alam, Malaysia

I managed to go to Bon Odori this year! It seems like I'm only able to go every 2 years (2004, 2006, 2008 and now 2010) ^^; How odd!

But honestly, after this year's Bon Odori, I highly doubt I'll be going there again ^^;; Just a liiiiiittle too crowded and hot for my tastes, and I don't really need another excuse to wear yukata out - if I wanted to, I'd just wear it :P"

I met up with a few friends - at first, it was a few friends from my high school (all of whom I haven't seen in at least 5 years!!), then later on we split off to look for other friends ^^; I met up with Hayashi, a kimono buddy of mine, and we managed to squeeze in the final round of dances together XD

I didn't get any good pics, so I'm just posting a few pics of Hayashi and me ^^


Shah Alam Bon Odori 2010


Shah Alam Bon Odori 2010

Both of us together after the final round of dancing...

Shah Alam Bon Odori 2010

Crowd photo!

Shah Alam Bon Odori 2010

Just a little bit on my outfit...

Shah Alam Bon Odori 2010

This yukata is rather special to me, because I first saw the blue version in one of my sister's fashion magazines in 2004. I fell in love instantly but never actually tried looking for it because the price tag on the magazine page was ridiculous.

When I started buying from YJA, I thought of looking for the yukata and after months of searching, I found this one going at a decent price in a whole set (yukata, obi, geta, bag & obijime). So of course, I fought for it and managed to win it in early 2009 XD Yay!~ *happiness*

For Bon Odori 2010, I wore it with its matching obi, which has a motif of goldfish woven into the fabric. I didn't quite want to wear the full set, so I paired it with a pair of green geta, obi kazari with orange and green beads, and orange and green earrings. I'm also using my favourite bag for yukata.

When I was getting ready, my sister and I randomly decided to go to a hair salon and get our hair done. I was meant to leave the house for Bon Odori at 5pm, but went to the salon at 4pm - and finished at 5.30pm ^^;;; Luckily, I still managed to get home and change and leave by 6pm!!

Anyway, this is what the hairdresser came up with:

Shah Alam Bon Odori 2010

Pretty nice, isn't it? I was really happy with how she did it! My sister and I just told her I was going to wear a yukata, so she could do whatever she wanted ^^ I'll definitely ask for her again the next time I go there.

That's all of the pictures - the rest that I took were mainly crowd pics that had yukata outfits in them haha. Not really worth the camera space, now that I think about it.... ^^;;;


Sunday, 12 September 2010

Long Weekend~~

Friday was a public holiday for Hari Raya, so we had a lovely long weekend.

I was quite productive!
  1. Got my legs and eyebrows waxed. FINALLY.
  2. Made an appointment for a facial.
  3. Cleaned up room. Guesstimating about 30% done so far, but that's quite alot already ^^;
  4. Started playing RO again. Woohoo!
  5. Bought a new teacup/saucer set. Now, just to get the matching teapot....
  6. Cleared out my closets. Turns out I have alot of clothes to donate to charity ^^;;;
  7. Took some pics of clothes to sell~
Now if only I could fit in a hair & scalp treatment and a make-up session, it'd be perfect :)

On another note, I think I'm going to redecorate my room. I really need a proper study table, so I might get that country-style table I've been eyeing for a while.... So I've got to change my room's decor from Japanese-inspired to country home-inspired XD; I can't wait to start hunting for proper partitians!

.. But I think I can definitely wait for Monday to start ;_; Sunday, where did you gooooo?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Layout Change~

Just a random post to say that I've changed my blog layout again :) Navigation is mostly the same, but the looks are very different now. I got a little tired of looking at the same small frame for the body, and it was really too small for alot of my photos, so I just used one of Blogspot's pre-set layout designs ^^;

I'm quite happy with the current colour scheme - yellow is so cheery and happy, yet this shade is particularly peaceful and calming at the same time.


Friday, 3 September 2010

Style Tips: September

One of the lolita blogs that I follow does an article on style tips for each month. It's a pretty fun idea, so I thought I'd start doing it too, only for kimono ^_^

Please note that most of these tips are completely from my own opinions and small bits of knowledge I've picked up or noticed over the years I've been into kimono. As such, they shouldn't be taken as any sort of steadfast rule, but instead as guidelines on how to dress in tune with your surroundings.

Also, most of my style tips are applicable for the Northern Hemisphere only - maybe even specific to London, which is where I gained all my personal knowledge about kimono in cold weather! However, if you're able to withstand the heat, these may also apply to those in tropical countries as well. ♥

Here goes!

  1. Start preparing for the upcoming cold weather early: air out your warmer kimono ahead of time so that if there is a sudden drop in temperature, you're not caught without anything to wear!
  2. Things might start to get a little chilly later this month so switch out your yukata and summerweave kimono for a warmer hitoe when you begin to feel that nip in the air.
  3. If you find it too cool for summerweave fabrics yet too warm for hitoe, compromise by wearing a ro juban under your hitoe kimono. Alternatively, layer up a little with a lace haori or shawl.
  4. As a precursor to colder weather ahead, your han'eri, obi, obiage and obijime (and even tabi and zori!) should no longer be usumono.
  5. At night, temperatures can dip pretty low, so keep a thin pretty shawl in your bag when you go out.
  6. This month marks the beginning of autumn, so slowly phase out your summer colours of blues and purples, and start introducing small amounts of orange, yellow, brown and red to your ensembles.
  7. Autumn's most common seasonal motifs are chrysanthemum flowers and turning maple leaves, which are worn throughout September, October and November.
  8. The Japanese usually decorate their house with pampas grass around this time of the year (tradition dictates that this will ward off illness for the year) so wear pampas grass motifs earlier in the month to keep in season.
  9. Other in-season motifs to keep in mind: Bush clover, Chinese bellflower, crickets, dragonflies.
  10. September's moon in considered to be the most beautiful of the year. Until/On Tsukimi (the moon-viewing festival) which is on 22nd September and 20th October this year, wear kimono and obi with moon motifs.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Video: How To Dress Yukata & Kimono Part 1

I think I've rather been neglecting my blog ^^;;;

As an apology, here is an English video on how to wear yukata, posted by the owners of Ichiroya.com, one of my favourite kimono shops. The people who appear in the video are Yuka-san (Ichiro-san's wife) and their daughter.

The video is quite easy to understand and is very helpful! It does show many important things, such as a complete list of items needed to wear kimono, padding and the proper kimono silhouette, and important tips to keep in mind when wearing kimono.

If you are learning to wear kimono, I would recommend that you start with wearing yukata, since it is simple and easy to wear. This video is the best English video on yukata-wearing that I have seen so far, and is highly recommended!

For those of you who would like to buy the entire video series, Ichiroya is selling a DVD on how to wear kimono on their website (link available at the sidebar) ^^

I hope that this video was helpful to those who are just starting to learn how to wear kimono!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Hmmm I'm supposed to be posting about Bon Odori 2010, but I can't figure out how to work the new Flickr layout ^^;;;; I did try taking the "tour" but it doesn't seem to work on my com o_O???

So my picture & events posts will be a little delayed till I can putter around and "fix" it ^^;

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Event Aftermath: Yukata Meet @ KLCC

Just a quick post on an old meet up ^^;

Early in May this year, a couple of friends and I had a yukata meet at KLCC! It was the first time I was going out with friends in yukata in Malaysia since 2007, so I was understandably very excited ^^;;;

We managed to schedule our meet so that it coincided with Isetan's Food Fair, so we of course headed there for lunch after having a picture-taking session at the KLCC Park. After lunch, we headed to Kinokuniya and shopped (and talked :P) for 2 hours before retiring at a cafe.

It was short, but still enjoyable! ^__^ It was nice to make new friends~~ :)

Anyway, pictures now!

I'd seen this little area in February and thought it looked nice, so I insisted that we went there to take pictures ^^;;;

We did manage to get someone to take pics of all 3 of us, but it's floating somewhere in my friend's Flickr, and I'm abit too lazy to find it ^^;

I was so amused by the fact that the flowers kind of matched me that day!

We stopped by to rest a little.

I've always been rather fond of "walking pictures"... :P"

I figured that since we were already at KLCC, we might as well take pics with the Twin Towers! Also, I always seem to take pics in Piccadilly Circus in London, so taking pics of another famous monument :P

I'm afraid we only bothered with our cameras a very little bit in the park, and rather forgot about them after that ^^; So no other photos ahahaha~

Just a little bit on my outfit:

It's a ro-weave yukata that I had bought from Oh!Japan's stall in last year's Japan Charity Bazaar & Fiesta. It was a little more expensive than I expected for something that feels like a cotton/poly mix, but I figured that it was for charity, so it's okay.

I very much like the fact that it's ro, so it feels easier to dress it up as a kimono. I tried hard to coordinate it so that it looks like a cool outfit, as we had been having a heatwave at that time. (And as cooling as the outfit looked, I was really boiling in it!!)

I was quite happy to find that my electric blue summerweave hakata obi matched it perfectly! It felt a little to stark and dark for my liking, so I paired it with white and light blue accessories. The light blue han'eri I'm wearing was a Christmas present from my kimono buddy in the UK, Chantal :) Thanks, Chan!

To complete the kimono look, I paired it with navy blue zori and white lace tabi.

My kitsuke was ok that day, but not great. I woke up late and had too little time to dress nicely, and my juban was very slippery! Since I got to KLCC early, I ended up retreating to a toilet and re-tying my obi there... ^^;;;

Next up would be a post on Bon Odori 2010 :)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Suggestions?: Obi-Matching Dilemma

As mentioned in my earlier posts, my godsis Carolyn bought a yukata at the Jusco Yukata Fair. Since the fair didn't have any proper undies or even koshihimo (shocking!) and she hated the obi her yukata came with, I decided to get her a proper matching obi and yukata undies set for her birthday. (Don't worry about my posting this in public - she already knows what she's getting for her birthday :P)

My only problem is deciding what colour obi I should get her. Her yukata has a base colour of dark purple, with lighter shades of purple and white, and a motif of sakura. I can see it matching with so many colours - mustard yellow, pale yellow, pale green, light blue, all sorts of pinks, white, lilac.... I just don't know what to get her :/

I did ask her what sort of colour she'd like, but she said it'd be very difficult to decide without actually seeing the obi in person. Also, her taste is generally a less bright and more sedate sort of colour combination. Her favourite motif is sakura, but I'm afraid of accidentally turning her outfit into a sakura overload ^^;;;

Soooo..... Any suggestions?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Event Aftermath: Jusco Yukata Fair 2010 - My Finds!

As promised, here is my post about the stuff I bought at the Jusco yukata fair!

1)Pale blue stripes and spots yukata. I found this pattern quite adorable, and I don't have any pale blue yukata.

I'm not entirely sure what sort of obi I'd like to wear this with, but I think the one in this photo makes for a rather refreshing combination. I'm not too fond of the idea of wearing such a plain yukata obi with this yukata, but the colours are really spot-on for my taste...

2) Brown with bunnies yukata. I was really happy to have found this! I haven't any brown kimono or yukata or even obi, so this was a very nice surprise. Plus, the saleswomen told me that they have only one yukata of this pattern, and they all remembered me for buying it ^^;;

I found this one obi that seems to be a great colour match for the yukata. It contrasts the darkness so well, and at the same time, the roses match the bunnies quite perfectly. I think it lends a rather cute appeal to a yukata that is otherwise slightly too old for me. Any ideas on other colour combinations? I think I might try a pale yellow or something.

3) Yet another navy blue roses and false shibori yukata! I love that sort of combination. The roses here look really elegant, I feel.

For this photo, I paired this yukata with a plain white obi so that I can show off my new obijime :)

4) Navy blue and gold yukata obijime. I bought this because the colour is quite hard to get right on screen, so it's more difficult to find the correct shade when shopping online.

I didn't really know how to tie the obijime properly, so I just fudged it ^^;; I think it turned out looking rather well!

5) All the obi that came with the yukata! (and one extra from my godsis, who also hated the obi)

I'm still not sure about what I'm going to do with all these... I think I might keep them to lend out to people who want to wear yukata, but can't tie an obi. However, if you want one, I'd be willing to trade! Just send me a message or leave a comment XD

6) One of the three pairs of geta I bought.

At RM20, these were really worth it. Even my godsis Carolyn, whom I dragged along and convinced to buy lots of stuff at the fair, bought a couple of pairs and said they were really comfy for everyday wear!

7) Navy blue uchiwa fan.

I'm of the opinion that you can never have too many fans! XD The fact that this fan matches my new navy blue yukata doesn't hurt either :P

8) Pearl obi kazari.

I've always wanted one, so I thought I'd just buy one to see. I ended up buying another one when this one worked so well ^^;

9) Kimono stickers!

These weren't actually from the Jusco yukata fair. However, I did bump into them at Art Friend, Gardens when my godsis and I went to the fair. I couldn't resist such cuteness!! I can't wait to start using them the next time I send a card or a letter to my kimono friends :)

These actually weren't all the items I bought - I also have parasols, more geta, more obi kazari, a child's yukata set, and a couple of items for my brother..... But I got lazy to post all of them :P

Bon Odori is this weekend (zomg forgot to post about it!) so I might wear one of my new pretties there ^_^ If my brother goes with me, he'll be wearing one of the yukata I bought for him yay! I can't wait 8D

Hope you enjoyed seeing what I purchased XD I certainly had a good time shopping haha!

Toodles and goodnight!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Event Aftermath: Jusco Yukata Fair 2010

As promised to a few people, I took pics of the Jusco Yukata Fair :) Here's a not-so-small post about it!

In anticipation of Bon Odori, which is growing more and more popular every year, Jusco decided to have a yukata fair this year. I don't know if they've had it before, but when my friend told me about it, I definitely had to go and check it out!

The fair wasn't held at all Jusco outlets. In KL, it was only held in the Mid Valley outlet - which is incredibly convenient for me, since it's so near my office!

The location in the outlet was quite easy to spot - from the Center Court entrance, you can already see some pretties to entice you in.

Then you just walk straight in and you'll be greeted by a couple of mannequins in yukata.

Walking along the perimeter of the area, which is quite large. This side is showing more of the kids' yukata.

The screen was playing a video on how to wear yukata. It gathered quite a crowd when it was still on! ^^;

Just look at the amount of choice we have for women's yukata! *sighs dreamily*

This set was one of the more complete, but also more expensive sets.

I took a picture of the area that displayed lots of nice parasols, geta and bags, but I didn't take pics of the area for men's yukata, obi kazari, kanzashi, obijime, fans and other random deco stuff.

The price range was pretty decent for some of the stuff! I'm just going to put up a price list for reference if they have another fair next year XD

Women's yukata set (yukata + tsuke obi) : RM129 for most, with some at RM399
Men's yukata set (yukata + kaku obi) : RM129 per set
Kids' yukata set (yukata + obi, type of obi varies with age) : RM89 each
Folding Fan : RM29
Uchiwa Fan : RM10
Parasol : RM39
Geta : RM29
Decorative lace for obi : RM119
Obi Kazari : RM69
Obijime : RM49 - RM59

I'm afraid that's all I remember ^^;; I didn't buy any bags or kanzashi, so I don't remember how much they cost. I hope they'll have another one of these next year! It sure saves alot of hassle from dealing with Paypal, shipping and customs, and is pretty decently priced, considering the quality of some of the items!

Ok, I think this post has gotten quite long enough. I'll stop here for now, and will post on my purchases later ^_^ (I'm currently working on that, so it won't take too long before I post it, I hope!)


Monday, 12 July 2010

Review: West Side Story the Musical

I promised (and wrote!) this a really really long time ago, and I thought I ought to post it before I started posting the other in-progress stuff ^^;;;

My sister had been hearing alot of good things about West Side Story, so when they came to Malaysia, she was understandably excited. And so, as the story goes, my family and I went to watch the musical on Saturday, 15th May 2010.

My review:

Location: Um, my knowledge of Malaysian geography is really awful (I only know how to get to Mid Valley and my office and maybe Jalan Sultan Ismail from my house LOL) so I can't comment much here ^^;; It was held at Istana Budaya, if that helps at all.

Music: The music was so-so. There were a few good songs that I quite liked, but some other songs weren't really to my liking while others were just lackluster and not very memorable. My sister, her friends and I all agree that the singing really wasn't up to our expectations. I felt that the only one who had a particularly striking voice was the female lead, Maria. On the other hand, if you took away all the lyrics and the singing, the instrumental music was gorgeous!

(On a random note - the song "I feel pretty" sounds much much nicer in Spanish than it does in English!)

Storyline: Well, the storyline is meant to be a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. I will admit that it is probably a favourite basis for many stories, and I can see so many ways in which this basic idea could be an emotional and touching story. However, the way in which the script was written made West Side Story absolutely corny and lame to the core (and not in a good way), not to mention that it sounded like something a hormonal 14 year old would write for fanfiction - and I would definitely be able to recognise that sort of story, having been one of those hormonal fanfiction-writing 14 year olds myself. (:P)

As time goes on and I think back more on the musical, I begin to see more clearly that some parts that I had hated did tie in with the story and give an appropriate background for the setting, but it still doesn't change that they were badly done. Alot of the characters don't have any background story, so I feel like I don't know the character well enough to emphatize with/hate them or understand their side of the story. I also rather felt that the American side of the story was more developed than the Puerto Rican side, which made it seem rather lopsided.

Other comments: The pace of the story is quite odd. It starts off at a slow pace, with alot of contemporary dancing and dialogue, and seems to get even slower as the musical goes on, until it suddenly climaxes and spins to a stop within ten minutes of the end of the musical. Rather too abrupt an ending to be enjoyable. (But there was this very amusing moment where Maria screams like she's that girl in the Exorcist. It was meant to be a solemn and serious moment, but the instant I heard it, I just had to giggle!)

Speaking of Maria, my sister and I found her accent very annoying. Once again, we understand that it's meant to reflect her non-American roots, but still.... we really could do without it! Maria was quite a whiny character too. Maybe it was the whining rather than the accent that got on my nerves!

On another note, there were too many contemporary dances for my liking. Don't get me wrong - they were very beautifully choreographed dances, but my sister and I didn't quite see the point in alot of it. I felt like they were just there to bulk out the performance. As my sister said, it feels more like we're watching So You Think You Can Dance? rather than a musical.

Recommendation: I honestly wouldn't recommend this to anyone. A friend has told me that the movie was really good, so perhaps that would be a better alternative. But at least I can now say I've watched it, and will avoid this musical for the rest of my life.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Event Announcement: Yukata Fair at Jusco Mid Valley

Just a quick post ^_^

There's a yukata fair at Jusco Mid Valley (Ground Floor - just enter from the Center Court entrance and walk straight, and you'll bump into it). I went there yesterday to check it out, and they have quite a large selection!

Prices are quite decent - a yukata and obi set are RM129 for men and women, and RM89 for children's sets. You can also get an assortment of accessories - RM10 for an uchiwa fan, RM39 for parasols, RM20 for geta... There are also some bags, obijime, obi kazari and hair accessories, which really completes each set. I noticed some decorative lace for obi too.

If anyone wants to check it out, please do it soon, because it's only there till this Sunday, 4th July 2010. This is really a great opportunity to get some cheap yukata for Bon Odori or anime/cosplay conventions :)

I've bought two sets for myself and one for my brother already! I also got one for my niece, but it's a little big for her age, so I'm going to have to go back and look for another one her size XP And I got 3 pairs of geta, a fan, one obi kazari and two parasols. I'm in love! I'm planning to go back to buy more ehhehehe~ XP

On a side note, I've been pretty dead coz I was in Singapore for a Summer Wealth Management Program by Merrill Lynch for two weeks. It was really fun! Made loads of new friends XD Didn't really learn so much new stuff, but got to see another aspect of the wealth management industry hehehe. Will post on it sometime soon, if I remember!


Monday, 17 May 2010

It's Alive!!

O_O It's been forever since I last posted!! >___<""" Sorry!!!

Anyway, just a quick update on what's been going on XD

1) Was busy with a conference, which explains my disappearance over March. April and half of May were purely the result of extreme laziness :P

2) Finally had a kimono meet-up in Malaysia!!!! Just three of us girls walking around KLCC :) Will post about it... eventually :P""

3) My brother came home for Easter.... Then got stuck here because of the volcanic ash situation LOL. That was one hell of a week for us...

4) Went to Melaka and Johor for a working visit, then stopped by Singapore for the heck of it. Visited Black Alice but didn't buy anything. Bought lots and lots of yarn for my sister from Spotlight.

5) My sister and I were discussing a yarn cafe. Lots of interesting ideas! XD

6) Went to a lolita meet-up~~ :) *happiness*

7) Watched West Side Story. Waste of time and money. Will post a review next.

That's all the interesting stuff I can remember XD I don't have much of a life to actually blog about lol.

I'm in the middle of typing out a review for West Side Story, so that'll be up next. Toodles!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Outfit Snap: Dinner @ Iketeru

I've been a little tense and irritable lately, so I felt like I really needed to relax over the weekend. Since my sister had recently found out about the new spring menu at Iketeru in KL Hilton and my parents were away for the weekend, the three of us (me, Pig and Pot) decided to try it out on Saturday night. My sister had also wanted to test out her new camera and lens on good food pics :P

I saw an opportunity to dress up in kimono and snatched it up right away! Here are some pictures of my outfit. These were taken after dinner.

(Sorry the yukata is so rumpled... ^^;;;)

Near the pool-bar-area thing. (So articulate)

Again, near the pool.

Back shot. Yeah, it's a walking-pose, but just standing there was so boring, and the pics are really blurry if I actually walk ^^;;

Outside the lift. I really like this shot! The colours are more accurate here, and you can see my musubi more clearly. I think it kind of looks like it's pre-tied LOL!

It took us forever to take this shot of me pouring the dobinmushi (a type of soup) into the serving cup! By the time we were satisfied by the pics, the pot was nearly empty XD Funny how the best-looking one ended up being one of the earlier pics!

We had fun setting a time limit for my sister. "Take the pic, take the pic, take the pic! Oh... The cup is full... So who wants some soup?"

My ensemble on Saturday was a second-hand UNIQLO yukata that I got on YJA. It actually came with a maroon obi, but I wanted something different this time. Green and purple is one of my favourite colour combinations, especially for kimono, so I thought I'd go with it. I think it kind of brings out the colour of the wisteria. The bag and earrings are from my mum's closet, and the fan is a cheap buy from Daisou, with a pattern of bunnies.

I uhhh really meant to wear proper kimono, but my sister's boyfriend and I were playing Prince of Persia on the PS3 and we got carried away ^^; I didn't start getting ready till too late, and (shockingly) I hadn't even decided on an outfit to wear! So I just threw on the simplest thing I could find and put together in a few minutes ^^; Then again, given the recent heatwave, it was probably for the best.

I was really pleased with how neatly my kitsuke turned out, given that I haven't dressed up in two months. It took me about half an hour to dress, which is shockingly long - I must be getting out of practice!

I didn't really realise that just wearing kimono would make me feel so relaxed. It's like any stress just melted off me. And to think that I haven't worn kimono just to go out and have fun in 4 months! Therapeutic, it is.

Of course, the moment I stepped into the office yesterday, whatever stress relief I had was all zapped up immediately haha :P Hmmm, another excuse to dress up and go out again? XD

Anyway, just wanted to share some random food pics:

My sister's starter course.

Her sashimi course.

Her garlic fried rice.

The ice cream looked better than it tastes haha.

Rommel's dessert course from his hanami bento.

My choices were kind of boring for photos, and other photos didn't turn out so well, so just these pics.

I'm really sorry you can't see how nice the pics really are, coz they go rather wonky once we shrink them, but we have to shrink them - our house internet can't take the stress of uploading very large photos ^^;; So, we're stuck with small not-so-nice pics *sigh*

Ta, people! I'm off to eat dinner.