Kimono Fashion Show in Miami Beach on March 22

I produce a kimono fashion show at Banyan Room in Miami Beach Botanical Garden on March 22, 2015 at 1pm, sponsored by the Japanese general consulate in Miami and Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

I will focus on kimono outfits inspired by the Japanese unique event "Coming-of-Age Ceremony", which cerebrates being 20 years old. The title of the show is "Emerging from Pupa", implying the wish that youths spread their wing around the world. I express this wish by styling and design of kimonos. The fashion show unveils many ensembles for young women with Furisode long-sleeved kimonos and ensembles for young men with Haori-Hakama kimonos. At the end of this show, an outfit of "Emerging from Pupa" is presented using a plumage Hagoromo robe.

Please come to join us!


Preliminary Meeting for Kimono Fashion Show

I am asked to produce a kimono fashion show in the event that will be held at Miami Beach Botanical Garden this spring as an introductory event for Japanese culture. This event is supported by Japanese general-consulate in Miami. So, I had preliminary meeting for the kimono fashion show with a person in charge of general, public diplomacy in Japanese general-consulate in Miami and a person in charge of this event in the Garden. The photo below shows inside of the Botanical Garden. 

We talked at the venue. In the photo below, the consular officer is on the left and the person in charge of the event at Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

We discussed about the stage setting and speakers. I heard that models for the kimono fashion show will be selected through public invitation by the Botanical Garden. 

There is a Japanese garden in the Botanical Garden. I am always surprised that many people outside of Japan are very interested in Japanese culture. 

Through this event, I hope we can show the beauty of kimono to Floridian as well as people who are visiting to Miami Beach from all over the world. 

I will write more about the kimono fashion show in my future blog entries. I have some ideas for the kimono fashion show, but it’s not determined. So, I will also write about it in the future.


Kimono Lecture and Demonstration at Florida International University

At the request of Dr. Hein, a Director of Asian Studies at Florida International University (FIU), I gave a kimono lecture and demonstration to students, entitled “The Past and Future Kimono”.
My lecture was introduced in the home page and Facebook page of FIU Asian Studies a couple of days before the lecture. I realized that this event opened to the public. I felt very pleased to have an opportunity to talk about kimono to public audience including university students.
This lecture was held at the library room in FIU.
At first, using some slides, I introduced my activity as a kimono stylist in US. Then I talked about the history and culture of kimono and emphasized that kimono has over one –thousand-year history and hugely impacts beauty in the world. These photos show that I was talking with slides.
After the slide presentation, audience took part in “Kimono Quiz”.
I asked students to raise their hands on their answers. At the first question, students who answered correctly stood up. Subsequently, students who did not answer correctly, sat down. At last, the last students (male and female) who kept standing became the models of kimono dressing. 
The first question is “What is Kitsuke-shi?” The choice of the answer is “A: a person who wears kimono, B: a person who dresses another in kimono, C: a person who weaves kimono”. The correct answer is “B”. The reader of this blog may easily choice this correct answer. When I gave a kimono lecture and asked the same question at the other university, most of students were not able to choice the correct answer. This time, all audience selected the correct answer “B”. Wow! I was surprised that all audience knows Japan very well. 
Then, the second question is one that audience who did not hear my lecture may not answer; “What appeared in the Muromachi period (12th-16th centuries) as the origin of modern kimono?” The correct answer is “Kosode”. Surprisingly, many audience selected the correct answer. 
This photo shows that students raised their hands to choice their answer. 
She is a winner of the quiz. Only she kept standing after several quiz.
Because no male students kept standing at that time, I provided them a consolation quiz. Surprisingly, one boy student has already worn a kimono to attend the seminar!
He is a winner of the quiz.
Next I demonstrated kimono dressing of Furisode. As seen in this photo, I explained about Ohashori folding.
As seen in these photos, I explained about sleeves of Furisode kimono. The students of my kimono class and a professor of FIU, Hitomi, helped me for interpretation, as I am not a good English speaker. To reject boyfriends, “Furu” in Japanese, is derived from waving sleeves of Furisode. In Manyo-shu, the Japanese oldest collection of poems, we see the poem where waving sleeves was described. Waving sleeves means the expression of love in Manyo-shu, while it means both love and hate depending on the way to wave. I talked about this story.
The dressing of Furisode was done. (Photo below) Furisode fitted this young girl very well.
Then, I demonstrated kimono dressing of Montsuki-Haori-Hakama for the winner of the quiz (photo below).
I explained the reason why Kaku-obi sash is wound around body three times: originally, Samurai wore two swords under the kaku-obi. The boy students heard this explanation with their eyes shining. Many students are interested in Samurai story.
The kimono dressing was done. I said “It’s photo time for two”, but I was asked to stand with them (photo below). It made me shy.
During my demonstration, the boy student who had worn kimono showed me his Kaku-obi and told me, “Please tell me how to wind it”. On the photo below, I was checking his obi; in the meantime, Hitomi was showing the obi tying to the audience.
At the end, I wound his Kaku-obi as a part of kimono demonstration.
After the kimono demonstration, we all were taken photos (photo below). The boy students who brought Kaku-obi was standing in the center. The models of kimono dressing demonstration, winners of the kimono quiz, were standing on the right. From left to right, students of my kimono class, Meg-san and Tomo-san were standing. They also wore kimono and became models for my explanation about kimono. The third person from the left side was Dr. Hitomi Yoshio. I appreciate all the help from them very much.
During the question-and-answer session, I said that after the marriage women wear Tomesode instead of Furisode. I was asked if women cam wear Furisode again after her divorce. I explained one Japanese word “Shogai no Hanryo (a companion for life)”. “Old days, brides of Samurai were ready to marry into Samurai families in her bridal kimono with her knives (Kai-ken). They never divorced and did not wear Furisode again.” I hope that the audience understood the Japanese old-fashioned value. But I also think that how we act is different from how we thought.


Wearing Kyo-Yuzen Kimono at the Ceremony

Recently I was invited to the Celebration of the Birthday of The Emperor of Japan at the Consul General of Japan Ambassador's Residence in Coral Gables. It was the third time that I attended this celebration party. I wore my Kyo-Yuzen kimono this time. As the Kyo-Yuzen kimono looked elegant, I felt that it is so wonderful for the party.

In September, the guests of “Kimono Artisan” came from Kyoto. It is almost 3 months after they came. Time flies. I would like to write about their visit to Miami and about the manufactural process of Kyo-Yuzen which I learned from them later. A busy year is finishing soon.

The American guests asked us to take photos with ladies wearing kimono. Here I show one of the photos. Incidentally, I was standing at the center on the photo. I feel that Kyo-Yuzen kimono could cause this situation.

I appreciate the invitation to such a wonderful cerebration party in US.
Finally, I wish you all have a wonderful new year 2015!


Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim

I went to see the fashion shows in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim started on July 17. I wanted to write about it. Time flies and October comes. Even after the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York in September, I write about this July event for my memory tickler..

The opening party was held at The Raleigh Hotel in South Beach on July 17, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. At the entrance of the venue, vividly dressed Mercedes-Benz cars lined up, as seen in the photo. Surprisingly, all the cars were designed by the fashion designers who attended that Fashion Week. 
This photo shows inside of the party venue. 

When we enjoyed appetizers, models were walking on the pool and standing on the boxes that showed the names of designers as seen in the following photos. 

How beautiful the models on the pool side! 

When I saw the models on the pool side, I incidentally met with Mara Hoffman, who made presentation on both the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim Miami Beach. Mara and I were snapped together. 
After the party, models with the summer dresses which attending designers designed stood near the Mercedes-Benz cars which also the designer designed, as seen in the upper photo. I was surprised at the gorgeous party. 

The fashion shows started on July 18. What an air of excitement there was! 

The following photos show the fashion show by the designer, Dolores Cortes. I was interested in the hairstyles. These styles looked exotic. 

The following photos show the Wildfox Swim show. Pop-looking swim wears for teenagers were presented. These ones energized us. 

Next were the fashion shows presented by” L*SPACE by Monica Wise” on July 19. This show was very popular and full of standing audience. 

I was not able to understand if it was a swim wear, but it looked nice and gorgeous. 

The next venue was Oasis, the smaller tent. The show was presented by “Mikoh”. As we waited for the show, hula dancers appeared as seen in the photos below. I was wondering if the costumes of hula dancers were a part of the designer’s collection. This dance just represented the concept of the collection. Of course, it was not the fashion show for the hula dancer costumes. 

After the hula dance, the swim wear show began. Hawaiian wind blew at the venue as seen in the photos below. 

On July 21, I went to see two shows. One was the group show. The first designer’s presentation started with the string quartet. I enjoyed each production. 

The photo below looks faint, but the men’s model appeared. I am surprised that men’s swim wears looked nice with beautiful designs.
The designer appeared with the model. Such a cute designer creates nice men’s swim wear. 

This is a swim wear presented by “Sauvage”. 
As you see in the photo above, swim wears looked elegant. 

This is a swim wear presented by “Aquarella”. 
I remembered this designer, because I was impressed with his geometric design on his show last year. 

This shows the pool-side wears, which buck up, presented by “Toxic Sadie”. I love this design. 
I think the pop wear that the designer wore looked nice. She maybe knows what fits her. I met her on the pool side after the show. Her tattoo was impressive. 

This is the casual dress by “Aguaclara”. 
This was elegant.

Then I went to attend the show presented by “Liliana Montoya”, which was one of the most popular show and I wanted to see in this season. 

I was impressed with her talent by which she could design such swim wears. 
At the end of the show, the designer appeared to hold a hand with a model. How tall she was! I was surprised that the designer was as beautiful as the models. The designer wore a red dress on the left side of the photos below. 

I appreciate all the invitation form the designers. How wonderful! Look forward to seeing you again next year!