Spent Saturday running a few errands. Picked up a 12" lamp harp and shade so I could put a 150 watt fluorescent bulb in the floor lamp downstairs, worked on cushion covers for the House of Cheerful Monkeys, then drove down to Mountain View with a basketful of wafuku to meet Carey, Merrin and Aidan for sushi at the somewhat ominously named Monster Sushi. It was pretty good and the nigiri sampler completely defeated me.
Although he'd been rather excited about swanning around at the Mikado Ball
in a vintage souvenir-of-the-Orient robe (gorgeously embroidered burgundy silk, it's the cut of the sleeves that makes me think it was for export), Aidan soon started complaining he wasn't feeling well. Merrin called Kip to come get him and waited at Carey's place, while she and I headed up to the ball.
I have to hate Carey now - I loaned her the white maple leaf kimono and paired it with a tan, red and blue plaid hanhaba obi and she looked ADORABLE in it. I am rather pleased with the fact that I (a) remembered how to tie a cho-cho musubi and (b) figured out how to tie it on someone else.
It was hot. We were late. I opted NOT to do make-up because I remember what sweating and having it run into my eyes at Twelfth Night was like. I was extremely informal in the gold uchiki, white kosode and nagabakama , all tied up high enough for dancing, an effect that makes me look like a giant burrito.
It being a PEERS event, the level of costuming was interesting. Most of the men opted for Western formal/semi formal wear, either modern or Victorian. The women tended to fall into several categories:
(a) Traditional kimono, all over the spectrum in terms of style. (This is not a slam - traditional kimono are harder to wear correctly than the average bear suspects.) Eating utensils in hair optional. (This IS a slam. I swear I'm gonna stick a fork and a spoon in my hair one of these days....)
(b) Traditional Victorian with hoops or bustles.
Generally very, VERY well done, it being a PEERS event.
(c) 'Topsy Turvy' Victorian/Japanese fusion: Ball gown with kimono worn over it. One lady had even polonaised the hems of her kimono so it would form swags over her hoop skirt, very nicely done.
(d) Kimono with corsets worn on top of them. (Twitch. Sorry, I think putting one's underwear on as outerwear is just dumb....)
. Vivian, who is young and cute and tiny showed up in platform ballet shoes and a frilly, ruffled black and red confection which only goes to prove that it helps to be young and cute and tiny to get away with the gothic Lolita thing.
(f) Cheong-sam, because, like, it's Asian.
It being a holiday weekend and the Bay Bridge closure possibly a contributor, attendance was a bit light, which means not enough dance partners to go around. So there I was, standing at the back of the hall, fan aflutter, thinking darkly on the cruel fate of middle aged silk burrito women when OMGWTF KATAGINU! Two men in high Edo kataginu kamishimo
, complete with shoulder boning, walk in the door. The tall, dark eyed one is in a purple and white kosode worn under pea green and yellow windowpane check (I know it sounds garish, but it's in a good way that's very pre-Perry Japanese). The blonde is in indigo and a subtle greyish blue check. Beautifully scaled to the respective wearers and every freaking pleat perfect. Gorgeous, I tell you, GORGEOUS. I make appreciative noises, we get to talking. "Are you 'Wodeford Hall?' Yup. (I hope I have remembered names correctly, Andy and Kevin?)
Merrin arrived, reported that Aidan had been handed off to his Dad and evidently slept all the way home in the car.
The cotton tabi were wonderful to dance in on hardwood and none of my partners were toe mashers. Sleeves and hems were a bit of a party trick to dance in, particularly for the "windows" moves in the "Congress of Vienna" waltz, but I don't think I tangled anyone up too badly.
I only danced four dances, but all my partners were good, solid leads, even the gentleman who made me thoroughly dizzy from the alcohol fumes coming off him. Regardless, his control was excellent, as was his awareness of other dancers and even though he threw me a couple of curve balls, he was most complimentary and expressed surprise that I have only been waltzing (and that rather sporadically!) since April.
Seriously, I mostly sat chatting with The Kataginu Guys about costuming and fabric and silk screening and stuff.
Vivian says she got lots of pictures. I know I was asked to pose for photos several times and I did get a lot of stunned, "You MADE that?" reactions to my uchiki, even though I was not happy with how the collar was lying AT ALL. I probably need to open it up and replace the interfacing.
ROCK ON! Photos just got posted: http://www.flickr.com/groups/peers/pool/