The Vintage Kimono

Originally posted on Paper Mothball Vintage

Back from Japan and missing it already! Every time I go (Tokyo and Yokohama) it is so different, and one would expect that from such a large city with an ancient heart. I feel that with each trip I discover a new layer of details and culture that slowly peel away, illuminating more of the mystique and beauty of Japan. In future posts I will show you some fun street and subway experiences and also have a guide to vintage shopping on the way, but in this post, I wanted to share a more traditional look.

Even in an urban setting you will find lush bamboo, flowering trees and bonsai gardens flourishing everywhere. The first time I came to Japan, I sat on the balcony to my husband’s old bedroom and listened to the summer night’s breeze rushing wildly through these trees. As soon as the sun is up, the cicada begin loudly buzzing and humming from every direction, but I had a feeling they lived in the small forest on the edge of the hill near his childhood home. This is one of my favorite memories, strong since it is attached to not only a feeling but also sound, smell and temperature that can only exist in that moment, but I can still feel it forever. Its like a first kiss or a favorite song.

When I found this vintage kimono in the markets at Asaksa, I was instantly in love with the bold geometric pattern and colors. Almost all kimonos for women have beautiful flower and bird patterns painted up from the bottom, dancing across elegant sleeves, giving a very delicate feminine look. This one is a theater kimono and very unusual. With the glimpses of red inside the lining, I knew it was perfect for my bamboo forest and signature red lipstick.

I did not bring my tripod to Japan, so my husband and I took these photos together. I cant wait to show you the rest of Japan, including some 35mm!

Paper Mothball Vintage

Laura Okita is a vintage fashion designer, photographer and vintage editorial blogger living in Brooklyn, NY, and model for over 10 years in New York, Europe and Japan. "I am mostly self taught using vintage sewing patterns. I create all my garment patterns and sew all my designs. I specialize in luxury fabrics and hand beading and embroidery, and occasionally create my own prints for fabrics. I take most of my own pictures and videos, working in both film and digital. As a model, I always try to bring the clothing to life. Every garment has its own story that it wants to tell. When I step into a dress, I step into being that girl."

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