Monday, August 19, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #73

Trip-Takin' Monday: Since we'll be traveling to Asia this year, I decided to break out my Suitcase Skirt for the occasion. Also because, let's fact it, I've got a lot of baggage. skirt: vintage, etsy; blouse: gift from a friend; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: thrifted Crocs (I know, hard to believe)
What's up in your world, ya'll? Dudes, I've got my feets up and an ice cold...water (sadly) so life here is practically perfect. Today marked the first day for my super student teacher to enter the wild world of art teaching and I couldn't be more excited. Stay tuned for next week's outfit posts that will also feature her groovy looks...just don't tell her about it. She doesn't have a clue that I've been snapping her picture whilst pretending to hold the camera in her direction and mutter, "I wonder what this button does." Silly student teacher.

And speaking of teaching, since seeing me in this get-up, my students have now been learning all about the history behind the kimono. It's quite fascinating so I thought I'd share it with ya'll this week. Until next time, have a fantastic-ish week and I'll talk to you sooner than you'd probably like.
So originally "kimono" was the Japanese word for clothing. Of course now we know it to look a little something like this. This style of kimono came about more than a thousand years ago. Their popularity came into play partly because they are so stinkin easy to stitch up. Known as the straight-line-cut method, it involved simply cutting the fabric in straight lines and stitching them together. This method also meant that the kimono is one-size-fits-all and no tailoring is required.
The Great Wave Tuesday: My students are also learning about ole Hokusai who, apparently, changed his name up to 25 times during his life including a Japanese name that translated to "Old Man Crazy about Drawing". Gotta love an artsy fart with the ability to laugh at his craziness. dress: made by this crazy, DIY here; shoes: Payless

Sadly, it seems that kimono making is a dying art. Hundreds of years ago, thousands of Japanese people were in the kimono making business as it was what was worn daily. Currently only a handful of families craft kimonos with many of those craftsman being elderly. It's sad to think that the art of kimono making is literally a dying one.
First Day O' Kindergarten: This year I have my wee friends for 45 minutes at a time and I'm pretty excited. Once we get past that monkeys-on-crack phase I think we'll be good. Ish. I mean, there is something to be said about teaching a roomful of Crack Monkeys...right? skirt: etsy; top: thrifted; crayon shoes: DIY here; primary colored necklaces: thrifted finds

Traditionally crafted kimonos, from the silk cocoon to the final product involve more than 1000 processes carried out by different craftsmen. Each of these artists learned their crafts from the generations before them...which makes it so sad to think of this art as being lost. At one time, kimonos were worn by every class of people from samurai to aristocrats to the working class. When I was in Japan several years ago, it was rare to see anyone wearing a kimono and the thrift shops were filled with these beautiful robes.
Pencil Me in Thursday: I know, dorkiness abounds. But are you really surprised? pencil skirt: DIY here; top and sweater: Target; shoes: Swedish Hasbeens, Anthropologie sale!
Beautiful, right? Many Japanese are very aware of the change of seasons and love to celebrate it. One way of doing so is to have a kimono that showcases each season. I love this idea and have decided to expand my kimono-wardrobe. Cuz that's just what my overcrowded closet needs.
Friday, Where You Been?!: Kay, not gonna lie, the last two weeks have felt pretty stinkin' long. Which is entirely my fault, too many late nights and early risin's. Would love to say Ima gonna work on that but I just can't make any promises. There's just not enough time in a day, ya'll! skirt: etsy (if you type in "Dorky Art Teacher Clothes", you'd be amazed at what you'd find!); blouse: thrifted; shoes: Payless; palette hair clip: made by me
There are many parts to dressing in traditional Japanese attire beyond the kimono. That giant belt is called an obi which, from the front, you would see has a smaller cord belt wrapped around it called an obi-jime. Those wooden-heeled shoes are called geta and are worn with toe-socks called tabi. And if you look closely, you'll see what looks like another kimono under the ones worn by the ladies above. That's actually a collar called a han'eri. Of course the back of the kimonos is worn low across the neckline to showcase the beauty of the neck.


  1. Note to self: Should not read your blog whilst eating breakfast...almost spit it across the kitchen for the "crack monkeys" comment! Can't think of a better description of kinders!

  2. Crack Monkeys! AH! YES! so funny!


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