Friday, 5 December 2014

The time I accidentally became a kimono model in Tokyo | Japan

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Hey guys! So an uber Japan orientated post today, I had the amazing experience this week of being able to wear kimono and thought I'd share the photos. The exchange student center at my university here often offers odd jobs to exchange students, and a fancy department store in Tokyo was looking for some foreign students to model kimono (we had no idea why, especially as a) we are not japanese and b) we were wondering why they wouldn't go to a model agency for that sort of thing and c) I clearly have the model qualities of a spoon). So after class I hopped on the first train and went to achieve my model destiny.

It turns out the department store runs a Japanese experience for tourists and people living in Japan for a short time, so foreigners can experience things like wearing kimono, tea ceremony etc. They wanted to take pictures in order to advertise the kimono side of the experience, so we had photos taken off us choosing our kimono, being dressed, and then walking around the neighbourhood of the area and visiting a shrine. First of all it is a pretty long process being dressed in kimono, I reckon it took about 15 minutes each to be dressed? There are a lot of layers involved, padding, tightening and tying bits in place til your body has the 'tubular' look that kimono expresses. 

After about 10 minutes of being in a kimono (which is essentially like wearing very tight spanx on your torso while looking extremely elegant on the outside), I realised I couldn't breathe has deeply as I would've liked to so kind of had to keep myself calm haha, but as long as you don't panic it's fine! Also going to the loo would have been impossible, we didn't even attempt to. I'm guessing when people wear them they have to invest in a SheWee or get a friend to help. Going for a walk in the neighbourhood was hilarious, as our gaijin feet were too big for the geta (sandals) and the fact kimono doesn't allow you to step far meant we struggled to walk; and the area is full of businesses so we had loads of salarymen and passers by taking pictures of us on their mobiles, and trying to make us laugh while our picture was being taken! 

Overall was such an amazing experience and the people who run it were so lovely to us (especially considering our efforts to make conversation in pigeon Japanese), when the official photos are published I'll try and link them here! xx

((I wanna put a small cultural appropriation disclaimer here as I recognise the the whole white girl in a kimono thing is a little problematic, the Japanese department store specifically wanted gaijin (foreign) models to advertise a Japanese experience they do FOR gaijin tourists in Japan where they get to experience things like wearing kimono and tea ceremony. My friend and I were not 100% comfortable (espesh with having photos of us taken at a shrine) with the implications, but the fact we were asked by Japanese people to wear kimono to me kind of symbolises consent from the people whose culture the kimono is from. So that's my take on it, obvs I would not gallivant around Tokyo in a kimono normally))

28 comments:

Shaqinah Fakar said...

I have to admit, girls in bindis irk the heck out of me but in this case I don't think it's appropriation per se: it's definitely obvious that the Japanese want to share this ubiquitous experience with foreigners. P.s: you look fab in the kimono though! Xx

Shaqinah // Shoes & Roses

Sami said...

Soooo beautiful!
I'm starting to think Kimono struggles are the reason why those squat toilets exist?! Haha

It's a shame you felt the need to write a disclaimer on the post, I don't think this is appropriation at all :D


SAMI★SPOON

Annie Montgomery said...

they are beautiful! I love kimono. pretty cool that you got to be part of their campaign too!

Michaella said...

Love your blog! Just followed you on GFC and Bloglovin, would you please follow me back? :)

Michaella from http://quitealooker.blogspot.com/

Lenya said...

You look very beautiful wearing a kimono.
xox
Lenya
FashionDreams&Lifestyle

Victoria Nightingale said...

Looks greet on you, I remember trying on a Kimono a while back and it was so hard to move properly especially with the shoes.


vvnightingale.blogspot.co.uk

Kiyomi Hayano said...

I love this! It's so cool how you got to model for something like this *u* You look so nice in your kimono~ great post!
~Kiyomi <3
kokorosasa.blogspot.com

Teresa Cristina said...

So cute! I wish I could try a kimono one day! And loved the little disclaimer at the end, that was really thoughtful of you :)
x The Caramel Cat

Georgie said...

Thank you! Yeah I thought it was best to be thoughtful about the situation but as you said the Japanese wanted to share this experience :) xx

Georgie said...

Tbh I think you'd struggle even more in a squat loo as it was hard to sit normally in a kimono let alone squat! I'm quite tempted to google 'how to use a toilet in a kimono' now haha XD I just thought it was best to address it in case anyone felt offended, it seems to be a very sensitive topic xx

Georgie said...

Thanks! xx

Georgie said...

Thank you! Sure I will definitely check out your blog xx

Georgie said...

Thank you xx

Georgie said...

Thanks! Yeah they're so beautiful but definitely hard to navigate your surroundings in haha :P xx

Georgie said...

Thank you! xx

Georgie said...

Thanks, it was a great experience! xx

Serene Kurd said...

I absolutely love your Kimono! Such a stunning print :)

Serene xoxo

http://www.imserenel.wordpress.com

karen_ said...

Fabulous photos - what a great experience! :D


www.stylesunrise.co.uk


x

India Benjamin said...

This is such a cool experience! I never realised kimonos were so restricting though. I wore a sari in India last year and that's pretty restricting, no going to the toilet in them!

India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

Eleanor Humphries said...

I'd love to do this, sounds like an amazing experience! The kimono is so inconvenient though x

eleanor's adventures // UK Fashion & Beauty Blog

melaniekay said...

Haha this is great!! Looks like a really fun time!
Melanie @ meandmr.com

Georgie said...

Thanks! xx

Georgie said...

Thank you! xx

Georgie said...

I think maybe a lot of the world's traditional dress are like that - beautiful but hard to move in! xx

Georgie said...

I definitely recommend doing it if you get the chance! xx

Georgie said...

Thanks! xx

Susan Dollparts said...

omg how cooool :) you look gorgeous in that kimono x3

dresses-and-travels //@Susan Dollparts

Georgie said...

Thank you! xx

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