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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Kyoto Chronicles - Kimono Shoot with NECo Group

"I long ago developed a very practical smile, which I call my 'Noh Smile' because it resembles a Noh mask whose face features are frozen. Its advantage is that men can interpret it however they want..."
- Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden 

A few of my close friends know that I am a big geisha junkie. I love the novel by Golden and I can't count how many times I have watched the movie. >_<
I already watched a lot of Geisha documentary videos online in order to study their makeup, clothing, movements and accessories. I learned how to wear a kimono, tie an obi and do their makeup by watching these videos. I am not an expert on this though! I still feel like a novice when it comes to Geisha knowledge.

The entire set I wore that day was pieced together by yours truly. It was not bought as one from a store.

The first piece I acquired is the obi. My mom and I found this in a thrift shop and we did not know at first that it was an obi. My mom intended to chop it and turn it into a table runner! Luckily, I was reviewing kimono photos before that time and when I got a closer look on the piece, I recognized its size and length and identified it as an obi.

Because my friends planned to do a Harajuku shironuri shoot, I learned how to make the Kanzashi (Japanese hair ornaments for kimono and yukata outfit) and eventually I opened a shop selling my creations.
Designing these hair ornaments is the hard part for me. Sometimes I lack ideas on making an ornament pleasing to the eyes! That's why I view a lot of kanzashi photos online to get inspiration.
My kanzashi set that day was inspired by one of my client's  previous orders. I used the color combination of maroon and cream and made a complete set of kanzashi for a Maiko (apprentice geisha).
The set consist of a hana kazashi, kanzashi with bira-bira and kanzashi comb.

The purse that I used during the shoot was bought by my mom. She was shopping one afternoon when she saw it, and knowing that I have an upcoming Kimono shoot, she bought it for me to use as a prop. ^_^

This is not an authentic geisha look for I have incorporated Maiko and Geiko/Geisha elements in my entire getup. My makeup and kimono are similar those of a Geiko's but I wore a Kanzashi set, just like a Maiko.
My obi belt was tied in a simple bow tie type. (I forgot the name of this type of tie >_<)

I wore blue lenses to copy Satsu's 'eyes like rain'. I don't have grey lenses so I chose the color closest to it.

The geisha facial expression is really mysterious. Viewing a lot of Geisha and Maiko photos online helped me achieve a look closer to the real thing.
They give out looks that make you want to know more about them. That is the kind of feeling that I get whenever I see candid photos of Geisha and Maiko online.

I tried it out during the photo shoot and the result is for you to judge.

I still have a lot of improvements to do in this dress up. I will do better next time, if given the chance. Maybe throw in some Oiran elements to it. I love their elegance and magnificent style as well!

"Without its mysteries, it cannot survive..."
One cannot really imitate a Geisha for their world is one big mystery only a few can uncover.
But for some of us who are interested in their flower world, we can only but appreciate it in our own way. As a cosplayer, I show my appreciation to this mysterious profession by dressing up like them and throwing in some ideas to make it my own.

So this is not a geisha cosplay or dress up. Rather, this is my way of showing gratitude to the blooming flowers that beautifies the modern world. 

Kimono: Richal Tamayo Shop
Slippers: Zick
Purse: My mother
Make up and hair styling by yours truly.

Shoot organize by yours truly.
More photos here.
The entire shoot was handled by HaruSuika.
Photographers: Gin and Sheed
Assistants: Emina and Miro

Special thanks to PJ and Queen for showing their support that day.

Date: February 25, 2014
Location: Butterfly Garden, Pasonanca Zamboanga City

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