Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Cold in Kyoto

Trip to Kyoto today! I've been wearing my Pendleton wool skirt a lot lately, because holy crap has it gotten cold in Hirakata. My host mom has given me an extra blanket and a super fluffy cover for my futon, and right now I'm huddled up under the covers with my jammies on, and still cold. Since it was so cold this morning, I decided to layer up to go to Kyoto with my friend Stephanie. I was nice and toasty all day - my genius plan, it worked!

But it did not stop some high school girls from talking excitedly about my hair flower while Stephanie and I were ordering frozen yogurt. Aw.

I've also been tossing around the idea of cutting my bangs super short when I get back. Between past Project Runway contestants, awesome Ravelry members, and some old-school sirens like Audrey Hepburn and Bettie Page, the idea has sneaked into my mind that I, too, might be able to pull off the short-bangs look. It's a lot of upkeep, but my current hair is low maintenance and right now sort of looks that way too. Once I get back to the states I'd be able to put in the time to cut bangs regularly, although I'll probably ask for a second or third opinion before any chopping goes on!

What do you guys think?

So, a big part of the reason we went out today was to go shopping! The first time I trekked out to Sanjo, I spotted a little shop that carries the brand Pagong, which uses traditional kimono textile designs in modern designs. The prints they carry are stunning, and ever since I've been dreaming of a kicky little dress that I could rock with tights and boots. And today I found it. It's a little different than what I usually wear, and I think it needs either a nipped-waisted sweater or a belt to accessorize. But holy crap, is it comfortable, and the fabric is to die for. When I came out of the dressing room, five Japanese women and Stephanie squealed "cute".

I tried on several things in the shop, including a maroon skirt with orange chrysanthemums and a super sweet black and pink cherry-blossom dress that fit perfectly in the waist but not through the chest. The whole concept is very cool - updating a very traditional look and using it on swingy dresses, skirts, henley tees, and men's Aloha shirts. I paid a little more than I usually would for a garment, because I haven't made any big purchases since I've been here save for necessities like my cell phone. I have great respect for a brand that has continued to be handmade even after success - there are three other stores in Kyoto. With the amount of time and work that got put into it, and a certain amount of comradery I feel towards others who make things from scratch (and manage to eke out a living from it, which I really hope to do one day too) I have made it my One Big Purchase of my time here. I'll be skipping the daily lattes from here in, but oh, it's so worth it.

And, lastly, Stephanie and I managed to find a vintage store before I got my dress, and I found this gorgeous high-collared, beaded sweater for a very reasonable price - about ¥2800. I like the way it echoes Nordic sweater designs - prints of which are all the rage here right now, on gauzy shirts, in true sweater form, on leggings, etc. etc. etc. - with a sly nod to Chinese influences with the collar and the classic American sweatergirl look. Plus it's super warm. A few beads are on their last threads, but after a couple minutes with a sewing needle this one will be ready to go.

No comments: