- Countless hours have gone into this young lady - most of them researching kimono and Maiko (apprentice geisha), figuring out the best pattern to use for the kimono, as well as tracking down authentic materials and supplies. All that is in addition to the hours and hours of actual work. I have tried to be as authentic as possible, though the world of kimono and maiko is so complex, it would be impossible for me to claim true authenticity. I have also opted not to do the traditional make-up, at least for the time being, so think of her more as a 'fusion'.
- Formerly a 'Happy Go Lucky' Silkstone Barbie.
- Rerooted with 'Midnight Black' KatSilk saran hair, which was then cut and styled in the manner of the Maiko. Assorted Kanzashi (traditional hair ornaments) adorn her hair - a faux-tortoiseshell cob and hairsticks, as well as handmade tsunami kanzashi and a bira bira flutter. After many hours of searching, I was able to track down a supplier in Japan of doll-sized kanzashi. All the pieces were imported from Japan, except for the tsunami flowers.
- Whilst I've been using some doll Kanzashi that I bought, I knew that I wanted to be able to make my own tsunami kanzashi, partly as the ones I can buy are limited to basic colors that wouldn't have worked well on this doll, partly because I relished the challenge. It's taken a while to acquire all the necessary components and it took many hours of studying thj traditional methods used for making them. It's extremely labor intensive - the silk has to be starched, then cut into small squares (1/2 & 3/4 inch), then each square is folded four times, then cut if needed and glued into place. The two flowers probably took me about 8 hours.
- Complete facial repaint with artist-quality acrylics, sealed for protection.
- Kimono is made from a Japanese polyester chirimen (simiar to a crepe and a traditional fabric for making kimono) that was imported from Japan. It is partially lined with a silk rinzu (a traditional Japanese fabric that is softer than chirimen), and features two faux collars and faux inner sleeves (of silk rinzu), to give the illusion of a second kimono underneath, as it's traditonal to wear layers of kimono. When sewing in 1/6 scale, this would add too much extra bulk of fabric.
- To wear the kimono, Barbie had her waist padded (from what I have read, the preferred shape for Japanese women is a non-curvy form), then the kimono was carefully tied into positionm according to tarditional methods which have been slightly adapted. The kimono is full length and is folded over around the waist (you can make out the fold just below the obi). Due to the complex nature of dressing the kimono, it is not advised to remove it, except for archival purposes. Care should be taken not to pull on the kimono, especially the bottom hem area.
- The obi is made from a piece of top-quality Japanese polyester brocade from a source in Japan that took many hours to track down and translate the kanji. It is lined with a silk dupioni & lurex blend. It wraps around twice and is sewn into place in the back.A silk shibori obi-age is tucked into the top of the obi and peeks out alluringly, again as befitting a young woman (as a woman ages, the obi-age is tucked further and further in). A red obi-jime (cord) ties around her obi and sits in the upper third section, as befitting a young woman.
- Red OT shoes adorn her feet.