Kimono Now

Seven year old me in a kimono during 7-5-3 with my grandpa and grandma.

Seven year old me in a kimono during 7-5-3 with my grandpa and grandma.

While updating my website, I came across a bunch of photos from the past, some of them being behind the scene photos from a job I did for a beautiful book called, Kimono Now, written by Manami Okazaki. Manami reached out to me in 2009 while I lived in Japan to do makeup and hair for a book she was working on titled, Kicks Japan. Since then, she and I have become super good friends and have worked on various projects together. Manami aka Maki, grew up in Australia with Japanese parents so naturally we ended up having similar taste in things and found interest in everything Japanese food related, cartoons growing up, to the awesome and weird parts ofJapan.  We aren't the usual gaijin because we are Japanese, but we aren't the normal Japanese raised girls either. We would just laugh out loud with our mouths opened in Japanese cafes when girls are "supposed" to cover their mouths and giggle.

When Manami came to me with the idea of her new book, Kimono Now, I was so on board. The book is filled with beautiful images and a history of kimono and how kimono is perceived today. The part she let me play was the fashion section with models dressed in modern kimonos. If she asked me to do makeup and hair for a traditional kimono shoot, I would've kindly turned it down because I am not classically trained and I would think it was disrespectful to the traditionally trained artists. However she wanted me to do makeup and hair on modernized versions of kimono wear. She gave me all the creative freedom to go crazy and have fun with makeup and hair to match the new and modernized versions of kimono.

To match the kimono with denim fabric, I did a modern twist of the classical Japanese makeup using only sepia colors. On another model, I crimped her hair and did a pompadour with electric colored makeup to match the vintage kimono fabric with colorful block design. There was another model with bright blue vintage kimono where I made Bjork twisty bunny buns with Gundam inspired geometric eyes.

We got to shoot in a crazy studio in Tokyo where they had themed rooms like an old classroom, jails, and a tatami room. That studio was a trip! The second shoot was actually in Kyoto during Gion Festival. I was so ecstatic to get to work in the beautiful city of Kyoto. After the shoot, Maki took the crew to a family owned soba place hidden somewhere in Kyoto. Kyoto is like a maze, I don't know if I'll ever be able to find it!

Thank you Maki for always getting me on board to be a part of your amazing projects and many thanks to Sebastien Lebegue for the beautiful photos!