If you are interested in Japanese Noh theater, one of the first plays you will likely come across is one known as Hagoromo (羽衣 Literally, “The Feather Mantle”). It is a play about a fisherman who comes across a magical feather-mantle (called a Hagoromo) of a heavenly being known as a tennin. He takes it, but the tennin begs him to give it back to her, because she will not be able to return to Heaven without it. The fisherman agrees to give it back as long as the tennin agrees to dance for him, which she does.
Nowadays, the term hagoromo refers to a specific type of stage kimono, and is mainly used in plays. However, it can also refer to an organdy uchikake (the topmost kimono of a wedding ensemble). It is very beautiful and gives a light, airy feeling to a wedding outfit. You can see it being worn as examples here, here, and here.
Lately I had begun to contemplate the idea that if I ever got married, that I would like to wear kimono to my wedding. (On a short side note, choosing not to wear a traditional Western wedding dress might be met with some disapproval or misunderstanding, but I say why not be different and unique? If you truly want to do it, then you should.) The only thing is that traditional uchikake are very heavy and bulky. Don’t get me wrong, they are gorgeous, but for me most of the ones I have seen are too colorful and have way too much embroidery for my tastes. At first I considered a red one with golden phoenixes on the back, but after loosing it in an auction, I realized that for me, the regular uchikake are generally too…flashy. (Weird coming from me, the mistress of bold colors, I know…) So I figured I would put it off and maybe someday, something would strike me.
Well, yesterday on the IG forums, someone posted that they had won a hagoromo from Yamatoku‘s latest sale. I was intrigued, and took a look. I had previously seen hagoromo and liked how they looked, but none had ever screamed “wear me at your wedding” before. Most of the ones that had been for sale were already sold, but there were a few left. I looked, and decided I wasn’t going to buy any due to being low on funds right now, even though I loved them. However, all today I kept looking back and clicking on the sale page….for some reason, I couldn’t let this one kimono in particular go. Turns out I fell in love despite my plans not to! So, I proudly introduce my new hagoromo:
I just love the hint of light pink the fabric has, as well as the shimmery quality due to the hundreds of tiny sakura petals. I can just imagine wearing it on a spring day in a garden wedding with a white silk bridal kimono beneath, the sakura petals catching the sunlight. I would pair it with light pink bridal accessories (fan, obijime, obiage, date-eri, etc.) It’s gorgeous, and I can’t believe I actually bought this since I am no where close to even begin thinking of marriage…but there you go. 😉 If I ever get married, this will be part of my wedding ensemble.
All it needs is a good ironing, and it’ll be good to go. 🙂 Now I need to buy the rest of a wedding outfit though, which shall be quite an adventure all by itself! I have a while though, it’s not like I plan on getting married anytime soon ;p