Before we begin this story, let me rewind to last May.
I had just returned from Nikko.
For the last several years, it's been my tradition to purchase a yukata (a lightweight summer cotton garment similar to a kimono), which is commonly worn at summer festivals and fireworks from around June - August. I've purchased all of mine from the same shop (Tokyo Masuiwaya), which my friend owns.
Normally, I've purchased yukatas with distinct blue and purple tones, but this year, I was among the first customers and splurged on what is my most expensive yukata to date in a striking red, black and silver color palette featuring peonies, wisteria, lilies, chrysanthemums and more in a print that recalls 1920s / Art Deco for me.
I spent the next several months gradually tracking down coordinating accessories (not the easiest thing with a red-and-black color scheme!), including custom kanzashi from Latvia and beautiful lacquered geta from Mizutori Geta, a family-owned company in Shizuoka. My friend Rummy Handmade (https://www.etsy.com/shop/RummyHandmade) provided the gorgeous upcycled clutch made from a vintage obi with a pattern of red and black cranes with crystal details.
I had originally scheduled my photo session for May, but with the terrible weather, ended up postponing it until the end of July. I'd been worried about rain on that day, but by a miracle, the weather was cool and sunny.
Stasia explained in great detail about the history of kimono, especially post-WWII (and of course I asked about men's kimono, which I particularly love!), during the dressing, hair and makeup, and then we headed out into the late afternoon sunshine to shoot around her (former) neighborhood.
Most of the photos were taken at a beautiful small shrine that had an aura of magic and mystery; it was not hard to feel like I'd stepped back into time as I channeled the elegant, coquettish vibe of the moga ("Modern girls," aka flappers) of 1920s Japan.
The shrine perfectly complemented the dramatic colors of my yukata ensemble; I am over the moon at how Stasia and her lens captured the exact romantic, slightly mysterious 1920s vibe I was shooting for.
To book your own session with Stasia, go to www.inkimono.com. You can also check out her stunning kimono portraits on Instagram at www.instagram.com/inkimono.