"Although I have been fascinated by the Japanese culture for many years I never had the opportunity to wear a kimono. Geraldine made this event into an all encompassing experience for me. She knows a lot about Japanese history and culture, explained the patterns of the kimonos and the right way of being dressed (with all the layers) including original shoes, socks and obi (of course related to age and marital status) in detail.
Her passion for kimonos is really catching. At the end—against my expectations—I felt very comfortable in my Okinawan style kimono and had a lot of fun taking the pictures, and I must admit wearing a kimono helps you to maintain an elegant posture. If you are interested in ancient Japanese culture and can spare some time you should not miss this experience! " — Sandra
Sandra wears an all-over pattern, "every day" kimono. The kimono shows off the Bingata technique, a stencil dyeing technique of producing pattern which originated from Okinawa. The kimono is paired with a single color cerulean Nagoya obi, which is woven with a type of twisted silk, called Chirimen.
Adorning with Kimono is an hour and a half hour experience being dressed in kimono in your own environment. All the necessary parts will be provided for the session. (Some participants already have their own kimonos and obis, in which case I bring what is needed to complete the ensemble). You can select the type of kimono which suits your personality and taste. I will explain step-by-step about the layers, the procedure and the names and various details of each piece of garment which goes on the body.
It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to dress one person, and the rest of the time is spent enjoying being in kimono—or reacting to it, and documenting the experience.
I have had such interesting discussions with participants about the relevance of wearing kimono today, the unique experience of "being dressed" and other personal reactions which were funny, moving and insightful. Each session has resulted in a wealth of sharing of ideas for both the wearer and for me.
Please email me for more information (on the Contact page) if you are interested in an Adorning with Kimono session in Tokyo. Currently I can only provide women's kimonos.
"I was truly charmed by the Geraldine' s passion about kimonos.
It was a most interesting and special experience for me and my guests in Japan when Geraldine dressed us in full sets of kimonos. She shared her extensive knowledge about kimonos and Japanese culture. I learned that Geraldine is an artist who worked in New York for many years, and this factor certainly added value for interpreting kimono culture from a foreigner's perspective.
We had a great time sharing how it feels to be dressed in kimono. I could never have realized how complicated it is to put on kimono and Geraldine showed great mastery in dressing us. Most importantly, it was great fun, lot of laughs and a very special experience here in Japan.
Thank you, Geraldine for sharing your passion with us!" — Dace
"Being adorned by Geraldine was more than being dressed in a kimono by a stranger; it was a cultural experience.
Geraldine not only showed me how to correctly wear a kimono, but also the purpose and significance of each of the many components of the garment. She also explained the meaning of the design on my kimono and obi (which I had purchased second-hand at a Japanese market) and the occasions on which it would traditionally be worn.
Being fitted in a kimono is a unique experience unlike that of any other garment: I felt elegant and restricted at the same time! I was impressed by Geraldine’s knowledge of art and design—she knows how to match fabrics and colours to complement different people, as well as the best places in Tokyo to hunt for the perfect find.
Geraldine made this special experience accessible to me. I cherish the photos she took of me and I have walked away with a deeper appreciation of Japanese culture."
From left to right: Dace wears her own Homongi kimono, and Fukuro obi. Agnese wears a Bingata pattern, an "every day" all over Chirimen kimono with a Nagoya Obi. I have a soft spot for the Bingata patterns. They originate from Okinawa and are distinctly stenciled patterns, ranging from landscape to flora, fauna and even vegetable motifs. Brigita wears an elegant formal dark grey Irotomesode with a Fukuro obi with gold threads in the abstract pattern.
"I wanted to commemorate our three years in Japan with a beautiful picture of my three daughters in kimonos, but I wasn’t interested in the basic studio experience. Geraldine understood my vision while encouraging the girls to pick beautiful antique pieces that spoke to them. On the day of the photo shoot she made each girl feel special and explained every step of the dressing process. From the shopping to the day of dressing it was a beautiful experience we will all cherish in our memories."
"I was dreading our shopping trip for a kimono as I was sure it was going to be boring, but Geraldine stepped in as an older sister figure and taught me a lot about Japanese history and the importance of traditional dressing. I ended up having a great time and will forever treasure my experience."
"It was a long journey, but it was fun along the way. Geraldine made me feel so pretty!"
— Peyton, age 11
"It was fun and Geraldine is really nice."
— Lily age 9
"Once more, Geraldine made me fall in love with the Japanese culture. Browsing all those beautiful unique kimonos she collected was just the prelude to the wonderful experience of getting dressed in a traditional Japanese way.
Every kimono corresponds with the person who chose it, unfolding a unique beauty given by the sensual tie between the kimono and the body. Walking around with my kimono allowed me to feel the inherent elegance and grace of traditional Japanese dressing which is so adorable to me.
I am very happy Geraldine introduced me into the pleasure of wearing a kimono and I look very much forward to further sessions of adorning with kimono. "
Astrid wears her own Komon kimono, an "every day" an all over pattern kimono. This kimono in Chirimen silk, a twisted thread weaving technique. The piece is antique although the pattern is so contemporary. The lotus motive on the obi harkens to the raining months of early June. Astrid displays her kimono in a turn-around beauty pose.