It is spring here already: the sun is warmer, birds singing is louder and the peach tree in my yard is in full bloom. Around this time of year I suddenly get struck by strong urge to change something. They call it spring fever. Usually my desire for change doesn't go beyond my house: I move furniture, hang new curtains, change wall hangings. Sometimes I feel like doing something different, start learning Japanese, for example. Or sometimes it is as small as just to change my hair style. Yeah, I kind of get tired of my wavy-curly hair, it has started to annoy me. So, I guess you will see my straight haired from now on...well, until it too starts to annoy me.
Yesterday it was Lhosar - Tibetan and Sherpa New Year. It is one of the most important festivals for Tibetan Buddhists and at this day people try to visit one of the sacred sites. They usually dress up for the occasion and dressing up in this case means wearing traditional costume. Some like classic variant, while others prefer more modern versions. I am not a Tibetan Buddhist but I like to go to the places of celebrations at this day too, just to enjoy the festive atmosphere, to watch people, to admire all those colourful costumes.
Ainu wearing their traditional costume, photo courtesy Roderick Eime
Have you ever heard about Ainu? Well, in case you haven't, they are indigenous people of Japan who used to live all over its territory in ancient times but not much of them are left now and nowadays they live mainly on Japanese Hokkaido and the Kuriles and southern Sakhalin Island of Russia. I decided to dedicate a post to this small ethnic group because the main element of their traditional costume, a robe worn by women and men alike, is considered one of the most unique and distinctive pieces of clothing in the world of ethnic dress. First, interesting were materials which Ainu originally used to create these robes: they could be made of plant fiber - bark of elm trees, for example; of animal fur/skin - dog's, bear's, seal's; of bird skin and feathers and even...of fish skin. Can you imagine a wearable robe made from fish skin? Honestly, I can't. But it turns out that garments made of fish skin are strong, light, durable and waterproof. Amazing, isn't it? It seems Ainu used all the nature resources available. Of course, nowadays nobody makes clothes from such unusual "fabrics" any more, with time cotton and silk started to be used, though traditional "bark" robes are still can be found.
Happy Valentine's day! Going for dinner with my husband tonight and that's what I will wear. Not a red dress that seems to become rather a cliche choice for this day, not anything lacy - yet another quite popular option. I decided to wear pants with a silk printed blouse. There is red in my outfit but it is not that obvious. Though if you look at my back it has much more red than the front.
This knitted jacket with faux fur collar that I bought recently has already become one of my favourite winter pieces. Usually I don't like such short jackets, I almost hate them and so I was pretty sure that I would never buy one. They are just not my thing. Never say never, huh? This one has stolen my heart from the first glance. Found it in a small boutique, a local designer's creation. It has not only a furry collar but the armholes are also decorated with fur.