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I went to the GACKT x KIMONO Exhibit today. I had nothing planned and it was free, so I thought why not?

You have to book in advance and they send you this great little invitation through. They only allow about ten people to attend in each time slot because the venue isn't that big, and the staff like to be very attentive to you!

The map on the back of the invitation sucked, but I was lucky enough to come across two DEARS, a mother and her daughter, also trying to find the venue. When they failed and had to ask someone, I felt much better about my own failure!

I knew we had the right place when we saw this in the lobby of the building (and the sign outside with the name of the building on was a big hint too XD)



(Click photos for full versions!)


The exhibit space was small, but very nice - all tatami mats and they had the Nemuri Kyoshiro soundtrack playing. After checking in at reception and being told that photography wasn't allowed (boo), I started to look at the kimonos.

The first two seen, were the ones GACKT wore for Nemuri Kyoshiro. Ahhhhh..... That black one he wears for the first half of the play is just so stunning. I forgot how beautiful it really is, how it catches the light and just sparkles. It's so plain compared to all of the other kimonos on display as it's just black with shiny thread, but it's gorgeous.

All along the walls are rough cuts of the kimonos you can buy. They aren't cut to anyone's body shape so they're very big and still have rough stitches in them, but you can see how beautiful they all are.

There were also lots of GACKT photos - Nemuri promo shots and him wearing the kimonos. Some of the promo shots were wall scrolls, but HUGE wall scrolls. Like, seven foot square, wall scrolls.

WANT WANT WANT WANT.

As I said, the staff are very attentive as of course, they want to sell these kimonos, and I'd made it to the first for sale kimono (Rose Blood) when the first member of staff approached me and said I could try on any kimono I wanted. I reached the third kimono when a second member of staff, an older guy in a kimono, asked me which one my favourite was. I hadn't had chance to see them all, so I said the second one, which was the purple Kagura.

Next thing I know, he's taken that off the wall and an older woman in a kimono is leading me off to the mirrors.

This is the kimono I tried on, in this colour too -



Kagura

It's the same design GACKT wore to TIFF, just a different colour. The two of them had great fun dressing me up and complimenting me on my crappy Japanese. The different colour variations of the kimonos were all on display on the floor, as were the obis, and the two of them had a great discussion over which obi to give me. They settled on a plain black one and it looked perfect with the black lace of the kimono.

I can't describe how stunning it was. The butterflies are made from lace, and there's gold and red stitching running throughout the design. There's even a pattern inside the kimono, in case the bottom part comes open when you walk.

They dressed me up in the whole set and I fell in love. Then I saw the price tags...

Kimono - 420,000yen.
Obi - 150,000yen.

Add in the little extras, and it all totalled to just over 600,000yen.

So far out of my price range...

They helped me out of the kimono and I looked at the rest. The daughter of the couple I followed tried on the YFC yukata (which is surprisingly nice, when you actually see it. Far nicer than the photos make it look) and the mother tried on Rose Blood, which has the DEARS logo on the arm. Never noticed that in any of the photos.

I was staring lovingly at Kagura again when a younger staff member came over and started telling me about how all of the kimono are made to measure and he said that all of the full sets (kimono, obi and those little extras) cost 600-700,000yen and that they did instalment plans.

I felt like asking if I could pay in 600 instalments :-/

I asked him if Kagura was the kimono GACKT wore at TIFF, just to make sure, and he confirmed it was before running off for a few seconds and then coming back with an iPad, full of press photos of GACKT from TIFF. He scrolled through them and when he came to that photo of Woody Harrelson starring down GACKT's kimono, I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from laughing.

I eventually tore myself away from the Nemuri kimonos and on the way out, they made me hand in my invitation. I don't know why though. It has the time and date on it so it can't be used again, and didn't have any personal details on it.... I still have the Nemuri envelope though!

The lady at reception gave me this envelope in exchange -



And what was inside?

This GORGEOUS cloth sample.



It's pretty large as you can see from comparing it to the Nemuri poster.



There are two little details on it I love...



GACKT's kanji signature.



The GACKT x KIMONO logo.

I had no idea there were free gifts at this. I only went because I had nothing planned and wanted the invitation!

And, if I heard the receptionist correctly (and it's very possible I didn't as I was distracted by trying to figure out what was in the envelope) there will be another cloth sample coming through the post... It was sat there on the receptionist's desk and it really is stunning XD

I'm so glad I went. That kimono looked gorgeous on me and made me look so slim... hahaha. I can see the GACKT x KIMONO cloth samples becoming quite sought after in a few years too! Especially the second one...

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Kellie

November 2012

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