In truth, the best examples for wisteria come from my collection of ningyo (dolls, not the fishy yokai monster). The 'Wisteria Maiden' or 'Fuji Musume' is a very popular theme for ningyo, stemming from it's popularity in Kabuki theatre. They often appear with a willowy branch of flowers, a round, flat hat, and their kimono fairly drip with stylized wisteria motifs.
|This lady is most typical of the 'Wisteria Maiden' style. She was a thrift-store find, but still has her hat and wisteria branch.|
|Detail of the left sleeve and obi of the second maiden.|
As for garments in my own collection, the most striking is this haori.
|The pattern isn't as rounded as wisteria is often portrayed, but the tiny hints of blue in the lighter petals lead me to feel that it's decidedly more flowery than a willow.|
A garment like this can really pack a visual punch, and so it isn't often that my outermost layer is the focus of my ensemble (mostly because of the likelyhood it will be removed, unless it's quite chilly). I did have a chance to show it off in its glory in late January, when I attended the Edwardian Ball (in honor of Mr. Gorey, the illustrator). I had wanted to go for a look that would hint at the Taisho era (1920's) and the haori fit this to a tee with it's bold coloring and pattern.
|The stripes don't show up well in the photo, and yes, this was taken in a mirror, causing my collars to appear to be overlapping incorrectly.|
Wisteria is a decidedly spring motif, though you could push the season a little by wearing it in very late winter, thereby offering an expectation of things to come. If my kind readers have something they're looking forward to, perhaps upcoming posts in their own blogs, I'd love to hear about them in the comments!
Speaking of things to come... we'll be back tomorrow with Grasses (nowaki)! We'll be looking at botanical themes for the next several letters, so stay tuned!