I ended up going to the Japanese Art Festival, even if I had my doubts about it. But couple days ago April told me that Akemi Solloway sent her an email looking for non-Asian kimono models. Me being myself, I jumped in at the idea especially because there was a pretty good chance I would be wearing one of Yumi Yamamoto kimono :)
Sadly I was almost 30 mins late :( I left on time, but halfway to Eppings I remembered that I only have 1£ on me in coins, and I didn't remember how much they charge for parking. So I had to stop and get change, and that took up time that I could have used on being super hot and uncomfortable in the tube lol. Then when I finally got to Holborn, I had no idea where to go! Thankfully I was able to ask directions from people who were giving out festival's fliers, but even with those 'directions' I was wondering if I was going in the right direction lol. When I finally got there, everyone were still there...not sure if they were waiting for me, or just sitting around for nothing?
The day before the festival, Akemi told me that I should bring kimono undergarments, tabi and zori. I brought 4 pairs of zori, 3 pairs of tabi, obiita, korin belt and the butt padding thing because I was being me and bringing stuff just in case. Turned out I didn't need any tabi or zori for myself as Yamamoto-san had her own for me. I am glad that I brought all the extra stuff, because she ended up using it all on me :) And as a result, if I may say so myself, my obi looked all nice and non-wrinkled :) :) :) ;P
I was also told that I will be wearing a pink kimono, but I ended up with blue one. Can't say I was complaining! I liked blue kimono much more than I liked the pink one, but my favorite one was the black and lace one :) :) My kimono was done with 'cutting embroidery'? Not sure what's the technical term for it, but I bet it took a VERY LONG time to cut out and then embroider all those little holes, and make it look like flowers. I especially loved the zori. You know when you look at the kimono designers' websites, and see their zori.... but you can't order them cuz 1. they are super expensive, and 2. they don't ship overseas. Well I felt like that except I was able to wear them! And I must say they are as cute as they are comfy, or as comfy as they are cute ;) There is just something about modern zori that just draws me to them. :)
Yumi Yamamoto also had a small booth with her stuff, but sadly it was all Japanese priced. She had some rain zori that I just LOVED, but I couldn't afford £170 zori :( :( Instead I settled on her book, which came with a kimono pattern and illustrated instructions. She also signed it for me :) So overall my shopping was pretty successful... other than out-of-my-price-range stuff of course. :)
Overall the festival was.... actually have no idea. It seemed better than the one in February, and there was food (cuz I could smell it haha), and more stuff to do. But I spent my whole time either backstage, or taking photos so I'm not sure. :) I did however had a LOT OF FUN! I'm really glad I went there, especially because I got to meet a real kimono designer and wear kimono 'couture'.