Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oshogatsu Barbies

The first two kimono Barbies I got were the Happy New Year, Oshogatsu Barbies. They were made in 1995 and 1996, and they feature the most authentic looking kimono for an American market Barbie.

The first edition Oshogatsu Barbie has a red kimono with gold blossoms. The fabric is textured with a traditional seigaiha pattern. The kimono's seams are almost all correct, except that it does have a seam at the shoulders (the sleeves are composed of two pieces of fabric rather than one folded over). The kimono also has an ohashori (folds at the waist, seen under the obi) that most other kimono Barbies do not have. The obi is white and gold brocade with a gold obi-jime and dark blue obi-age. The zouri are pearl colored with red straps.

The 2nd edition doll wears a pink kimono with a retro-bamboo-type textured fabric and gold cherry blossoms. The obi is also white and gold brocade, but a different pattern with more gold. The obi-jime is yellow and gold and the obi-age is light pink. Her zouri are pearl color with pink straps.

I think the most amazing feature on the Oshogatsu Barbie's kimono is the fact that it is lined!! 1st edition is lined in light green, 2nd edition in yellow. You can see the lining also in the openings of the sleeves and the date-eri.
If you remove the kimono you will see that there is a white full-length, sleeveless juuban. (Please don't remove the kimono unless you know how to put a kimono on yourself, neatly. Otherwise the Barbie will look sloppy if amateurishly redressed.. Also, there is a slight amount of clothing adhesive used to keep the kimono dressed neatly, undressing her will loose the benefit of that adhesive.) The juuban also doesn't have a true collar, but isn't well noticed when dressed completely. She also has 2 belts underneath. One is for padding, to soften Barbie's curvy figure, and the other is an elastic date-jime under the obi to keep the kimono neat and slip-free.

The obi are tied differently on both dolls.

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