Chocolat Creations · Chocolat Exploration

Introducing “Orchid” – my tango Kimono

People, especially children, can be described being either “dandelions” or “orchids” in response to their adaption beyond nature vs. nurture.

“Most people are considered to be dandelions in that they are not overly affected by their settings including whether they are facing adversity or are being praised. Orchids are more sensitive, and in keeping with the metaphor, tend to wilt if not in an environment to their liking.” (source)

Orchids are very delicate flowers; in my opinion, because of their “persistence”, orchids are also like peaceful warriors – this profound impression came from my magical trip to Japan a few months ago!

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Travel leaves me impressions that no book or movie could truly let me feel! I came back refreshed and open minded, more so thanks to the people I met that have an impact on me in a spiritual way…

Introduce Gion District. I had the privilege to experience the authentic traditional tea ceremony and dance performance by a “maiko-san” (an apprentice “geiko”, the Kyoto way of saying Geisha).

Green Tea in the whisking! So meditative!!

Like many other art forms, being a maiko (eventually a geiko) is all about the pursuit of perfection. These young ladies adore Japanese culture and tradition so much that they decide to give it all – they apply to become maiko at age 15, soon after graduating from junior high school; during the five years’ unpaid apprenticeship as maiko, they spend average 12 hours/day of devoted practice and performance.

The Koto music had no race, no religion, no caste or creed, yet it echoed around the shoji (paper doors and walls), and rippled over my ears, as if whispering me to ponder… the diaries deep in her heart now intermingled with each of her movements; through her eyes, I absorbed a sense of fulfillment!

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My experience at Japan, especially my encounter with the apprentice geiko, has led me to an unprecedented admiration on femininity. She is soulful and passionate, she tries her best to share Japanese tradition to every audience she encounters – she is determined, but in a really subtle way… like orchid.

In awe of her devotion and her delicate strength at such a young age, I have learnt to broaden my perspectives. Indeed, we could be both strong and gentle (graceful), in spiritual truth. Gentleness is not the same as weakness, actually gentle is a form of strength, because it is a form of honoring and truthfulness of what we need. There used to be a saying that, a feminine woman is like water – nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. This realization is the souvenir that I treasure the most from my trip, thus  I decided to create a dress named “Orchid”(check it out at our online store).

This design is intended to create an illusion of curves, a fashion style which helps accentuate our best features, and better, invert the flaws into something we wish we had! Shaping like a banana, I appreciate when I can find clothing that allows my body parts to look more definite!

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I think the beauty of the fabric speaks for itself: bright + very floral = spectacular kimono! The fabric I used on this dress is Fabric #9, this dress is partial lined on the bodice by self-fabric.

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Learn more about our fabrics here

I wanted to keep the empire waist of a kimono, but I was also very concerned that this style in floral print would hang like a nightgown, so I cut the dress in bias for a distinctive drape, and in turn to achieve a more feminine image.

front bodice

The feminine image created by bias cut styles is universal to all body shapes. This unconventional perspective was embraced by Madeleine Vionnet (1876-1975). Vionnet saw the dress as a complement to a woman’s body, which I think is an intelligent way to encourage the wearer to accept and love herself just the way she is!

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My dress is a tango style, so the structure differs greatly from a traditional kimono. A contour back in a tango dress is very common – I think this is the very feature for a slimmer waist.

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Realizing that a full high-low circle skirt could be easy for exposure especially during dancing, I decided a 3/4 circle.The shortest part (skirt center front) is a hand’s width above my knee, and the longest part (skirt center back) touches my mid-calves. When I managed to cut the front skirt to a hand’s width above my knees, I created an aesthetically pleasing image for my legs. On the other hand, the skirt length is totally a personal preference, so don’t feel limited that you have to have your skirt cut to the same proportion as mine. We are all unique individuals, thus everyone’s perception is unique by itself. Whatever you feel pleasing to your eyes is the beauty secret for you!

rolled hem

Isn’t this incredible? Sometimes our minds could be blindfolded, the truth is, we shouldn’t be too hard on our body images. With the help from our clothing (i.e. illusion of curves) as well as our consistent effort for a healthy lifestyle, we reward ourselves with a balanced life!

This dress is versatile for both casual and formal occasions! I think this dress would also be a great self-indulgent treatment! Remember that as you care for yourself, you live a longer, happier and healthier life, which has positive ripple effect to benefit others as well! Just like any forms of love, if we care for silk in a gentle manner, it will last many years to come!

Happiness always starts within! Would you like to embark on a creative journey? Seize this opportunity to reflect your values through “personalizing” your dresses, and I believe this is where creativity starts!  You could choose any two of the following custom options with no added fee:

  1. You could request a custom lining color on your chiffon dress. Sheer fabrics (Fabrics #1-6, 12-15) are very spontaneous like watercolor – you can mix and match different colors to create something unique. For example, instead of using the same color on both my dress shell and my lining, I prefer using a deeper and slightly different lining color because I think this will invoke a mysterious feeling. Pinterest is a great inspiration source for color palettes, you could find lots of captivating nature photography for such inspiration!
  2. You could also request to elongate the skirt to floor length, and turn it to a special evening dress. While print fabrics depict more of a whimsical feeling, solid fabrics present the elegance of a woman in a simple and effective way! I imagine wearing a floor length high-low skirt style dress as being a beautiful shy peacock. Think iridescent silk chiffon! The most wonderful part about this chiffon is that you find different colors from different angles. Our current stock iridescent silk chiffon is Fabric #2, rose-marine; other classy options could be shimmery opaque fabrics such as Fabric #7 and 8!
  3. Another request you could do is on a small detail twist in the bodice, which is another opportunity to reflect your deepest desires. If you are unsure what looks best on you? Just go for the one that excites you the most… go with you heart! Here are some ideas to brainstorm on: a) leave the back open and add a back neck bow, b) add a bow at the waist back, c) change the center back zipper to a side zipper, d) cover the back bodice for added modesty, e) change the back to a deep V that runs from the shoulders, f) change to a different style of halter, and g) add a back drape or keyhole…etc. You are perfect just the way you are, no matter how subtle the changes you make, your dress will be an unique piece of art!

Thank you very much for your time! If you like, please feel free to access your dress from our online store!

Should you need any further information and/or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us! We would love to hear about your travel inspirations as well!

Cheers! 😀

 

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