Sunday, July 24, 2016

TWELV Magazine "Tanabata" Soiree: Kimonos, Star-Crossed Lovers & Wishes!

Twelv Magazine hosted an outdoor ‘Tanabata” party at Laduree Garden in Soho. Tanabata is the Japanese traditional star festival to celebrate the meeting of the stars Vega and Altair. 

According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the 7th day of July. 

Guests were encouraged to wear a Yukata (Kimono) or border stripe clothing.
My last minute quest to find a Yukata (Kimono) was almost in vain, until my lovely friend Hiromi offered to lend me one that her grandmother had brought for her sister from Japan. 

It was such an honor to wear it and I couldn’t have been more thankful for the opportunity. It was definitely up there with those rare, special moments in life that make for one epic story!

Hiromi and me started the evening with Laduree’s Le Royale LadurĂ©e champagne which came with fresh strawberries, rose syrup, and topped with a real rose petal!! How cool?! Champagne is my favorite drink, but this combo was like the Chanel of champagnes... In other words, it was literally the best, most decadent champagne I've ever had in my life! 

Thanks a million Hiromi for spending 30 minutes getting me into this incredible Kimono! Little did I know how much goes into actually putting together all of the elements of a traditional Yukata.

Here’s the break down:

  • Nagajuban — The gown which comprises the inner layer of a kimono. Looks like the outer layer except that it is more plain looking. It may be silk or sometimes made of polyester microfibre. 
  • Obi — The colored belt which is wrapped around the outer layer of a kimono. 
  • Obiage — A piece of silk crepe which is the last binding to be tied around the torso and underneath the obi.
  • Obijime — The last binding which is tied around the obi itself to hold the decorative obi knot (musubi) in place. 
  • The kimono itself — The outer layer that is the focus of the garment. 
Unlike other Kimono’s this special piece came with an ornate bow that Hiromi attached to the back of my belt.

Lastly, the Kimono included Zori, which are decorative clogs that are customary to wear with a yukata. I couldn’t wear them as I needed my 5 inch heels for leverage to not drag this beautiful Kimono on the floor. (Short girl problems!)

One of my favorite people to meet that evening was Kana Sugamori, an Editor from OK! Magazine Japan. We quickly bonded over our Kimonos and the fact that I used to be a reporter for OK! Magazine in New York! 

During Tanabata it’s tradition to make wishes, and guests were encouraged to write their's down.

It's said that your wishes will come true if you write them down on strips of paper called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches.

Next, I met Gus Tamez, a super cool model and actor who recently moved to New York from LA. A model pose off ensued shortly after for the best Zoolander faces. ;)

Before leaving the Japanese press asked me to pose with their sponsor Soto Sake, which I happily obliged.

I had so much fun at the party, but was incredibly excited to take off the amazing Kimono as the temperature outside was over 90 degrees! I'm pretty sure my Geisha inspired makeup was all but melted by the time I left, but it was definitely worth it nonetheless!

Thank you Twelv magazine for having me, and special thanks to Hiromi for making me look like a Japanese princess. Cheers to another unforgettable story, and many more adventures ahead! 

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