Kimono Crazy: Did you mean Festival Fringe?

My Mimi used to tell me, “When God was giving out _________, you must have been at the water fountain.” She would fill in that blank with anything from common sense to patience (depending on the variation of my mood of the moment). Well in the past week I’ve felt this way about the “kimono” craze. It’s like I walked to the water fountain, and when I got back everyone was decked out in gag-me-“Eastern,” amorphous pieces of drapey fabric, aka glorified “ethnic” or “tribal” rugs.



Welp, now that it’s here I might as well all get myself an over-sized cardigan too. At least it would cover my failed attempts at tanning over Spring Break, and it comes not a moment too soon for festival season!

But now that we’re on the topic, let me just go ahead and voice the elephant in the room:  should this shameless cultural appropriation (“kimono”) be blamed on the artistic groupthink that is Coachella?

I know what you’re thinking, Rebecca, “kimono” translates literally into “thing to wear,” making it a perfectly apt word for these window treatments people are donning. And you have a point. Nevertheless, in a needless effort to curb Americans’ perceived ignorance (don’t remind me of freedom fries), I propose the term “festival fringe” to describe these flowy cardigans. Let’s be honest, its just as terrible as the word “kimono” in describing these articles. How to use it in a sentence?

Hey girl, do you have your festival fringe for Coachella?
My festival fringe is cray. I feel like Woodstock revisited.
I did NOT feel like getting dressed this morning. Thank goodness for festival fringe.

But I know, I know, many of you are unphased and would still like a good ol’ fashioned kimono, regardless of my commentary. So I’ve gathered a few recommendations.


For those days you just feel like a geisha.

or this one!


Did you mean haori when you said kimono?

And for those of you who want some jammin’ festival fringe. I got your back.

Festival FringeFestival Fringe by rarnall1 featuring River Island

Alternatively, maybe we could just revisit the word kaftan?
For more on English cultural appropriation and fashion, see this awesome NPR article on how we got the word pajamas (from India).
For all those of you who follow me via RSS feed, sorry for the mixup on polyvore/ wordpress publishing… I’ll get it one of these days.

Holmes is where the 'art is


Today Sherlockology (the official website of the BBC’s Sherlock) announced that Sherlock season three will be airing January 1st (in the UK… dash it all PBS, you couldn’t get it before the 19th??)!!!
This is both phenomenal news to Sherlock fans like myself, who have now waited two years for this, and serves as the inspiration for today’s post.

After reading Sherlock Holmes in the sixth grade, I was and am consumed by a lifelong struggle to find the perfect dressing gown. There are only a few stipulations: 1. must be embroidered. 2. the lapels and cuffs must be made of an alternative material than the rest of the gown, and I would like them quilted if possible 3. it should be a full length robe 4. it cannot be made of cotton or *gasp* fleece. 5. i’m too cheap to pay over 100 dollars at this point in my life (this really narrowed my options). 

Still that only leave a vague picture at best. Where do you find a proper robe/ smoking jacket? I’ve linked to a charming article from the Gentleman’s Gazette to give a bit of perspective on the matter. As my next source, I called up one of the most lovably-pretentious, well-dressed people I know. He’s an organ player in the South of England descended from the Dutch aristocracy with an incurable penchant for fine men’s clothes. As luck would have it, he’s currently in the process of picking fabrics for a custom-made robe from Derek Rose. Though this is going to run him something along the line of 2,500 pounds, the robes listed on the website, though still expensive are less so. Maybe an idea for a Christmas splurge? Then as I later found out, Derek Rose was the designer for Benedict Cumberbatch’s robe in Sherlock!


Unfortunately its currently unavailable, so the search goes on… I was not entirely impressed with Mr. Rose’s collection for women. I want a robe that’s a bit more sensual than the log cabin variety he’s currently selling. Still, with women’s dressing gowns, you’re much more likely to find an exotic ostrich-feathered number than anything in which you could smoke your pipe by the fireplace….

So here are a few inspirations:

The Original: It’s hard to stray from Sidney Pagent’s delicious illustrations when searching. They just look so intellectual, and cozy as if to say “yes I will take my breakfast in bed while I read about colonialism”


This picture appeared in “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”


This picture appeared in “A Study in Scarlet”

The Basil of Baker Street: In case you’d like to bring the dressing gown off the page, this might be the closest thing you can get. Unfortunately that brilliant hooked nose is not included.


Here Basil Rathbone stars in “The Hound of Baskersville.”

The Odious Mistake: Could someone please tell me what they were thinking? Sherlock didn’t have a dog, why does it look like one chewed this to a pulp?


Disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of this Sherlock retelling so I might be unnecessarily biased, but I’ve tried to reign in my distaste. From the article, Jenny Beavan’s called it “The world’s oldest dressing gown.” More like it can be found at London based costumers Cosprop, who did most of the film’s costumes.

The Oscar Wilde Hybrid (probably the closest to our vision): It’s not a Russian viscount, but it’s not cold fabric either. Could this be our dream Robe? Don’t even get me started on those slippers.


Here William Gilette plays the famous consulting detective.

My Recent Purchase: Ladies and gentleman, may i present the happiness of my days?


(Yes i was too lazy to put the sheets on my bed)


(I call this my morning look.. but isn’t that what dressing gowns are for?)

I acquired this number from a lovely vintage seller by the name of Diane. She included this divine card:


Wherever your search may take you, Good Luck! 

Sherlock Lives.

Fashion: 6

Funky: 2

Fancy: 9

Function: 5