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Museum Musings

Well it certainly has been a very exciting weekend in our house! We are now the proud owners of not just one, but TWO golden retrievers. We adopted our little Marigold on Saturday, and you can expect a whole lot more about her (including precious puppy photos) on the blog later this week! 
For now, I want to tell you guys a bit about an event I went to this weekend at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. 
I hardly get down to the Museum District as much as I want to, so I jumped at the chance to attend the Kimono and Yukata Fashion demonstration at HMNS on Sunday. 
This special fashion show was presented to coincide with the museum’s latest exhibit, Samurai: The Way of the Warrior, which is the largest collection of Samurai armor and swords outside of Japan. Pretty cool that it’s on display here in Houston! 

I naturally took this opportunity to get a bit more dressed up than usual.  For you fashionistas that may be more interested in the styles of the Western World – I’m wearing my go-with-everything grey midi skirt (currently on sale!) and a black silk tank from Anthro.  Let’s back up for a second, I did just say a tank top. In February. Oh, how I love you Texas winter! 


Once inside the museum, I traversed through several exhibits and hallways with several of the other bloggers in attendance. Eventually we all found ourselves nestled deep underneath the museum in a large room with the most soothing of Japanese music playing in the background.

All seated with my program in hand, I was ready to see the display of beautiful handmade kimonos.

Not only were we treated to up close and personal glimpses of these intricate kimonos, but a speaker also provided us with a history of the garment and explained its significance in the Japanese culture. 
Kimono literally means “thing to wear,” and these classic garments have been worn by the Japanese since as early as the 8th century. 

Another fun fact, young unmarried women wear kimonos in extremely bright colors with long sleeves and intricate Obi ties. (An Obi is the fabric wrap around the midsection). 
As they get married and grow older, their kimonos become darker and more muted and the sleeves are shortened.

There are also intricate special occasion kimonos reserved for the most important of events. For example, the blue one in the photo above and below, is for a young unmarried woman who is in the process of attracting a suitor. That’s why the sleeves are long and the colors are so bright.

Also, believe it or not, this hand-made kimono would cost a family around $10,000.

Fascinating stuff!

The fashion show lasted quite a while and each kimono was individually dissected and explained by the speaker.

History buff that I am, I was absolutely enthralled and really enjoyed learning about such an extremely different culture and its interesting traditions.

This little girl was too cute! Not only did she participate in the fashion show, but she also performed a traditional Japanese “Doll Dance” for us, which I desperately wish that I had gotten on video for you guys!
It was all kinds of precious! 

I had to snap a photo with the kimono above, to show you guys how HUGE it was! It is an antique heirloom kimono that would have been worn for a wedding or very special event.  The colors and intricate stitching were so beautiful and amazing to be able to see up close. 
Isn’t it fascinating how different the cultural traditions and fashions are that range all across the globe? 
It’s also fun to think about how these unique styles have been incorporated into our western fashions of today.  You know, those short kimono jackets that we wear over tank tops in the summer? All inspired by the centuries old kimono. 
After the show, I headed up the stairs to the museum’s Samurai exhibit, wishing desperately that my Samurai obsessed younger brother was with me.
Tom, if you’re reading this, how about a visit to Houston ASAP? 
I think you’d enjoy yourself! 

The exhibit was actually pretty amazing. It was crazy to look at the different pieces of armor and swords and to imagine what kind of battles and dangerous scenarios called for these artifacts
If you’re in the Houston area, be sure to pop on over to the HMNS for this must see exhibit! It runs until September 7, 2015, so you’ve got yourself plenty of time to make the trip. 
The rest of my Sunday was spent “watching” the Super Bowl, which really just consisted of watching a few of the commercials and Katy Perry’s killer half time show.  I left the football part up to my husband. 🙂
Hope you all had a great weekend! I’ve been typing this entire post with a little puppy on my lap who is now desperate to go outside and play with her big sister, Lily.  
As always, thanks for stopping by the blog! 
alice

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  • I love the outfit you chose, looks like a great time! I always love visiting the museum when I head to Houston.

    http://www.lonestarlauren.com

  • I love your outfit too! What is the necklace called?? I had my eyes on but they are gone and never found popback!!
    I also went to a museum this weekend. It was King Tut in San Diego. It's interesting to know some people are interested in my culture! You reminded me of my Kimono I left at my parents house.. I have to get them for my daughter!!!

  • What an amazing event! Thanks for the heads up about the exhibit, we'll have to include that in our next Houston trip.

  • This is a fantastic event! I have always been intrigued by Kimonos and Samuri. You looked fabulous also. Thanks so much for sharing. I have shared your post. Coming by from TXWB, Lots of love, Lisa.

  • So fun! We went to the museum last year when we were in Houston for a dance competition! Loved it!

    Rosemond
    http://www.bighairandbooks.blogspot.com

  • Wow! What an exhibit. Gorgeous kimonos.

  • This event looks great, but let us talk about your new puppy…OMG…saw the picture on IG and so stinking cute. Golden Retriever puppies are the BEST! PS: the weather this weekend in Houston was so beautiful, so glad it was nice for the event, even if it was inside!

  • So cool. I've always loved the Houston museums and the exhibits they have.