Kimono On The Catwalk

dsc03176It was Sunday, the day I usually download the photos I’ve taken and sit down to write my week-end blog.  When I put the chip from my camera into the computer, it told me I had no photos.  The honeymoon was over.  I was now officially living in Japan and life had become so normal that there was nothing I had taken a photo of.  I could have taken pictures of the girls at their first basketball practice on Saturday morning, but that was something that could have happened anywhere.  I could have taken some shots of us enjoying our weekly ritual of eating Mexican food in our local favorite spot on Sunday night, but again, that was something that we could have done at home.  So there I was with an empty camera and nothing to write about in my blog either.  So, I continued reading Phillip Roth’s American Pastoral which I am thoroughly enjoying and then went to bed.  I am happy to report that I woke up on Monday and started the day by getting ready for a Kimono fashion show where I was lucky enough to be one of the models.  The last fashion show I agreed to partake in was one of the famous Colonel’s at Coveleigh where the clothes are a joke and no one bothers to watch the show.  At that event, I was nervous, had a few too many glasses of champagne before the show started and forgot that I was only wearing a thong under my pantyhose when I twirled my trench coat.  Thankfully, it was an audience of women and we all had a good laugh.  However, after that event, I swore never again.  I was done with the runway.  But in a weak moment last November, a new friend who ran the monthly programs at the American Club asked if I would model.  I was all about putting myself out there, meeting friends, saying yes to everything and anything and so I agreed.  I put it completely out of my mind until the email arrived a few days ago telling me where and when to show up with hair down and no makeup.  I cringed a little on the inside.  But when I woke up this morning I was actually excited and I was looking forward to at least the dressing up part.  The head of the Kimono company, Jane Yamano did a very quick walk through on the stage and then we spent the next two hours in a room with 15 women (models and dressers, which they call sensei) and it was laughs, giggles and smiles all morning.  I was amazed to see how they pad you and wrap you until you have no shape whatsoever.  There were so many layers I tried to take pictures of all of them but I think I was annoying the women who were working on me.  At one point they pulled so hard I felt like a sausage.  Not that you look thin, because you have about 5 different layers on.  When the ladies were finished I really felt transformed.  It was the most feminine I’ve felt showing the least amount of skin.  Walking back stage to the show, I really started to get nervous.  I had tabi socks on my feet (the split toe sock) and then the japanese high heeled slipper and I was not very stable walking on them.  I was worried about climbing on and off the stage without falling.  When I turned the corner and hit the lights it was a little terrifying.  I realize now that I must not smile that often because after 15 minutes of continued smiling my face started to do very strange things.  I felt like I was losing control of my cheek muscles.  I can only imagine what those pictures at the end are going to look like.  Clearly I was in some sort of pain.  But when it was over, and we left the stage, I really was glad that I was a part of it and that I had put myself out there and said YES.  And I had my photos and blog entry for the week!  Maybe the honeymoon isn’t over yet…

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