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Sunday, April 20, 2014 16:36

Dark Geisha Costumes

Vampire Geisha via Flickr

Last Halloween, my good friend Megan had blond hair.  But during the spring, she went crazy and dyed her hair black.  I don’t know what she was thinking.  Everyone knows that blonds have more fun!  Actually she looks hot with her jet-black hair and she’s taking advantage of her darker do.  She’s been talking about dressing up as a geisha for Halloween.  I love the idea and can’t wait to see what she comes up with.  In the meantime, I looked around for online inspiration.

Since this is Upon a Midnight Dreary, I have to dreary-ify everything. The geisha costumes in this post are less traditional and more fitting for vampire, steampunk or zombie geishas.

Zombie Geisha Girl via Flickr

I know this image is digitally altered, but the eye makeup is cool. Cyber Geisha by lilbloo on Deviant Art

Traditional geishas always wear a kimono with a dramatic obi (the wide sash that goes around the waist like a belt or waist cincher).  On their feet they wear tabi socks (the split-toed socks) with zori (similar to flip flops).  They have their hair up, often in complex buns with hair ornaments.

If you are looking for a kimono for a costume, you might consider searching for a yukata.  A yukata is a light, summer kimono.  It’s made of cotton instead of silk, so it’s comfortable but often less expensive than a silk kimono.

Kimonos and Kimono inspired Dresses:

Hollywood Geisha Mini Dress comes in Red or Silver from Lip Service onsale for $71

Jrock Spider Bat Kimono from steph-love on Ebay for $95 from Taiwan

Kyuketsuki Dress from Cry of Flesh for $123

Wa Loli Japan Kimono from Fan Plus Friend for $149.99

Geisha Dress comes in blue or red from Lip Service for $154

Trashglam Couture Steampunk Geisha 4 piece set by Aishax on Etsy for $799.99

I also found this next kimono by chance, but it’s from a Japanese site.  I think that it’s for sale, but I could be way off.  I suspect that someone with Japanese language skills would be able to find additional goth-appropriate patterns featuring spiders, bats or skulls.  Unfortunately, most of the yukata I found featured flowers and cheerful patterns.

Spider Web Kimono (It looks like it's also made with a purple background) from Rakuten.co.jp

Obi:

If you google obi you’ll find plenty of solid obi in every color of the rainbow to coordinate with your kimono.  Somebody with good embroidery skills could take a solid color obi and add a darker motif such as a skull, spider, bat or black cat.  For a non-traditional, more severe look, consider substituting a thick belt or waist cincher over your kimono.

Triple Buckle Elastic Belt from Forever 21 for $6.80

Urban Renewal Leather Obi Wrap Belt from Urban Outfitters (only available online) for $28

A third option is to modify a scarf.  Elizabeth Abernathy created this tutorial to make an obi style belt from any silk scarf that you can wrap around your waist one and a half times.

Wigs:

Wig Tokyo Princess Black and Red from Fantasy Festival for $32.48

Geisha Bog wig by Enigma from International Wigs for $34.99

Fabulous! Japanese Geisha Girl Big Hair Styled Black Wig from The Queen of the Ball for $149

If you want to style your own hair, there are tutorials like this one on Youtube.

For your Feet:

Sock Dreams is always my go-to website for hosiery.  They have a bunch of different Tabi sock styles including some Halloween-appropriate striped ones:

Striped Tabi socks come in four color combinations (including black and white) from Sock Dreams for $9

Vertical Stripe Tabi over the knee socks come in six color combinations from Sock Dreams for $15

Demonia Skull Platform Flip Flops from Streetmoda for $20.99

Demonia Gothic Platform Thong Sandals with skulls from Heels 4 Less for $27.99

Volatile Gator from Zappos for $44.95

Other Accessories:

Traditional Japanese Elegant Black Folding fan from "fromjapan2u" on Ecrater for $4.99

Pattern Flying When Spider fan from Rakuten for $14.98

Yummy! Lucite Skull Barrette comes in six colors by Tarina Tarantino for $25

Kumo Japanese Style Hair Pin from jpalways on Ecrater for $40

A note on makeup: Makeup is going to sell the geisha look.  You can find tutorials on Youtube for both traditional and non-traditional geisha makeup styles.  I recommend doing an image search and finding a look that fits with your costume.  And as always, I’d advise you to go with Ben Nye and/or Mac makeup products for best results.

Aside from frustrations with the language barrier, I had a good time compiling this post.  Does anybody have any ideas to add?  Are you considering a costume that I could do a similar scouting post for?  I love these kinds of challenges, so feel free to leave a comment or email me with your costume desires…

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One Response to “Dark Geisha Costumes”

  1. Barbara says:

    Another kimona idea might be robes or pajama sellers- there are sometimes Japanese inspired patterns in those types of garments too. I think if you want to do the geisha idea though you have to go long.

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