West Midlands Photography Club at the Botanical Gardens

This summer we braved the weather to do an all out mega shoot in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. You may notice a funky painted Kabuki character in the mix. Styled and painted by Sherry Armitage who also models. She is absolutly amazing and you should hire her for all your body paint needs! She does FULL glitter too!

Team details:

1. Tara Cook with MU by Sal Akhtar & Hair by Helen (Whimsical Sorceress)

2. Chynna with MU by Sal Akhtar

3. Tia Burke with MU by Mariya

4. Ivy Rose with MU by Mariya

5. Amethyst with body paint MU and design by Helen

6. Helen MU by Mariya

7. Kimono by Elizabeth

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    West Midlands Photography Meet Up – Geisha & Samurai Theme

    This summer I have worked with the West Midlands Photography group twice to add some Japanese fashion & culture to their group shoots. The team is large and I was the main stylist on this shoot.

    The team:
    Model: China Doll
    MUA: Elizabeth Hitchins and Ellesia Burton
    Designer: Elizabeth Hitchins
    Studio: SS Creative

    Modern Kimono Style
    Model: Kat Yip
    MU: Kat Yip
    Designer: Elizabeth Hitchins
    Studio: SS Creative

    Red Uchikake
    Model: Elle J
    MUA: Ellesia Burton
    Designer: Elizabeth Hitchins and Mark Kenwood
    Studio: SS Creative

    Black Yukata
    Model: Stella Dymock (Stella Tequila)
    MU: Stella Dymock
    Designer: Elizabeth Hitchins
    Studio: SS Creative
    Model: Jon Bunting
    Designer: Elizabeth Hitchins
    Studio: SS Creative

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      Romantic Kimono Photoshoot & Published in Ellements Magazine

      This week images from a recent photoshoot were included in Ellements Magazine Nov 2015 (V2).

      I loved doing this shoot as it was super soft, fun and romantic. In these images we explored a softer “Regency Lolita Kimono Style” with the pink furisode and bonnet, adding in some vintage china!

      The purple furisode and fantastic headdress were more of a British kitch couture look for my take on Harajuku fashion.

      My favourite is the work with the teal iromuji producing a soft romantic look as well as a super vogue ensemble with the smock and absence of an obi.

      Enjoy the images!

      Photographer: Sian Robertson
      Concept, Dressing & Styling: Elizabeth Hitchins
      Mua: Belinda Maines
      Models: Bethany & Deean from Tyne Tees
      Kanzashi: Kornelia Jer & Isla Wong
      Headress: Joanna Stokes

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        Sushi & Kimono Evening in London

        On the 30th of October we directed and styled a fashion demonstration at a Charity event. We showcased different types of kimono, season and formality for both male and female kimono as an educational installation. The event raised over £300 for the charity and we ate delicious sushi and were treated to sake & Shakuhachi (Bamboo Flute) which produces that very solemn distinctive Japanese sound.


        Picture 1 of 9

        A young woman poses for a picture dressed in a Kimono, during the Aid For Japan charity event in London on Friday 30th October 2015.

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          Kimono & Culture Evening with Aid For Japan

          Help us raise money for children orphaned by the March 2011 tsunami by enjoying an evening of Japanese kimono, food and music. The tickets are just £40 each and all proceeds go to Aid for Japan.

          The Kimono & Culture Evening takes place on Friday, 30th October 2015 at Richmond Old Town Hall, London. The evening will feature a Kimono Fashion Show, combined with a Charity Presentation. This will include a thoughtful presentation on the work of our charity by two of our youngest volunteers who this summer experienced a different side of life.

          Food & Drink will also be available with some delicious sushi and sake (provided by Yama Sushi)

          Tickets for the Kimono & Culture Evening, which has been organised by Akemi Solloway (www.akemisolloway.com) and Elizabeth Hitchins (www.kimonostylist.co.uk), cost £40 with all proceeds going to Aid For Japan.

          (This link will take you straight to paypal)


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            Tips from a Stylist – A Guide to Kimono Corset Style

            One of my favourite looks with kimono is wearing a corset around the middle. RockKimono2Now there are a few challenges with this as kimono are meant to be worn on a straight up straight down tube like body. This is so the lines are correct.

            Kimono Too Long

            Kimono are MEANT to be too long and this is why you see traditional kimono wearers have a fold under the obi. We can use this fold mechanism also in wearing a corset to correct the lines. This is a more difficult way to wear kimono & a corset as you need to know how to create this fold by setting the collar. Something you need to learn and perfect.
            Rubens Girl
            Kimono to your ankles

            This is the easiest form as you don’t need to worry about setting a fold or adjusting too much. You can almost wrap and go. Remember left panel over right as you don’t want to be a zombie.

            What corset?

            So you don’t have issues with your lines flaring all over the place I always recommend an under bust corset. Kimono can’t cope with a chest at the best of times so you might find it awkward to dress in an over bust corset. It can be done though with a lot of tweaking!


            Remember a kimono (womens kimono) have holes under the armpits so you need to make sure you are wearing maybe a shift or slip underneath. I like to wear capri leggings also, but that is a personal preference.

            Have fun!

            *Need a stylist for your project or shoot? Facebook is the quickest way to get hold of us: https://www.facebook.com/eclectickimono

            Photographer: Sian Robertson

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              Festival Kimono Style – Tips from a Stylist

              Kimono are tricky. It took me 4 years to learn how to wear kimono traditionally, and after 9 years I am still learning. Good news though! Kimono is super versatile and you can work it into your normal wardrobe.


              Festival Chic

              In both of these styles I have used “meisen haori which average around £40.

              Meisen is a rough silk with bold geometic patterns. Most meisen haori (ha-or-ri) are longer than the normal haori.


              Haori is a type of kimono jacket.

              The accessories used are available in most high street stores and the boots are by rocketdog.

              The make up artist chose a matt red lipstick for a vintage look to match the nature of the haori.

              The nails are a more modern shape in bronze with Tiffany blue and terracotta dots. Super easy to do a home with a dotting tool.


              Shopping like a celeb

              Kimono can go over anything, and they are very popular with celebrities like Lady Gaga. The most popular type is tsukesage kimono which is a semi formal affordable kimono type with beautiful patterns.

              Another fun kimono style is furisode kimono which has the longer sleeves as in this image. Longer sleeves do get in the way so you have to be careful where they end up! Kimono can add class and interest to any outfit.

              REALITY CHECK – Lady Gaga may be able to drag her kimono on the floor in the rain but you can not clean silk kimono without specialist cleaning. There are very few places outside Japan and even inside Japan it is an expensive ordeal. They can not be dry cleaned or hand washed.

              Safe & Synthetic

              If you are concerned then there are always synthetic or hand washable kimono & haori. You will find these mostly on websites like http://www.ichiroya.com/ and we also have some UK sellers http://www.fujikimono.co.uk/

              On eBay look out for the material ‘Polyester’, ‘Synthetic’ or ‘Hand Washable’ for these types of kimono.

              *Need a stylist for your project or shoot? Facebook is the quickest way to get hold of us: https://www.facebook.com/eclectickimono

              Photographer: Sian Robertson

              Share and Enjoy!