Fashion by Double A Presents: The Ancient Tree House

It's amazing how we can easily travel between continents and cultures that delve into in real life we would not have conditions to do so easily and so quickly.

More than ever, Eastern culture has fascinated the world. Not only the resilience and growth of a people, but also the richness and content of their beliefs and traditions.

We decided to explore this world a little bit and for that we counted on Solene Hoisan, owner and designer from The Ancient Tree Kimono ShopsThe Ancient Tree Kimono Shop is specialized in high quality kimonos for men and women in Second Life. For over 3 years their collections have flourished in both traditionnal and daring modern styles to please all our Second Life customers who enjoy the estheticism of japanese design. 

Let's learn more about the names: 
Maiko: geisha apprentice.  For generally a period of 7 years a young gilr will enter an ochaya to learn the essentials skills and knowledge to become a geisha. She will have to go trough several steps in her evolution which are always celebrated  and is shown in a  change in her official attire.  To make it simple. A Maiko wear a red collar  and a long talied obi. The kimono tends to be more colorful and the hair decoration is also more colorful.

*** the traditional kimonos at The Ancient Tree House always inclued maiko and geisha version.

Geisha: A geisha is a woman who lives in a community of geisha, under strict rules and  who master specific skills such as dancing, playing shamisen, ikebana, storytelling, calligraphy and more.  All this  to serve a single goal, to make their geust have a wonderful time!  And officilally geisha are not and has never been courtesans. Their services were always of artistic value.  You have to go back to the Edo period and before to find  true courtesans in japan. Then called Oirans, they worked closely with geishas but the oirans were the stars and geishas wre only warrming up the guests until the oirans arrives. The oirans downfall came after a law registration that made prostitution illegal and therefore encouraged the rise of geisha who were much more accessible and closer to the  regular people. OIrans being for the very very upper class only.

Geta – Casual kimono sandals with a wooden sole. Typically worn with yukata, but may also be worn with very casual kimono outfits.

Haori – A type of kimono jacket

Obi – The sash tied around the waist. Typically six (casual) or twelve (formal) inches wide, and about 120 to 150 inches long. Can be made of silk, synthetic, hemp, cotton, etc.

Obiage – Silk scarf that is both decorative and functional, used to hide the cushions used in more ornate obi musubi.

Obidome – Brooch-like jewelry worn on the obijime.

Obijime – Silk cord that holds the obi and musubi in place

Juban – Decorative under-robe worn beneath kimono, over undergarments. Typically this is visible at the hem and sleeves when you move, so it is usually coordinated to the outfit. Also where a haneri (above) is attached. (also: naga-juban, jyuban)

In the picture bellow, Alon is wearing the Red Sushi Kimono. Ayalla is wearing the Floating Uchiwa Tomesode Kimono - both by The Ancient Tree House.

The next picture is featured by Sakura Fans Tomesode Kimono (on Ayalla) and Black Silk Uniform (on Alon) - both by The Ancient Tree House.

And in this last one, Ayalla is wearing The Koifish legend Tomesode Kimono and Alon is wearing Mountain View Formal Kimono - both by The Ancient Tree House.

Other credits for Alon's look:
Skin: Mr. Poet - Aimer Boy Skin (free skin - letter board)
Hair: Bad@zz Hair - Game Black #2 

Other credits for Ayalla's look:
Skin: Geisha Makeup Skin - by Kiss Kiss Bang Ban (dollarbie - 1L)
Hair: Tess - by Laqroki
Hair Sticks: Geisha Hair Sticks - by E! (available also at the Marketplace)
Shoes: Blue Carbon Fiber Geta - by Kira Insippo Designs
Poses were all sponsored by *agape* (all specific for kimonos) 

The Ancient Tree House have kimonos for everyone! From the simple yukata and asian simple uniforms to the most elaborate formal kimonos, you'll find what you need for your japanese life!

The store still offers less traditonnal kimonos such as  a  'anime' style with a short puffy skirt,  latex kimonos in various colors and styles, both of which are perfect for wearing our mitsu ashi getas, the big black platform shoes the Oirans used to parade with. They also offer custom fans, obis and animations 

The Ancient Tree Kimono Shop, is THE place for your Second Life traditional Japanese costume.

The pictures were taken at Hosoi Mura - Edo Japanese Town (a Japanese Island, of course). Once there, we were friendly hosted by Oona Mistwalke, who also shared a little more about the culture with us. 
A geisha house, or school, is called an Okiya. In Japan, girls start there as maids called shikomi. Then they become junior apprentices who sit and watch more experienced apprentices and geisha. Eventually they become full geisha, but are still bound by ties of sisterhood to their okiya. The one where we took photos is called Nakanoshima. Geisha live as members of an Okiya in a sisterhood overseen by a "mother" or Okaasan. Oona okaasan's name is Miyako Akina. Geisha most often work in teahouses called "ochaya".

We hope you enjoyed the reading and felt in love with this culture as we did the.

Ayalla and Alon Alphaville

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