One of Japan’s favourite cosplayers models the range on the streets of Kyoto.
Bibi Lab, the Japanese company behind the mosquito-net jumpsuit, sailor suit schoolgirl wearable blankets, and the cotton wife, is back again with a new garment this summer, and this time they’re adding an unconventional twist to a more traditional item of clothing.
Never one to follow mainstream trends, Bibi Lab is now combining Japanese summer kimono, or yukata, with the relaxed, comfortable fit of a cosy pair of pyajamas.
Called the “Raku Yukata“, which translates to “Easy Yukata“, the garment’s official English name is Comfy Kimono Pajamas, and it’s designed to be simple to put on and a breeze to wear. At the centre of the design is a stretchable waistband in place of the more traditional obi sash, which enhances comfort and saves time and effort in tying up a decorative back bow.
Now you can achieve a traditional summer look by simply slipping on a yukata robe, and affixing the bow into place around your waist.
Take a look at the video below to see how it’s done.
The star of the video is one of Bibi Lab’s most popular models, cosplayer Ayato Nikukyu, who we had the pleasure of interviewing last year. In the promotional clip for the new range of yukata, Nikukyu shows us the easy three-step process for putting on one of the designs.
The three yukata in the collection feature traditional summer motifs, like “Morning Glory“, which comes with a baby pink obi.
▼ “Goldfish” which comes with a white obi…
▼ And “Hydrangea“, which comes paired with a yellow obi waist tie.
Bibi Lab chose one of the most beautiful locations in the country for their photo shoot, with Nikukyu seen modelling the range of yukata at famous sites around Kyoto.
▼ Here she is at the beautiful stone steps at Kifune Shrine.
▼ And here she takes a stroll by the city’s famous Kamo River.
While traditional yukata look absolutely beautiful and are a popular fashion choice for summer festivals, the traditional obi sash that completes the outfit is known for being tight and restrictive. According to Bibi Lab, the new style of obi that features on their Comfy Kimono Pyjamas is not as tight as traditional ones, giving the garment a similar freedom of movement to western-style clothing.
▼ And on the back, there’s a neat-looking ready-made bow.
While kimono and yukata are obviously designed to be worn outside, the lightweight, airy style of the robes make them a popular design for sleepwear too. However, the yukata-style nighties you’ll come across in Japanese stores generally come in pyjama-like, non-colourful designs without sashes, making them look very much like nighties and something you wouldn’t dare step out of the house in.
Bibi Lab, who pride themselves on creating roomwear modelled on outdoor clothing and uniforms, have designed the Comfy Kimono Pyjamas to be worn both indoors and outdoors, even going so far as to say that the sash is so comfortable you can wear it to be bed, although we imagine most people would opt to remove it before slipping under the covers.
▼ You can wear the Comfy Kimono Pyjamas to bed with or without the sash.
Wearing a colourful yukata to bed would have to take some getting used to, as it would generate all the excitement of going out to a festival, only while you’re trying to get some shut-eye. Still, whether you choose to wear the garment indoors or outdoors, you’re bound to attract attention wherever you go.
▼ Each set retails for 8,500 yen (US$76.13) and includes the yukata and obi sash.
Online sites like Village Vanguard and Amazon Japan are currently taking domestic orders for the yukata, which will go on sale from 11 July. Alternatively, interested overseas parties can contribute to the crowdfunding campaign for the Comfy Kimono Pyjamas international release here through crowdfunding site Tokyo Mirai Mode.