Lovingly-crafted Japanese-style bridal hair ornaments from Kitty Kanzashi
Knowing that I adore all things Japanese, Offbeat Etsy Weddings team captain Krissy pointed me to Kitty Kanzashi, a little web shop that specializes in – what else – charming and lovingly-crafted kanzashi creations for brides who want to wear something unique and special on their hair when they march down the aisle.
By definition, kanzashi are hair ornaments used in traditional Japanese hairstyles but the term can also be used to refer to “folded fabric hair ornaments” (as in tsumami kanzashi), which are exactly what you can expect to find in the store. Here are a few:
Snow White Flowers and Snowflakes Tsumami Kanzashi
Kiru Rise Japanese Hair Ornament / Bridal Tiara
Falling Star Japanese Hair Ornament / Bridal Hairband
I had a chat with the owner/designer Isla Wong whom I asked about her inspiration for her creations:
“My interest in kanzashi started when I began to become seriously interested in kimono about 5 years ago. I would see kanzashi for sale when I was browsing through various kimono websites and the inner child in me just wanted one. However most of the designs were not quite what I wanted and my logical and accounting adult refuse to let me buy one so I began to find a way of creating them instead.
This is when the internet helped me a great deal as it introduce to me to some of the tools and construction method used to make them but it wasn’t complete. It took hours of practice with many trials and errors before I was able to develop a way of making them for the designs I had in mind.”
Kitty Kanzashi’s bridal products aren’t limited to ornaments in the traditional white. Check out these pretty, colorful things.
White and Yellow Galaxy – Kanzashi Hairband
Blue lilies – Kanzashi haircomb
Upon seeing her work, I thought right away that her kanzashi would be perfect accessories for a Japanese, Zen , or Asian themed wedding. Isla, who happens to be a bride-to-be herself , shares some of her thoughts about incorporating her ornaments into your wedding planning:
“If you are planning a Japanese themed wedding then my kanzashi will certainly fit right in. One of my friends recently got married in vintage kimono and when she asked me to make her a kanzashi I was over the moon.
However, my kanzashi are perfect for anyone who loves and wants flowers for their wedding. Whether you are getting married in a kimono or in a cocktail dress dress, my kanzashi can be customised to fit your wedding theme/colour. If you have a particular fabric you would like me to use then you can even supply it to me and I will make your kanzashi from that material.
As a bride to be, I plan to use kanzashi for my hair accessories, bouquet and buttonhole flower using fabric that my wedding dress will be made from. “
Since items in her store are equally stunning, and I know it would be such a daunting task to choose just one for your big day, I’ve asked Isla to narrow down the choices for you. The following three products are her faves:
Momiji Delight Japanese Hair Ornament (Bridal Tiara)
“This was my first bridal design and for me it is one of the best. It is simply but elegant.”
Ume (plum) Blossom Japanese Hair Ornament
“This is a traditional style kanzashi with the long falls which has tiny bells at the end which will jingle as you move.”
Spring Blue Tsumami Kanzashi inspired bouquet
“Whoever said kanzashi can only be worn as hair ornaments well here is a bouquet. This is a small bouquet which is perfect to keep as a memento of your happy day.”
If you’re planning a Japanese, Cherry Blossom, or origami-themed wedding and want an alternative to the usual hair combs and fascinator, do stop by Kitty Kanzashi to see more of Isla’s wonderful creations.
In case you missed them, please check out my previous posts on (1) our cherry blossom-themed wedding invites, (2) our origami cranes wedding invitations, and (3) Japanese wedding dresses (a, b, c, blog)