Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas + A Festive Coordinate!

Merry Christmas, my lovely blog readers! I hope you have all had a wonderful day!

Today I decided to wear a new dress of mine-- Infanta's Snow White jumperskirt. The rich red is so festive and the print is simply gorgeous!

Christmas is usually a pretty low-key affair in my household but I actually managed to have some fun this year! I watched Carry On Matron with my mum, and then after a family Christmas dinner we played charades before splaying out in front of Toy Story 3!

I got a couple of presents, including a cute little glue gun which will be so perfect for crafting, and a new camera! Finally I can stop taking all my pictures on my phone for meetups and events!

What did you get up to this Christmas? 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Coat Review: Btssb's Teddy Ribbon

My search for a new lolita coat proved to be a lot more dramatic than I was anticipating. I stalked the comm_sales for weeks and looked on every lolita website I could think of, and I still couldn't find anything that I both liked, and thought would actually keep me warm.

I finally got a break mid October, when a gorgeous pink coat came up on the comm_sales-- the Teddy Ribbon Coat by Baby, the Stars Shine Bright! Yes!!!

I really wanted something that was sweet but not over the top, and didn't have white faux fur all over it like a lot of sweet lolita coats I've seen. To me, this coat looked adorable and yet fairly simple and understated.

When it arrived it was just as gorgeous as I hoped it would be!

It actually has two pockets, behind the ribbons on the sides! It is heavy and has kept me warm in 3 degrees Celsius weather! I'm sure it could handle freezing temperatures though without too much layering.

The coat is really soft and lovely to the touch, and is heavy. It's really well constructed.

I love the asymmetrical collar! It buttons in place with a little plastic popper. The lace is thick and sturdy.

The ribbons themselves are so gorgeous! They have a checkered texture and are thick and high quality. The ones by the pockets are not detachable but the one of the back is (and I have detached it because it didn't really serve any purpose and I was worried it would get lost hahaha!)

Another thing I'm really fond of is the secret plastic poppers! Despite the fact the coat's buttons stop halfway, you can still seal the coat from flapping open with these hidden buttons. Pretty nifty stuff.

And here's a photo of me decidedly not making use of the nifty buttons! Unfortunately my legs aren't in the picture but the length of the coat is amazing. I'm 5'6" but it hits nearly below my knees and covers the entirety of my dress/skirt. Brilliant!

What has your experience been like with finding the perfect lolita winter coat? 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Book Review: Fashioning Japanese Subcultures

After seeing a post on egl about a book about Japanese subcultures, I knew I had to buy it.

Generally speaking, books on this subject haven't been too great. They've been picture-heavy (often with incorrect pictures to represent certain styles) and devoid of information.

Fashioning Japanese Subcultures by Yuniya Kawamura is very different. It is almost entirely text, with in-depth analyses of various subcultures such as lolita, gyaru and mori girl. Instead of simply describing what these styles consist of, Kawamura has delved into the communities of these cultures (taking a Japanese insider perspective which can often clash with those of western followers of these fashions and subcultures) and has quoted many people for their personal opinions.

The book is very well referenced, suggesting Kawamura spent an awful lot of time and effort on her research.

What I found particularly interesting was the first section of the book, which handles an investigation into the economic climate of Japan, shedding light on the mindset of the people. Kawamura then makes connections between how the changing and increasingly bleak Japanese economy has impacted the way people view their lives, and caused the development of subcultures.

Those interested in the fashion industry as a whole will enjoy the chapter on the deprofessionalisation of fashion. It makes note of some obvious things I never really paid attention to-- how it is young people in these subcultures creating the fashions and making the rules, rather than waiting for high fashion brands to tell them what to wear.

Where the book falls down is its inclusion of photographs. There are a handful of colour plates shoved in the middle of the book that really don't need to be there, with one being a repeat of the book cover, and others being poor quality, cheap digicam pics that add nothing to the book whatsoever. If photos were to be included, they should have been carefully chosen and integrated with their appropriate chapters to make the book more cohesive, and add a visual appeal which is definitely lacking. This is not a book you can flip through to gaze at the pictures, but first and foremost an academic research book.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in Japanese subcultures, or who considers themselves part of them already. Yes, there are moments where the commentary is a little vague or downright incorrect, but I have not been able to find anything else out there that comes close to what Kawamura is giving us here. Plus, the cover is pretty damn cute.

I rate this book with 4 hearts out of 5!


Monday, 23 September 2013

Autumn is here!

Hey everyone! It's been a few weeks since I last posted. I was pretty bogged down with getting uni assignments finished in time for the end of term so I didn't have a lot of time (or inspiration) for a blog post.

I'm still feeling pretty uninspired so I thought I'd do a quick post of random little things that have happened.

For starters, I turned twenty! I feel proper old! Well, not really. It's just a little weird not being a teenager any more but I guess I'm ok with it. I had a pretty understated birthday celebration at home with my parents.

Despite my leaving teenagerdom behind, I got the most adorable owl cake!

You can see where I placed the candles before changing my mind. The cake was from Tesco, surprisingly. I never expected to find something so cute there!

Another significant life event is that my laptop died. The hard disk drive was clearly on its way out so I rescued all my data and bought a new laptop-- an Asus X75V. I really love it! I feel kinda sorry for my old Dell Inspiron. It had a complete and utter freakout, making bizarre melodic beeping noises with the screen flashing in rainbow colours! I wouldn't recommend those laptops to anybody. That's the second one I've gotten through in the space of three years.

Next up is a recent coord with one of the handmade skirts I bought at Frock On.

My mum reckons the fully elasticated waist band is unflattering but I love this skirt regardless! Perfect for bittersweet lolita and super comfortable!

In other news, I bought my first tarot deck last week! I decided to go for the Crystal Visions deck because I was incredibly drawn to the rich, feminine artwork. It arrived on Saturday in time for Mabon/ Autumn Equinox and I've been practising ever since.

Don't they look beautiful? I really enjoy the whole process of doing different spreads and interpreting the meanings of the cards. It's very calming.

I've been pretty pleased about the weather lately. It would be nice if it were a bit sunnier, but I've enjoyed the cooler temperatures. It has made me feel as if I need a new coat, though. The only lolita-specific coat I own is black, so it would be nice to have one in pink or even white but I haven't seen any that I like or think are worth the price lately. The other thing I've been eyeing up lately are bonnets! I think I'll take the plunge and see if they suit me or not.

That's about all that's been going on with me lately! I have a lolita meet to look forward to on Saturday so I need to prepare my coord for that!

Thanks for reading, and see you next time 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Frock On!

On Saturday 31st August, I attended a huge meetup hosted by the Tea Party Club called Frock On! It was billed as an array of brands, designers, fashion shows and stalls, and it definitely did not disappoint on that front!

I woke up at 6:30 am so I could have a shower, and get my hair, makeup and outfit sorted out in time to catch the 8:00 am bus. Somehow I made it in good time, and was soon on my way to Milton Keynes. From there I got the fast Virgin train to London Euston. In London, because the Northern line was down, I had to take the Victoria line down to Oxford Circus, and change for the Bakerloo line to Embankment.

I made it to the event early, and there was already a crowd of frilly girls stood in the entrance lobby. Just from this area I could tell the hotel was going to be beautiful.
 Most of my photos came out super blurry but at least that comes in handy here-- no need to obscure any faces!

As I walked up the staircase I felt like I was at Hogwarts! I half expected the people in the paintings to move...

There was a huge room devoted to the stalls of the various brands selling their wares that day. People were really excited by Dreamy Bows, who were supplying Angelic Pretty merchandise. I was excited to see the wares of indie brands in person.

Before getting carried away, I decided to head to the bring and buy room to set up my own wares. I'd brought 18 handmade hair bows with me, in 6 different colours, and also a pink Bodyline blouse. Whilst there, I bumped into a lolita called Aggie, who was selling her secondhand clothes at ridiculously reasonable prices. In the end, I walked away with three beautiful skirts, handmade by her, for only £25! I had honestly thought I wouldn't be able to afford anything substantial at this event, and then that happened!

Back in the other room, I ended up buying a flower headdress from Wise Wolf clothing.

I made sure to go to both of the fashion shows, where two of my friends, Luna and Sammi, would be modelling. I am really not a fan of fashion shows but this was ok because it was lolita clothing! I think my friends did an excellent job, especially due to fellow Ox Loli Michelle trying to put them off by pulling faces at them as they walked down!

The final item I bought was a mouse mat from Haenuli.

It doesn't really sound as if a lot happened that day but somehow that really did take up a whole day. I made sure to keep eating and drinking regularly, but I still managed to get a headache from my hair extensions. Still, it was worth it! I loved my coordinate! Usually I look back and feel kinda disappointed because I looked plain once again. But this time, I think I nailed it.

One of my favourite parts of the day was visiting the toilets and being greeted with this gorgeous dressing area, actual towels by the sinks, and general excellence. We spent a lot of time taking pictures in here.

Here's my coordinate for the event:

Outfit Rundown:
Hair accessories: Handmade by me (Sugar Trampoline)
Blouse: Primark
Jumperskirt: St. Mephisto Cathedrale by Alice and the Pirates
Tights: H&M
Shoes: Hush Puppies

At the end of the day we watched specially prepared videos, and there was a raffle! I didn't get the big coveted prizes but I still won something! It was a haircomb by Cloudberry Lady, the colour of which matched my jumperskirt really well. I was so excited when my number got called! Straight after me, Luna won a prize. Ox Lolis represent XD

So, that was my experience of Frock On! Believe it or not, that was the abridged version haha!

Thanks for reading! 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Chair Revamp Project

When I moved into my maisonette, the previous owner left behind a few bits and pieces of random furniture, including this gold chair.
Well, I thought it had potential! It's very comfortable to sit in, and the design seemed pretty cute. I just wasn't crazy about the fabric seat and the overpowering gold tones.

And so, with my dad's help, I set about transforming it! He spray painted it, we went to Dunelm Mill (why did nobody tell me about this amazing shop before? They sell just about everything!) and bought pleather from the haberdashery, and a cute cushion. The next part consisted of stapling the right amount of pleather over the seat. And well...that's about it! A very simple project.

Here's the finished result:

Pretty cute, huh? I'm really into pastel interior design at the moment, so this is perfect for me. The cushion from Dunelm Mill was only £2.49, and it's super puffy and comes with straps for you to secure to chairs. What a bargain!

That's about all I have to share with you today. Tomorrow is Frock On! and I'm super excited, though very anxious! I have a lot of things to bring with me (things for the "bring and buy" sale, food, umbrella, miscellaneous useful stuff, a book for the journey...) so I think I'll just bring a small suitcase! This really is one of those occasions where those shopping trolleys that you tend to see old people wheeling around would come in handy.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and hopefully I'll have some fabulous photos to share with you all from the event next time I post! 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

H&M Makeup Bag

I'm sure most people will have seen it by now, but there's this super cute bag in H&M at the moment!

It's of the same sort of style you find on lolita handbags, with a big bow on the front and cute scalloped edges. Anyway, it was being sold at a sale price in my local H&M for only £2 so I decided to get one finally after seeing it in there for months.

It's adorable, isn't it?! It would have been awesome if it had straps so you could use it as a shoulder bag, though of course it wouldn't be hard to attach some of your own. It's really roomy, about 25x19 cm, and could be used as a toiletries bag if you're staying somewhere overnight.

It also came in a white/greyish colour combo, but I didn't see any of that colourway left while I was in H&M.

I thought I would share this with you as I personally love seeing loliable high street finds!

Thanks for looking, and feel free to share any recent finds of your own in the comments 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

My online shop and next month's big event!

Bonjour tout le monde! I haven't really had a chance to blog in the last couple of weeks because I have been super busy. It's my summer term at university already (I get less holidays than most students because I'm doing my degree in two years as opposed to three) and I have more modules to be getting on with, including a side order of French! Anyway, I thought I would share with you the goings on of the last fortnight or so.

After having decided that I really did want to open an online hair accessory shop, I got busy buying materials and packaging, buying a font license so I could make a header and generally doing the million and one things that seem to be necessary when you start a small business. 

The name of my brand? Sugar Trampoline.

I actually named it after the lyrics in one of my favourite songs, as there was something about it I found clever and likeable. Plus, it seems to go with the sugary, fun aesthetic I'm going for.

Will it be successful? I really don't know. I am aware that as far as selling products or getting various opportunities goes, a degree of internet fame is important, and something I certainly don't have! Hopefully, the products will speak for themselves.

At this point in time, I've got a batch of simple, ribbon hair bows, and I'm adding more to it each day. I'm also working on making other products, so there's a range of things for people to choose from. 

In the meantime, it would mean a lot to me if you would like my Facebook page. I hope to have everything going within the next month or so, and people's support is very much appreciated!

* * *
In other news, I'm going to Frock On! 

I could not be more excited to be going to a lolita convention! I actually missed my chance to grab a ticket initially. The event completely sold out and it seemed like there was absolutely no way I'd be going. And then one day, on the Facebook event page, someone was selling theirs! Usually when this happens, a flood of people dive in before you can even finish writing a coherent comment of interest. This time, however, it was like nobody had even noticed this post at all. A few messages, a Paypal transaction, and a several days later, I had my ticket! And not just any old ticket, but a VIP Entry ticket! This means I'll be allowed early entry, get the best seating, and even get a goody bag! I'm so thrilled.

I've been trying to come up with the perfect coordinate for the day, something classic. It's a style I do not normally wear, so I'm anxious as to how well I'll be able to pull it off. 

Well, that's about all I have to say for the time being. I have an irritatingly large amount of homework to do, and many more accessories to make. Until next time, au revoir! 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

A sunny Alice Day and a trip to Ikea

Hey everyone! Last Saturday I went to a really great meetup in Oxford, where we celebrated the city's annual Alice Day!

Of course, the theme was Alice in Wonderland, so I made sure to wear my Bodyline Alice print skirt, and an Alice themed necklace I got from a 50s style shop.

There's a spoon, slice of cake, key, mad hatter cameo, egg sandwich and teapot!

It was very hot that day, around 25 Celsius, and the train I took didn't have air conditioning. It was an unfortunate journey to say the least!

All the fun I had when I got there made up for it, though. Here's the entirety of my coordinate:
I wore my new Anna House blouse, and a hairbow I made myself.

Everyone looked really fabulous that day! Here's a group picture:
The Oxfordshire lolita group merged with the Bristol lolitas for the day so I got to meet some new faces! Overall, it was a really fab day, and I can't wait for the next meetup.

On Thursday I took a trip to Southampton to meet up with my partner. We made our usual trip to Ikea, and I managed to get an outfit shot in one of the mirrors!
I decided to pair my macaron skirt with a waistcoat and I think the coordinate turned out pretty well. I wore a simple puff sleeved t-shirt, and another hair bow handmade by me. I'm hoping to launch an online hair accessory shop in the next few weeks so watch this space!

I hope everyone has been enjoying the hot weather (I've personally been hiding indoors!)
See you next time 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Anna House Review: Blouse 016-1347 in Black and White

Hey everyone! I recently made an order with Anna House for the very first time.

I really needed a new black, short-sleeved blouse (I was very unimpressed with a certain Bodyline one that people rave about. The material was so...plasticy), and I've never owned a short-sleeved white blouse so Anna House seemed like the perfect place to buy them. Their prices are very affordable, and their quality seemed far superior to the Bodyline equivalent, and yet were the same price. Onto the review...
I ordered on Friday 14th June, and my package arrived on Friday 21st June! I didn't get charged a customs fee because Anna House marked the package as a gift, and of $20 value.

I opened the package (a sturdy cardboard box, with the blouses inside wrapped with bubble wrap and plastic packaging) and was greeted with two lovely blouses.

This is the white blouse (obviously...) It has a really flattering shape to it, nipping in at the waist and flaring back out at the hips. It's a great length, so you won't need to worry about your blouse riding up or your tummy being visible.

The lace details on the collar are beautiful. It is detailed but not excessive.

The puff sleeves have lots of stretch to them so they will be comfortable on a range of arm sizes. The lace used is soft, and doesn't irritate the skin.

The buttons are like little roses-- so cute! You can see the soft cotton lace better here.

The black blouse is exactly the same.
The blouse is a true black, but it's quite hard to photograph and still capture the details.

Again, very pretty lace details at the collar, adorable buttons, and soft lace on the body of the blouse.

I'm really impressed with Anna House. These blouses cost just $41 each! Very good value for money, and I highly recommend them.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Bodyline Review: Jacket L502 and Cutsew L146

Hey everyone! I managed to survive my end-of-term exams, and I'm currently on my summer holidays so I can get back to blogging again!

This week, after waiting around for my package which was apparently stuck at the Langley HWDC, and paying a customs fee (grrr...) I finally received it! I only got two items this time.

First off, the black jacket.
I love this! It's much better quality than I'd been expecting. The fabric has a nice soft, yet very sturdy and with a smooth feel to it, plus the small amount of lace trim used is thick cotton. I normally buy Bodyline items in size M but I opted for 2L with this one, so that if I wanted to wear layers underneath I could. 

The buttons have a fabric layer to blend into the rest of the jacket, and there are two bows going up the front to add a little extra cuteness. The back of the jacket also has one of these bows.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this jacket! I think the blazer style is really flattering, and adds a classy touch to any outfit.

Next up, the pink cutsew.
I thought the cutsew was cute at a first glance until I began to pick up on a couple of details that bothered me.

What is going on with the random cream lace? It doesn't go with any of the other white lace, and ends up making the cutsew look like it's dirty. The lace along the collar seemed pretty unnecessary to me, too. I decided to do away with both of these dodgy details.

Much better, don't you think? It was all a bit too much for me before, but I find it to be more wearable this way. The fabric feels super soft, and it's nice and loose on me (I went for size 2L on this item, too, so I would have lots of breathing space if I wanted to wear it on a really hot day).

The sleeves have just the right amount of puff, and cute pintuck details. There's a little bow on each sleeve, same as the ones used around the collar and they're very well made. I found the fit just right for me with a max arm circumference of 27cm, but if you have bigger arms, you will not fit this cutsew. The sleeves have no give whatsoever.

I'm looking forward to wearing this cutsew, paired with a skirt on a hot summer's day.

Thanks for looking! 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Metamorphose Vintage Poodle JSK review

I recently purchased a jumperskirt on egl_comm_sales. I'd never bought anything by Metamorphose before as their prints had rarely appealed to me. I have always fawned over Angelic Pretty's many marvelous releases, and occasionally checked on Alice and the Pirates as the style of their dresses is interesting to me. But recently, I was browsing Hellolace and finding a few dresses by Meta that I really liked! Anyway, when I saw the Vintage Poodle Tiered jumperskirt in pink I fell in love with it.

My dress was shipped to me super quickly (just three days from Germany to England) and when I opened my package, it looked even lovelier than it had in the seller's photo!

This dress is super versatile. The collar is detachable for a more toned-down look, and so is the belt. 

The collar has super pretty embroidery of the brand name on it. 

The collar detaches by a series of buttons on the underside of the bodice. The shoulder straps are also attached by a button. I'm not sure if this is so you can cross the straps over at the back, or to give you the option of adding more button holes to adjust the length of the straps. In the end, I added some stitching to the straps so that the buttons would receive less stress from the weight of the dress.

The jumperskirt has soft, pink lining and a built in petticoat. The dress actually has a fair amount of volume without adding your own petticoat.

So far I think it looks nicest coordinated with white. I added my new wristcuffs to a simple white cardigan to see how it all looked together and I liked it. I think I'll try to make a complete outfit incorporating these things.

I love this dress! It has a really nice retro/50s vibe, and has lots of options for how you can wear it.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Bodyline Review: Wristcuffs ACC1031, Bolero L062 and Bloomers PAN031

Today, my newest Bodyline order arrived! I used AIR shipping and it only took 11 days so I'm pretty pleased. Plus, I didn't get charged a customs fee! I feel very lucky as they seem to be hitting people right, left and centre at the moment.

I decided to get a few wardrobe staples I was lacking.

First off, the wristcuffs! They're the first pair I've bought because I always found the brand and indie ones far too expensive for what they were. I didn't even know Bodyline did wristcuffs until I saw a review of them on my friend's blog.
I love them!

They are quite big and OTT with pearled ribbons, a row of lace at the wrist, and two more flaring out beneath. They look really great over the cuffs of a plain white cardigan, and are very comfortable to wear without.

Next I got a black bolero. The one I already had was regular cardigan length, which can be a bit awkward seeing as lolita skirts sit at the waist.
The fabric is soft and feels neither too thin nor too thick, quite similar to strong t-shirt/cutsew material.

I didn't expect to like the lace but it's very soft and quite cute. The ruffles everywhere are also a nice touch.

I finally got myself a pair of bloomers! I've been putting it off for so long!
Again, the fabric is lovely and soft, and the eyelet lace is wonderful.

There are a few rows of lace at the back, giving you a "rufflebutt" and adding the teeniest amount of volume to your skirt.The bloomers sit at my hips, and they reach about halfway down my thighs which I find to be a perfect length (I'm 5ft 6 for reference).

And, that's it! I'm very pleased with my order  

[Update 12/5/16: That bolero is still going strong and remains an important wardrobe staple, but those bloomers... ugh. They are very short and ride up when you wear them, with the leg elastic being so loose with barely any stretch that they don't really have a purpose, which naturally allows a lot of wedgies to occur. The fabric is 100% cotton, however it is untreated, and makes a crunchy sound when you move. For these reasons, I wouldn't recommend these bloomers! I make my own now, and they are so much better! If you are interested check out my shop!