Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Time!

Hey everyone! Things have been surprisingly hectic since my last post, but I really wanted to make sure I got in at least one more before the New Year.

Christmas was surprisingly positive this year. Last weekend I met up with my friends for a pre-Christmas get together which consisted of eating a lot of unhealthy food and being silly whilst watching various funny videos on Youtube! At one point, we did a present swap which I'll come back to later! We all went for simple cosy outfits, perfect for lounging about.
Luna looked lovely in what is actually a Primark dress! It works so well for a casual classic outfit! Sammi looked darling in her Angelic Pretty OP. I love the Coat of Arms print, and am tempted to try finding it myself!

Following on from Saturday, I was in a mad rush to finish my Christmas shopping in time. I always leave it until the last minute because I never know what to buy for my family (and they really don't help with their constant refrain of "um... I dunno"!) Still, motivate myself I did, and I got things sorted out in the end, with everything safely under the tree by Christmas Eve. This was the day I got the new Gothic & Lolita Bible in the post, and guess what? I'm in it!
Typically, they got our names the wrong way round, but oh well! We had been fretting over whether or not they would use our photo as we remembered feeling very squashed up and inelegant as it was being taken at Revelry in September. I'm so pleased they decided to use it in the end! This was my first time buying the Japanese GLB and I'm glad I did. I got some major inspiration from the street snaps and I might do a review on the issue in case anyone's interested!

Christmas Day turned out to be sunny and pleasant, and I decided to wear Meta's Sweet Cherry.

I'm wearing the OTKs that came with my Princess Wardrobe Dress Set. I needed to wear a suspender belt to hold them up! Do brand socks stay up on anyone?! If they do, I suspect these people are a lot shorter than me!

My favourite gift was a Husqvarna Huskylock S15 Overlocker, courtesy of my parents! I am so excited to finally be able to overlock/serge seams properly (I lead a thrilling life...) and this machine does just what I need it to do, whilst being very easy to use. Such a wonderful gift! I also got some lolita friendly items.

I ended up with so much legwear! Love it! My collection was always rather lacking as I generally stick to plain (read: boring) tights because I have a bit of a fear of OTK socks. They never stay up on me! I've just ordered a new suspender belt which will hopefully have long enough straps to sort this situation out once and for all! I was majorly impressed by the scarf, which was made by my friend Sammi. I'm going to keep pestering her until she opens a shop with all her fabulous creations!

I spent Boxing Day chilling out as it was one of those rare occasions when I had the house to myself all day. I also got to grips with my overlocker after an hour of trial and error. 

Today, I went out to buy some fabric for the bloomers I plan on stocking in my shop, and spent the evening doing some sewing. A productive day! Here's a preview of the type of bloomers I'm working on.
Simple and comfy! What more can you ask for?! I made that pair for myself and they are now my favourite bloomers to wear. If I like them that much, hopefully there will be other people out there who will, too! Fingers crossed! 

So, that was my Christmas! I suppose the next important event will be New Year, but I never celebrate that as such. I might make some resolutions, though.

I hope you enjoyed this post, even though it probably seemed rather fragmented and random! What did you all get up to over this past week or so? I'd love to hear about it! 

See you next time  

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Lolita Level Up Revisited!

Recently while browsing my blog list I saw that Miuko over at Puppenschloss had completed the Lolita Level Up meme! I remember when everyone used to post about this, and I actually managed to find it saved on my hard drive, dated 21st June 2010! I had only just started to wear the fashion then (or whatever I seemed to think the fashion was haha!) and my level was "Resplendent Rufflebutt"! Let's see how far I've come since then! All the things that apply to me are in bold.


You've been to egl.
You've posted on egl, without an onslaught of 'USE THE MEMORIES' and likewise.
You've bought a lolita mook.
You've picked a favorite brand.
You've ordered your first item.
You've worn a full outfit.
You've worn a full outfit out in public.
You've worn a full outfit and posted photos of it on the Internet.
You know what JSK, OP, and cutsew all mean.
You've bought your first brand piece.
You know your measurements.
You know your shoe size - in American, European, and Japanese.
You know who Mr. Yan is.
You know who Mana is. (+1 points if you know his band. +2 points if you know his brand. +3 points if you know why he's featured in every GLB. +4 if you have a shrine to him in your closet.)
You know who Maki and Asuka are. (+2 if you've met Maki and Asuka)
You've watched Kamikaze Girls. (+1 if you know the real name of this movie. +2 if you know who wrote the book this was based on. +3 if you've also read the manga or novel. +4 if you love the author despite his criminal record).
You own a wig. (+1 if you own more than 2.)
You own a pair of falls. 
You can identify lace on the spot.
You can identify an item's brand on the spot.
You can identify the year a dress was made by a specific brand on the spot.
You can name several different dresses or prints.
You answer stock photo requests.
You mod a lolita community.
You decorate your nails. (+1 if you wear fake nails. +2 if you make fake nails.)
You own a pair of a rocking horse shoes. (+1 if you know their abbreviation.)
You've made your own rose corsage.
You've made anything out of your brand dress's waist ties.
You've made anything out of a matching eco tote. (+3 if you were the first one to do it, you think).
You know how to apply false eyelashes.
You know how to pronounce shirring.
You know how to pronounce Moi-meme-moitie, or Metamorphose tempes de fille.
You know a reliable shopping service.
You bid on Yahoo!Japan or Mbok.
You've been to a meetup.
You've planned a meetup.

You've planned a meetup with catering or more than 20 attendees.
You've met up with lolitas while on vacation to foreign or faraway locales.
You've seen a lolita fashion show.
You've seen a brand fashion show.
You've modelled in a lolita fashion show.
You've modelled in a brand lolita fashion show.
You wear bloomers.
You know how to make bloomers.
You tell other people to wear bloomers.

You draw lolita art, write a lolita blog, or provide the community with some sort of creative services.
You've taken purikura in lolita.

You've decorated your room/house/apartment in lolita style.
You've listened to lolita music.
You've learned kana.
You've learned enough Japanese to read a magazine.
You wear or own circle lenses.
You've been called a princess by a young child.
You've dressed up a friend.
You've convert a friend.
You've been in media (television, newspaper, magazine). (+2 points if it's Japanese media.)
You've learned a handicraft, like jewellery making, embroidery, or sewing.
You've become a lolita mentor.
You've attended lolita events at an anime or multi-genre convention.
You’ve organized or presented lolita events at a convention.
You've visited a brand shop.
You've taken a trip to Japan!
You've dressed up and gone out alone.
You're prepared for inclement or colder weather in lolita (coat, parasol, boots, gloves, other climate-specific items.)
You've learned face contouring.
You've made a lolita valentine.
You've got a lolita pen pal or online lolita friends.
You have local lolita friends.
You know how to modify clothes that don't fit you.
You know how to dress for your body type.

You've been in a street snap.
You've been to multiple world locations of the same brand store (BABY Paris, BABY Tokyo, BABY San Francisco, etc.)
You've created a makeup/hair/sewing tutorial.
You've sold hand-created lolita goods.
You have your own lolita fashion line.

You've gotten a lolita haircut, style, or color.
You've mixed other street fashions with lolita.
You've thrown a lolita party/had a lolita wedding.
You've dressed your child/small children in lolita or kodona style.
You've successfully cross-dressed in lolita style at least once (boystyle for girls and girls' clothing for guys).
You've lolified or made sure all the contents of your purse are cute (wallet, lipgloss, keyring, etc.)
You have a lolita pet (small dogs, cats, rabbits, exotic birds, fancy fish) or have dressed/accessorized your pet (bows or pet clothes).
You've dressed your significant other or dated someone who dresses in J-fashion/alternative fashion.
You've read Alice in Wonderland. (+1 if you've seen the animated movie or other variations, +2 if you've seen more than one variation, +3 if you own more than one variation)
You've dressed as Alice or another Wonderland character in lolita style, or own Alice themed items.
You've made something from a Japanese pattern.
You've found, bought, or made lolita underwear (bras and panties).
You wear lolita daily, or have gone 7 days straight wearing only lolita.
You have lolita calling cards or business cards.
You play a lolita instrument (i.e., piano, violin, harp, French horn... well any instrument really.)
You can translate yen to your country's currency in your head. (+1 if you can convert other currencies you shop with as well. +2 if you read the news to know how the yen is doing.)
You've sold lolita clothing online (secondhand, egl_comm_sales).
Your article or entry has been put into the egl memories.
You take photos of your outfits/daily outfit photos.
You’ve posted to daily_lolita.
You own a petticoat. (+1 if you own more than one. +2 if you wear three or more at a time).
You’ve bought a lucky pack.
You keep a style diary or look-book.
You can put together an outfit made entirely from offbrand.
You’ve bought offbrand or non-Japanese brand.


Adorable Admirer (lvls 1 - 20) You've started studying or liking lolita but haven't taken that leap of faith yet. Good luck!
Resplendant Rufflebutt (lvls 21 - 40) At home within the land of the rufflebutts and spilling frills from every edge.
Victorian Maiden (lvls 41 - 60) A classy lolita of taste and experience, who knows her way around the lolita social set.
Starry Celebrity (lvls 61 - 80) On page six of the lolita world, you've risen to the ring of the upper crust.
Pretty Princess (lvls 81 - 100) Lolita royalty, truly versed in the ways of the lacey ones, the lolita princesses have achieved a special level of enlightenment.
Ultimate Lolita (Boss Fight!) (lvls 100+) Wow, you've gotten over 100 levels? You're the ultimate lolita with unlimited hitpoints. That's actually a little scary...

Well, if I've counted correctly, I have 82 points, making me a "Pretty Princess"! My aim now is to become the "Ultimate Lolita" and finally be able to say I made it to the boss fight!

I hope you enjoyed this silly little post! Does anyone else remember taking this quiz? I'd love to know your results if you decide to do it as well! Thanks for looking, and see you next time 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

10 000+ Blog Views, 34 Followers, and a Few Life Updates!

Hey everyone! Just a quick little post this time.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who checks out my blog because it has now surpassed 10 000 views! I also have 34 followers... it's not a lot but honestly, it makes me so happy that anyone at all is enjoying this blog! I appreciate every single comment, and I'm so grateful to have you guys follow me!

Updates wise... I have had very little time for blogging as I'm at the crucial stage of being a mere two weeks away from finishing my degree. It honestly can't come soon enough! I'm a bit sick of mentioning it now, and I'll be glad when it's nothing more than a distant memory. It has eaten up the majority of my free time, caused me immense stress, and been ultimately unrewarding. Still, I figured out what I actually want to do with my life instead, so I guess I gained that from it. 

I can't wait to be able to have time to create more blog posts, but more importantly work on my indie brand. It's in its baby stage still, but I remain hopeful I can really make something out of it if I work hard enough. 

My most recent achievement is getting a domain name and web host, and creating a little website for my indie brand! It's not super amazing and flashy, but considering I was using trial and error alone (let's face it-- I'm no web designer!) I am pleased with how it turned out. 

I find November to be a very challenging month. It's constantly dark, it gets super cold, and there's the added stress of figuring out what to get family members for Christmas. I can't help but get depressed every time this month comes around. This time, I've been doing my best to fight the blues by thinking ahead to more positive things on the horizon. Soon I'll be deciding how to approach the next stage of my life. It's both scary and exciting at the same time. I have been in education since I was four years old. What is on the other side?! Well, it's time to find out!

A recent casual uni coord featuring a handmade-by-me hair bow and collar! The skirt was a handmade find from the TPC event, Frock On. 

Thanks again to my lovely little group of followers, and I hope you will continue to stick around! 

Monday, 3 November 2014

A Beautiful Autumn Day

Hey everyone! I thought I'd do a small update about a nice day I had recently.

So, Friday 31st October was Samhain/Halloween. I didn't have any specific plans for that day (the Halloween-themed lolita meet wouldn't be until Saturday) and I didn't even get round to decorating my house. This didn't matter so much, however, and I ended up having a truly magical day anyway.

My partner, who I'm in a long distance relationship with, was spending the weekend with me so when we got up on Friday morning and found that the weather was warm and sunny, we knew we had to make the most of the day! I had just received a lunchbox I ordered from Amazon so it only seemed sensible for us to go on a picnic!

We didn't pack anything too interesting... just ham wraps, yoghurt, cookies and pains au chocolat... but it was fun preparing it anyway!

We went to a local park, and admired the autumnal scenery and watched a mother pushing their child on the swings. Only a few people were around and it was very peaceful.

After we were done eating, I decided I wanted to get an outfit picture while the weather was so nice. It was actually my partner who spotted the perfect backdrop, in front of a tree whose leaves were an array of vivid colours which somehow matched my outfit very well!

Gorgeous photography, don't you think? I could never have done this with my usual self timer!
I wore a modified Miss Selfridge dress over a black top and Peacockalorum wristcuffs. The boots are by Red Herring. 

I think I enjoyed using that lunchbox a bit too much but I haven't had one since I was in primary school and they are infinitely useful! I really want to put stickers on it and everything!

After that, we decided to have a look around some local shops. I absolutely love exploring the small businesses because they always stock interesting items.

This shop in particular had such a dreamy atmosphere! There was a ground floor level, and then this large loft space of homewares. I was tempted by a patchwork quilt but it was old and fraying so I decided to put it back just in case I find something better elsewhere. I loved all the cute tins, pretty plates, and various ornaments.

By the end of our shopping trip I had somehow amassed a couple of unexpected finds.

A deluxe edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and a Time Turner! Very spooky that I was able to stumble across both in such a sleepy town. The book was found at Oxfam and the necklace was in a vintage/used homewares type of place. What a result!

That evening, we decided to watch a bit of Harry Potter, and had the yummiest fish cakes for dinner.

It was one of the best days of my life and I'm glad I got to spend it with my favourite person :3

What did you get up to on Halloween? I'd love to hear about your weekends in the comments! Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Metamorphose Vintage Cameo Jumperskirt Review (video!)

Hey everyone!

So recently, as well as getting a new pair of glasses (which incidentally I think complement lolita a lot better than my old ones. Success!) I got a new Meta jumperskirt! I ordered it on October 1st, and I finally got my hands on it on October 18th! The delay was due to Parcel Force not realising I had paid for my import fees. In the end, I had to go to the depot to enquire about my package. I was very fearful it had somehow been lost but all was well, and within a couple of minutes, a box was brought out to me!

I have never received a Meta order in a box before, so this had me somewhat intrigued. I soon found out the purpose of the box however, when the dress came on a hanger!

Anyway, to find out how I got on with it, please watch the unboxing video I made about it!

There are one or two things I completely forget to mention due to my excitement! I found that the dress fit me perfectly, and would thus not recommend it for anyone with a bigger bust than 90 cm. It was such a relief that it fit me as the measurement listed on the website was only 86 cm. This dress definitely isn't as accommodating as a lot of other Meta pieces.

The dress is lined with dark blue fabric, and there is no built in petticoat.

The cameos depict lots of different things-- upside down cat faces, "M"s in a fancy gothic font, crowns, angels, and cherubs. It's a surprisingly detailed print and looks very beautiful in person. Underneath the collar, at the neckline of the dress, is a gold braid trim which looks really pretty. The collar itself is rather fiddly, but I can deal with it for this wonderful jumperskirt.

Overall, I am so glad I took the plunge and got this dress! I love when Meta makes vintage inspired dresses, and I especially love collars like these so it was the perfect purchase for me.

A quick trying-on photo, so please excuse the (smudged!) mirror picture! I love how nicely this jumperskirt drapes. 

Now to find matching accessories for this tricky dark blue/green colour...

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the video! 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Hosting Meets and Being Considerate in your Local Lolita Community

I've hosted several lolita meetups in the past. Generally, I've found there are very few places for a big group of lolitas to go, and I always find it a shame there aren't cheaper crafting workshops, good venues, and other fun activity sessions which aren't in the middle of nowhere!

In an attempt to make up for this, I decided one day that every meet I hosted needed to include an activity of some sort, even if the only indoor place we could find to sit down and hang out in would be the restaurant we'd have our main meal in. Needless to say, I always work hard to come up with meetup ideas, and even if we struggle to find places to go, I do my best to make sure everyone is content. 

A recent unfortunate experience made me feel compelled to write this post. Without the security of lots of people I already knew, it was in fact a very dire experience. One point I would like to emphasise (and summarises this post quite well) before I go any further is that hosting a meetup is so much more than just booking a restaurant. With that said, on we go.

*   *   *

If you have no interest in the welfare of others, do everyone a favour and never host a meet. If you cannot be bothered to do anything more than choosing a restaurant, don't waste everybody's time. If you find tracking down guests who are meant to be there but have gotten lost to be too much effort and would rather start the meet without them, then I really wonder why you want to be part of a community in the first place.

These are all things I witnessed firsthand. In the past I have often felt as if I cared a bit too much about things, but maybe some people have to be like that to counteract the people who don't care about anything. I found myself taking over this meetup, in an attempt to make sure the lost person made it to the meet (luckily they were stalking their facebook frantically and I was able to message them from my phone), and to make sure we even got to the meetup destination, which the "host" didn't know the exact location of. I had looked it up on Google street view a few days earlier, and led the way, essentially making up for the fact they were in no way fulfilling the role they had taken upon themselves.

I suppose this all sounds rather like I enjoy "backseat driving" or taking over, but I don't. I don't like feeling responsible for other people's messes. I don't enjoy being around "hosts" who are content to allow people to travel to a meet they've put absolutely no effort into, and then not care if they even make it there or not. I wouldn't be surprised if the rest of the attendees (who were, incidentally, very new to lolita and meets in general) never came to a meetup again after such a disappointing, lacklustre experience. I've seen people write of their own bad experiences within their local communities online, in which they talk about their inability to form any real friendships with people as everyone is very cold with nothing in common with them. I wonder if they simply stumbled upon an unfortunate situation consisting of people with no real sense of consideration or genuine interest in others. 

I really do believe you can make real friends via lolita. I've done it myself, to the point that I don't really need to attend official lolita meetups any more as I have a solid group of friends I love. But this sort of thing is not going to happen for a lot of people unless as a whole, the lolita community redevelops its sense of being an actual community. Meetups are not for standing around with other lolitas for the novelty factor. Lolitas are real people, not props. Meetups are a social event, not just a photo op. The idea is to meet new people and to interact with them, in the hopes of making new friends-- something you will never do unless you care about others.

My point is, you need to care if you are going to host a meetup.

Here's a straightforward list of some meetup basics for both hosts and attendees to keep in mind:

  • Make a sensible meeting point. For every meet I've ever been to, we've used the train station as a gathering spot.
  • Come up with a meeting time and stick to it. Make it clear well in advance. 
  • If you realise on the day you can't attend, let someone know so that everyone else isn't stuck wondering if you're coming or not.
  • If you're eating out, book the restaurant so you are guaranteed a spot, and book a time that's late enough to account for any latecomers, and to get everyone to the restaurant from the meeting point.
  • Make sure the restaurant/meet caters to everybody's needs with regards to their diet, and physical accessibility i.e. vegan food, Halal meat, wheelchair access, etc.
  • Plan an activity. You could come up with one of your own to be done during the meal. Previously I've made silly lolita themed quizzes with a prize at the end. If the weather is good, have a picnic and play fun active games, though make sure they are accessible to everyone.
  • If someone needs help with something, help them! This might be as simple as showing them to the toilets, helping them carry something if they're struggling, or suggesting the best dishes on the restaurant menu. A little consideration goes a long way.
  • If you need to leave the group for whatever reason, explain where you're going and when you'll be back. 
  • Don't whinge.
  • If you have a serious physical or mental health problem which could arise during the meet, let someone else know beforehand so that if anything happens, it can be dealt with appropriately and efficiently. 
  • Make it clear when the meetup is over, preferably before energy levels have completely plummeted. 
  • Overall, be considerate!!!

Apologies for the ranty nature of this post. But I find lack of consideration for others appalling. Even if you are meeting for the very first time, I think you should still do your best to think of other people's feelings. Every friendship has to start somewhere, and if your first interaction with someone is a positive one, there's no doubt a friendship will have a chance to form.

Have you ever had any negative meetup experiences? Any other suggestions to add? Let me know in the comments and I will see you next time with a more positive post 

Monday, 13 October 2014

A Board Game Meetup!

On Saturday 4th October I got together with my friends to visit a café in Oxford called Thirsty Meeples. They stock a vast collection of board games which you can both buy or play over a tasty lunch. I'd never been to it before, but I loved the concept, and was happy to find it was a great place for a get-together.

Ok... so I only truly enjoyed one of the games we played ("Articulate!" has to be my favourite game ever. I was the winner when we played it!) but the atmosphere was great, and I was happy to be there on rainy day. The other tables seemed to be really enjoying themselves, too, including a group of people who aiming plastic guns at each other! I wish I'd found out what that game was called because it looked hilarious.

I only got a slice of carrot cake and a pot of Earl Grey, but both were amazing. I seem to have gotten into loose leaf tea lately! I must invest in a tea pot!

A card from one of the games we played, which was called Marrying Mr Darcy. This game nearly bored me to tears! It was based on Pride and Prejudice, and you had to follow the instructions on the cards with the aim of winning yourself a husband. The cards were pretty, and I think that's the only positive thing I have to say about it!

We also played Concept (a really bad, long-winded version of Articulate! that was very slow and ultimately boring). Cards Against Humanity happened, which I found to be an unnecessarily crude, naff game I might have enjoyed if I was twelve years old, wilfully ignorant, or very drunk. I literally don't understand why this game (if you can call it that) is so popular.

This seems to have turned into a scathing review of games rather than a meetup report-- time to get back on track!

After our three hour time slot was up, we found somewhere to take group photos. It was an unexpectedly cold day so we all look a bit chilly. I loved everyone's casual coordinates!

We ended our day in the pub. I was so hungry by this point that I ordered myself a nice main course of beef lasagne and chips.
The menu said that it was served with garlic bread. It did not specify how much, but somehow, I expected more than a single slice, haha! It didn't matter so much in the end because I was very full by the time I finally finished my side of chips.

To finish off with, here's a photo of my coordinate for the day.
Hair comb: Cloudberry Lady
Blouse: H&M
Jumperskirt: Princess Wardrobe by Metamorphose
Boots: Red Herring

Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoyed this post! See you next time 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A Weekend of Revelry!

On Friday I headed to the train station to meet up with Sammi, Luna and James. Our destination? London!

We stayed in the Premier Inn in Holborn (which I can tell you now was a really lovely hotel! I quite miss being there!) which was just a short walk away from the venue of the Tea Party Club's 7th Anniversary event, Revelry. 

We spent our first day in London visiting various shops on our itinerary, such as Treadwell's, an occult bookshop. We also checked out vintage shops but left feeling pretty disappointed by their selection of clothing. I was tempted by a jumper which was kinda terrible in a good way but I sensibly put it back!

The next morning, Sammi and I got up around quarter past seven and got ourselves some breakfast from the McDonald's which was very close to the hotel. It was pretty tranquil in there at this time, and we didn't need to rush ourselves. Back in our room, we did our makeup and got dressed in our coordinates for the event whilst watching TNA Wrestling! One wrestler named "Crazzy Steve" (no, that is not a typo) particularly amused us! His tactic seemed to be to irritate his opponent as much as possible. Very strange.

Here's Sammi's coordinate! She looked so beautiful, and I loved the fact she used her actual wedding veil!

Luna had already gone ahead as she had modelling rehearsals to do, so Sammi, James and I walked to the venue together to meet up with her there. There weren't nearly as many people there yet as I'd expected. We had to wait around for a little while as some last minute preparations were being made inside.

Once finally in the venue, we were greeted with event totes (black this time, which I really liked) and a handful of free items. Then we were able to explore. The first thing we did was check out the Bring and Buy room. It became cramped in there pretty quickly as the space was a bit awkward, but I was still able to browse the rails. I decided against a pink tartan dress, and we moved on to the main vendor's room. 

There were a lot of brands in attendance, mainly indies, with Meta, G.L.B, Syrup, and Grimoire towards the back of the room. Sammi was able to bag herself a Princess Wardrobe dress set from Meta, the exact one that I have so maybe we will twin in future!

Throughout the day, we were able to attend various attractions. One was a Q & A session with the Japanese guests. I actually found it quite interesting, and I love hearing about the creative process behind coming up with clothing and prints. I found it funny when someone asked about the possibility of there being an English Gothic and Lolita Bible. I guess people have forgotten/simply don't know that there used to be one! 

A very useful area we discovered during the day was a balcony which overlooked the main event room. We set our things down there with James to look after, but it also served as the perfect spot to take pictures from during the fashion show. Nobody's heads were in our way and we could see the models for the entire length of their catwalk.

I was so excited when Luna emerged in a beautiful lavender jumperskirt, and took photos like crazy to make sure I got at least one decent one of her. Sammi and I were like proud parents!

All of the models together! The girl in white looked particularly angelic in her old school coordinate.
I really loved the navy blue Grimoire dress but decided against buying it from Hitomi in the end as it looked too small for me. 

On returning to the bring and buy after the first time, I managed to snag myself a super old school Baby dress in black, with white lace! How wonderful! I've wanted to add more old school elements to my wardrobe for a while so I was pretty excited about this.

The next event to happen was a talk with the Gothic&Lolita&Punk no Kai founder. I missed this as I wasn't in the room when it started and couldn't find a way to get back in without interrupting or seeming rude. 

Throughout the day there was a treasure hunt and quiz, but we didn't bother committing to it as we were all over the place and too busy. It was fun seeing everyone else participate, though, and we kept seeing groups of people peering into corners for the scrabble piece clues.

Happenings of note: Luna and I got photographed by the G.L.B! I don't imagine they will use our photo, though, as we were squashed into a corner by someone else who refused to make space for us, so I'm sure we look flustered. Oh well-- it was nice that they wanted our photo at all!

 I was also able to get a photo with Chinatsu Taira, the Meta designer! Note our gold shoes, haha!

At the end of the event was a raffle as usual, in which I won a squidgy macaron phone charm which had been made by Sammi! I was pleased I'd inadvertently chosen one of her donations. After this was the obligatory group photo. It must have been third time lucky because I actually managed to be properly visible unlike at Frock On and Enchanted! Yay!

The next day, we decided to hit up Chinatown, and ended up doing purikura at the Photo Sticker Club.

I still have the weird music that was on a loop in my head: "mehmehmehmeh meh meh mehhhhhhhh!!!" It was my first time doing purikura and I had a lot of fun. I ended up wearing my new Baby dress so that I wouldn't have to attempt to pack my petticoat in my already bulging suitcase!

We made a trip to Japan Centre, where I was able to get myself some matcha biscuits. Soon after that, it was time to head home!

My only other purchase from the Saturday was this tote bag by Syrup. I thought the ribbon straps were adorable, as well as the cute cat! Plus I have a major thing for tote bags and have way more than any person should! I really liked that it came with a mook.

I had an absolutely amazing weekend. I have never holidayed in London before and it was a really positive experience, and I felt blessed to be able to share it with my best friends. I can't imagine any event will ever reach the highs of Frock On (which is my all time favourite so far) but Revelry was pretty good and I'm glad I went. I am really looking forward to whatever our next trip will be.

To finish off with, nice pictures of my coordinate for the day!
I went for Infanta's Snow White jumperskirt, an Anna House blouse, Bodyline wristcuffs, Baby bag, and Bodyline shoes. The ribbons and pearls clipped to my bodice are handmade, as is the feather headdress which I'm pretty proud of! 

If you managed to read until the end then you are awesome-- thank you very much! I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to see your comments. See you next time! 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

A Casual Tea Party Meetup!

Last Sunday I had a lovely day out in London with two friends, Wing and Reina, who I hadn't had a chance to have a proper catch up with in so long (literally years... I am terrible).

We decided to go to BB Bakery in Covent Garden. I had never been here before and had no idea what to expect. When I got inside I was really excited because they sold adorable desserts, and all the food and tea came served in the most amazing crockery.

I was rather in awe when all our orders were placed on the table!
Everything was so flowery and gorgeous! I have never been somewhere like this before and would really love to again. Somehow, eating and drinking from such special plates and cups made everything so much more magical.

The tea was loose leaf, and it tasted amazing. I don't normally drink tea or find it appealing, but I couldn't get enough of it here! 
For dessert, I decided to try their fruit tart as it looked most enticing, and I was not disappointed! Lovely rich raspberries and blueberries on top of yummy custard and a crumbly base... I was in heaven!

We had a cosy nook in the basement of the café to ourselves, so we were able to just sit comfortably for hours talking about anything and everything. We even refilled our tea pots and continued to drink very weak tea, but none of us minded. 
I dressed pretty casual for the occasion. I was happy with my coordinate, even if I always seem to wear Alice's Ribbon Kingdom! It really is my go-to jumperskirt.

After our meal (which was really reasonably priced due to a special lunchtime offer), we got someone in the café to take a group picture of us. They had a really great sense of humour and even took a selfie after obliging us with photos on all of our cameras!

The three of us! Wing wore JetJ, Reina went for Emily Temple Cute, and I wore Baby. 

We then decided to have a wander around Covent Garden, which I really enjoyed as I don't get to have a good tour of London very often (if ever). We went to Art Box, where I bought myself a cute pink chocolate bar pencil case, and a chocolate themed pen to match. 

Sadly, when we went to the purikura, the machine wasn't working, but I saw pictures of my friend Sammi on the front desk which was pretty unexpected!

We headed to Japan Centre and ended up crowding around a copy of Kera magazine, whilst a middle aged French couple bitched about us (yes you two, I did understand what you were saying!) There were some really lovely pictures in it but I simply couldn't justify the £10+ price after basically having experienced all there was to experience, seeing as I don't know any Japanese. Still, it was fun actually looking at a copy in the flesh!

Before we left, I got myself an apple and almond bread for the journey home, and soon, it was time to say goodbye!

I had a really amazing day and I can't wait to hang out with them again! 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

My 21st Birthday!

Last Saturday I turned 21. To celebrate, I decided to have a day out with my best friends.

And my hair was down for once! 

The four of us started off our day by heading to Ed's Easy Diner, which I'd never been to before. Their menu was mainly made up of different kinds of hot dogs and burgers. I decided to try a chilli dog.
Despite how it looks, it was very yummy! Next time I would like to have the pulled pork dog. I tried a little of Sammi's and it was delicious!

After our meal, we went about the shopping centre for a bit, stopping off at a bubble tea stand. I didn't bother getting one as bubble tea hasn't really been my thing thus far. After this, we went on a walk out of the town centre to a vintage shop called Frock and Roll. They have quite a good selection of clothes, though they are often in very small sizes. 

We ended up being more distracted by a random hobby horse in the end! The maturity being displayed here is astounding...

Sammi managed to find a pair of pretty white gloves, and Luna a pair of dusky pink ones. I left empty handed! I was hoping to find some cute pastel cardigans for pop kei purposes, but perhaps I'll have more luck later on in the year.

It was a nice sunny day so we decided to take some pictures by the river (thanks for being our photographer as ever, James!)
Luna and Sammi looked so cute and summery! 

As things got into the evening we decided to find a pub to retire to. We shared a meat platter which included "sliders" (which I had to google before we ordered because none of us had a clue what they were).
The food was underwhelming but I had gotten really hungry since Ed's all those hours ago, so I still ate it. I somehow managed to splatter barbecue sauce on both my blouse and my face! How am I 21?!

After a long, fun day together we said our farewells at the train station, and then I went home to do the usual birthday celebrations with my family. I couldn't be bothered to find 21 candles (plus I was sure something would get set alight...) so I settled with 12, which is of course 21 backwards so perfectly acceptable.

Wouldn't luck have it-- I really enjoyed my brother's birthday cake (his birthday was a couple of weeks before mine) but I didn't like the taste of mine at all! Oh well... visually, I am pleased with the one that was chosen for me. It definitely suited my lolita sensibilities, so I was content.

To finish off, I'll leave you with a more formal outfit picture!

Hair comb: Cloudberry Lady
Blouse: Primark
Jumperskirt: Alice and the Pirates' St. Mephisto Cathédrale
Shoes (which disintegrated over the course of the day, caused me foot pain, and destroyed my tights): An*tai*na

Overall, I had a really amazing day and I can't wait to spend time with my friends again! We're going on a mini holiday to London next week for the Tea Party Club anniversary event, Revelry. If you're going, come say hi to me!

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend, everyone! 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

My Thoughts on Novala Takemoto

To follow on from the musings of my previous post, I thought I would continue to do a bit more analysis as to why the idea of a lolita lifestyle has become something to edge away from. It's sad that I cannot claim to be a lifestyler without it sounding rather tongue in cheek, attention-seeking, and a bit strange. But given the image created by other self-confessed lifestylers over the years, I am really not surprised!

* * *

As I thought more and more about the topic, I found myself coming to the conclusion that one of the reasons why we have grown to avoid the lifestyle label is because of Novala Takemoto.

Now, there are some things I like about him. I appreciate his intent in dispelling the stereotype that a straight man cannot have a feminine side, or be understanding of femininity. He does, in fact, embrace it entirely, and there are many photos of him from Gothic & Lolita Bibles depicting him in cutesy outfits. 

However, a lot of his thoughts come across as being unrealistic, and downright disturbing.

Consider, for example, his piece entitled "I Don't Need Things Like Friends". I do not see this as a mindset shared by many, and for good reason. This essay centres around some sort of maiden complex, and is thus not built upon reality, but a romantic fantasy. Given that this essay is supposedly aimed at the young, lonely girls who would write to Takemoto regularly, I can't help but find it disconcerting. It is disappointing to see that this early figurehead for lolita fashion took a harmless, and relevant idea of there being a lifestyle which naturally accompanies the life of a lolita, and bastardised it into his own bizarre, potentially damaging construction.

The other week, I decided to purchase a copy of the Kamikaze Girls novel which I had never read, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. It is certainly more satisfying than the film, which I always found to be completely lacking in plot and purpose, despite how visually enticing it is.

Ichigo makes a speech towards the end, explaining to her biker gang the reason why she admired Momoko's friendless existence. She raises the point that people are intent on labelling their relationships with people to create a sense of security for themselves, for fear of being alone. After considering some of these opinions, I find them to be true in certain ways. I think many of us have been caught up in exhausting cliques at some point in our lives, where we were constantly being made to prove our loyalties. Momoko does not face this situation, as Ichigo does, because she is comfortable enough with herself to not need to prove herself to anyone, or sacrifice her own happiness for the sake of belonging to a larger unit. 

Despite this, I do not believe that promoting the idea that the ideal lolita lifestyle should be built upon loneliness, with only a "tv and potted plants" for friends, is a healthy one. To me, it's incredibly bleak, and it skips out what I consider to be one of the most enjoyable parts of being a lolita, and that is the social life you can build from it. I think it's important to impress upon not only young lolitas, but young people in general, that it's simply not worth erasing your personality or making yourself uncomfortable for the sake of being popular. Perhaps a better essay would have been "I don't need to be popular to lead a fulfilling life". I believe that would have made for a more wholesome, realistic read.

I think a danger lies in trying to depict members of the lolita subculture as being inherently different from members of society who stick to more mainstream things. Some people like to be seen as different, and have that "special snowflake" mentality about lolita fashion (which I find pretty ironic seeing as lolita has such a strong set of aesthetic rules from which we try not to deviate. Sorry, but this is not a "unique" person's fashion!), but most of us don't. Takemoto's writings paint lolita at large to be a movement centred around socially inept, cold individuals who pretend to be maidens, and that's really not the case. Is lolita not simply a passion in the same way sports, films, books, or model planes are for others? Why should any of these hobbies result in eccentric personalities?

I'm surprised that with the conclusion of Kamikaze Girls, in which Momoko finally appreciates all that friendship can bring, we don't see Takemoto stressing the importance of community, and how fulfilling it can be to have a special someone in our lives, even if we are not romantically involved with them. Instead, a common theme in his often eerie work (which you can find English translations of online with a bit of googling) seems to be fear of betrayal, with distancing yourself from others presented as a sensible long term solution.

I'm glad Takemoto was able to help with the process of spreading lolita fashion beyond Japan with Kamikaze Girls. But I do believe many of his writings to be questionable, forcing upon others an ideal that very few people within the lolita subculture would ever wholeheartedly share. Plus, I suppose I always find myself becoming wary of anyone who comments on something they have no experience in, or are not really a part of. 

Of course, he is clearly learned in the look of lolita, given the descriptions he was able to put together of Momoko's outfits throughout Kamikaze Girls. He has even done collaboration pieces with Baby, The Stars Shine Bright in the past. But from reading his work (and seeing his own bizarre outfits to be honest), I have gotten the impression he fell in love with this look, and in doing so, conjured up his own interpretation, his own "daydream carnival" of the mindset every lolita should have to go along with their clothes. I guess it's similar to the way in which some people are able to fall in love with the idea of love-- they love their own perceived, inaccurate musings which are based upon imagination, rather than true life experience.

It would be unfair of me to blame Takemoto completely for the current mentality towards wearing lolita clothing. Besides, I find myself really not wanting to. Somehow, I can't help but have an odd sense of admiration for someone so completely comfortable sharing these personal aspects of themselves (he claims Momoko is his alter ego) despite knowing they will be considered incredibly unusual. 

As discussed before, the current lolita climate has been affected by how accessible the fashion has become, people no longer getting into it via the lolita (and so, egl on livejournal) route, plus a general distaste for the idea that clothes can somehow affect your life on a deeper level. But perhaps it is also the extreme views such as those expressed by Takemoto, plus the hardcore, seemingly contrived quaintrelle image, which allowed the "lifestyle lolita" moniker to become an embarrassing joke which none of us wants to be the butt of.

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Forgotten Lolita Lifestyle

When I first got into lolita, things were very different. For one thing, lolita was generally considered to be more than just a fashion style, but a lifestyle, too. There was even a blog (hands up if you remember The Princess Portal!) which was devoted to the lolita lifestyle. I adored seeing posts on the egl livejournal about lolifying your life, and the things you could do to make your home more lolita influenced and whimsical. As well as the beautiful clothes, these were the things that really captured my attention and made me want to be a part of the lolita subculture.

Kamikaze Girls (2004) where Momoko takes the lolita lifestyle to the extreme!

In recent months, I've been seeing a lot of people shooting down the notion that there exists a lolita lifestyle. I have to say, this baffles me somewhat. I don't think any of us really expects someone to change their entire personality and behaviours just because they're wearing a frilly dress, or to pretend they live in 18th century France like Momoko in Kamikaze Girls, but can you really deny that becoming a lolita is in itself a huge lifestyle change? 

Unless you were already into expensive fashions before, or were used to buying designer clothing, it is a transformation of your idea of clothing's worth. Of course, lolita can be bought secondhand and often for affordable prices, but  before I got into lolita, I had never had to be thrifty or buy used clothing. If I needed new clothes I could replace old items in Primark for very little. I'd never had to save up money for a single item of clothing before, and I had never bought an expensive dress, apart from my prom dress when I was sixteen. I assumed that was ok-- you were meant to splash out for special occasion clothing. But not everyday items, surely!

Thus, becoming a lolita completely changed how I lived my life. I became more interested in clothing quality, learning about different types of lace, coordinating outfits, making accessories... None of these things had mattered when I was decked out in jeans and a t-shirt. I began to show clothing a new sort of reverence. It became a hobby.

I definitely felt encouraged by the fashion to explore my creativity. Before, I had been convinced that academia was the only way in which I would ever be able to prove my worth to the rest of the world. But lolita changed my mind. I realised how important fashion and creating things were to me. I gained a new interest and respect for the art and fashion world, and realised that this was a way in which I could make life fulfilling for myself, regardless of what others expected of me. Indie brands are everywhere in lolita. This idea that anyone could start their own brand inspired me in a large way, and I have found that the community in general is full of artistic talent and interested in crafts, moreso than in most other fashion styles I should think. I know I never would have challenged myself to do what I love had I never gotten into lolita.

There's a certain self assuredness that comes from lolita fashion. Whenever you wear it, you know people you encounter on the street will do double takes, comment on what you're wearing, ask questions, laugh, smile, point, stop in their tracks to stare. Once you get over the initial discomfort that comes with this, there then comes a certain confidence, and a thick skin develops. Through lolita I found that I changed my view of how I should react to others' opinions. I value those of the people who care about me for sure, but I found myself realising how insignificant the negative thoughts of a random person I may never see again are. I found myself prioritising my own happiness.

Lolita changes not only your personal lifesyle and thought processes, but also those of how you approach your social life. Most lolitas have lolita friends they spend time with, often through lolita meetups. Before lolita came into my life, it never occurred to me that I could go out and spend time with people due to a shared interest. I became a meetup regular starting in 2013, and now I have a group of best friends I never would have known had it not been for lolita fashion. Lolita has its own social club aspect to it-- you go and meet people regularly, and eventually, friendships form. That's not to say that all lolitas will get along just because they wear the same clothes. But lolita does give you the ability to get in touch with people you might never have had the opportunity to otherwise.

Other fond memories I have of my early days in lolita are the personalities who used to be so important. Everyone knew who Moon Kana was, and everyone owned Kanon Wakeshima's Shinshoku Dolce. Both of these women were considered to be lolita icons; for the former's constant appearance in the Gothic and Lolita Bibles, and both of their contributions to what we all considered to be lolita music. Novala Takemoto was iconic for his writings on what it meant to be a lolita. There was a gentle side to the fashion in which no-one was afraid to identify with poetic, quaint interpretations of the reasons this fashion had spoken to all of us in some way.

A typical Moon Kana photoshoot from a Gothic and Lolita Bible

Certain aspects of lolita fashion today bother me. In some ways, its steadily growing popularity is a good thing. It means the clothing is more accessible, and people are more likely to understand what you're wearing and why. But newcomers are not finding out about the fashion through the egl community on livejournal. Newcomers are missing out on not only an invaluable resource chock full of information collected over the years, but also a kind of lolita culture that is no longer prevalent. It's not a terrible thing, but it still makes me a little sad. 

The online community doesn't feel as tight knit as it once did, and the decrease in livejournal presence is upsetting. I have fond memories of some of the really interesting discussions that took place there. Tumblr is fast and great for exposure as we all know, but it's not a discussion platform. It doesn't allow for any dialogue to be set up between a group of people, and I feel disconnected from the lolita community outside of reblogging coordinate photos (and even then, I believe daily_lolita was much better for receiving feedback on your outfits). I used to participate in the egl tinychat, which was basically an opportunity to talk to any livejournal lolitas who happened to be online at the time the link was posted to the main community. We'd talk about clothes, our lives, musings on the world around us... it was relaxing and it made me feel like I was part of something bigger than just a fashion style. Nowadays, the lolita community at large feels incredibly fragmented, and its migration from livejournal to tumblr and facebook are most likely to blame. 

As you can see, I have a lot of nostalgia for how lolita used to be. People just entering the fashion must be having a completely different experience to those who entered it years ago. I try to move with the times, and yet it is very hard to see the aspects that made lolita lolita for you being wiped away and considered passé.

I myself agree that you cannot be a "lolita at heart" if you don't wear the fashion, and that in principle, playing a classical instrument for example is not a "lolita activity". However, as far as I'm concerned, there is a lolita lifestyle, and it is simply made up of aspects of your life that have been influenced by the very fact you wear lolita fashion, and to shut down anyone who agrees with this is unfair. We are all entitled to our own interpretation. It may not be something you agree with or get. But if you've been wearing lolita for years, are still active on egl, or simply aren't afraid to consider how lolita is so different from other fashions and has its own influences on your daily life, you'll know what I'm talking about. And this is for you.

To end this post, I'll use the words I wrote as a seventeen-year-old about my feelings towards lifestylers:

I firmly believe anything that can have such a huge impact on a person's life is indeed, a contributing factor to their lifestyle. You don't have to sit around drinking tea, playing with dolls or flower-arranging to be a lifestyler. You simply need to have a special place in your heart and in your life for the beauty and magical things that come with being a lolita.

I am a lifestyle lolita. Are you?  

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Cute Can Kill Necklace Review!

Last month when Cute Can Kill updated their storenvy I could not have been more excited! I made sure to be online at the time the updated shop would go live and I managed to nab just the necklace I had my eye on!

I went for the "sleepy kitty" necklace, complete with its own little bow, moon, and adorable plastic chain.

I didn't get a shipping add-on, but the non-tracked shipping from Italy to the UK only took about three weeks (I ordered on July 12th and received it on August 1st), which seemed pretty good to me. I was just glad to have it all in one piece! I'm pretty paranoid about untracked shipping but it simply slipped my mind in the panic of getting the necklace before it sold out!

I was really impressed by the packaging. How cute is all this?! The package was even perfumed!
I am in love with the pastel artwork on the business card. I adjusted the colours of this photo so that the amazing details were more visible.

Now, time to review the necklace!

It is made with a pearly white resin, and is completely solid to the touch. There are some very faint fingerprint marks on the surface of the kitty but they are not noticeable unless you're holding it right up to your face like I did! Its little yawning expression is so adorable! I definitely felt like I was being killed by the cute (and I mean that in the best way possible of course). I love its big fluffy bow!

The back of the kitty is completely smooth and has a glossy finish. The heart-shaped pendant bail used here is such a nice detail. The jump rings look a little sloppy but again, that's just being nit picky, and doesn't affect the look of the piece at all.

Part way up the chain is a little glittery moon! How sweet is that? I love anything moon-related as it is so this was the icing on the cake for me!

And here's the necklace worn! I love how it looks-- like the kitty has fallen asleep and the moon is up in the sky!

Overall, I am very pleased with my order. I would definitely recommend Cute Can Kill to anyone who likes pastel, 80s pop kei inspired accessories. 

I hope you enjoyed this review! See you next time 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Bodyline Review: Shoes 251 in Red and Gold!

Hey everyone! Today I thought I would do a review on my new Bodyline shoes. For photos from more angles, you can find an old Shoes 251 review of the shoes in white here.

On July 18th I ordered the shoes in red, and also in gold as they'd just been added to the website and appeared to be selling out fast. I only just managed to nab a pair in my size! (I get size 245-- my feet are 24cm long and this seems to be the most comfortable size for them). They arrived on August 5th, which I thought wasn't so bad given I used AIR shipping as usual (so that's 2 weeks and 4 days in total).

The shoes arrived each in their own box, with plenty of wrapping to stop them getting damaged, and then put together in a large mailing bag. They arrived in perfect condition! Thanks, Bodyline!

I'll get the red ones out of the way first. They're a super vibrant colour, like a lipstick red, which I really love.
I have nothing else to report. They fit just as well as my white pair of these, and they are comfortable, easy to walk around in, and have good traction on the sole. Full marks from me!

Now...the gold pair!

They are a really nice colour-- not an intense yellowy gold but a more delicate shade which is very pleasant.
The texture is a little strange and difficult to describe. They are nothing like my other Bodyline shoes. 

They look as if they have a kind of rough texture, and yet they seem to be sealed in a shiny plasticy finish which is smooth to the touch...

...apart from here at the front, where the toe of the shoe meets the sole. It could have been glued a bit more neatly, but this doesn't bother me too much and I don't believe it really spoils the overall look of the shoe. Still, something to think about if you like every detail to be perfect!

Overall, I'm really happy with this order! I paid in yen and used AIR shipping, which means the shoes came to about £20 each. Result!

I think it's really great that Bodyline has spent a lot of time listening to what their customers want. They also brought out a silver pair of these shoes at the same time, which I think is pretty cool. They have become my go-to place for lolita shoes as they are affordable and surprisingly long lasting. Plus, they are much more comfortable than the An*Tai*Na shoes I've purchased in the past. I recommend Bodyline shoes 100%!

I hope you enjoyed this review! See you next time, and don't forget to leave a comment!