28 Dec 2016
2016 simultaneously feels as if it flew by and as if it dragged on forever. I’m glad to see it off and focus on the adventures ahead, yet at the same time I can confidently say that despite the political upheaval and so many famous people passing away, it was a good year for me. Especially in terms of Lolita.
25 Dec 2016
Very briefly, as I am still recovering from the overeating spree that lasted from Christmas Eve throughout today: I wish you all the loveliest of Christmasses, with all the peace, love and happiness you can get. I spent both days with my loved ones, first my family and then my boyfriend's family and while I only wore Lolita on Christmas Eve, I still had the chance to kawaii-fy myself for the occasion. Pro tip: have at least one fully shirred main piece for maximum comfort when eating.
|| Metamorphose Shirring Tiered Ribbon JSK ||
Angelic Pretty Twinkle Glitter Knit Cardigan |
Antaina heels | Cutie Creator headbow |
Resailan Jewelry Box tights | Rose Marie Seoir
20 Dec 2016
I’ve been postponing doing this one because I waited for some of my orders to arrive as a lot of the items I purchased very much with this skirt in mind – and then ended up using only one of them. Because my logic is flawless. But hey-ho, we got to my first and so far only real Lolita skirt (I own one from Bodyline, but I use it as an underskirt, so I count it as a half), Magic Tea Party’s Bears Paradise. I love high-waisted skirts, I think they look very flattering and elegant, which tends to limit my wardrobe a little as this preference means I’m avoiding perfectly adorable skirts purely on the basis of them not being high-waisted. Maybe one day I’ll get over that…
16 Dec 2016
Meets can be a little daunting, especially at first. And that’s regardless of whether you’re attending or organising one. I went to a total of eight meets, of which I organised one (my second to last one). So while my perspective on this week’s Lolita Blog Carnival topic is still very much from a newbie perspective, what I’ve observed thus far boils down to three main things.
13 Dec 2016
No doubt many of you are in a similar position where you either stand no chance of getting Lolita-related presents from your friends and family (for whatever reason) or you’d just rather that they didn’t because they’re likely to get it wrong. However, getting Lolita fashion items for presents is an incredible thing, so it’s a little sad that sometimes it’s a present from us to ourselves. Unless you manage to get a chance to take part in some Lolita Secret Santa.
8 Dec 2016
Like many other Lolitas I spent some money on Taobao stuff in November, even though in the end none of it applied for the 11.11 sales. But since I needed some of these things anyway - why not? I managed to film a little unboxing/review video of that, which I hope you will enjoy.
4 Dec 2016
Happy International Lolita Day everyone! Whether you got to hang out with other Lolitas or had to spend the day at home/work/elsewhere, I hope that you enjoyed yourself and managed to do at least one little Lolita-related thing to match the occasion.
Ever since learning that I can make my comm’s Winter ILD meet I knew exactly what I wanted to wear and how. I’m not entirely sure where the idea actually came from, it was simply there and since I had months to prepare, I managed to get every single piece for my outfit, with a lot of them being offbrand.
|| AP Crystal Dream Carnival JSK, headbow and ring | Meta Snow Crystal|
OTKs | Soufflesong Ice Prism blouse | Chocomint star clip | offbrand white
star clips, boots, boot toppers, capelet and jewellery | Peacockalorum hand
For the meet itself we were actually on a boat (and yes, we did play “I’m on a Boat” at some point as well). It was only a canal barge, but still made for something different and as the interior was really lovely, we all really enjoyed it.
To add to the little twists, our Secret Santa wasn’t your usual gig either. Instead of everyone being matched up with people, everyone was asked to bring a gift, wrapped and all, with the only guideline being ‘get something that you’d like to receive’. When the time came, it was almost like a raffle – but still not the same as a raffle. We all had raffle tickets and we started from the person with the lowest number. The idea was that everyone had to go and pick a gift from the pile, then open it in front of everyone. The next person could then either do the same OR – and here’s the truly evil twist – they could steal a present that someone else had opened and then the theft victim had to go and pick a new present from what was left in the pile. Not particularly in the Christmassy spirit of giving, but it did make for quite an entertaining and character-telling game. Nobody tried to steal the gift that I picked, nor the one that I bought, however, one person ended up having their present stolen from them twice.
|Photo by Holly.|
|Photo by Holly.|
|My Secret Santa present and raffle win|
There was also a raffle filled with all kinds of cute prizes. I totally didn’t anticipate to win anything, and yet brought home a pair of Swimmer headphones. Now, I’m a bit of a headphone enthusiast so these are miles behind the quality and the standard that I’m used to with the pair that I currently own – but at the same time my headphones don’t have cats with bows on them! If only there was a way to combine the two…
The rest of the meet was your usual socialising, chatting, eating (we had a deconstructed afternoon tea, with sandwiches being served first and sweets coming after), dancing, taking photos, admiring everyone’s outfits, more chatter and more photos. Because of how long our boat trip took, it was already dark by the time we got off it to take some full outfit shots, but the bit of street where we ended up taking most of the outfit shots worked just as well (except that it was at the entrance/exit to a car park and we had to move out of the way a few times).
|Team Fluff & Faux Fur!|
|Photo by Holly.|
I admit that I was a little too tired to engage in everything full on, at some point I needed a moment to just zone out, yet in the end I enjoyed myself a lot and I know that I would’ve regretted not going a lot. This will be the last time I get to meet up with my fellow frillies this year, next one will be in January 2017 (it feels like 2016 had barely just started), however, it won’t be the last time I wear Lolita this year, definitely not!
How was your ILD? Did you do something fun or unusual? Or, if circumstances forced you to stay at home or work, how did you manage to incorporate a little bit of Lolita into your busy/tiring day? I love comparing how everyone celebrating, it’s inspiring both in terms of what things to do during a meet as well as what we could do at home to have a cute moment of engaging in the fashion without attending an event.
2 Dec 2016
I’ve actually already done this topic before, although that was before I officially joined the Lolita Blog Carnival community and at that time the coords were entirely hypothetical. Since then not only I became able to showcase a coord whose total actual cost comes within that price that, but I’ve also learnt a lot about what is and isn’t Lolita, meaning that what I can showcase now will be a better example to newbies as well as a better representation of my style.
29 Nov 2016
Like every fashion, Lolita fashion has changed a lot and will keep changing. From Elegant Gothic Lolita and what we now call oldschool style, through the introduction of border prints, which later boomed in a craze for all things OTT, all the way to current trend for toning things down a little and lean them towards Classic – and who knows what else we’ll see coming! Yet at the same time there are some things which remain as instantly recognisable and iconic.
25 Nov 2016
If I’m totally honest: I don’t shop enough with indie brands. Primarily because I’m a cheapskate and always end up going for something from Taobao or totally offbrand, although since indie brands usually make smaller items like jewellery or hair accessories, the cost of shipping for small items can be a little off-putting as well (I sort of made up for it at Wicked and Whimsy, but still). That doesn’t, however, mean that I can’t have favourite indie brands, so here are my top 3.
22 Nov 2016
November can be a bit of a dead time: Halloween’s over, but it’s too early to start doing too many Christmassy things (other than shopping – get that done early, save yourself some money and stress), the weather’s too cold and wet for most outdoors activities, so you just end up at home with some comfort food and comfy clothes. Other than a brief fling that is Bonfire Night here in the UK, there doesn’t seem to be much to look forward to in November. I hoped to change that a little bit by introducing my comm to Polish Andrzejki (St. Andrew’s celebrations) and I organised a fortune-telling meet.
For this reason I decided to put together a fortune teller inspired coord, since as the meet organiser I considered myself the chief fortune-teller for that day. And I must say I love how this look came out. Sheherazade was the only main piece I own which could’ve carried this theme and except for the scarf I already owned all the pieces which I needed, which was brilliant. This may be the closest I ever came to a Gothic Lolita look – it’s still not Gothic, but certainly the darkest and most mysterious coord I’ve done.
|| AatP Sheherazade JSK | eBay blouse | Resailan|
tights | Risu Rose necklace | offbrand jewellery,
scarf and boots |
For those of you who aren’t Polish/Eastern European, there is a belief in Poland that the eve of St Andrew’s (the night from 29th to 30th of November) is a good time for magic that would either predict or bind a maiden’s future husband (men do similar things on the eve of St Katherine’s – Katarzynki – which is the night from 24th to 25th of November). This is when all kinds of fortune-telling and games take place, ranging from very traditional and folklore-based to plain silly and intended as a laugh. As a kid in Poland we’d often spend one day’s form time to do this, causing all kinds of giggles and disgusted noises when you were predicted to marry someone with the same name as one of the boys in your class. But this isn’t just something for the kids, although nowadays it’s definitely taken less seriously than it would’ve been for example a century ago – you’ll find night clubs using Andrzejki as an excuse for throwing on a night out, as well as groups of friends casually organising meet ups and doing some fortune-telling at someone’s home.
I organised the meet with the intention of being focused around Lolita, rather than any future spouses. Luckily, most of the games were easy to swap around to incorporate e.g. print names instead of people’s names. Let me tell you though, when I first volunteered to organise the meet and then posted up the details, I did not expect as many positive reactions as I did. They ranged from “cool idea” all the way to expressions of regret that people won’t be able to make it. It was both exhilarating and a little daunting: this was the first time I organised a Lolita meet, so I wanted it to be good, but I tried my best not to give in to any imagined pressure.
|Some of the games I prepared included: stab a heart to find|
out what print you'll buy next, 5 things in a petagram to
summon X and the wax reading.
In the end it all went great: despite a few last minute drop outs (it’s November, of course people will be poorly) the meet was well attended and fun. Everyone got on board with the games I had prepared, although the wax reading was a clear winner, and I think I hit a good balance between planned activities and down time for casual chat, eating or taking photos. I must say here, the venue Stew and Oyster exceeded my expectations: when I checked it out, I got a feel of it being quite laid back and cosy, but the staff there made us feel very welcome and even separated our corner of the place with a curtain (later, as it got busier and they needed that space for other guests, they opened it up, but we still got a good hour/hour and a half of privacy). The food was lovely too – even though the meet wasn’t centred around eating, pretty much everyone ordered something and then complimented on how lovely and reasonably priced it was. If you’re in Leeds and need a relaxed and quiet place to hang out I’d recommend Stew and Oyster.
|Pouring the wax.|
Photo by Holly.
|Photo by Holly.|
|Interpreting the shadow cast by the wax.|
Polish people didn't predict that you could
have dinosaurs and there was no reading for
Photo by Holly.
|There was already a big waxy mess on the window sill, we only added our|
Photo by Holly.
Afterwards, when the meet was over, one of the frillies joined me on the way to Boots. A member on Amino has said earlier how she found a new makeup brand called Makeup Obsession who let you build your own makeup palette for very reasonable prices: one pot of eyeshadow at £2 and one pot of blush, highlighter or contouring stuff at £3 is a bargain! They’re available online, but I wanted to check out the colours in real life first and since my local Boots didn’t stock their products, I went to Boots in Leeds Trinity Centre. Without some help from a very lovely member of staff I don’t think we would’ve found it, I would’ve looked where brands like Maybelline and L’Oreal are, but this was where the designer fancy stuff was kept. From testing out the samples, the eyeshadows and the blushes are very pigmented and they’re quite generous pots too, maybe the size of a 50p coin or thereabouts! It’s a shame that their eyeshadow colour range didn’t include many pinks though – there were lots of nudes and some statement colours like blue, black, green or purple, all available in shimmery or matte versions. But I’m hoping that as they become more popular they will increase their range of colours on offer. It’s a great idea as not only you get to pick the colours you know you’re going to use, but when you run out of one you don’t have to buy a whole palette just to replace that one shade. If you’re based in the UK, I’d recommend checking them out. At £2 per eyeshadow and £3 per everything else you could even pick up just one that you like before committing to building an entire palette.
|My custom palette. The blue stands out and bothers me as|
far as the aesthetic of this one goes, but I needed all these
Overall I’ve had so much fun organising this meet and everyone who attended made it even more enjoyable. Having done this I think I caught a bit of a meet organising bug – doing something for others to enjoy is quite contagious, like giving someone a present that is just perfect for them. Hopefully I’ll get to organise something again soon. For now I’m happy to have had this success, as well as plenty of rest afterwards, and all eyes are on Winter ILD now. I can’t wait!
18 Nov 2016
We’ve finally reached main pieces I bought this year (in the nick of time too, since it’s November already), as well as the last Bodyline dress I own. I bought it because I was quite enamoured by the print, which I felt was different to what Bodyline usually brings out. Now I feel like it’s a little too similar in theme and colours to Crystal Dream Carnival – and if you could wear CDC instead, why wouldn’t you? – so I was quite wary of doing looks that were too similar. However, doing this post revived my appreciation for this print a little and gave a couple of ways that I could wear it, so hopefully one of these coords will get worn sometime.
15 Nov 2016
Buying Lolita can often feel like a race against time, be it during a new release that may sell out in minutes or when buying second hand and trying to be faster than others with placing that bid or sending that message. Sometimes it works, but unfortunately a lot of the times we end up unsuccessful.
11 Nov 2016
Recently I seem to have been the only one doing the Lolita Blog Carnival topics. Shame, as I do enjoy reading what other people write on that same subject, but at the same time I enjoy having these writing prompts there: they motivate me to write something and help to diversify my content a little. So I’ll keep doing them for as long as I can and here’s another one for you to enjoy: my autumn/winter aesthetic.
8 Nov 2016
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been looking forward to a release (brand or otherwise), admired the print, either saved up for it or were mentally preparing yourself to spend that kind of money… and then that release is not quite right? I feel like this is me right now.
4 Nov 2016
Some people know whether they have a sweet tooth or not – I envy them a little. I tend to follow my cravings and fancies. One day I scour the cupboards for anything even remotely sweet and on another I can ignore sweet things in favour of carbs. Having said that, I love sweets of all shapes and sizes, so it was only fair to take part in this week’s challenge and create a dessert inspired coord.
1 Nov 2016
First there was Lolita. Then somewhere along the line Wa Lolita became a thing. Now it appears like Lolitas everywhere are trying their hand at merging Lolita fashion with the traditional dress and costumes from their own countries, some with more success than others.
28 Oct 2016
I love creating and planning coords, especially the big ones where I can go OTT. Now that’s not always appropriate for the occasion, which tends to confine my OTT coords either to blog posts or to some big events. However, whilst coordinating for a meetup shouldn’t be much different from coordinating for events, after all they use the same set of skills (e.g. colour balance, ‘weight’ balance, accessorising etc.), they are quite distinct from each other.
25 Oct 2016
The Geek Meet oganised by the Sheffield comm, combined with a little photoshoot for the Tea Party Club’s annual, gave me the perfect excuse to turn a meet into a weekend trip. The half-term break has just started, so timing couldn’t have been better for me and it was lovely to get away from home to really feel like I have some time off work.
21 Oct 2016
Both in and outside of Lolita there seems to be some sort of a stigma about wearing the same outfit too many times. And when you think about it, that’s a very modern problem – even Marie Antoinette had to wait months for a new dress to be finished and wear the same dress more than once in the meantime! At the same time items like the Little Black Dress don’t go out of fashion precisely because you can wear them multiple times and for various occasions. Considering that Lolita fashion is not a cheap one to get into, I feel that this can discourage some of the newer members from participating more in both the fashion and in the local community, as they don't want to be seen as a One-Outfit-chan. However, I think that the key here is in having the right accessories!
18 Oct 2016
For many of us, not just Lolitas, our smartphones and tablets have grown to be big parts of our life. With those devices comes a truly endless ocean of apps for pretty much everything you could need – and even things you definitely don’t need. Now that I have a new phone, as well as an iPad, I indulge in those a bit more than I did previously, and would like to introduce you to a couple of my favourites as a Lolita. I’m sure that there’ll be some which you won’t need introducing to, but hopefully you’ll find something new here as well.
14 Oct 2016
I didn’t quite realise that it’s been well over a month since I last did this. To be honest with you, I found this dress a lot trickier than I thought it would be: it lends itself very well to all kinds of OTT coords, but as soon as I tried to think of something different than this I hit a wall. Which is a shame since AP’s Crystal Dream Carnival Tiered JSK is a dream dress of mine and I’d love to have more ways of wearing it. I’ll keep thinking on this, and I’ll hopefully get some more pieces that’d work with this dress and the colours in it, but in the meantime here are the four outfits that I came up with for now.
11 Oct 2016
Whilst majority of reactions from the public towards Lolita fashion tend to be positive (especially if they’re coming from children or old ladies), we all know that sometimes some people can’t help thinking that it’s just weird. Be it because of the name or because they saw someone dressed in OTT Sweet bordering on Decora, or because as soon as they hear the word “Japan” all they can think of are hardcore otaku and weeaboos – every now and then we just have to find a way to deal with the perception that Lolita fashion is weird to some people. And one way of coping with that might be reading this book.
7 Oct 2016
I know that when you’re starting out in Lolita fashion builder pieces aren’t as exciting to purchase as all the JSKs, OPs and skirts. If you’ve done your research, you’ll know that the other bits are just as important, but how can you resist that cute print or those layers of ruffle and lace? However, while I can’t stress enough that you need to have your blouses, socks, shoes and headwear just as much as you need that dress, I’d like to approach the subject from a slightly different angle than I’ve seen it done so far.
3 Oct 2016
Two consecutive weekends where I’ve attended a meet – I feel so spoiled! Yeah, my sleep has suffered a little as a result and I’m not as rested as I’d like to be (as an introvert I really rest when I’m alone, even if I do enjoy going out with friends), but it was all totally worth it.
|| Resailan Jewelry Box JSK I and headbow ||
Souffle Song Ice Prism blouse | AatP Arabesque
OTKs | offbrand shoes | indie/AP/Chocomint accessories |
I simply had to wear this dress even though the weather forecast wasn’t optimistic (cold and wet). York is a place with so much history that I felt the elegant print and cut of this JSK would really fit my surroundings – besides, I only just got it, barely uploaded the unboxing video in time for you to see, so now was as good a time as any. And in the end the weather wasn’t quite so bad, though it’s still good to know that this print doesn’t run. Yay for washing machine-friendly Taobao dresses!
We went to Bettys, an afternoon tea salon in the middle of York which was established in 1919. Suffice to say: it’s well posh! I mean, people queue, sometimes for hours, to get there because it’s that well known and that good (you can make a reservation, but they only take reservations for the most expensive afternoon tea option, so we didn’t). I actually haven’t been to Bettys before, this was my first time, and we couldn’t have queued for more than half an hour – a very good result for Saturday lunchtime!
Once inside everything was just as I imagined it would be. The interior design is very elegant, quite befitting our frills. Honestly, every time I go for afternoon tea, I make it a point to dress up, and then I’m always shocked to see that some people clearly don’t make any effort whatsoever to look at least a little bit more fancy than usual – and that makes me quite sad that we’ve come to an age where not making an effort with one’s clothes became acceptable even for very fancy places. I know that otherwise there’d be a whole load of “this is prejudice” and “who are you to judge what’s fancy for me and what isn’t” debates, potentially getting waiters and/or establishments into trouble, but it still makes me sad.
The staff at Bettys were incredibly lovely and very accommodating. Nearly every one of us requested that the standard afternoon tea be changed a little, to suit our dietary requirements and tastes, and they catered to every single one of them. I asked them to substitute the salmon sandwich for something else (and got cucumber and cream, I believe) as well as change the standard pot of tea for China Rose Petal tea. All of it, every single item on that stand, was absolutely delicious and I was so full at the end of it, but I’m proud to say that I didn’t waste anything!
After we gathered enough strength and digested enough of our food to get up we did a little shopping, starting of course with Bettys shop itself. I bought a pack of this divine rose petal tea, as well as some macarons for my parents, but they devoured them all before I had a chance to take a photo or even try one I haven’t had before! But during our shopping expedition we went to places like New Look (which was meant to have some very lovely loliable shoes, but they didn’t exist anywhere but online), Claire’s accessories, LUSH (upon my request, I needed to stock up on some bits) and finally the Waterstone’s café for additional drinks and rest.
|The only photo of my purchases that I took|
|Look at that carousel pony on display!|
At the end, once the short bit of rain had stopped, we went to the park where they had some owls there and you could take a photo with the owl. Two of our team of six decided to do that, one even braving her fear of the owl – I preferred to stand to the side, observe and do voiceovers of said owls. The biggest one, a great horned owl named Eva, struck me as a very sassy type, almost cat-like in her belief that human beings existed to serve and adore her, but also the type who, if she wore Lolita, she’d be a total brand whore and get every single new AP print on the day of the release. So much sass! After this we went further into the park towards some ruins to take some proper outfit shots – some more serious than the others – and then it was time to go home.
I have had so much fun on that Saturday and even though I was glad to de-frill and jump in the bath at the end of that day, it was a day well spent. If my comm doesn’t put anything on earlier, my next meet looks to be good three weeks away, but I know that it’ll be a great one too. Though I better start stocking up on warm clothes!