Monday, 26 June 2017

Guro lolita (and much more) photoshoot at an abandoned asylum

Last month I got to be one of three photographers along with my boyfriend James on a group shoot at an abandoned mental asylum, and I had a great day and took lots of cool shots. The theme was "gore" and to my surprise and delight one of the models showed up in guro lolita! Since this was such an interesting day I was always going to post about it briefly here but it makes me really happy that it's (partially) "on theme" for this blog anyway!

So I'm going to share a shot of each main look I did, and talk a little bit about the day as I go. If you're interested in seeing all my photos, please visit my facebook page for the complete album. I have credited the models in each photo description, and have linked to their public profiles (where applicable).

The other photographers on the day were my boyfriend James aka The Enthusiast and Wulf Photography, who was the primary organiser and also responsible for doing/supplying/teaching SPFX on the day.

And, I guess, trigger warning...this was a gore shoot. There is a lot of fake blood in the below photos, and some SPFX wounds.


It should surprise none of my readers that the first model I shot with was the guro lolita! People were arriving in dribs and drabs (to be fair, this location was a twenty minute bush walk from the nearest parking) and were also still applying make-up and costume when we got there, so when Ash walked up fully ready it was great. She was also fantastic to work with - the first shots I have of her she was literally climbing up the walls! And I didn't ask for it!


Next James and I shot with Natalie together. Going into this shoot I had only one idea I really wanted to execute; a girl in white near the overgrown wall shot as a black and white double exposure. And I got it perfectly! Natalie was very good holding the exact pose and expression for me while I shot of whole lot of compositions and angles to layer together.


By the time we got back to the base camp area after shooting Natalie everyone had arrived. I'm not quite sure how it happened but the next person I got to shoot with was Rachel. One fantastic thing about this locations is that it has a whole range of locations within it - overgrown walls, destroyed and graffiti covered buildings and even a stretch of sandy earth with rusted car bodies. And with Rachel's cool, kind of post-apocalytpic grunge look I thought the cars worked well! For this look with her I just asked her to walk towards me again and again and again. Most of my shots were bad, but the ones that were good were very very good.

I also got gravel down my pants from hunkering down ever lower as she walked closer. The things we do for art.

Models: Dan and Rachillustation

Next up I grabbed Dan as well and did some couple shots with him and Rachel. This one was my absolute favourite of them together, and it's kind of funny because between shots we were goofing off, I was complaining about my gravelly butt, and I was giving ridiculously pretentious direction. But you wouldn't guess it from the final shots!

Model: Dan

And of course, I had to get some shots of Dan on his own. Like Rachel his look was way for post -apocalyptic than gorey, so I went in a bit of a fashion-y direction for a couple of simple top-half shots.

This seems like an appropriate time to say that one of the best things about this shoot was how wonderfully differently each model interpreted the theme of gore. As a photographer, I got to shoot a range of different looks and emotions throughout the day, which I loved.


Then I got to work with Celeste, who was the goriest person so far! We focused on doing some very emotive close up shots, which I really enjoyed. The contacts she was wearing especially made it kind of eerie.

Model: Jordan

Would you believe that this shot of Jordan and the previous one of Celeste are at the exact same place? What a difference model and photographer positions makes! I really enjoyed getting to get in some super dramatic lens flare here, I love lens flare something fierce.

And here I segue into another thing I like about this day - we had two male models! Amateur modelling is so female dominated that it was kind of a surprise to have two guys show up for this one, but definitely a good one as once again it gives the photographers a lot more variety.


At this part of the day I was getting tired, but still wasn't done! As we all gathered at base camp I asked the models if anyone had a particular concept they had in mind but hadn't had a chance to shoot yet. And Celeste said she wanted to climb in a window. So climb she did!

I'm not sharing the adorable behind the scenes shots because there's just so many, but at this point a big white and black wolfhound and a mini wolfhound type dog showed up and started clamouring for attention at Celeste. Later it seemed like the dogs owners were in the area to teach a friend how to off-road 4WD and were letting their dogs out for a run around here. Both the owners and the dogs were super nice, and the doggos in particular made pretty much everyone super happy.

Model: Keira

Next I shot with Keira. I had shot with her second, straight after Ash (James and I did a model switch) but I didn't like how those photos turned out in the end, so in terms of finished photos she's here in my timeline!

Also, you know how I mentioned that this location was a bit of a bushwalk in? Well, James and I drove Keira to the shoot with us (seeing as she's a friend ^__^) and she had the most ridiculous Snow White moment with a friendly little wallaby on the way in. The wallabies and kangaroos around here know that humans equal food and pats, but I wasn't expecting the ones in the bush to just come up and start nuzzling her hand in search of food! It was a really cute start to the day I ahve to say, and nearly everyone got to have a similar moment on the way in.

P.S. Oh my goodness, how Aussie does that paragraph read? Bushwalking and wallabies? I feel like such a stereotype...


Rachel just happened to wander by at this point, so I grabbed her for a few more spontaneous shots. Gotta love it when models are wiling to lie on grimy bricks for you!


Then, as a last hurrah, I shot with Ash again, who now was a lot more gorey! I especially loved the pentagram on the forehead...

Throughout the day I also got a couple of random artsy shots of Keira and Natalie as well, and a cool one of Celeste and Storm  together but I figure this post is along enough as is so if you want to see more please check out the album on my facebook page!


And I'm finishing off this rather long post with a group shots of the models! It was a really great, and super exhausting day.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Peaches and cream; L173 outfits

I love the colours in this skirt - peaches and cream indeed! And it's floral, so really it ticks all my lolita fashion boxes.


Pieces like this skirt are why I really don't get people who point blank think Bodyline is terrible. Sure, they have done replicas and Mr Yan is pretty shady and their stuff is not on the same level of quality as brand, but still. This skirt is gorgeous, and I wouldn't like it any more if it was brand.

But as I often say - enough rambling, onto the outfits!


First up I really wanted to use one of my new cutsews from The Black Ribbon, and came up with this light and airy summertime outfit. I would wear this with cream ankle socks as well. What's actually kind of ironic is that a day or two after I took these photos, I went shopping with James and finally found a hair flower that is basically a perfect match for he flowers on the skirt; a darker, more orange shade of pink. But this outfit (and the others in this post) still look great with slightly mis-matched flowers!


For the second outfit I wanted to run with a darker colour scheme, and I really like the result. Perhaps different socks would have worked better, but overall I really like this outfit. It's a bit unusual, and definitely nice and casual.


Then in my last outfit I wanted to do something different and also use an item I hadn't yet used - my Innocent World cape. And in the end this outfit may just be my favourite of the lot! Though in all honesty I'd be most likely to wear the first look this one is just so cosy and delightfully mis-matched I can't help but love it.

Do you tend to like to wear lolita in a more well coordinated manner, or do you like it when outfits go a little sideways or normal?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Review #45: Jillian Cutsew from The Black Ribbon

Recently I received two cutsews from American indie brand The Black Ribbon. They first announced their Jillian cutsew before Christmas, and when the preorder opened I finally leaped in and ordered one in each colour; ivory and black.

The reason I really fell for this design is because they are very simple, but still on the lolita spectrum. The chiffon sleeves are cute, and the little bit of lace and the bow make them a bit more than just a t-shirt with contrast fabric sleeves. But at the same time they're still toned down enough that I can wear them in normie or toned down looks. So all in all, a good choice for me and how I tend to wear lolita.

Due to the exchange rate and shipping fee from America, they were really more pricey than I'm happy with for fairly simple items, but I figured that basics are important so I went with it anyway. And I imagine I will get lot of wear out of these, particularly the black one. But enough backstory, onto a few pictures and a proper review.


As far as the fit goes, I ordered the size Large, which has listed measurements of 37-42 inch bust and 30-38 inch waist, and the listing said they would "easily stretch much bigger" than the max. It does go a bit larger comfortably, as it fits me well at bust/waist of 43.5/38. I don't know if it would be comfortable if you were quite a bit larger, but if you're between sizes you can definitely size down on this cutsew.


The materials feel to be of fairly decent, but not outstanding, quality. The knit fabric of the body is a little see through like any thin t-shirt. The lace on the neck is nice and the same pattern on both colours. As you can see in the pictures in the ivory version there is some colour variation between the fabrics, but what I really like is that the lace matches the sleeves in colour so there is consistency across the top.

The rear hem is slightly longer than the front, which I think is a nice touch for a lolita cutsew. It is also shorter than a standard t-shirt which again is perfect for lolita, but does mean that this cannot be worn with anything low waisted. 


The parcel that came to me was nothing exciting - the cutsews were in a plastic bag with the invoice, and that was in a padded satchel. I must admit, I've gotten used to receiving purchases with little extras so selfish me was a little disappointed to not get a note or postcard or something, but that's just my selfish side! The packaging to my opinion was perfectly fine and secure.

Then in regards to their customer service, everything was great. I only got automated Storenvy notifications about my order, which is all I need, but the owner also spontaneously refunded me ten dollars on the shipping as the automated calculator apparently overcharged me. I thought this was a really great thing to do, because I had already paid in full and I understand that "shipping" is not just the postage but also the packaging and time it takes to post, so I'd never compare the stamp price to what I paid (okay, okay, unless I was overcharged by like twenty dollars or more) and think it was bad if the stamp price was lower. So that was definitely an unanticipated bonus.

So all in all these two cutsews are a very welcome addition to my lolita wardrobe. Unfortunately, given that it's winter down under right now I won't really be able to wear them until alter in the year but I'm very glad to have them now nonetheless. Overall the quality and service from The Black Ribbon was fine, and I will certainly buy from them again if they release other items that would perfectly fill wardrobe gaps like these two cutsews did.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Lolita 52: Something that was a gift

Several things in my lolita wardrobe were gifts, actually, or bought with gifted money. In particular James has bought me a lot of things over the years! However, one thing from him really stands out, which is my Lyris Design custom made underbust JSK which was my birthday present in 2014.


I’ve said positive things about this dress many, many times so I’m not going to say it all again but it is one of my favourite pieces, possibly even the favourite. And I really like that one of the keystone pieces of my wardrobe was a gift from my lovely boyfriend ^__^

Another gift that I want to mention, because it was also sweet, are these barrette bows.


Work was quite challenging all last year, and on one of my bad days my housemate/friend/workmate Natalie came home with  bag of assorted goodies for me, which included these bows. They’re a great match for my wardrobe, particularly the pink one as it matches some hard-to-match pieces, and it was just so nice of her to do that for me.

Are there any noteworthy gift pieces in your lolita wardrobe?

Friday, 9 June 2017

A long time coming; Princess Rose outfits

I finally finished properly modifying the straps on Innocent World’s Princess Rose JSK and so now it’s time to share three new outfits featuring it!

A fairly accurate shot of the colour for once, though it is a bit more purple IRL.

You may recall that I turned the too-short straps into a halter, only to remember that I really don’t like halterneck anything! So despite this dress fitting well and being absolutely lovely it just languished unworn in my wardrobe until I finally got around to doing this recently. And I’ll be painfully honest, if it weren’t for the fact that this JSK was next in my outfit post order it would probably have languished for a little longer. But it was time for new flatlays so I knuckled down and did it!

Before I launch into the outfits I wanted to share a little of what I did to the straps, because modifying brand is a dramatic thing. Firstly, I cut the straps off the bodice, because I couldn’t figure out how to remove them without deconstructing the bodice to an extent, then I unpicked the straps. The lace was secured to only one half of the strap, so I removed it from one edge and attached it to an edge on the other, which gave me two equally sized rectangles each with lace on one side (rather than one with lace and one without). For security, I next zig-zag stitched all the raw edges. Then I sewed what was the front and back of each strap together to make two longer straps, and secured these to the front of the bodice, but out to the sides more than they were originally, since the straps were originally folded so mine were twice as wide. Lastly, I sewed a button at the rear end of each strap at the appropriate length. Overall I did a prettyy sturdy job, but certainly not a professional quality alteration. I’m aware that by doing this I’ve basically ruined the resale value (except perhaps to a fellow tallish lolita) but I like this dress, so I don’t care. I’d rather have something I can wear, and maybe only sell for twenty dollars when the time comes, than have something I’m not comfortable wearing that I could sell for a hundred.



So that’s a little explanation of how I modified this JSK. And now that that’s out of the way, onto so outfits using it!


I love this outfit, I think it's toned down and rather elegant. However, I realised after cropping my photos that I basically already did this exact outfit last time I coordinated this dress. Oops! What can I say? Some things are just good, and I would so totally wear this outfit.


This outfit (and the next one) are definitely not repeats though! Despite ivory being an obvious choice for this JSK, and one that I really love, I wanted to try a few different coordination options. So for this coord I ran with lots and lots of wine. It's a pity the body of that cutsew is a different shade to the sleeves, because the sleeves match perfectly! This outfit is actually a good example of how flat lays are quite a different animal to actual worn coordinates because depending on how the necklines sat on a real person there may be too much of the cutsew body on display, which would make it too clashing, in my opinion. But it does make a nice flat lay!


Lastly I wanted to try really sweetening it up, and to be honest I'm not a huge fan. The blouse was, int he end, too pink and so were the flower clips. The socks are a great match though, and I also got to use a headband I made ages ago and only recently incorporated into my lolita collection, so that's nice.

Overall, though I'm chuffed that this dress is now wearable, I feel like these flat lays are a bit all over the place. But that's okay - I find flat lays are a great way to experiment with outfits without having to get dressed up yourself. Of course, there are times when a flat lay won't work well worn, and some outfits that look great one are meh as flat lays, but overall they are something I really get a lot out of doing, even if they don't turn out 100%.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Lolita 52: How strangers react to my clothes, and how I react to their reactions

A lot of my Lolita 52 posts have been rather short lately, and this one even more so because I haven’t really had any reactions from strangers, only from family and friends. Within those people my favourite reaction was a friend of mine telling me I looked like a waifu when I was dressed up for uni one day.

Circa 2014 Roli aka "waifu ^__^.

So there we have I think the briefest post I’ve ever posted on this blog with the exception of hiatus announcements.

Do you have any interesting (preferably positive!) stories to share about your experiences with strangers and lolita?

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: May 2017

After being able to share such a wonderful collection of posts last month I'm pleased to do another roundup of lolita blog posts from May.


Lolita Brunch! from Neo Crystal
An adorable post about a lolita brunch with not many words but lots of lovely pictures! Ah pictures of lolitas just hanging out and being wonderfully cute always makes me happy.

What Would You Like To See Brands Do More Of? from Cupcake Kamisama's Lolita World
This post is a musing on what the author would (duh) like to see lolita brands do more of, a Lolita Blog Carnival prompt. I happen to agree with all the things she mentions!

Customising Shoes from Luna Rain
Shoes are a thing I hold very close to my heart, so this post was cool! Several different ways you could customise a pair of shoes are discussed, and I found it a helpful jump start to brainstorming shoe ideas. I mean, my personal solution to not having the right shoes is to go and buy more shoes, but still, this was a great read. And I have, actually, customised a pair of shoes myself so yeah ^__^

Lolita Canotier/Hat Making Guide from Fuwa-Fuwa-Fashion
Oh my goodness...floofy hat alert! I love fancy hats in lolita, despite not owning or having worn one, so this is a very cool tutorial, especially because it's for a proper hat (inasmuch as I know how hats are made) rather than a cardboard-based affair.

Fashion Show @ Madman Anime Festival from Adventures of a Drop Bear Lolita
I like blogs about fashion shows, cute outfits, and fellow Aussie lolitas, so this post was a perfect read for me!

Ouji and Aristocrat Sewing Patterns and Tutorials List from Buttcape
Buttcape is continuing to provide good resources for the boystyle community, this time with an epic list of tutorial and patterns. Makes me wish I had more time to sew!

Lolita as Formal Attire from Teacake Time Machine
This post is a nice little discussion on wearing lolita to formal occasions, and an example of an outfit the author wore to a baptism, which shows that lolita can be lolita and still pass muster at a variety of occasions.

101 Lolita Lifestyle Ideas from Vanilla Bear
The title of this post really says it all; it's a list of 101 lifestyle ideas for lolitas. I really enjoyed reading this - I don't intend to make my lifestyle more lolita but it's something nice to think about and read about.

Madillustration, Patisserie brooch line review from Poppy Noir
I am gradually falling in love with brooches, partially because of posts like this that share wonderful purchases! How adorable is the doughnut one?

Once again I’m chuffed that I got to feature a range of posts from lots of different bloggers! Some bloggers were initially on the list twice, but as the number of featured posts went up I decided I ought to limit it to one post per blogger, per month, otherwise this could get out of hand. And again, this is only some of the lolita posts I read this month so there’s a lot of good content out there to enjoy!

If you have a lolita blog, or know of one that I may not follow, feel free to drop me a link in the comments because there is no such thing as too many lolita blogs! And if a post of yours is featured here and you don’t want it to be, let me know and I’ll take it down.