Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: February 2018

For some reason February felt really quiet on the blogging front! Perhaps everyone was lethargic after doing their January wardrobe posts...

Regardless, as usual, I read a lot few things I liked and some things that I loved, and the loves are shared below.

Eternita–Fall/Winter–Grown Up Alice in Wonderland Magazine from Miss Carol Belle
I'm not much of a magazine person, but seeing scans like this kind of makes me want to be! With the Gothic and Lolita Bible and KERA magazine having left us, I'm glad when bloggers take the time to showcase some of the newer publications.

Why are some dresses so expensive? from Rosie Darling
An LBC topic that I didn't participate in turned out to be one that I really loved reading about! This was my favourite analysis of the several that were posted, but as is usual with LBC posts there are links to the other participants at the end so there's more to read if you're interested in getting some other perspectives.

The Princess Code from Hedgefairy Tales
This is a relic from the lolita blogging past! I'm pretty sure Princess Skye was already inactive when I began in lolita so seeing The Princess Code resurrected for posterity makes me weirdly nostalgic for something I was never around for in the first place. Like with this blogger, I'm not totally on board with the Code, but I still loved seeing this post pop up in my dash. And also, A Little Princess is a fantastic book that I thoroughly recommend.

Comm meet: Antique Fairy Tales from Sanakanin
Go to this post and feast your eyes on all the pretty photos! Man, I really want to attend a photoshoot meetup...

Solid or Prints, what is my favourite? from Poppy Noir
Another LBC topic I didn't participate in, partially because I don't quite know my own opinion! Though, like this blogger, I would probably go for prints over solids if I had to choose. But I'm very, very pleased that I don't have to choose!

2018 from Buttcape
I'm not much of a one for personal blogs, but I do like getting little life updates from the bloggers I enjoy reading already!

Getting a whole series, and in different colours?! from Ruban Rose
Pretty photos, a lovely outfit, and a musing on owning multiple pieces from a series. This post was basically all the things that I love in lolita blog posts ^__^

Where there any particular lolita blog posts you really liked this month that I haven't shared here? If so, drop me a link!

Friday, 23 February 2018

AYWI30C #1: Your trademark look

I'm really excited to be posting my first entry from the "Around your wardrobe in 30 coordinates" challenge and I love the outfit I came up with!

This theme is "your trademark look" and rather than just replicating what I wear most commonly I took those components and came up with something new. Berry print? Check. Black top? Check. Red beret? Check. This really is my trademark look, and it was really fun to come up with a new spin on it!

As I mentioned in the intro post for this challenge, I'm doing more through outfits than I usually do. So I'm also going to be sharing accessory shots! Given that this is meant to be my trademark I didn't go too overboard, but wristcuffs are always a good choice and I liked using the Milk heart hairclip as it really tied in well with the skirt.

I really loved the combo of this cutsew with the Chocoberry skirt, it really took it up a level. It also makes me want to get more printed cutsews...which is dangerous!

I also tried using a different pair of OTKS than usual. In a sense, this outfit turned out to be a more OTT (though it isn't, not really) version of my usual look; there's a lot more patterns going on! But it still feels totally me and I really can't wait to wear it.

And as a final shot, because it may have been camouflaged in the full coord shot, I wanted to show how off my Milky Berry mini tote. I'm so glad I got this bag! I really do love my berry prints, and having a matching bag makes me stupidly happy.

Do you have a trademark look that's recognisably you?

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Around your wardrobe in 30 coordinates; a lolita coordinate challenge

For a long time I've been working my way through the Lolita 52 topics but finished the last of those off in December last year. I have another blog challenge I want to do, but I've had one of my own in my head for a while so wanted to do that first!

Since I really enjoy stretching the possibilities of one’s lolita collection I thought what better thing to do as a challenge come up with than a list of ideas designed to explore just what you can do with your wardrobe? And so "Around your wardrobe in 30 coordinates" or AYWI30C (I'm the best at titles /s) was born!

Even though I put this together with challenging myself in mind of course I’d really love to see the results if anyone else uses these prompts. So if you do, please drop a link in the comments so I can check it out! Of course, with me being the verbose person I am, I won’t just be posting a snapshot and calling it a day, these are really going to delve into the depths of my wardrobe!

But enough preamble, onto the prompts!

  1. Your trademark look
  2. Something casual
  3. Something OTT
  4. A monochrome outfit
  5. An unexpected colour combination
  6. Channel a lolita era
  7. As sweet as you can go
  8. As classic as you can go
  9. As gothic as you can go
  10. Pick a substyle
  11. Inspired by a character
  12. Inspired by another lolita
  13. Inspired by a historical era
  14. Inspired by a mainstream fashion trend
  15. Follow the rules
  16. Break the rules
  17. Something you really like, but wouldn’t wear
  18. An outfit you love but haven’t worn out yet
  19. Based around a particular top
  20. Based around a certain accessory
  21. Based around your favourite shoes
  22. Based around some interesting legwear
  23. Using your most worn main piece
  24. Using your least worn main piece
  25. Using you newest wardrobe addition
  26. Using the thing you bought first that you still have
  27. From a single brand
  28. From as many brands as possible
  29. To suit a particular hairstyle
  30. To suit a certain make-up look

So you can expect to see a lot of flat lays from me again in the near future! I intend to make outfits that are more "complete" than what I normally post, with bags, jewellery and the whole shebang. It's going to be fun!

I’m looking forward to posting about the coordinates I come up with for this challenge, and I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

RinRin Doll High Tea in Sydney

On 21 January the Australian Lolita Community (that’s right, the whole country and not just Sydney!) held what will undoubtedly be the year’s biggest event: a High Tea with RinRin Doll. This post is a bit later than I'd like as I wanted to wait for the official photos before posting, and it's also long, so sit tight!

As soon as tickets for the event went on sale I leaped in and bought one, springing a little extra for a VIP ticket because that came with professional pictures with RinRin and additional goodies in your goodie bag. How could I resit either of those things? Two events were actually organised; Neo Tokyo on the Saturday night, which was a clubbing event with additional special guests designer and DJ Takuya Angel and his fashion model Miya-chan, and then the high tea on the Sunday. You could buy combo tickets for both events, and a lot of people at the high tea had gone to Neo Tokyo as well. After a while it was announced that Takuya Angel and Miya-chan would also be guests at the high tea, which I thought was awesome. I'm not a clubbing type of person but Neo Tokyo sounded like it was a lot of fun, so who knows, maybe I'll got to the next one.

After buying my ticket there came weeks and weeks of outfit planning and general nervousness. The week before the meet I tried on my intended outfit…and hated it. It just did not work in real life like it did in my head. So I ran with a tried and true blouse and JSK combo, and decided to fancy things up in the accessories department. By my standards I was very dressed up! I don’t have a picture but I even stuck a peachy flower on my black bag for added floral goodness. In the end I feel like this outfit ended up being a little bit hime-ish, though it’s probably not OTT enough to really qualify. In any case, I liked it!

Good opportunity to share my favourite of the professional shots I got with RinRin!

So I had an outfit plan and spent some time figuring out how best to travel to the venue. On the Wednesday prior to the high tea RinRin posted a tiny video in the Facebook event waving to us and saying she's looking forward to meeting us and oh my goodness she has the most adorable voice! I hadn't heard her speak before and I kind of died of cuteness a little bit. After that I also stalked her Instagram stories and started to get really excited!

On to the day itself! In the morning I thought I had allowed more than enough time to get ready in  but found myself having to rush, which is never a good start to the day in my world (though the sleep in and boyfriend cuddles prior to the rushing was great!). But James got me to the station in good time, I didn’t forget anything, and I had a nice relaxing train trip down where I tried to take a nice selfie and made a good start on reading Artemis by Andy Weir. Before too long I’d gotten to Circular Quay station and managed to find my way out and on to the venue, the Sir Stamford Hotel. Once inside a collection of petticoats on couches told me I was in the right place and I took a seat below the dramatic chandelier and near the adorable plush wombats!

I didn’t know anyone who was there but managed to get more and more comfortable chatting with nice girls as we waited to go into the tea party room, so when one of the organisers came out and announced that there was a seating plan I was disappointed! But the disappointment didn’t last for long because after our table was called in we made our introductions and got to chatting and so I got to meet even more new people because of this!

I had actually been to this hotel and this exact function room for a promotional lunch meeting for work once, so I knew how beautiful it was going to be. But still, it was beautiful. Old fashioned and elegant, lots of gold and cream and dusty reds. Just inside the door to the function room two tables were set up, one with Takuya Angel merchandise and one with RinRin’s. I wish I had gotten a photo of Takuya Angel’s stuff, it was all epic cyber/rave style accessories but I didn’t think too at the time and didn’t have enough cash on me to buy anything. Opposite the door was the photo corner, and the rest of the room was set up with six tables facing the head table set up across some big, bright windows.

Have a little look inside the tea party room!

I think I was the fifth person to buy a VIP ticket for this event, as others on my table were discussing they had bought theirs early, and our seats were numbered. And lucky me, seats four and five were in the middle of the middle front table so I had a clear view to the head table where the special guests and organisers sat. Thankfully, I avoided making creepy eye contact with RinRin! My social skills didn’t fail me terribly, which is always a good thing ^__^ After all the tables were seated the organisers called our attention and announced the arrival of first Takuya Angel and his model Miya-chan, and then RinRin Doll!

Oh my goodness, RinRin is super adorable in real life. She was wearing a gorgeously elegant outfit, complete with lace gloves and a fancy canotier headdress. And the print she was wearing was one of the as-yet unreleased Angelic Pretty ones, Heavenly Banquet. It felt pretty special that she was wearing something like that, I’ll admit ^__^ And I’ll mention now that she was lovely and friendly and smiley and sweet all throughout the day. Even if you want to be cynical and say it's her job to be nice it still doesn't change the fact that she was!

After we applauded it was announced that some of the VIPs would have their photos taken with RinRin now and some after high tea was consumed. There was some confusion as first and we headed to the photo corner, only to be told we would be called up in groups of three. So back to the tables we went where we were each served a chocolate dipped strawberry with a flair of gold and had our tea or coffee orders taken; I had a rose and vanilla tea to start. I was called up for my photo very early, we took three shots and a short video waving to the camera. I also know the guy who was manning the video camera so had a little bit of a chat before he had to hit record on the next person’s waving video.

Then it was back to my seat and very soon out came the high tea, and what a high tea it was. Here’s the menu, because I think it deserves to be shared.

I immediately discovered one of the wonderful things about a lolita high tea. Everyone wants to take photos of the food, so you’re not the odd one out trying to get an aesthetic angle while everyone else just starts eating. Nope, we all whipped out our phones and had a good little food photo session. Here’s a shot of a three-person tower of deliciousness.

And here are a couple of close up pictures of my goodies. First the savouries…

…then the sweets!

Everything was really nice, but in particular the weird orange roll thing was amazing (it was the chicken and shallot in tomato bread pinwheel, had to check the menu after!) and the peach dome and verrine were definitely the best deserts I’ve had all year (hahaha)! The scones were very nice too, but no pictures, because a scone is a scone.

While we were all eating RinRin was going from table to table, spending a little time with us all. When she got to our table I think we were all a little awestruck but she was utterly lovely, very friendly, and we had the chance to ask her a few questions and several people gave her gifts, which she was thrilled about. She also took selfies and some videos with those people. I also saw later that a lot of people took selfies with her throughout the day, but I was too shy to ask. I rather regret not getting a more casual picture with her as well as the VIP ones (because I do not like how I looked in those!) but oh well. I’ll do better next time, and I hope there is a next time! But at least I have my VIP photos and our table group shot.

My table! Delicia, Regina, RinRin, Michelle, Serra then Esther, me, Sam and Alisha 
(probably spelled half those wrong but I think I remembered them all right!)

Things got a bit more casual after the food was eaten and RinRin had done her rounds. People started moving around, and I grabbed Sam and Esther to take photos in an aesthetic corner. I took photos of people, for people, and asked Sam to grab some shots of me as well, which turned out rather nicely.

Thanks Sam ^__^

What was really epic to see what the sheer range of epic outfits. I was definitely one of the most “casual” people there, so that should give you an idea of the scope of fashion that was on display. Here are a few collages of some of my favourite outfits where I actually got up the courage to ask for photos. A lot of these shots were taken in the foyer after the tea party ended and my phone did not like the dim light there so excuse the quality and admire what you can see of the outfits!

I loved the wing veil thing...apparently it was from Taobao and I kind of want one! My table mate Esther was wearing a super pretty BTSSB dress and the girl on the right handmade her whole outfit!

Alisha from my table was super cute and really fun too. The two outfits in the middle were super amazing with handmade pieces and so much more amazing in real life than in photos! Michelle, another from my table, had the best hair...I really want to try this kind of style out sometime.

The girl on the right came out from New Zealand along with Esther (I don't think I mentioned that yet, we had internationals visitors as well as people from interstate!) and she got excited when I complimented her dress and said "Empress Sisi, right?". Nikarra in the middle caught my eye right from the moment she walked into the foyer...and her hat was used for the raffle draw later on! Delicia's outfit was crazy awesome, particularly her hair and makeup but my photo does not do it justice.

During my wanderings I took a look at the merchandise tables. As I mentioned at the start, Takuya Angel's items were rather amazing but out of my price range. However, RinRin had postcard sets for sale for five dollars, so I bought one of those. Here's the cards that were included!

After a little while one of the organisers called us to attention and it was time for the Q&A with RinRin. Each table nominated a spokesperson to ask and agreed upon question (Sam was ours) and I jotted down some notes so I could share her answers here. Not entirely verbatim, of course, but I hope you find it interesting!

How many lolita dresses do you own?
Only about five! She only keeps the ones that have particular sentimental value for her. As a note, I assume that for events like this Angelic Pretty provides her wardrobe, since she was wearing an unreleased print.

Do you have any tips for travelling with lolita?
Vacuum bags, Febreze and underarm guards were her tips.

Will you ever stop wearing lolita and branch out into other styles, or are you a lolita for life?
“Lolita for life!” was the first thing she said, which was met with a cheer from all of us. She went on to explain that she already models quite a few different styles (as evidenced by the previous night’s fashion show at Neo Tokyo) but that she intended to continue to model lolita clothes until either she no longer wanted to or the brands no longer hired her.

RinRin at Neo Tokyo.

Who is your favourite person to work with at Angelic Pretty?
Asuka, because she is the one who tends to organise and direct the shoots and events that RinRin is involved in.

Who is your fashion icon, lolita or otherwise?
Maki, the Angelic Pretty designer, is someone who RinRin has looked up to and is now happy to be close friend with. Maki inspires her to be a better person (cue the loud aww from the assembled lolitas).

How did you hear about and start wearing lolita?
RinRin’s story here was incredibly relatable. A friend in high school brought her a GLB as a souvenir for Japan, and she fell a bit in love with the darker gothic looks (since at the time she wore punky, emo style “like you do when you’re an angsty teen”). She stumbled into sweet lolita specifically when she was scouted to model for Angelic Pretty when they were in LA . When she was dressed up in frilly pink she felt cute and adorable, and the rest is history.

Next was the raffle draw! There were three dresses, an apron skirt, and a pair of socks up for grabs, and first drawn got first choice and so on. I had only bought two tickets as I was trying to be sensible with my monies, but as it turned out I could have just bought one because the first ticket I bought was the fifth ticket drawn! Being the last drawn, I got the OTKS which were predictably the last item left, but that suited me fine! I was super chuffed to have won something ^__^

The funniest thing about the raffle though is that we collectively showed how Aussie we were – the response from the first girl drawn was a very loud “oh shit!” and the second girl did the same! It was funny though.

Speaking of being terribly, terribly Australian, when we took the group picture (which I think happened after the raffle, but it may have been the other way around) RinRin also wanted us to take a brief video saying “Hello from Australia” and waving to the camera. But that quickly morphed into “G’day from Australia, mate” which was…something. It was definitely something. I’m not complaining, I think it’s hilarious, but I love how utterly un-kawaii it was. If the video ever ends up online I'll share a link! And we also took a silly picture, of course.

After the group picture the best dressed chosen by RinRin was announced. She started by saying that we all looked amazing and that in the end her choice came down to her own personal preference for angel themes and she announced the winner, a cute girl called Ashley, who was overjoyed! I liked her outfit, it was very simple in sax and white and gold with a Taobao OP and cute little angel wings. It was so cute when she walked up to get a hug and a prize from RinRin because she had busted one of the side seams on her dress and was holding her arm to her side, but she was smiling from ear to ear. So cute!

And then it was time for us to leave. The organisers sent us out table by table so we could collect our gift bags and a little something from RinRin on the way out. My table was second (same as the order of entry) so we filed out. On the way out we all received a gift bag and also a postcard from RinRin herself, which provided a great opportunity to thank her again for coming out to Australia.

Despite leaving the tea party room no-one actually left immediately and instead we gathered in the foyer to examine our goodies and take more photos.

We Aussies are all class ^__^ We're the best fun too!

I also took a brief look at my loot in the foyer, as I saw other girls pulling out velvet bows and trading colours, but lucky me got an ivory set, which is a colour I actually needed! I did, however, trade my Australian Lolita Community ibis badge with Esther from New Zealand for one of the ones with an illustration of RinRin, because the Kiwi had to get the ibis. Had to. No choice.

The badges ^__^

But after a little while of taking photos and chatting it was time to head home, so I said a few farewells and headed back to the station. I had a silly moment where the flower got dislodged from my bag and I chased it across a (thankfully quiet) road, but let's not dwell on that. I had some bad luck with trains but I eventually made it back home to throw off my pretty outfit in favour of pyjamas! I also took some photos of my gift bag loot.

All in all this was a really great event. It was wonderful to attend a "proper" lolita event and meeting RinRin was really nice. I'm glad I got to experience this and spend more time with the Sydney community, and hope that something like this will be organised again in the not-to-distant future.

Also, as a random end note I wanted to mention that once again I experienced only positive (or at least neutral) reactions from members of the public. An older woman walking past me to exit the train I was one said she loved what I was wearing, while in the hotel foyer I answered a lady who asked us if we were dressed up for a production or party (right on the second one!), and another lolita posted in the Facebook event later that apparently a lady in the hotel bathroom wanted her to tell us all that we looked lovely. I just really like the fact that I have not yet had a negative experience in this fashion. I’m sure it’ll happen one day, but that’s always why I want to point out the good times even if they’re just little comments, so I can try and not let the bad outshine the far more frequent good.

Have you ever had the chance to meet RinRin Doll or any other lolita models or designers?

Friday, 9 February 2018

Lolita Blog Carnival: What Makes A Good Wardrobe Post?

With wardrobe season having come to an end, this feels like a good time to discuss what, exactly, makes for a good wardrobe post. On the surface it's simple; good photos equals a good post! But what, other than the obvious things such as having the photos in focus and lit well so you can see what's actually in the photo, makes the difference between bad and good, and good and great?

I feel like there are three key features that make for a really good wardrobe post:
  1. Consistent presentation
  2. Unique photos
  3. A well curated collection
So what do I mean by each of these? Allow me to elaborate. Bear in mind that these are just my own opinions, of course, so take everything with a grain of salt.

When I talk about consistent presentation I mean taking photos of all your items in the same way, with similar presentation. If you display your dresses on a mannequin but pair then picture your blouses all folded together that's inconsistent and to me, feels lazy. I'd almost rather a post like this just be the dresses! Similarly, this also means that you angle and crop your pictures in the same way as much as possible. Make everything looks like it was photographed the same way as much as possible

Here's an example from my 2017 wardrobe post: different items, fairly (though not perfect) consistent presentation.

As for unique photos, try to do something to stand out a little. Sometimes, this can be simply taking super gorgeous photos! Here's a link to one of my favourite posts this year. Several things made this post stand out. Obviously, the photos are well done, but what makes it unique is the collage layout with pretty font and filters. The detail shots also help make this something out of the ordinary.

Another example of this is what I did in 2016. I made flat lay outfits for each main piece and paired the images with close-ups of the coordinate.

Lastly, a well curated collection means exactly that! Display all the aspects of your wardrobe, and show them with pride. After all, it's a wardrobe post, not a collection of dresses post. Maybe I'm a bit alone in this, but I love seeing the supporting items more than the main pieces a lot of the time so I get disappointed when this part is left out of glossed over. To an extent, you need to have a good wardrobe to make a good wardrobe post. Though I also strongly believe that this is a great way of being active in the community and tracking your progress in the fashion so I'd never advocate anyone not post due to the size or quality of their wardrobe, but generally speaking a bigger and more cohesive wardrobe is "better" (more well received).

One of the supporting acts of my wardrobe...

Of course, the technical matters are important as well, though they're pretty obvious so I don't want to go into them further. But, for the sake of thoroughness here they are:
  • Photos that are in focus and not grainy
  • Consistent and accurate lighting
  • A background that is either plain or complementary to the wardrobe
  • Clothes are ironed and displayed neatly
Those are my thoughts on the matter! Do you agree with my points or not?

Read more from other bloggers:

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Angelic Pretty and Buyee haul

Not too long ago (but long enough that I feel like this post is super late, especially since technically this came in last month) I got in a nice little package from Buyee with a couple of things I bought on auction and a bunch of Angelic Pretty socks that were part of my Christmas present from James.

I actually really love the fact that you can just buy from sites like AP using Buyee. I mean, I didn’t get to gain or use any points like I would have if I’d logged in with my own account, but given that I’d have had to use Tenso (sister company to Buyee) to forward my package anyway I liked being able to do a little more shopping and have things shipped together. I am trying to not buy too much new stuff (though technically this was ordered in 2017 so whatever ^__^) so this is not a huge haul, but still makes me very happy! Buyee was Buyee and as usual I was pleased with their service.

First of all, behold the glory of my new socks! I’m so pleased to have gotten some nice plain options in my OTKS collection. And they are really good socks. The laces, of course, are gorgeous, and even on my currently fat legs they fit well.

But mostly I’m pleased with an item not pictured; a pair of little red crew socks! After I blogged about the things I regret not buying I saw these and (even though they’re not the exact same socks) almost made the same mistake of not buying! But then I put my foot down, and made myself spend the utterly ridiculous sum of ¥2700 on a nice pair of tiny little socks.

And they’ve already proven their worth as I wore them the day after the package arrived in a casual outfit to work. I really needed a pair of red ankle socks and I am very glad to have some now!

Behold, my new socks (and my face)

Moving onto my auction finds, I won a lot of assorted accessories: a BTSSB two-way clip and rectangle headdress along with a choker and hairclip from Liz Lisa. This was a bit of a frivolous purchase because I didn’t need any of these things, but my goodness I do like them!

The rectangle headdress is gorgeous, as is the other Baby clip, and what really impresses me on both is that the flowers are detachable! That really makes me happy on the bow clips especially, as the flowers are a good match for some things in my wardrobe, so I like that I can use them independently of the main clip itself. The Liz Lisa items are nice, nothing I would buy on their own, especially since the hairclip is a bit on the blingy side, but they are definitely nice pieces.

 Lolita bling ^__^

The last thing in this haul is the Chocolate Cards Cardigan from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. I am gradually falling more and more in love with chocolate things so I was really happy to stumble upon this for a decent price! I’m not madly in love with the card suit theme, but to me it reads more chocolatey anyway and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of double theming.

So there we have my first lolita purchases of 2018!As you may have read in my 2018 goals post I’m planning to really minimise my lolita purchases this year so this may be the last post of this kind for a while!

Did you get any lolita items for Christmas (or spend Christmas money on lolita)?