Wednesday, December 31, 2014

°˖✧✝ 2014 Roundup: I'm Sticking with Old School Lolita ✝✧˖°

More specifically, Old School Gothic Lolita. But of course I'm going to forget that Gothic part when I want to wear heart aprons more than anything else.  

It's been a bit of a chore explaining what type of Lolita I was in 2014. Someone would ask and I would look down at my outfits and think- Gothic, right? But it was like I was trying to persuade myself and not the person. It had gotten to a point where I would say, "You know what, I don't even know anymore." Now, if that doesn't sound like a Lolita in distress, then I don't know what does. But now I know that confusion wasn't a bad thing. In fact, it created the start of a better me.   

It all started when I started buying more Old School pieces. I wasn't even doing it purposely. I just found myself saying, "I want that," more to the most frighting of Old School pieces. I was going against every modern rule of Lolita- NO black and white, NO unnecessary ruffles, NO extra lace, NO bizarre designs and, above all, NO RASHEL LACE!!

BACK, you demon!
Source: Metamorphose's website

Then I began realizing I was talking more about it too! At times, I would apologize, because, somehow, I had steered another Lolita conversation to Old School. Though, I wasn't even calling my outfits Old School during this time. It took one of my Lolita friends to say that I was dressing "a bit Old School." I didn't even noticed until she said it! The funny thing is that the JSK I was wearing was a recent one made in 2011. It was just that the way I styled it made it have an Old School feeling. 

These are two of my favorite Old School purchases of 2014.

Top: OP- Atelier Boz
Bottom: Apron & Skirt- Baby, the Stars Shine Bright

I've found that obtaining these pieces has rejuvenated my passion for creating outfits. Sure, the Atelier Boz OP looks like a regular black dress, but I can honestly say that I would have never imagined to create such an outfit with any other black OP. What stood out to me was the dress' character. I looked at it and saw something I could get involved in. That's a feeling that I get with my Lolita wardrobe now.  

Yeah, so, I'm never selling this OP ever. Having known that Moon Kana modeled in the same dress makes it that much special to me (well, it's not the SAME dress, but you know what I mean). 

OP- Metamorphose 

That's one of the experiences that I love most with collecting Old School clothing- you feel a connection with a part of history. It's a feeling that I've never felt with any other piece of clothing I have. It's a good feeling that makes me feel good as well. I believe that's one of the reasons why I would rather dress in Old School Lolita. It's not a style that I started out with in this fashion, but it was the one that I've always felt love for. Loving Old School Lolita has created a new opportunity to love myself. 

How you ask? It's simple. I'm wearing something that I love, and therefore I love myself for being a part of what I love.
(It's kind of roundabout, but it makes sense to me!)

In 2015, I hope to acquire more Old School pieces to explore their different possibilities. And no I don't think that I will be hindered by sticking mostly to past trends. I see it as an ultimate opportunity to create something new from something old. I find it to be an exciting challenge!

°˖✧ 'Till next time (In 2015!)

Monday, December 29, 2014

°˖✧✝ NYC’s BABY Store Opening Pt. 2 ✝✧˖°

This is a continuation of my post, °˖✧✝ NYC’s BABY Store Opening Pt. 1 ✝✧˖°. Please take a moment to read part 1 of this post here

By morning, I had my outfit finally sorted out. But with the constant second guessing, last minute preparations, and all of the little grooming in between, I made myself late for the train, which set me back about an hour later than I had scheduled. I was upset, but I let it go. I was more concern about the other Lolitas in my community that I would be letting down by arriving late. By the time I boarded the train to NYC, I was only preoccupied with getting to the store as soon as possible. However, my lack of experience with subways and unannounced detours made my hour and 30 minute trip into a daunting 3 hour one. I wasn't ready to give up, even though I was on my third attempt to find the right stop on a train that had as many variations as AP’s chocolate prints. But then, on my third try, out of nowhere, I saw a glint of a pink poof in the same train car as me and desperately maneuvered through the crowd of people to the layered mass. It was another Lolita, a Sweet one to my rescue! And she lived up to her Sweet Lolita persona. She was nice, generous, understanding, and just so sweet! Though, to my dismay, she was also lost (I couldn't catch a break)! But I knew I had more hope of finding the place with her. She didn't even think about it; she insisted on helping me.

My cute, pink savior! 

It took a few more tries on the subway, but we finally found the correct route to take us to the store thanks to the instruction of an insightful station worker at one of the stops. The situation was a bit funny too! We saw him and asked him for him for help with low expectations, but when we walked over to him, he stopped us and said, "You're Lolitas, right? Going to the BABY store? What you do is... and get off at... and then walk..." We were shocked that he even knew what we were and where we were going. When I asked him how he knew about the event, he told us that people who looked like us were coming through the stop all day asking for assistance. He also explained that the normal train we would have gotten on was on a different schedule because of detours in the line. My day ended up being composed of lucky coincidences, but I wasn't complaining.

The station worker's directions were correct and they got us there in no time. I was glad and it felt like the worse was over. I was finally there and a could bask in all of the Lolita glory. With only two blocks left to walk, I felt excited. By the last one, I could see the line. I could tell it was long, but my anticipation overshadowed that fact. When we reached the store's door, I was so amazed. Going down the line further, I was ecstatic. There were so many beautifully dressed Lolitas in such interesting outfits. Passing the midpoint of the line, I still wasn't able to see the line's end, but that didn't stop any of my enchantment. However, by time we arrived at the block's corner, we still weren't at the end, and reality started to sink in. Just what did I get myself into?!

All the way down the block (a NYC block, gosh those things are long) and around the corner, I stood waiting, taking everything in. I REALLY had no idea how many people planned on coming. Without any exaggeration, this was the longest line I ever had to wait in, but, honestly, it was also one of the most enjoyable. When I got the chance to sneak off the line, I had time to search for my friends and talk to some familiar faces, I even got the opportunity to take a few pictures with the other Lolitas there. I had to wait three hours to get into the store, but interacting with the people in the line seemed to be an even greater event than the store's opening.

I was standing next to this lovely Lolita in line. It was fun listening to her stories.
She said she was at the first Tokyo Rebel store opening. How cool is that?!
(Sorry for my sloppy purse. I have to be more mindful of these things.)  
The greatest thing that happen that day was me meeting my favorite Lolita blogger, Sheri.
Please go check out her blog! She's amazing. 

When I finally made it to the next group allowed to go in, it was still so crowed inside the store! There were people all over who were reminiscing over their Lolita memories from yester years, squealing from unexpected reunions, partaking in interviews, and combing through BABY's selection. All I wanted was an accessory in black (I wasn't throwing out the big bills that day). I could only afford two or three headdress. But to my dismay, there wasn't anything left in black. They completely cleaned out. Only the Sweet accessories remained. I was disappointed that I couldn't get what I wanted, but I was glad that it meant they were getting good business. The purchasing line wrapped around half of the store! When I would go back to look at a JSK, it'd be gone!

BONUS: It's hard to believe, but in a bizarre way, this was my luckiest day EVER. Not only was I fortunate to bump into a Lolita on the same train car as me and meet  the most positive and informative subway worker, but I was also the one who won the raffle to purchase BABY's La Marie Pure dress set! NO LIE! Like I said before, I didn't have a substantial amount of money, but when the sales worker came down the line recruiting people for the raffle, I signed it. Though, I only did it to show support. I never win at things like this and knew I would never be the one picked.

The dress on the left is the La Marie Pure dress set.
I could have been a perfect Lolita bride!
Source: BABY's NYC Blog 

You should have seen my face when she tracked me down in the store and told me I won! I was shocked, for sure, but I was more embarrassed than anything. There was no way I had enough funds to spend on the $1000 set. But the sales clerk insisted on helping me work out some sort of payment plan. I felt so bad having to turn her and the opportunity down so many times.

The funny thing, though, is when I called my mother to tell her what happen on the train ride back home, she yelled at me! She screamed, "You won a chance to buy a $1000 dress?! And you didn't take it?!!!" I mean, how was I supposed to know that she would help me pay for it? Oh, well. I just laughed and responded, "Yeah, maybe if it was in black."

°˖✧ 'Til Next Time

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

°˖✧✝ I'm not Dead ✝✧˖°

I know, I'm terrible for not keeping up with my blog. I'm ashamed. But I'm back and ready to blog! So, what the heck have I been doing instead?

*drum roll*

I've graduated from my university! I'm finally done (for now). These last few months have been dedicated to getting me the heck out of school and I have succeeded, hopefully with flying colors (the only thing on my Christmas list this year are A's). Maybe this means more time that I can focus on my blog? I'm thinking, yes!  

It'll be too much to go into detail about the events that have happened to me since I last blogged in this one post, so I'll just skip to the most recent. I'm having a giveaway on my other blog on Tumblr! Yup, I made a Tumblr. And it's not as bad as I thought it would be. I'm not as obsessed over it as others predicted I would be, and I have already have a modest following over 300 people (Not a bad number for not posting regular selfies, hehehe~). 
What to be apart of the giveaway? Follow my Tumblr and reblog this giveaway picture.
It's that's easy!  
The prize is a mini Old School tote bag handmade by me. Isn't it cute? I'm seriously thinking about making them to sell, especially now that I have some time on my hands because I'm out of school. I'm glad my bag has already gotten a positive response with my followers. I can't wait to create more using Old School designs! 

This is a Tumblr only giveaway, but if someone sees this post in time and want to participate, here are the rules:

✝ Must be following me! FOLLOW HERE
✝Must be 18+ or have parent’s permission to give me your address to send you the prize if you win.
1 Like = 1 Entry + 1 Reblog = 1 Entry (you can reblog as much as you like) 
✝Ask box must be open. If no reply is received within 24 hours, a second winner will be picked. 
Winner will be chosen using
Thank You and GOOD LUCK!~ 

Oh, and I haven't forgotten  part 2 of my BABY Store opening post. It shall be on its way!

°˖'Till next time    

Saturday, September 13, 2014

°˖✧✝NYC’s BABY Store Opening Pt. 1✝✧˖°

In July, I was one of the lucky people able to go to BABY’s NYC grand opening, and the experience proved to be just as exciting and magical as their blog updates led its readers to believe. But my experience wasn't necessarily the fairy princess or elegant maiden fantasy that BABY conceptually designs for. 

Weeks before the opening, my Lolita community was scurrying to plan their outfits and scheduling the big day down to the last minute. There was even an arrangement for a casual lunch meet afterward for a small group of us. All was fine, and most importantly, for the most part, organized; I felt comfortable. But I couldn't help but feel a slight uneasiness when on of my Lolita friends said that she didn't want to go to the opening. That stopped me. Why wouldn't she want to go? Even if you don't necessarily favor BABY or wear the brand that often, which I don't, I felt that we should still go and show our support.   

From what I gathered, her main reason for not wanting to go was simply because of the crowds she predicted to be there. This shocked me even more. Crowds, what crowds? When the information was put forth, I thought that this was going to be something that would strike the interest of the Lolitas that were predominately from the area, like NYC, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and the farthest being Connecticut. And even then, I never pictured every single Lolita going. Little did I know, I was off, BIG TIME. 

My friend told me that she read that people as far as Canada were rumored to come experience this opening. My jaw dropped; I couldn't even fathom that someone would do such a thing. The response to the store opening was so grand. What was even more amusing was how my friend reacted to how timid my expectations were! It was as if she was saying, "Of course there are going to be crowds! Where have you been?" But for some reason, I still underestimated the opening's effect. I was still carrying on saying, "I can get there like an hour before opening and be fine, right?" And that plan backfired right in my face.  

On the big day, I was up early and mapped out everything perfectly, or so I thought. The night before was a nightmare. After a failed attempt to reconstruct a blouse I arranged to wear to the opening, I had to scrap it  and change my entire outfit at 1 in the morning. My new coordinate was created in the spur of the moment and fueled by lack of sleep. I hated it. It felt sloppy, rusted, and unimaginative. But I couldn't go down the street in the monster shirt I was desperately trying to save, so I had to live with it, (I'm exaggerating. The shirt wasn't that bad. It's just the in the oh-so-critical sunlight you could see that that the fabric I used to extend the short sleeve into a long one was not the same color black as the shirt. It was a shade off, something that I couldn't see under the florescent lighting in the fabric store.)  

Instead of the Old School coordinate I was planing, I had to settle for my newly purchased BABY op that I picked up on Yahoo! Japan's auctions a week or so before. I wasn't even expecting to wear the op, seeing as it was a last resort option, but them had to quickly switch it to become my plan B. 

I don’t know the name of this OP. I can’t even find a stock picture of a dress that looks anything close to it. All I know is that I saw an auction listing for a black OP that had an organza apron with a velvet print and a BABY tag! 

In the end though, I'm glad that circumstances forced me to wear my unknown BABY op. When I got it, I envisioned an Old School Kuro coordinate equipped with a black rectangle headdress and cute teddy bear. But not having anything to wear to the opening gave me a chance to play around with my accessories and build on what I already have. Thankfully, the result was a positive one that left me with a new coordinate.

My face… and hair accessories (the most interesting aspect of my coordinate). As of late, I've realized that my outfits have revolved entirely around my accessories. I guess it’s time to get a statement piece that’s a dress and not something I can just stick on to me.           

Well, that's the end of part 1 of my adventure. I wrote a lot, and I'm only at the middle! I need to start posting these things on time. 

°˖'Till next time

Monday, June 9, 2014

°˖✧✝Happy Birthday to Me✝✧˖°

After a semester of six classes, a teaching internship, tutoring, projects on top of projects, two twenty page papers, and, to top it off, a thirty page paper, I was dead tired. I just wanted to turn off all of the lights and go to sleep for a week or so (more like a month). So when my birthday came around in mid May, a day before my last class, I didn't really treat it more than a regular day, which is pretty sad, to say the least. But, luckily, my parents were there to help cheer me up and get me through some of my sadness. I didn't get a celebration or cake for my birthday, but I did get a generous amount of spending money from them (thanks to me making the Dean’s List again).

One thing that is worth knowing about my parents is that they are not as open to sub-styles, sub-cultures, or sub- anything for that matter. So when my interests diverge from the normality, they cringe at the idea and cope by making fun and downplaying them. If I had five dollars for every time I heard them say, “This is just a phase” I could finally purchase a Moi Meme Moitie OP straight from the company’s website, including tax and shipping! Therefore, having my parents agree to buy a Lolita dress for me means a lot to me. Well, really, I guess I would have to say that my mother’s actions house the most meaning. It was my mother who actually agreed to buy me something Lolita related and even helped me pick what to get. My father just gave me money and told me to go wild with it (not his actual words, heehee~). I just decided to use some of it for my Lolita wardrobe without him knowing. And I think that’s for the best. As I have seen before, older salary men types and Lolita don’t really match.   

Monma-san and my father are kindred spirits.

The first piece that I was able to snag, after a lot of misses from waiting for mother to give me the money (she REALLY didn't want to pay for a Lolita dress at first), was Innocent World’s Lace Crinoline Bustle JSK on Closet Child. What attracted me to the JSK at first, was its low price of $86. Oh, and that it was black. The site had multiple listing of the same dress which made me a bit weary to its value and construction. Usually, when there are multiple listings, I just look at the first one and not even bother with the others. But I noticed that one of the listing titles was longer than the others, though still bared the same price of $86. When I clicked on it, I saw that the JSK was a different version with a dotted tulle bustle on the back of the dress. From there, I knew that I was going to get it without any questions. The other version of the JSK was just far too plain in comparison.

I don’t know whether this is common for all Lolitas, but I imagine the next step for a Lolita after purchasing a used brand piece that is not as recognizable as Vampire Requiem is to search its origins. However, once I found the dress in question on Lolibrary, I began to feel concerned. The original stock photos made the accent color of the ribbon printed on the fabric look blue, while the pictures on Closet Child looked more purple like a periwinkle, if not lavender altogether. I thought, how the heck did blue turn to purple? And then, a horrible vision of a Lolita continuously dipping the dress into a bucket of hot water whilst evil music ensued clouded my mind. To make sure I wasn't getting some type of washing project gone wrong, I desperately went online to search for personal pictures with up-close detail shots taken from every angle possible. To my relief, all of the pictures showed the color to be bluish purple like the Closet Child photos suggested.

The next piece I was able to acquire is now one of my favorites in my wardrobe. It’s an old school Metamorphose set from the Rakuten second-hand shop, Tokyo Pirates. I’m glad that I found this. It has made me so incredibly happy, so much so that I let out a tiny shriek of glee when my payment was finalized.

Look  at it. It's dripping with such old school tackiness that I adore. If my father ever find out that I spent his money on something like this, he'd never forgive me, hahaha!

Just like with the Innocent World JSK, I went online to do my research on the set’s product information and photos. However, because of the set's age, I went straight to the archives of Old School Lolita's Tumblr page with the high hopes of finding a street snap or stock photo. I just knew that I saw pictures that vaguely resembled my set floating around in a post. After about fifteen minutes or so, I was lucky enough to stumbled across a post of the set's blouse that estimated the construction year to be 2001! A couple of more post into the blog, I was able to find a picture of a girl (model? sales clerk?) wearing the full set. I couldn't help scream out, "THAT'S MY SET!" I'm delighted that I was able to discover the set's different colorways, but, in a way, happier with the one that I bought. The black on black coloring is more pleasing to me and I adore the pink rose accents. The print is very familiar to the vintage dresses that I already have.  

As an added bonus, I found a drawing for my set by none other than the fabulous artist Mitsukazu Mihara! There's nothing new about this picture; it has been floating around the internet and the Lolita community for years. But I would have never noticed that my set severed as one of her references without me looking at every outfit with a peter pan collar, princess sleeves, lace and ribbons without such scrutiny. I nearly fainted when I realized.  

In the group of the three Lolitas, my Metamorphose set is the one on the right next to the tiny Mitsukazu icon at the bottom.

It's like Mitsukazu drawing ME, right? Well, a Lolita can dream. Excuse me while I Photoshop my face on this picture. 

 °˖'Till next time 

Friday, February 14, 2014

°˖✧✝Be My Valentine, Fringeless Lolita✝✧˖°

In my last post, I put up a picture of me with a new hairstyle. The picture showed a generic Lolita hairstyle that is very reminiscent to the hair seen in the fashion, hair pulled up into two high, curly ponytails. But there was one unique factor- no fringe. That’s right, I’m going fringeless. Someone call the Lolita police.

Okay, so the Lolita police don’t exist and the phrase is clearly a smart-alecky joke for Lolitas to express their disdain for the invisible, and yet omnipresent, Lolita ruler that makes soft guidelines into ridge, golden rules. But with the amount of Lolitas that are inclined to don the cut, whether they be professional models, regular people shown in a Japanese fashion magazine’s street snaps, Tumblr Lolitas, or the ones in your local community, the amount of fringed beauties can be both unbelievably daunting and phenomenally influential. It’s hard to not to be expected to be seen with the same cut when so many others have it. The fringe is the one thing that always seems to remain in style. Regardless of the changes in season or era, you’ll see that the fringe is one of the main elements that connect all Lolitas together. And now, decades into the fashion, the hair is still as much present as it was before. And no one really needs to tell you, you just know.

The Lolita Saints! Lolita memes in English on Facebook

But what about the fringeless Lolita? Do they even exist? Of course they do! They vary in between the abundances of fringed ones, but they are around, and have been around for longer that one would think.  When I was lurking around the Tumblr page of Old School Lolita admiring the older styles, I was taken aback when I saw an old advertisement showcasing a lovely Lolita. She had two darling ponytails that dangled effortlessly from the back of her head in soft curled spirals. Her forehead remained bare, which allowed for the shorter hair of her hairline to be swept backwards into light waves. The hair gave off a youthfulness that captured her natural beauty. I was in love! (In layman’s terms, she is undeniably cute.)  

Such a cutie! Doesn't she just give of an innocent aura? 
I don’t know her name and wish that I knew more of her modeling career. All I know is that she’s gorgeous and that her hairstyle heightens her beauty.  I’m smitten. It’s official; she’s my Valentine for today. Fringeless Lolita-chan, PLEASE BE MINE!
Okay, so on a serious note, the thought of not having a fringe or any type of bang was terrifying to me at first. I've been sporting a side bang for years and not having one now is still very new. I felt comfort being able to hide behind my bangs. But, without one, it’s as if I'm being completely trusted forward in a crowd (you see EVERYTHING). Even though I love my hairstyle, I still feel slightly insecure before I walk outside. I question the completeness of my makeup, judge my looks, and frown at the size of my forehead (as a child I was always made fun of for it). Nevertheless, I've come to believe that not having a fringe has given me the right kind of boost in self-esteem. When I wear my hairstyle, I’m forced to look at myself and reconcile with the insecurities that I have been fostering for years. I’m able to see all of me and smile when I do so. It’s not a big one, but I’m glad that it now shows up more than once and an awhile.       

°˖'Till next time  

Monday, January 13, 2014

°˖✧✝Long Time No See✝✧˖°

When I signed off my last blog post with my signature, “‘till next time,” I didn’t expect the next time to be next year! I guess the biggest question that needs to be asked is what I have been doing these past months. In short: NOTHING, or at least nothing that needed to be blogged about. Since the beginning of November, I’ve been more preoccupied with my studies and the projects and papers that follow them, so I haven’t been involved with anything within the fashion. Personally, I find November to be a bit of a bore anyway. My state’s Lolita group didn’t even have anything planned. It seems as if we all were waiting for something more festive than cranberry sauce and turkey legs.

             I was desperately looking forward to December, the time of merriment, so I could be a part of the activities. I even rallied for December meets in my states’ group. Unfortunately, I was buried so far in projects that my Lolita plans fell through. I even missed the event planed for International Lolita Day *tear*. Out of all of the meets planed, missing that one hurt the most (right in the heart). On the bright side, I guess my academic focus was worth it because I made Dean’s List at my college! Honestly, it has been a while since I’ve made Dean’s list, so I’m completely trilled. I had to treat myself for my accomplishment.

             So I went out to a little café called Petit Paris, or Le Petit Parisien, to commemorate my hard work. I live in a relatively small town with more houses than anything else, so I had to travel two towns over to get to the café. I didn’t mind though, seeing as it took no time to get there and I was recommended to go to the café from a couple of my classmates. I was actually asking about nice cafés in the area around our university with a friend but our classmates got involved and they all suggested Petite Paris! So I had to go check it out, if not for the proposal, then for the sake of not being left out of the loop, hehehe.

             The shop’s décor is least to be desired and borders on plain. Though, I did like the huge, black decorative mirror that hung on the wall and their menus typed in French. The French was a nice touch, but proved to be a hassle. I couldn’t pronounce the dishes to save my life, and I did in fact try. In the end, I shamefully pointed to the dish that I wanted when the waitress came over to take my order. Hearing her elegantly pronounce the French as if it was her first language assured me that saying nothing was for the best. 

I'm a little upset that I didn't get a drink with my order. Next time I'll have to get their cappuccino. I hear great reviews about its taste.  

I ended up getting a sandwich with chicken, bacon, boiled egg slices, tomatoes, and a lightly seasoned tangy mayonnaise. It even came with a side salad, a nice refreshing bonus! I only got trough half of the sandwich until I started to get full. The portions are very generous at Petit Paris! Afterwards, I went a bakery that I had pasted on the way and got a cupcake. It was chocolate on chocolate topped with brownie chunks. It looked so good that had to eat it right away! Hence, there is no picture, but it was oh so yummy.

I didn't actually wear any Lolita clothing this day due to the below freezing temperature and the recent snow fall. My poor little legs couldn't handle it. I decided to dress my hair up in the style instead. Hair Loli! 
BONUS: I changed my hair! Now I have cute ringlet pigtails to suit my old school Gothic Lolita passions. I really love pigtails and would wear my hair the style everyday if I could. I think I channel this love from childhood. Even though I wanted pigtails, my mother would never put my hair in them. But now that I’m an adult, I can put them in the style as much as a want (so mature)!

             My pigtails still get mixed review from the common folk that I pass in the course of a day. They either love it or hate it. But the ones that do love them always have such strange remarks! It’s as if the sight of abnormal hairstyles calls for a story or explanation to match. The “no, I just wear this because I like it” reply just doesn’t suffice. When I was out at Petit Paris, a woman asked if I was a hair model! The question was so weird and funny at the same time. The people that do have such jobs are like mythical creatures to me, I’ve never actually known anyone to be one or have friends who personally know one. The woman was so sure though! So, the woman has convinced me. In my next life I shall be a hair model… specifically for Gothic Lolita styles. Gothic Lolita Bible, hit me up!

°˖'Till next time