Monday, March 23, 2015

°˖✧✝ Recent Outings and Outfits ✝✧˖°

I've took a stand and calmed down from attending weekly meetups lately. There're so many events I want to go to, but I'm learning to manage my time and budget my money. I still make time for an outing now and then though. 

At the start of this month, I attended a small convention arranged by a local college, called MinCon. I'm not really a con goer, but I wanted an excuse to leave out dressed in Lolita without having to spend much of anything.

Blouse and Skirt Set: Metamorphose de temps fille
Blouse (underneath) and Jabot: Bodyline
Accessories: Handmade or Thrifted 

So this set may look familiar. That's because it's the set I bought back in 2014 for my birthday! Look at how pretty it is. I knew it had the potential to produce an amazing outfit. I know I've said this before, but I really love the black colorway for this set! All of its black color makes it perfect for pairing with even more black!

The best thing about this set is how I can retain my Gothic appearance while still being cute. Part of the reason being are the blooming pink roses printed throughout the fabric. Florals are really something I miss in Gothic Lolita.

Most of time I feel as if Gothic Lolitas are expected to retain an elegant and mature presence that eliminates youthful themes. This is due mostly to youthful motifs being thought of having a more cutesy air to them. And cutesy themes tends to be reserved for Sweet Lolitas nowadays. But I can be Gothic while maintaining a cute atmosphere. Did you ever expect a Gothic Lolita outfit with pink? Well, I'm here to tell you that it can be done.  

Oh, and I can't forget about my date, my handsome teddy bear. I wanted to capture the Old School aura of this set, and thought the little addition of a teddy bear would extend my outfit to that level. I've always wanted to carry a stuff animal with me while wearing Lolita. I don't care if it comes off as cheesy. I think it looks adorable. I can finally check it off of my Old School bucket list!
I met a friend from my community at the con too!
I love meeting Lolita friends at non Lolita functions.
Look at her cute JSK. She made it herself!
The next outing I wore Lolita to was one with a very close Lolita friend. I was complaining about not having anywhere to go and she came up with the great idea of dressing up for a movie premiere of What We Do in the Shadows. I wanted to see the movie since it came out in 2014, but didn't know that it just debut in the states recently this year.     

What We do in the Shadows is a clever vampire mocumentary
that doubles as a funny comedy!
If you're a fan of witty spoofs and vampires, make your way to see this movie. 

The movie isn't playing everywhere, just in select theaters for a night or two. So the closest theater showing was about two hours away from me by train! Unexpectedly, the theater was very small, which made our outfits a bit of a burden. Though, we wouldn't have had it any other way. Dressing up for themes is really fun, and we had a great time. We fit perfectly! 
I'm in love with my friend's outfit so much.
BABY's Maria's Catholic Nun OP looks fantastic
 paired with velvet.

Blouse: Black Peace Now
Skirt: Metamorphose temps de fille
Bag: Patchy
Accessories: Handmade or Thrifted 

In honor of the film, I wanted to wear my new bat themed pieces, my Black Peace Now blouse and Patchy backpack. I really love this outfit and plan on wearing it again for a big event in my community. I can't let such a outfit go to waste. My friend felt the same about hers too. Who knows, maybe we'll both end up wearing our outfits again to the same event. Look forward to a similar photo next month!  

A picture on the train ride home.
The cupcake never made it to my house.

Hey, what's this, a picture of me smiling? I couldn't help it. A group of passengers across from me were making me laugh while I was taking my picture. I tried to keep my composure, but couldn't resist. I kept hearing things like, "Look! That cupcake and her are twins!" or "Do you think she'll split it with us? It's four of us, but that cupcake looks really big." Then they noticed my muffled giggles and tried to make me laugh even more! I'm no good at keeping a straight face. 

°˖✧ 'Till next time

Monday, March 16, 2015

°˖✧✝ All Bats Everything: Patchy Backpack ✝✧˖°

So, you thought I had my fill of bats, huh? NEVER! Just when I thought I couldn't get any more lucky, I was able to obtain my very own Patchy bag! I still can't believe it. I'm teetering between either bursting out in tears or hyperventilating.     

There is at least one item that is treated as a "holy grail" piece in a Lolita's wishlist. It's said to be a holy grail because it becomes the most sought after item on their list. Sometimes, it's labeled as a holy grail because, while it's well known, it may never be obtainable. For a long time, one of my holy grail items was a Patchy bag, and I would've settled for any one of them.The first time I saw one of their bags was of course in the Gothic Lolita Bible. I was so smitten with their designs. And how could I not be? Every design came with cleverly styled wings, most being slick bat ones. Every time I stumble over my saved Patchy pictures in my documents, I always let out a longing sigh.  

The bag I will forever swoon over.

With stunning bags like these, one would think that they would be extremely popular and sought after. But, surprisingly, they are mostly unknown in the Lolita world today.  Patchy items have always been hard to obtain, but now, even further in the 2000s, it's like they never existed. When I tried naming and describing the bags to one of my Lolita friends, she had admittedly told me that she was not familiar with the brand until I had mentioned it. It's hard enough trying to describe an item that someone knows nothing about, but it's even harder to look for that said item when seemingly no one knows anything about it.    

Source: Amy the Yu's 2013 wardrobe post 
Though, to be honest, I didn't know much about the bags aside from their name before now. I didn't know where to buy them, how often they were released or if the brand was defunct. And just typing in Patchy, both in English and Japanese romaji, on Google or auction sites never got me anywhere. I had gotten to a point where I thought I wouldn't ever get a chance to own anything from Patchy. I gave up and accepted defeat.

But then, something magnificent happened at the beginning of this month. When I was listlessly scrolling through an auction site, my eyes glanced over a backpack with that iconic Patchy bat swirl! I didn't think it was real. It couldn't have been, I thought. I lost all hope of ever owning one, so there was no way it was real. Not only that, but the backpack wasn't listed under the name Patchy, but Putumayo. But what does Patchy have to do with Putumayo? Apparently, everything!

Source: From Putumayo's 2012 Twitter post
One thing that I didn't know was that Patchy's merchandise has been sold through Putumayo's stores for years. I never knew this about Putumayo. If I did, I would have went about my searches differently. Whereas typing "Patchy bag" in a search engine offered zero results, typing "Putumayo Patchy bag" produced a nice amount. One of the results lead me to a 2004 post asking similar questions about the brand Patchy on EGL, where many provided helpful information on the subject.  

But I had already bought the bag even before I officially knew about Putumayo's affiliation! I guess I was a bit reckless, but I couldn't give up the chance. Sure, I thought about the possiblity of it being fake or an "inspired" Patchy design. However, I felt as if this opportunity was far too great not to bid on it. Besides the wings being a dead giveaway, I squinted very hard to make out the words engraved on the front and was sure that the obscure 'P' word was Patchy. As an online shopper I knew I had to be careful, but my gut was telling me my instincts were right. So I put a bid on it. And, oh was I lucky! For a Patchy bag that started at about $14, I won the auction for $30!    
Bonus: It's in a shape of a coffin!

The bag I won was a 2012 design, and, as you can see from the linked Putumayo Twitter post, it is a softer bag than its predecessors. I assume this is because it might have been targeted for casual wear. However, its softer material doesn't diminish its construction. In this version, the wings are detachable, and the material makes the bag overall more malleable, which I like. If Lolitas think petticoats make maneuvering hard, they should wear a Patchy bag and see how even more difficult it becomes. So in a way, I'm grateful for something with a little more cushion. It's great because when people push past the bag's wings or the wings tuck under me when I'm sitting, I don't have to worry about the bag being permanently bent. I'm very happy with this bag, but I'm still hoping for one of the older, stiffer ones. They're stiff and clunky just like my platforms, hehehe~  

°˖✧ 'Till next time

Thursday, March 5, 2015

°˖✧✝ Lolita Blog Carnival: Favorite Lolita Hairstyles ✝✧˖°

To those who have read my posts in the past, you may already know that my favorite Lolita hairstyle is twin tails! I've referred to them as ponytails or pigtails in previous posts, because that's what people call them where I'm from, but I think the Japanese term, twin tail, is more fitting and cuter. Even though I've already talked about why I like this hairstyle before, I still have more love to give!  

I don't want this post to seem monotonous, so I'm going to go deeper and explain where my fondness for this style comes from. Though, I'm a bit embarrassed to say that it's not because of a very sophisticated reason (it's more finicky than anything). In some instances, I obsess over symmetry or a sense of balance. So the effect of having mirroring hair pieces on both sides of my face gives me a soothing satisfaction. They also frame the face in a shapely manner that's quite appealing. 

Likewise, because the the root of my admiration comes from my symmetrical obsession, I've realized that any hairstyle that's comparable to twin tails' proportions is a style I've also harbored love for. So yeah, buns are included too! I feel so silly explaining it, but I've come to terms with it and even named it. I call it the "Noah Effect," everything has be in twos.     

So lets appreciate some of my favorite "Noah Effects" in Lolita hairstyles!

◊ Puffy/Curly Twin Tails       

I know I've already said I liked twin tails, but when I talk about them, I'm usually referring to those with tight ringlets. It's an Old School trend, but I still think that it reflects the strongest "dolly" look out of all of the other common Lolita hairstyles. But, out of all of the standard twin tail looks, with the most common one being the straight twin tail with a curl at the end, I think puffy twin tails aren't given their due anymore. I'll admit, at first glace, they don't give off an air of sophistication that Lolitas are trying to achieve nowadays, mostly because they read as being childlike. But I believe that they stand a chance of being used for an elegant princess look. Especially when you grow tired of that hime hair (or can't get it layered just right). 

Alice and the Pirates x Hizaki collaboration (suck it you Visual Kei haters)
Hizaki is the ultimate princess, so if curly twin tails
are good enough  for him, they're good enough for me.
And adding a little more puff wouldn't hurt either.

◊ Curly Buns

The reason why I chose curly buns and not regular buns is because curls adds emphasis to a hairstyle. It creates the right about of volume and depth to the normal bun shape. Instead of having knots on the side of your head, curly buns makes these otherwise sculpted bumps of hair into smooth, soft gathers. The effect ends up being like one of those Christmas present bows! This style is cute, but it's still able to be done with a level of maturity, as seen from the picture with Misako. Ditch the matching bows and style with looser curls that's more relaxing and natural. It'll be toned down, but it'll still serve as a fun style. (And not the mention, moving your hair up emphasizes your neck, sometimes making it longer and refined.)  

Go ahead and touch my curly buns.
They're nice and springy!
◊ Horns 

Okay, so I'm not even going to try to sugarcoat this one. It's out there (very avant garde). I dare any Classic Lolita to do a workable, elegant horn hairstyle! I'll be waiting and preparing my dialogue to name them as the greatest Classic Lolita of all time. Seriously though, I do think this style is possible with an OTT coord. While the horn style seems to be more Punk in spirit, like in the left Putumayo photograph, I love how the right photograph interpreted the style with a more light and whimsical approach. It's not harsh, heavy or rebellious. Even though it is abnormal, it doesn't come off as being over barring or forced. Heck, if horns can be styled in a Sweet Lolita coord, then why not any other sub-style of Lolita?       

Even I wear horns once in a while.
But this outfit comes off a a little Puckish,
so I guess I took the easy way out! 

Make sure to check out Lolita Blog Carnival!
Lolita Blog Carnival is an online Loita community of Lolita bloggers who come together to blog about certain topics each week to stimulate further ideas for great blog posts!

Here are other Lolitas writing about their favorite Lolita hairstyles:

°˖✧ 'Till next time

Monday, March 2, 2015

°˖✧✝ Death Becomes Her Meetup ✝✧˖°

Source: The Met's Death Becomes Her Gallery 

At the end of January, some friends and I gathered to view a spectacular costume exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art called Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire. Temping all of us Victorian Goths (or wannabe in my case), the start of this exhibit peaked its way at the tail end of last year, in October, and continued all the way in to the next, ending on the the first of February. 

As soon as the exhibit's details were published, a fellow Gothic Lolita friend messaged me a simple message stating "We're going, right," which acted as more of an affirmation on her part than a request. Of course I was going, nothing would've stopped me! Besides, what kind of Gothic Lolita would I be if I didn't go? And three months seemed like an endless amount of time to arrange a meeting, or so we thought. Before we knew it, 2014 had past and I was left scrambling to organize a meetup for the day just before the the exhibit's end. Though, it's not entirely our fault, multiple blizzards can make a person lose count of their days.      

The wind messed up my hair! It made me a bit upset. *pout*
Don't let my coat-less self fool you, it was FREEZING that day.

OP- Atelier BOZ
Purse and Socks- Metamorphose temps de fille
Accessories- Handmade or Thrifted

If my Atelier BOZ Carroll Sharon OP didn't arrive in time, I wouldn't have known what to wear! With every meetup, the amount of new outfits I have are slowly dwindling. (I've become a diva. I don't like going to an event with an outfit I've worn before.) But I'm glad this showed up just in time! It was a graduation present from my mom, and I was waiting since the end of December for it to arrive. This OP will forever be treasured because, for one, it's a graduation gift that says job well done and, what's more, it's my first major brand piece that isn't secondhand! That's right, I purchased it straight from the brand's website, via shopping serve, and paid full price. I'm more of a secondhand kind of girl because I'm more of an Old School kind of girl (can't buy a 2001 dress new), so the fact that I actually liked something current enough to buy it firsthand means a lot to me. Oh, and with some of my money from my dad, I threw in a new purse from Metamorphose for good measure!      

I'm not going to drag out this post with every single blurry picture that was taken, you would do better looking at The Met's gallery pictures (linked above in the first picture) to capture the exhibit's true beauty.

The exhibit was beautifully located at the bottom of two sweeping stairwells (don't worry, there was an elevator nearby) that lead into a shrouded showroom with a faint sound of somber classical music lingering throughout. This was the second to last day of the exhibit and the entrance way, along with the exhibit's path, was packed with many attendees trying to experience the exhibition for the last time. In short, it was packed! But even so, it wasn't bustling with noise as one would expect from a room packed with people. Even from the stairwell, you could hear the unnatural sound of hushed mummers and, at times, silence. Nothing grew louder than the light, waning melody of the mournful music, a testament, I believe, to how great of an impact the exhibit was. There were no spoken words, just emotion.       

Don't be fooled, there was't just black and gray pieces.
Also, the next time some says arm warmers don't belong in Lolita fashion,
I'm going to show then the last photo along with a picture of Mana!  

The main display was located in the middle of the room like an island, which called for everyone to rotate around it in order to view everything. Though, with the grave atmosphere weighing on the room, an otherwise short walk, turned in to a solemn stroll paced to the downbeat music. There was no one directing. We just came in quietly and slipped into the endless march around the room. Truthfully, it felt like I was in a funeral line waiting for my turn to see someone laying in a casket.  

For those of you who know me personally,
you know why this certain quote is meaningful to me.
HINT: It's a particular word
In addition to the main display, there were also projections of quotes describing mourning alternating across the room's walls. However, while there certainly was a respectful tone that swept the exhibit, I couldn't say that same for people's actions.

There was a constant battle to take pictures without someone stepping in front of you or even bumping INTO you (without saying excuse me). This shot of the quote was the best I could do without having someone's blurry figure rushing through it ("You SEE me trying to take a picture!!!"). And let us not forget the majestic "Step into someone else's shot to take a picture of the same thing" stance. To drive the point home, make sure that you're as tall, if not taller than the person you're being rude to.

It got to a point where we didn't want to feel like a bunch of packed sardines and found ourselves in an adjunct accessories room with dark jewels, veiled hats, and artfully drawn mourning pictures. Though small, it was less crowed and severed as a great place to regroup. After admiring the room for a long time, we made our way out to the stairway for pictures. Not everyone wanted to take pictures, and we respected that.    

Some cute guys and gals from my community.
Someone called my friend's Innocent World Stradivarius Flare JSK a guitar dress!
It has become a joke in my community now!

While it would have been nice if all of us could have dressed in a mourning theme to match the exhibit, I didn't want to be exclusive to the other Lolitas who wanted to experience the showcase, but didn't have a matching outfit. I was more worried about having as many Lolitas who wanted to go being able to come. So there were a fair share of Sweet and Classic Lolitas. Really, in a group of fifteen or so, there where probably only five of us Gothic Lolitas, hahaha!

Gothic VS Sweet: The Ultimate Battle!

"How do you mourn, Sweet Lolita?"
"Why, in my carousel dress, of course!"

I always try to get everyone to take a picture, or at least be apart of a group shot, but the huge crowds made it that much harder. Every time we would pose, someone (more like five people at a time) would bombard us with questions or snap unwanted pictures of us. Why do people believe that if a person is posing for a picture that they are entitled to take a picture too? It became really chaotic and we inadvertently caused a crowd in the already crowded museum. Even the security guard came! It quickly became a snap and go situation.   
But I had to get a picture with the pretty wall art.
The painted weeping willows were such a nice touch!

We were starting to really get cramped and the constant badgering put a damper on things, so we decided to give up the ghost and move to our next stop. But we couldn't win, if we weren't in the crowded, hot museum, we were in the brazen cold outside (going to a meetup in a single layered skirt after a blizzard isn't a good idea). It was a few blocks away, but we rushed to Meiji Ramen shivering. It was my first time go to this restaurant, but I really want to go again! Everything was so tasty!

Some product and decoration shots in Meiji Ramen.
Hello Kitty and milk bottles? What a coincidence!
But she's not technically a cat, remember

Appetizer: Pumpkin Tempura with Green Tea Salt
Ramen Dish: Spicy Chili Ramen in Beef Broth
Dessert: Japanese Hiji-tea Creme Brulee with Apple Crumb Cake and Green Tea Ice Cream

We froze our butts off, but it was well worth it! Nothing beats pretty black dresses and a pretty ramen bowl.

°˖✧ 'Till next time