Saturday, June 20, 2015

°˖✧✝ 2015 Summer ILD with KAMIJO & Friends ✝✧˖°

KAMIJO and his support band thanking their New York City concert attendees
one last time.

Source: KAMIJO U.S. Official Street Team L.A. and N.Y.C. 

If you couldn't tell from the picture above, I was one of the lucky people to attend a concert during KAMIJO's World Tour 2015, and on International Lolita Day (ILD) no less! I was not only an attendee, but also a VIP, which meant I was a part of a special meet and greet that allowed me to interact with KAMIJO personally! I was preparing for the day of the concert for months and could only considerate on meeting KAMIJO. It was for that exact reason why I was completely oblivious to the fact that the concert fell on the same day as this year's summer ILD. I even went as far as making different ILD plans with a friend of mine! It was my friend who notice the shared date and made me aware of my mistake. Going to the concert was my main priority, but celebrating with my friends was just as important. So what did I do? I made a compromise. I always have time for my friends!

In the end, we agreed on going to Laduree Soho, one of the U.S. store fronts of the luxurious Parisian bakery and restaurant, thanks to a friend's recommendation. We decided that going there would be our best option at such a short notice. I've never been to Laduree before, but always wanted to. For some reason, I thought the boutique was exclusive and would be hard to reserve. Though, I was pleasantly surprised when my friend booked seating for us easily. Thanks to her, I was able to fulfill another one of my dreams on an already special day.  

The first two pictures are of the entrance alone! Can you imagine picking out sweets in the presence of marble statues?

The third picture is of their Blue Room setting area. We were seated in the green room.

Laduree is extremely gorgeous, and I plan on returning one day so I can experience it without being on a tight schedule. Because this was last minute, we had to arrange a time before the concert. We thought two hours before would be enough, but we really should have went for three instead.  

We still made time for pictures, though!

The venue that was hosting KAMIJO's concert, the Highland Ballroom, had a selection of food for dinning, and I wanted to taste what they had to offer. So, not wanting to fill myself up at Laduree, I only ordered from their dessert menu. And with it being my first time at Laduree, I had to sample a few of their macrons, of course!

Rose ice cream with four frozen macrons.

After Laduree, I had to head straight to the concert venue for the meet and great. Though, I wasn't going to be alone. Two of my other friends who made it to Laduree were also going to the concert with me! 

There was a strict no camera policy during the concert, so this part will only show pictures of the venue before the show.

Of the two friends who were going go the concert, one of them bought a VIP ticket also, so we went to the venue earlier together. VIPs were brought up stairs to balcony where there was a small room each one of us would be lead into to meet KAMIJO. My friend and I couldn't help but giggle the entire time in line and practice what we were going to do and say when we meet him! I prepared three sentences to say to him in Japanese, but half way through the line I was too nervous and thought it would've been best not to try and get tongue-tied. 

VIP's claiming their spots after the meet and greet. Look how close we were to the stage!

There were quite a few Lolitas there at the concert too.
Can you spot one in this picture?

When I became the next one in line to enter the room with KAMIJO, I could feel my heart beating faster and faster. I knew I had to show some composer so I wouldn't come of as creepy fangirl, but it was extremely hard, especially when KAMIJO is standing in front of you smiling. As soon as the door was closed behind me, he extended his hand and greeted me with a "Bonjour~~." Honestly, that was enough, I could've turned around and walked out of the room at that exact moment and it would've been the highlight of my life.

I was going to wear gloves that day, but I so glad I didn't! I put my hand in his and he ushered me besides him for our picture. His hands are the softest! I kept holding onto his hand and turned to face the camera. But the cameraman was in a resting stance like he was waiting for something. Confused, I looked up at KAMIJO and he was looking down at me smiling. Apparently, we weren't supposed to be holding hands for the picture and he was waiting for me to let go! Embarrassed, I let go and started blushing. It look like he didn't want to, but he laughed slightly, which made me blush even more. Quickly regaining my composure, I turned with him towards the camera and posed.

My purse made me look frumpy, but I think it still looks good.
We look great together!

I'm pretty sure I stood the closest to him than any other VIP.
(Not purposely, though. I swear!)

After the photo, KAMIJO thanked me for coming and shook my hand. I was still in a daze about the experience and got swept into his eyes again (he looks RIGHT at you, I couldn't escape). Even after the security pointed for me to leave, I stood there still hold his hand swooning over him. Thank you, Kamijo, for being so patient with me!

My new friend, Annette.

With the meet and great over, I meet up with my friends to hung out before the concert. But of course I made sure to keep our spots in the crowd. I even made a new friend! There was someone who recognized me from online and came to talk to me also. I was seriously flattered. If there's anyone who sees me around, please, feel free to say hi!

I over heard someone in the VIP line say, "Is anyone as excited as me to see MASHASHI?"
I turned around, looked them straight in the eye, and gave a serious, "YES."

I'm also pretty sure I was screaming MASHASHI's name the loudest.
(This one was purposely.)

Source: KAMIJO Official Facebook

The concert was amazing and had its fair share of adorable moments. One of the cutest was when KAMIJO was singing one of Lareine songs (its been so long I forgot which one!), and an audience member pulled out a bouquet of blue roses for KAMIJO and he accepted them! He even performed with them for awhile. I was also lucky to be noticed in the audience by KAMIJO! I was sending him kisses from the crowd when he came to the edge of the stage. As he was walking away, he saw me, came back, and sent kisses back to me!!! I can't write everything that happened at the concert, but if you're curious about how it turned out, Maria Tolentino from My JHouse Rock Events Promotions Inc. wrote a great recap for the night. Please take time to read it!

After the concert with my friend, Ashley.

This is the closest thing I have as an outfit shot.
I was a bad Lolita an forgot to take a clear one. 

But I guess this closeup shot of me with fairly decent lighting
from my bathroom is a bit better.

Blouse: Algonquins

°˖✧ 'Till next time

Thursday, June 11, 2015

°˖✧✝ Birthday Gifts from Myself ✝✧˖°

The crucifix wrapped in thorns is gorgeous,
but check out that custom lace!

I splurged a lot more this year for my birthday than last year. But I didn't end up spending a large amount of money like most would for their birthday. I wanted to try to get as many gifts as I could for the price of paying for one or two gifts. So, instead of dumping my money on a new BABY release, I hunted down five main pieces to add to my closet! And I consider at least two of them being rare items.   

◊ Metamorphose Set

Some of you may recall that I bought a Metamorphose set last year for my birthday too.
I guess this is becoming a tradition.

The first thing I bought was this amazing jacket and skirt set from Metamorphose. I've been eyeing this set for awhile online and watched it get lowered two times. When it was first posted, it was more than $100, and I didn't have the money for it. But when it was lowered to about $80, I knew that I had to get it. I felt as if the price was as good as it was going to get. I paid over $120 for my first Metamorphose set, so getting this one for $85 was a huge bargain for me. And this one is even more detailed than the first!

This is the only picture and information I could find of this set.
I pretty sure they're not from the same series, but their styles are the same.

Aside from the picture above, I've never seen this set before. And unlike the other older pieces in my wardrobe, I actually want to find out the name for it! So, if you may know any information pertaining to this set, please leave a comment!

◊ Algonquins Blouse

I wasn't planning on buying a blouse for my birthday, but after looking at the detail shots of this one, I couldn't think about purchasing anything else. I was going to overlook this piece at first because the blouse's color can come off looking blue, and blue isn't a color I think I can wear well, but the bat wing collar is what peeked my interest in the end. I'm such a sucker for bat wing collars! I'm also a sucker for good deals, so this $28 blouse was something I couldn't pass up.

This Algonquins blouse has easily become my favorite blouse in my wardrobe. And the reasons for that are the little details found throughout the blouse. The pieces I own typically have simpler designs, like this blouse, but I love when there is some type of unique tailoring or a whimsical decoration. And this blouse has both of those additions. Although there are many, the greatest adornment this blouse features is the pinned applique of a bat hanging upside down with the brand's name embroidered across it.

◊ Heart E OP

Okay, so this one is by far the biggest shocker on my list. In this current era of Lolita fashion, we're used to Heart E designs leaning more to a Sweet style. Though, even with their soft pink OPs and polka dot JSKs, the brand has dabbled with Gothic designs way back when (but let's be real, at the height of Gothic Lolita's popularity, every brand tried to partake in the style in some way). Be that as it may, this OP transcends all of my expectations of Heart E and the design looks like an early Moi-meme-Montie piece! That's a bold statement, I know. But look at it! I can easily see Mana wearing an OP like this.

I paid very little for this OP, but obtaining wasn't easy. The processes really took me on an emotional roller coaster ride. When the OP was first posted, the seller was trying to sell it for about $140, which was out of my price range at the time. Even though the dress is undeniably gorgeous, after three weeks and three price decreases, the OP was still up for sale! I took it as a sign, and planned on skipping the Metamorphose set so I could bid on the OP when it was about $100. But when I went to look for the post, it was gone! I was beyond devastated. I honestly felt as if I lost something crucial.

I couldn't get over losing such a dress, so I would check the auction site twice a week hoping that whoever bought it would put it back up for auction. That almost never happens, but I was in complete denial. After three weeks, I was able to accept my loss, and gave up looking. But, for some reason, I had the urge to look one more time during the fourth week. I nearly cried when I saw the listing. And here's the most unbelievable part, I only paid $52 for it! I guess the seller noticed how it wasn't selling and listed it at a lower price to get multiple people to bid on it. But I was the only bidder, so I won it easily at such a low price!

◊ Putumayo Skirts

I had my eye on these skirts on Closet Child for awhile, and honestly, just considered them as being pieces I could use to fill in my wardrobe. I'm in a short supply of skirts, so buying these skirts just seemed like a rational decision, while all of my other purchases were more impulsive. Albeit, my approach was reasonable, but my timing was less than sensible. Of course I would buy two velvet skirts in the summertime, that's so me! I didn't even realize what I had done until I confirmed my purchase. I presume I was focused more on only paying $18 for the first skirt, and $23 for the second.

Sure, I knew finding a time to wear these skirts in the summertime was going to be a hard task, but seeing them in person made me uncover another problem- they're extremely short! They didn't look as short on the mannequin in the stock photos, but on me, they're like mini skirts! I was deceived, by the stock photo, but really, it's my own fault for the misunderstanding. I forgot that even though Putumayo is Lolita friendly, the brand is made more for street wear and can be cut shorter than other Lolita brands. I consider myself lucky though, because of the generous amount of shirring on these skirts, I can get away with pulling them down further on my waist so they won't look as short as they actually are.

*The prices listed includes fees and have been rounded up. They don't include shipping.

I can't wait to wear all of the amazing items I've purchased! I already have a couple of outfits planned that I'm eager about. Expect an Ero outfit from me very soon!

°˖✧ 'Till next time

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

°˖✧✝ Birthday Celebration in the City ✝✧˖°

No, I wasn't celebrating mine, but a friend's. Both of our birthdays are in the month of May, but because my birthday was always during my finals in college, I've conditioned myself not to really celebrate it. I know I have to get myself out of such a habit, but for now, it has stuck. So, I celebrated with my friend on hers a week or so later. 

Birthday girl, Nina

To celebrate, she wanted to spend her hard earned money on brand, and we obliged. So off we went to the BABY store in New York City. There were four of us that day, but all of us were coming from different locations. Two of our other friends were supposed to meet up with Nina in the city to go to the store together and I was supposed to meet them at the store. I really thought I was going to be the last one to show up, but it turned out that I arrived right on time. On the other hand, I was the only one there!    

Dramatic Dramatization

"They know my Goth-ness doesn't allow me to be in direct sunlight.
Where are they?"

Blouse: Juliette et Justine
Bustier: Alice and the Pirates
Skirt: BABY, the Stars Shine Bright
Accessories: Handmade or Offbrand 

Honestly, I didn't mind waiting, but the thought of me doing so in the heat (and with no protection from my coffin) made my friends giggle. I'll admit it was hot, but I knew I could always go to Vivi to cool down with some bubble tea. And I did exactly that. For aesthetic reasons (I'm such a loser Goth), I chose their Black Moo Milk. I mean, com on, it's black, I had to.

Thank goodness I went to Vivi, because if I didn't, I wouldn't have known I left my bank card at home! That's right, I was a Lolita in New York City about to go to the BABY store, without money. Can you believe it?! I was at the counter expecting to use my card, when I looked in my wallet and saw nothing in it. I tried really hard to put on a smile while rummaging through my purse looking for loose singles as the worker waited and I held up the line. As a testament to my silly luck and laziness, I found $40 tucked into a small pocket in my purse.  

I was saved from utter embarrassment in Vivi, but knew I wouldn't be able to escape looking like a loser with no money in the BABY store. When my friends finally showed up, I wanted to just hide my face when we walked in the store. I was there once again picking over their merchandise without buying anything substantial. In an effort to make up for it, I decided to spend at least half of what I had in the store. *laugh* But that's only socks- if I was lucky!

Source: Tokyo Rebel stock photo

Unfortunately, I didn't see any socks that I really liked. Or maybe, I should say "fortunately," since I didn't have much money to spend anyway! Instead, I bought an illustration book by Yoh. So it wasn't a complete lost after all.

Sorona and her mint ice tea.
When we were done in the store, we went to go eat at the Japanese restaurant we dined at the last time we visited the BABY store. I think it has become our "spot" now. But I can't even think of the restaurant's name! We just usually call it "that restaurant by BABY." We're terrible, I know.

We basically ordered the same lunch special from last time, because it's the best $11 you'll ever spend in New York City. But, to show our adventurous side, we tried the restaurant's specially drinks. Sorona choose their mint ice tea, while the rest of us tried their lychee one.
Both teas turned out to be really good! And the fresh mint leaves and lychee pieces turned out to be a nice touch. The best part was eating the lychee at the end.

I ended up paying $20 for lunch (taxes and tip included).
Can you guess how much money I have left?

While the lychee was sweet and served as a great topper to our meal, we wanted something else. We decided to find some "real dessert" in the area. We ended up finding a business that sold homemade ice cream with original flavors, and it was honestly the best ice cream I've ever had. Admittedly, I was on the fence when we finally found the highly recommended ice cream spot, Luca & Bosco. I was expecting a storefront of some sort, but, after walking into the doors of a marketplace, I saw that the business was just a cart at the entrance.

We were allowed to choose two free samples from their selection, and I wish I could have tasteed all of them! Each one sounded extremely tasty. I made the tough decision of getting a scoop of their Honey Lavender and another one with the word "molasses" in it (sorry, I forgot the name). I thought the flavors wouldn't taste right together, but the two were delicious and complemented each other nicely! And their Honey Lavender flavor is so heavenly! My friend described it as eating a bouquet of flowers.      

When I picked my flavors, I thought they looked a little like me (if ice cream can look like people), so I tried to take a picture with it. But you can't even see the color of the ice cream because of the light reflecting off of it! Oh well, at least my friends saw how much my ice cream and I looked like twins.

°˖✧ 'Till next time