Friday, June 9, 2017

°˖✧✝ YOSHIKI Overload pt. 1 ✝✧˖°

YOSHIKI doing the iconic "X" gesture, which was created
to symbolize his band, X Japan.

Source: wearexfilm.com

Whenever a visual kei artist or band comes overseas to my country, I try to support them, especially if whatever they're doing, a concert, a meet-and-greet, or so forth, is close to where I live. Unbelievably, YOSHIKI, the founder and leader of one of the biggest and most successful bands in Japan, X Japan, planned two major events for New York City: multiple movie showings for his music documentary about his band, X Japan, and two personal, classical concerts, featuring the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, at the illustrious Carnegie Hall.

I don't have too many friends who are visual kei fans like myself, but I do have one who is: my friend Ashley. And, while I'm not the biggest fan of YOSHIKI or X Japan, we both agreed that these events were going to play a pivotal role in YOSHIKI's overseas success, and create possibilities for other big named visual kei artists in the United States. So, we told each other we would get tickets to both events no matter what! And, in the end, did just that. 

Movie poster for X Japan's documentary, We Are X.

Source: YOSHIKI's Facebook

Months before the actual theater releases, YOSHIKI made tremendous efforts to support his band's documentary through all of his social media brackets and partnerships between well known Japanese and Western musical artists and multiple enterprises dealing with Western pop culture and music. If you were a fan of Japanese based music during this time of the film's promotion, it would've been hard not to see some sort of blurb or publication about its release. One of the most shared piece of YOSHIKI's promotional material was the finalized version of the We Are X official trailer.


From the trailer, you can see a few of the Western music artists who participated in giving their opinions and comments on X Japan and the differences between the musical environment in the United States (U.S.) versus Japan, which severed as a tremendous barrier for X Japan to translate their success over to the U.S.

Screenshot of Gene Simmons taken from the official We Are X documentary trailer

Screenshot of Marilyn Manson taken from the official We Are X documentary trailer

Because of the the large amount of promotional materials being release, there were a lot of different teasers and clips of the documentary being pasted around. One of them focused on comments from Japanese based bands, which included footage from the band Dir en grey (a visual kei band that received a prestigious opportunity to have YOSHIKI produce the majority of their first singles from their major debut, which lead to the success of their first major full length album back in 1999). And, in case you couldn't tell, I'm a major Dir en grey fan, hehehe~

I couldn't find this certain trailer on YouTube or from the original distributor, but it was re-uploaded by a visual kei enthusiast page on Facebook called Visual Loner. If you have a Facebook account, you can watch the clip here.

Screenshot of Karou, Dir en grey's lead guitarist, from a We Are X documentary teaser clip
  
Screenshot of Dir en grey from 1999 from a We Are X documentary teaser clip

Originally, there were only a couple of showings over the span of two days, Friday and Saturday, when the documentary first debuted at the Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in New York City (NYC) back at the beginning of November, last year. But, because the special Q&A Friday screening, with YOSHIKI and Stephen Kijak, the director of the documentary, sold out so quick, a second special Q&A screening was added for Friday. Unfortunately, my friend and I already had purchased tickets to an earlier screening when we found out the original special screening was sold out. If we would've waited another day or so to buy our tickets, we would've been able to go to the second special screening they added (we were so close!). 

There was also a collaboration with Tokyo Rebel, a NYC based clothing store that sells authorized items from Japanese street fashion  brands, with the documentary's NYC debut. If you purchased a ticket to the original Friday and Saturday special screenings and wore a visual kei inspired outfit, you would would be entered in contest to win a copy of an art poster drawn by the fabulous comic artist Becky Cloonan and signed by YOSHIKI.

Screenshot of post on Tokyo Rebel's Facebook page

Source: Tokyo Rebel's Facebook

Poster for Tokyo Rebel's collaboration with We Are X documentary

Source: Tokyo Rebel's Facebook

Print of Becky Cloonan's illustration for We Are X documentary

Source: Tokyo Rebel's Facebook

I'd never been to the Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse Cinema before, but it turned out to be a charming theater. However, it's located in a huge retail center with single floors dedicated to a certain department store, like Century 21 and Target, so, at first, I didn't know what to expect. But, when I finally got to the theater on the fourth floor, it was such a contrast to the building and other modern, big name retail stores on the other levels. The overall appearance of the theater gave off vibes of an Edwardian styled interior mixed with a 1930s vintage feel.

"Ryan Matthew Cohn in the House of Wax bar, located in the lobby of the
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Downtown Brooklyn." -Cory Kilgannon for The New York Times
Photo by Joshua Bright for the The York Times

Source: The New York Times

"Wax heads are among the items on display. 'We literally
built this bar around the collection,' Mr. Cohn said." -Cory Kilgannon for The New York Times
Photo by Joshua Bright for the The York Times

Source: The New York Times

I didn't anticipate there being a bar located in the movie theater, so we didn't put going in and checking it out in our plans. From what I saw, it was pretty packed, so we decided to go somewhere else to eat and talk about how we felt about the documentary. But, before that, we wanted to get some nice pictures together in the theater. 
  
My selfie with Ashley

Ashley and I doing X Japan's "X" gesture

We look so silly crouching in front of the movie poster, but,
for some reason, it was really small. We couldn't really get
the full poster in the picture if we stood up.  

Afterwards, we went to the merchandise table that was stationed outside in the lobby for fans to purchase "We Are X" products. I forget everything that was being sold, though I know it wasn't much. I ended up purchasing a bandana with a customized "We Are X" graphic design on the front.

"We Are X" bandana I brought.

Detail shots of the bandana.

I bought the bandana because I wanted to buy at least something at the table to support X Japan, but I don't really know what to do with it. If I fold and tie it, like you're supposed to do with a regular bandana, no one will see the design on the front, which is the entire point of the item. I've thought about framing it, but I kinda would like to wear it, too. I might pin it to the back of a jacket, so it could be admired, like it was intended to. 

As we were leaving, I tired getting a cool picture of my outfit, or even a selfie, with the wax heads from the theater's bar as a background, but there wasn't enough light to capture my face or details in my outfit. The only decent lighting we could get was outside the theater on the floor's landing.

Blouse and Tie: Algonquins
Skirt Putumayo
Purse: Customized Case (I added a handle and
chain  as a strap to a hard case I found)

In honor of the documentary, Ashley and I wanted to wear visual kei inspired outfits, which proved to be harder than I expected. One of the major problems I had was styling an outfit that would fit the type of hairstyle I had at the time, which were Senegalese twist. I wanted to go for more of an early 1990s, drape-y, Goth rock look that visual kei bands were doing at the time, but thought my hairstyle wouldn't really fit. So, I went with a more cutesy, Punk-y look that was fashionable in the mid 2000s when oshare kei, a sub-genre of visual kei, became more prominent in the visual kei scene.

An Cafe, an oshare kei band, in 2004

For this promotional photo, An Cafe is wearing clothing from SEX POT ReVeNGe,
a popular Japanese clothing brand that sells original Punk clothing.

And while I'm at it, here's the music video where An Cafe wears the same Punk outfits they were wearing in the above promotional photo. 


*** For the sake of more clarification, I will like to say that my outfit IS NOT necessarily an oshare kei look, but more of an inspired one, based on different oshare kei elements. The promotional photo of An Cafe wearing clothing from SEX POT ReVeNGe is also necessarily NOT an oshare kei look; it's Punk. A more comprehensible example for what oshare kei is would be the black and white stage costumes in the above music video that An Cafe wears in the scenes where they are playing their instruments. 

These are not the same outfits from the above music video, but they are very 
similar to the ones I described.

While Punk and oshare kei are two different things, oshare kei artists incorporated many styles their fan base (young girls) were interested in into their stage costumes, which created (to me at least) this mishmash of a dark, DIY, Decora, Punk look.***

BONUS:

At the end of the night, Ashley, who's vegan, gave me a carrot. I don't know why, but I thought it was the funniest thing. It was like a vegan joke that happened in real life- my vegan friend just had raw carrots to pass out.


Well, that's all of for the first part of my YOSHIKI post (I didn't expect it to be so long)! I'll make sure to start the second part as soon as I scan the Carnegie Hall program with details about YOSHIKI and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

 °˖✧ 'Till next time


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

°˖✧✝ Lolita Blog Carnival: What Are 5 Pieces/Trends You Can't Go Without✝✧˖°


◊ Black Lipstick



So, black lipstick isn't an item that is necessarily a part of Lolita fashion, but is is an item that I definitely can't go without when wearing Lolita (or pretty much anything else, hehehe~). It may just be because I'm biased toward wearing black lipstick, but I really think that it completes my outfits and the dark, ethereal, painted dolly look that I'm going for (there were so my adjectives in that description; my style is so silly).  

There was a small stint were I forcibly had to go without wearing black lipstick for awhile when I would wear Lolita, but only because I ran out of it. During that time, I was bogged down with a lot of work from my university, and would hardly have the time or energy to dress up, so when it did come a time when I would plan to go to a meetup, I would realize I didn't have any black lipstick to put on, and there wasn't any time to order any or go to a store to pick some up.     


Never again.
Without black lipstick, my face looks so pain and empty here,
like something is missing.


◊ Crucifixes 


Victorian Maiden Shantung Cross Long Skirt 

I already talked about crucifixes in a previous blog post, but that was apart of what I wanted to wear more of for my New Year's Resolutions. Still, though, I don't have much to say in this certain section, since I already talked about crucifixes the last time. All I really have to say is that I really like crucifixes. There's something about them that makes them appear very ornate and sumptuous. I think it's because when I think of crucifixes, I typically think of those beautifully adorned churches and cathedrals.

Alte Kapelle (Old Chapel) in Regensburg, Germany
(Source)


◊ Lace/Fishnet Tights


Lip Service Ripped Net Tights

I've been wearing lace patterned and fishnet tights since high school, and they were a bit of a staple for my outfits, so I'm glad I was able to transition these pieces from my old fashion style into my new one. Depending on the style, I like how wearing a pair of net tights gives my Lolita outfits a certain amount of Punk-ish or rebellious edge, that's slightly jarring against Lolita's elegant appearance. And of course, with lace tights, they boost the elegance of a Lolita outfit that's both delicate and refined. 


◊ Princess Sleeves


Antique BeasT OP and Collar

It wasn't until I started to like the brand Metamorphose temps de fille more did I began to admire princess sleeves. They have so many sets and blouses with this type of sleeve design that it would've been pretty hard to dislike, though, considering that I always say Metamorphose is my favorite brand. Because of Metamorphose, wearing a top with princess sleeves makes me feel heavily decorated and frilly. 

I'm thinking of making some engageantes (frilly, false sleeves that are attached
to the end of elbow-length sleeves), just like the woman in the painting above,
to feel even more embellished.


◊ (Nicely Tailored) Lace Monsters



I put "Nicely Tailored" before the title "Lace Monsters", because of all of the crude looking dresses scammer sites label as Lolita. Those type of dresses are always shoddily made with materials of low quality, and their designs are always a bit off, like having way too many bows, questionable design cuts, or just being plain frumpy. But with brand lace monsters, typically, it's the opposite. Somehow, the designers find a way to go over-the-top with their designs and materials, but still maintain a refined look. I also like how the majority of brand lace monsters have a bit of silliness to them. But when you make something so overdone and exaggerated, I would assume some sort of silliness would be automatically attached to it.


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

If you want to find out what peices or trends other Lolitas can't go without, take a look at these other Lolita blogs:


°˖✧ 'Till next time


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

All of My Lolita Purchases of 2016

I've never done a wardrobe post, the yearly Lolita tradition where you photograph the entirety of your recent Lolita wardrobe and put it online for others to see. This practice is one that was created way back during the fashion's EGL LiveJournal era, and although the platform is hardly ever used anymore, some Lolitas go back at the beginning of every year to still post their wardrobes. Though, now through the uses of other platforms, like Tumblr or YouTube, many Lolitas decide to post their wardrobes in other places.

I've been asked before about the possibility of ever making a wardrobe post, but there's so much work that has to be put into doing one, that I usually give up on the idea before I even start. Not only that, but my wardrobe has grown significantly, so there would be a lot to photograph. So instead, to kick off the new year, I've decided to at least show all of the Lolita purchases I've made in 2016, along with showing what my least expensive and most expensive item was this past year! 

All pictures are stock photos or reference pictures taken by the sellers I've bought my items from unless otherwise stated. All items are listed in the order they were purchased, from my first order in January 2016 to my last in December 2016.

BPN (Black Peace Now) Blouse


Coffin Shaped Purse with Read Cross Design 

I bought this specifically to wear with my Lolita outfits,
but I haven't actually worn it with any. I also regret choosing the option for this jarring,
red crucifix  to be printed on the front, since I hardly ever wear red and black
and don't really care for the color combination.

PEACE NOW Jacket 

Here's another piece I've never actually worn.
Honestly, this was something that I didn't really want, but it was so cheap and cool
looking, that I forced myself into buying it.

Patchy Change Purse with Chain


Atelier BOZ Long Organza Skirt

For some reason, in 2016, I was under the impression that I was going to try wearing Aristocrat,
since I do have other long skirts and dresses in my wardrobe (that I also never wear), so
I bought this Atelier BOZ skirt. But the reason why I  never created an outfit with it is because
I don't own any fancy, mature blouses to go with it.

Moi-meme-Moite Blouse 

I need to find a skirt or JSK I can wear this blouse with.
It's surprisingly hard to pair with anything in my wardrobe.

Alice and the Pirates Rectangle Headdress



BABY, the Starts Shine Bright Rectangle Headdress



Patchy 3 Way Bag with Detachable Wings

Words cannot explain how overjoyed I was to obtain this bag.
If material things could make make me cry, this would be the one.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have bought a Patchy bag that was in such good condition,
especially now really old and worn ones are being resold close to $200.
You can read the blog post I wrote about this bag here.

MAM Velvet OP with Detachable Collar and Sleeves 

I'm obsessed with black, velvet Old School Lolita pieces.

MAM Tote Bag


Emily Temple Cute OP

This is my first Emily Temple Cute piece!
I really like how Gothic it looks, even though Emily Temple isn't a Gothic brand.
People really don't believe me when I tell them which brand this OP is from.

Three Pairs of Printed Metamorphose Socks

I haven't yet found a way to wear any of these socks in a coord that doesn't look
like I'm haphazardly trying to shoehorn them into an outfit.

Angelic Imprint 6 Inch Platforms

This are currently my favorite Lolita shoes I've even owned., even if they can get a bit
wobbly depending on different surfaces.

They make my legs look so long!

Feathered Fan

I bought this fan for an Ero coord I wore last year, but I've decided to
use it for my go-to fan when it gets hotter in the summertime.

It's a lot fancier than the plain, lace fan I used last year.

Off Brand Lace Up Back Thigh Highs


Don't worry. I've made small lace toppers to go over the tops of these stockings
to make them more appropriate for Lolita outfits. 


Iron Crown

This crown was actually sold just as home decor, but I saw the potential of turning
it into a headdress. But standing at a towering 7.5 inches, it is a bit large.

I also need to spray paint it an off white, since its current color, more of an antique white,
clashes with my wardrobe.


Mini Rhinestone Crown



Pleaser 7 Inch Platform Pumps

Some might be wondering how these shoes could be considered okay to wear with Lolita,
but I plan on wearing them with some of my more mature outfits.
And I wore them with an Ero outfit I made not long ago.

There goes my mini crown is this picture, too!

Metamorphose Skirt

I really should know the name of this Metamorphose print, since it's one of my favorites.
This is also the section piece I have from this series ( the first is the long OP version).  

Cornet Skirt


PUTUMAYO Cutsew

My first custew, and a fancy one at that!
I still can't stand or understand the butterfly motifs in Gothic Lolita, though.

Emily Temple Cute Velvet OP

At first glance, this OP may look extremely frumpy, but I see the potential in it.
Beside, I bought it because I need more easier pieces to wear.

I really dislike that there are daisies on the lace instead of roses, though.

BPN Blouse

This is my second bat wing BPN blouse (the first one is a white one
I've blogged about before).

Innocent World Velvet Skirt

More black velvet!


Metamorphose Blouse


Metamorphose 2 Piece Velvet Caplet 


Metamorphose Velvet Skirt


Metamorphose Organza OP with Circle Headdress

If you haven't noticed, I'm in love with Metamorphose's ridiculously,
lacey pieces with the terrible raschel lace Lolitas hate so much.

I have so many Metamorphose pieces that I want to make something
that has the phrase "I'm Meta-rific" on it.

Innocent World OP

I was really in love with is series when it first came out,
and really craved for the gray colorway of this OP. But after seeing the black colorway,
I knew I had to have it! Though, if I would've found this in 2015, I would've thought
I couldn't wear such a piece, because it seems way too fancy for my wardrobe. 

Innocent World Skirt

Another lovely Innocent World piece.
Again, maybe too lovely, since I don't have the right blouse and accessories for it.

Here comes the fun part- reveling what was the least and most expensive item I purchased last year!

Surprisingly, the least expensive item I bought last year was my BPN blouse.


Yes, it was cheaper than the feathered fan or any other accessory I bought. This is shocking to me, too. Without fees included, I snagged this blouse for about only $4. It's not like the blouse was damaged or discolored, either, just wrinkled with a slight worn feeling to it. Considering how little I paid for it, this was an incredible find, and I wish to find more just like it this year.

So, what was my most expensive item I purchased last year? *drum roll*

It was my Patchy 3 way bag with detachable wings, of course!


Next to my Atelier BOZ Carroll Sharon OP, that I purchased firsthand from BOZ's website, via shopping service (you can see the dress and read about the meet I wore it to here), this is the second most expensive item I've bought in my entire Lolita wardrobe. With fees included, I ended up paying about $150 for it. And to a lot of Lolitas, $150 my not seem like much, but considering all of the inexpensive, secondhand Lolita pieces I hunt for online, the price is very steep for me. But I don't regret purchasing, one bit. 

°˖✧ 'Till next time