Sunday, December 31, 2017

°˖✧✝ Top 3 Lolita Accomplishments In 2017✝✧˖°

It's just hours before New Year's! And to commemorate the upcoming year, the members of Rufflechat, a Lolita fashion discussion group on Facebook, participated in sharing their top three Lolita achievements they we're proud of, as a way to end this year on a positive note. While reading through everyone's responses, I felt really happy for everyone's accomplishments, and was glad to see a platform created for the support of other Lolita's (you can read the original post here). I haven't updated my written blog in awhile, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to do so. So here are my top three Lolita accomplishments of 2017:

 Sticking to My New Year's Resolutions

At the beginning of this year, I made the task of creating a set of New Year's resolutions that were more condensed and explicit, so I could focus on specific aspects I wanted to work on. And, I must say, this method worked so well for me! If you haven't read the post about my 2017 resolutions, you can do so here. But, to summarize, I wanted to create more "dolly'" looking coordinates from the Old School Lolita aesthetic, purchase more items with Old School imagery, like roses, crosses, and crowns, and participate in Lolita photo shoots. I'm happy to say, I got chances to do all three, and excelled in most of them!

More "Dolly" Looking Coordinates
You can read the blog post of when I wore this
coordinate here.

OP: Metamorphose temps de fille
Headdress: Handmade
Socks: Innocent World
Bag: Off brand
Shoes: Angelic Imprint

Items with Old School Lolita Themes
Emily Temple Cute JSK

h. Naoto Purse
I'll be creating a 2017 wardrobe post in the next month or so, like I did this year for all of the items I bought in 2016, so you'll be able to see everything I bought this year. You can read the blog post of all of my 2016 Lolita purchases here.

Lolita Photo Shoots

These are apart of an armature photo shoot I did some time in the summer. You can see more of it and others like it on my Instagram here.

 Obtaining More Metamorphose Pieces 

I don't know if I've mentioned this before here on this blog (I'm prety sure I have, hehehe~), but I absolutely love the brand Metamorphose temps de fille (Metamorphose)! If I were to have to choose out of all of the older Lolita brands, I would consider Metamorphose my favorite. I just adore how tacky (and I mean this in the most loving way) and zany their pieces can be. Looking at older Metamorphose pieces really fuels my imagination and puts me in such a great mood. And, because of that, I try to obtain as many of their pieces as I can. This year, I was not only able to create multiple coordinates with almost entirely Metamorphose pieces, but was also able to meet prominent figures from the brand.

Blouse and Caplet Set- Metamorphose temps de fille
JSK- Metamorphose temps de fille
Headdress- Metamorphose temps de fille
Purse- Offbrand
Socks- Innocent World
Shoes- Current Mood

Back in September, I was able to attend a meetup for Kuniko Kato,
the creator and designer of the brand Physical Drop. She
was also one of the founders and head designers for
Metamorphose up until 2009!

It goes without saying her designs play a huge part of
my favorite aesthetics.

In November, at RuffleCon, I was also able to meet Natsumi,
one of Metamorphose's current designers/models!

My Coordinate:
OP- Metamorphose temps de fille
Apron- Metamorphose temps de fille
Headdress- Metamorphose temps de fille
Socks- Metamorphose temps de fille
Shoes- Current Mood
Tray Prop- Handmade

 Expanding My Social Media 

I'm an extremely modest person, so it's hard to believe that there are people who actually enjoy my coordinates enough to care about my creative process or even personal life. But, over the years I've been in the Lolita fashion community, I've been approached with the idea of expanding my presence over different forms of social media by other Lolitas. There were other reasons as to why I avoided doing such an idea, but the greatest reason was just because I was too shy. But, for some reason (I still don't know myself), I decided to create a Facebook page; later, an Instagram. And I haven't regretted doing so yet!

My Facebook page just received a bit over 100 likes and my Instagram is about to reach 500 followers. My numbers are extremely modest in regards to other Lolita figures, but I appreciate everyone's support regardless!

If you wish to follow me, you can do so here:

Facebook @cryptkasper
Instagram  @cryptkasper

I got to do so many new things in 2017, and I hope to do even more in 2018! See you in the new year!

°˖✧ 'Till next time

Friday, July 28, 2017

°˖✧✝ A Little Trip to the Movies + Bakery ✝✧˖°

Movie poster for The Little Hours.

Source: IMDb

About two weeks ago, scrolling through my Facebook page, I came upon an advertisement for a newly released independent film called The Little Hours. The advertisement was of one of the film's trailers, with the opening clip being of Aubrey Plaza dressed as a nun screaming in the ear of a silent, still, and a bit annoyed Dave Franco. At first glance, I thought the video was of a comedy scene apart of a sketch, but realized it was formatted more like a movie trailer (turn to find out, it was), which confused me, because everything from the story to the characters seemed too bizarre to be an actual film. Even after I watched the entirety of the video clip, I was still sure it had to be a comedy sketch spoofing different movies. But sure enough, there was a little button at the bottom of the advertisement to "Learn More" about theaters near me and ticket prices.

A still of a scene with Dave Franco and Aubrey Plaza
from The Little Hours.

Source: IMDb

The clip I saw on Facebook was only forty-seven seconds, but I can't find it on YouTube to share here. If you have a Facebook account and wish to see the one I saw that initially peaked my interest, you can watch it here. The trailer linked below is one of the movie's full length trailers, it seems, and pretty much gives away most of the movie and funnier jokes.

All in all, I would say that the movie was... okay. It wasn't great, but it also wasn't terrible, even for a deadpan comedy with a slew of sexual high jinks. The rating for this movie on IMDb was a 6.6/10, but, personally, I feel like it was more at a 5/10. One of the most recurring criticisms I've read about the movie is that the movie itself doesn't really feel like a movie, but more like a number of smaller sketches interwoven to create the story's plot line. On a positive note, I did end up enjoying the movie on a base level.

I had wanted to wear a nun or religious theme coord to match the movie, but the temperature was very hot that day and my nun styled pieces are heavy and intended for colder weather. And besides, for some reason, I felt the urge to wear one of my older Metamorphose temps de fille OPs more than anything. The lace on the OP's collar has crucifix details on it, though. So I guess that makes up for it.

OP: Metamorphose temps de fille
Headdress: Handmade
Socks: Innocent World
Bag: Off brand
Shoes: Angelic Imprint

Because this is an independent movie that just recently came out, not a lot movie theaters that plays big budget, blockbuster-type of films were showing it. So, I had to go to a theater that specializes in exclusively showing independent films. I've always passed the theater that I went to, but never actually went in. And because of that, I was taken aback a bit when I entered the doors and went into what looked like the entrance of a neglected, neighborhood shopping center. 

This is what I saw when I first walked in.
There are missing ceiling panels!

But, I guess this is the real theater entrance. 

Across the walkway from the theater was another establishment.
It looked like it could have been a restaurant. 

I must say, though, once I got to the ticket booth and inside the theater, it did actually look like a typical movie theater. I didn't take pictures inside, because the theater was a bit small with about only four workers, that I could see, and they were all staring at me the whole time, so I didn't want to look even more weird just going around taking pictures.

A nice thing happened while I was at the theater, though. One of the workers recognized that I was wearing a Lolita outfit and complemented me on my coord! However, I don't think she quite understood the fashion. After the complement, she asked what character I was. But, it was alright. She was really nice, even when I told her I wan't dressed up as anything; I was just myself dressed in frilly clothing.

Art pieces on the wall.

Another thing I noticed, while I was in the building, were a couple of art pieces on display on one of the walls. It seems like it's a wall for artist in the community to get a chance to show off their work, which I thought was a cool thing to do.

After the film was over, I decided I wanted to stay in the area a little longer, since it was such a nice day. Being in the area made me remember a certain bakery I went to a couple of years back, and I wanted to go see if it was still there. Unfortunately, by now, I had forgotten the name and how the storefront had looked; I only remembered the area it was in. Thankfully, it was still there! It was nice to see that they hadn't closed down the shop since the last time I came.

Counter of Small Cakes.

Some of Small Cakes' ice creams.

The bakery, which they cleverly call a "cupcakery," because they specialize in cupcakes, is named Small Cakes. They have many signature cupcakes as well as a selection of specialty ice cream flavors. I only anticipated on buying one or two cupcakes, but they had a sale, where if you bought three, you would get a fourth one free. They had so many different kinds of cupcakes, that it was hard to pick just two anyway, so I decided to get four.

I forget the actual names (sorry), but from top left to right:

Oreo cupcake, Cookie Monster cupcake,
Caramel Pretzel cupcake, Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake

The storefront is a bit small, with only two tables in the back, but I managed to get a seat so I could admire my cupcakes a bit more before I left. I really love cupcakes and taking pictures with cupcakes!

Even though Small Cakes is small, I like how the shop is decorated. They have a lot of decorations without the shop looking or feeling cluttered. I felt so happy being in such a cute place!

  °˖✧ 'Till next time

Friday, June 9, 2017

°˖✧✝ YOSHIKI Overload pt. 1 ✝✧˖°

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


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.***


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

◊ 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