International Lolita Day Winter 2013

Dec 7, 2013


A very fast 6 months has past since my last International Lolita Day post! Unfortunately, I can't attend any of the Houston Lolita Community meetups on the actual date of I.L.D. since I have to study for finals (have you noticed I've been writing a lot in the last few days? That's the power of procrastination.), so I decided to celebrate a little early by myself.  At the same time, I discovered (by accident) that Metamorphose was holding a coordinate contest with the theme of "Metamorphose Party Christmas." I didn't have any specific coord ideas in my mind, so I went with that.


The main requirement is to wear Meta, but I only started buying Meta pieces this year, so I don't have very much in quantity. Unfortunately, all of them are black which doesn't really scream Christmas party at all. Then I just kind of made something up...I mean I interpreted the party theme a little oddly. My thought process went a little like this: "Christmas is in winter, right? A Christmas party could technically be a winter party. Winter means being cold, so I need a jacket and more to keep warm. Scarves keep people warm, alright. ???. Profit."

Originally, I wanted to do ouji, but I don't have any pants from Meta and I didn't want to wear one of their competitors' items, so lolita it was. 4 out of 5 of my main Meta pieces happened to be military style, so that's what I worked with. Since it's a dark style, I decided to name this coord "Meta's Rebellious Party Crasher." I ended up putting "Winter Soldier" as my theme because I don't think anyone would understand party crasher as my description. Plus, I made the description short, so I could (google) translate it into Japanese easier. I saved the wall of text for this post.

I couldn't wear the jacket as a jacket otherwise it would squish the the skirt oddly. The solution was using the jacket like a mantle (although I do wish I had the actual mantle from the set). The epaulettes were added to give an impression that the jacket is keeping me warm since you can see a lot of fur during this season. You may be wondering why am I wearing a sleeveless blouse in winter. It's because I live in southeast Texas and don't know what a real winter feels like, so I totally faked this. I was actually sweating in this outfit. Coincidentally, after I finished taking photos, a very chilly cold front came to Texas. Since there was limited time, I only did makeup on one eye and slapped the eyepatch on the other. That saved me a good 15 minutes because I'm actually extremely slow with makeup. To be honest, I was hesitant to use this coord because of the extremely controversial symbol on the hat, but I figured out it was removable, so now I don't have any worries thankfully.

That's enough rambling for now, so now for my actual entry. I'm entry number 32 and would appreciate it if you checked it out! If you happen to want to vote for it, you can press like on facebook! You can totally tell that I'm the oddball out, haha. Thank you in advance to everyone who does like it! You can view all of the entries on Metamorphose's official facebook account. The voting period ends on December 13 at 17:00 Japan standard time.

I hope everyone has a cooler I.L.D. than I do! I can't wait to see all of the pictures.

Hat, jacket, eyepatch: Metamorphose D. Walkure
Skirt: Metamorphose x Macross Frontier Sheryl skirt
Socks: Alice and the Pirates lame chandelier socks
Boots: Metamorphose tassel boots
blouse, gloves, bracelet, scarf, epaulettes: offbrand

P.S. "buttcape さま (buttcape-sama)" was totally their doing, not mine. Thank you for making me feel cool, Meta!  

LBC: Who Inspires You in Lolita Fashion?

Dec 6, 2013

This is my first official post for Lolita Blog Carnival! LBC is a group of lolita bloggers who write blog articles about the same subject and on the same day. It's nice to read everyone's opinions and promote each other since lolita fashion is a very close online community. This week's topic is "who inspires you in lolita fashion" or as I like to call it, "frillspiration."

My inspiration mainly comes from visual kei since that was the first alternative fashion I became interested in. When I'm feeling more adventurous,  I pick elements off of anime and video game characters. There are too many awesome people to name, so I'll only list the top ones out of my head.

Listening to Versailles Philharmonic Quintet was actually how I discovered lolita fashion, so naturally they're one of my inspirations. These guys showed me the world of big eyeliner, big hair, and modern day fanciness. Although I don't listen to their music anymore, visually they're still very inspiring. They led the way to my next inspiration...


Matenrou Opera. They've been my favorite band for a few years now and going. I take very subtle ideas from their stage outfits. Probably too subtle for anyone to notice, but I haven't "debuted" most of my inspired outfits. I also thank them for my 95% black closet.

I didn't want to use their pictures without permission (procrastination orz), but this spot is dedicated to the three fellows who I met on livejournal aka my senpai: Saku (neogrotesk), Victor (amor_fati), and Elliot (technotropism). I stared at them for awhile when I was a newbie! Saku was the first Western ouji I ever saw and I thought he was so cool (he still is). Sadly, he doesn't wear ouji anymore. Then I saw Victor's black aristocratic elegance and it sucked me into a black hole. Now he has me buying too much Atelier Boz. Elliot of Deerstalker Pictures is always fabulous; he just is. He's always experimenting and that's good! This fashion needs more variety. The combination of all 3 of them plus some others made me want to come to the princely side.

And last, but not least, my newest source of inspo. That black closet I mentioned above is probably going to start turn colorful in 2014 thanks to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. JoJo characters are known for their obnoxiously bright lipstick, dazzling outfits, and back-breaking poses because they're based on big name fashion brands, one being Gucci. I only got into the series this year, but I have so many JoJouji and JoJolita ideas! Makeup artist Tadashi Hara's JoJo exhibit is an example of how character elements can be incorporated into real life fashion. 

There totally should be more on this list, but I'm pretty brain-dead with final exams coming up next week. My ouji folder alone is over 3000 pictures, so that should you give an idea about my magnitude of interest. My personal tumblr's archive shows a very broad summary of things I enjoy as well. Who is your top inspiration? Do we share any in common? Where are my JoJolitas at? 


See the more of the Carnival and their inspirations: 
Elegant Poupée  ✦  The Cute Lifestyle  ✦  Breiðholt  ✦  Northern Star  ✦  Sweet Indeed  ✦  New Vogue Children  ✦  Dreaming about the frills...  ✦  F Yeah Lolita  ✦  A Little bit of This... a Little Bit of That  ✦  Oh Velveteena

I Want to Be Chocolate Too

Dec 1, 2013

Way back when I first got interested in lolita fashion, I actually started out as a sweet lolita because of my sweet tooth. I quickly learned that the way of dresses wasn't working, so that's how I migrated to the more masculine styles. During that time there was a severe lack of information about ouji let alone sweet ouji.

The vision of sweet ouji has been in my head years; who knows how long, I've lost track of time. When the Chess Chocolate print was released, it was the sign to go. The main roadblock is figuring out how to work with border prints. Usually when brands decide to release print vests or pants, the prints are tiled prints rather than border prints. Border prints work in lolita because the skirt has a lot of fabric, but in ouji there's less fabric to work with unless the design is a big coat.

The first trial! I tried to avoid black for the longest time, but I gave up finding brown pants that would fit me. Of course, this isn't authentic, but I am interested in obtaining an original when my sewing skills improve. If I used an original at the skill level I am now, I'd only be left in a pile of fabric and tears.



Here's hoping I did alright for a first time.

Crown: spica (modified)
Jabot: Innocent World
Blouse: bodyline
Vest: Oo Jia
Wristcuffs: Pumpkin Cat
Sash: Black MiQuri
Star Clip: Chocomint
Bow: Royal Rabbit
Pants: Dear Celine
Belt: f21
Socks: Angelic Pretty + f21
Boots: bodyline

By the way, I also started ouji-specific twitter and a tumblr! On the twitter, I tweet about some purchases, secondhand/auction finds, and some daily toned down outfits. On tumblr, it basically supplements this blog, but I'm planning to some post original content and possibly release info. Currently there are no plans for reblogs.

An Ouji Overview: Part 5 Tops and Outerwear

Nov 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! I bring you a very overdue part of the Ouji Overview.
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Tops are essential in every outfit otherwise everyone would be naked and cold! Blouses are foundation pieces. More blouses can make your wardrobe more versatile. If you want to fancy up your outfit, start adding layers. There is no limit to how many things you can wear; just be able to breathe and not get heat stroke.

Blouses and Cutsews
Blouses are pretty self explanatory. They should at least be semi-fitted to your body and cover up your torso (no cleavage or midriff). If it's too large, the excess fabric will create bulges and make you look larger. If it's too small, your body will strain the seams or fabric and buttons may gape. Generally, very thin and shiny fabrics should be avoided. There are exceptions to the shiny rule if it's a nice quality material (ex. costume satin that costs $3 per yard is bad). Alternatively, cutsews can also be worn if you want to be more casual since they are made of knit materials.

Collars and Necklines
These aren't the only types, but they are the most common. High and pointed collars are the most elegant. Round and sailor can be either elegant or casual depending on the rest of the outfit. Square and and cowl are mostly casual and often used for cutsews. Certain neckwear will look better with certain collar types.

Sleeves 
Sleeveless and short-sleeved tops are great for areas with high temperatures. With sleeveless blouses, it is possible to be too bare, so either accessorize to balance the bareness or cover up. For even more versatility, look for blouses with detachable sleeves. For beginners, I would advise avoiding enormous bell/princess sleeves like this.

Outerwear

Cardigans and Boleros
Avoid too many ruffles or lace. Many lolita cardigans and boleros are too feminine for ouji.
Vests
Related terms: waistcoat, gilet (long)
Vests are the most widely varied outerwear. They come in all lengths and also come in many different styles like underbust, halter, swallowtail, etc. These are usually the most ornate items.

Corsets
Related terms: bustier, cincher (waist only)
Corsets in ouji are typically used for decorative layering purposes instead of defining the waist. They are worn over blouses. Plastic-boned corsets do not drastically change the waist, but can smooth out the area. Metal-boned will define much more, but since this is boystyle, it isn't necessary.
Jackets and Coats
Jackets are the shorter of the two and usually end at the waist or hips. Coats are longer than jackets. It shouldn't be too tight, but shouldn't be too loose either. Remember you don't want to look sharp and not too bulky. Lolita coats may not work since they need a petticoat to support the coat.

Capes
Related terms: capelet (short), mantle, cloak (long)
Fully functional capes will keep you warm. The warmest materials are velvet and wool.

Miscellaneous

Tips:
  • Important measurements: bust, waist, shoulder width, arm length, arm circumference, torso length
  • Most lolita blouses can work, but be wary of the super feminine elements (ex. super large bell sleeves, full shirring, cross neck straps, too much lace, too many bows, etc.).
  • Tucking in your shirt is a small detail that can instantly polish an outfit. With the blouse tucked in, waistbands and belts can be shown off and gives you a neater appearance. For casual and punk styles, it's acceptable to leave it untucked because it gives a messier appearance. Shortcut: blouses with plain hems, tuck in; blouses with ruffle or any decorative hems, leave out or tuck in. 
  • Bust reduction is completely optional. A sports bra can help subtract a small amount if that's all you need. If more reduction is needed, consider using a proper chest binder (personal recommendation: the Underworks tri-top). Using bandages or tape to bind is very unsafe. Take a break if you experience difficulty breathing or discomfort.  

Part 4  |  Table of Contents  |  Part 6

Pattern: Otome no Sewing Book 4

Nov 20, 2013


The Otome no Sewing series has been gaining popularity with seamstresses over the past year. The fourth book was released earlier this month and features some ouji patterns! The ouji specific patterns include a mini hat, a capelet, and suspender shorts. Additionally, most of the blouses (from the past volumes, too) also work for ouji coordinates.

Image courtesy of kaoriloveage
The drawback is that the entire book is in Japanese meaning you'll have to rely on the diagrams unless you can read it. The sizing will also be limited especially for the pants, so pattern alteration is most likely needed.

Mook info: 
English Title: Otome no Sewing Book 4/Sewing Book of Girls 4
Japanese Title: 乙女のソーイングBOOK 4
ISBN-10: 4834736806
ISBN-13: 978-4834736809
96 pages

Available to purchase from these online shops:
YesAsia - This book is an item for free international shipping.
Kinokuniya - The link is for the US branches, but all Kinokunuya stores should be able to order it.
Kanga Kanga
Amazon JP
Rakuten JP



 Maybe it's time to start an ouji sewing pattern list, eh?

Photo Shoot with Rye

Nov 5, 2013

A few days ago, I did a small photo shoot with my friend Rye. She usually wears sweet lolita, but she wanted to try out being a prince for a few hours! Originally, she wanted to do complete white and gold, but I keep selling my white pieces, so I couldn't make a whole white outfit. Not bad for coming up with it in 5 minutes and I do really like how it looks like with the black.

This was my first time photographing someone else seriously and I learned a few things I'm used to a tripod and self-timer. The location was at my cousin's house. Funny thing is I never noticed how good it was for photos even though I've been there a million times. Here are my favorite pictures from the shoot:

 We take pictures next to bathtubs because we are classy individuals.


Hat: Alice and the Pirates Caladrius Silk Hat
Jabot: bodyline
Jacket: Atelier Boz Eternity Roland
Blouse: Dear Celine
Pants: Dear Celine
Socks: Enchantlic Enchantilly
Shoes: offbrand

For Rye's next coord, she wants to do a white rabbit themed one. I have successfully converted another to the ouji side! This last picture was a complete accident, but the way the light hits the jacquard is wonderful. It is a wonderful sight you can't see from Atelier Boz's tiny stock photos.

King of Bodyline Mr. Yan's in Wonderland Birthday Sale

Oct 19, 2013

Greece is now wonderland according to the boss.
Every once in a while, I browse the Bodyline website, but I rarely buy anything because Mr. Yan needs to learn how to take better stock photos. This year I noticed they started adding a bunch of ouji items, so when I saw the sale, I had to buy these items since they were so cheap. There are never enough Bodyline reviews, right? The yen conversion trick shaved off a good amount of my order.

Timeline
September 1: order placed with airmail tracking
September 5: tracking number received
September 6: order shipped
September 17: arrival in the US
September 23: arrival to me
September 23: sent a customer service e-mail and refunded the same day

Items
Blouse with jabot
Product No: p227
Size:Type:(owh)-Size:(s)
Price: ¥1,199 
Length 51.5cm
Bust 90cm
Waist 78cm
Shoulder length 34cm
Sleeve length 19.5cm


Comments: Bodyline's measurements are accurate. The black bow and neck strap on the jabot is made of satin. There is some shine to it, but it's not awful. The neck strap closes with a button. The lace on the top tier of the jabot is low quality, but not scratchy. The jabot does not come with chains like in the stock photo. The color of the blouse is supposed to be offwhite, but I think it looks closer to pure white.


High-waisted shorts
Product No: P230
Size:Type:(blk)-Size:(m)
Price: ¥1,199
Length 52cm
Waist 66cm
Hip 96cm


Comments: Bodyline's measurements are a little small. They were sold out of the size I wanted, so I went a size down (although you should always size up for comfort). Luckily, the actual waist of these pants are 72 cm. The hip measurement is at least 10 cm larger than the BL measurements. The ribbon is awful, so I will be getting rid of it. Plus, it looks a bit silly to have corset lacing on the front and the back at the same time. The waistband has 4 channels of plastic boning. It doesn't seem like the boning will stab through the fabric any time soon (common problem with Alice and the Pirates's boning). The fabric wrinkles a bit easily, so sometimes it looks like you have a wedgie from the backside. They seem to be sold out now. Most importantly, these pants have functional pockets!


Rockinghorse boots
Product No:shoes277
Size:Type:(brw)-Size:(230)
Price: ¥3,199

Comments: Bodyline's sizing is accurate. The insole measures exactly 23 cm. My usual bodyline size is 225, but based on the old pair of BL ribbon RHS I had, 225 destroyed my toes. The shaft is pretty generous. Even when I laced the tightly tied the laces, the ankle area was still a little roomy for me. For reference my ankle circumference is 22 cm, so hopefully I won't fall and twist my ankle in the future. The max calf measurement at the top of the boot is about 30 cm. Much to my surprise, these were inside of a shoebox. I'm used to BL just throwing shoes in a plastic shipping bag. However, when I received the package, the boots were already tearing apart. On one boot, the front of the boot, platform, and sole were detached from each other. On the other boot, the heel was coming apart from the platform. I sent BL a message with the picture to the right.
"Hi bodyline, I just received my package. I have a problem with shoes277. The glue you used is not very good. The foam came separated from the boot. I received it in the condition in the picture. Can I have partial refund? Thank you for your attention."
I honestly wasn't expecting a reply because everyone knows BL's customer service is awful. Surprisingly though, I got a full refund for the boots within 7 minutes! When I got the refund, it was like 6 AM in Japan time, so I'm very satisfied with the response time. I'll be attempting to glue these back together.  


Wristcuffs
Product No: Acc1031
Size:Type:(blk)-Size:(blk), Type:(owh)-Size:(blk)
Price: ¥799*2

Comments: They are exactly like the stock image. The minimum circumference (elastic not stretched) is 20 cm and the maximum stretch is 31 cm. I actually ended up getting the wrong color because BL only labeled their chart with "size" and "type" which doesn't help at all. "Type" ended up being the bow color and "size" ended up being the cuff color. Here's are the correct labels, so no one makes the mistake I did.


Total cost of this coordinate is 1198 yen + 1198 yen + (3199-3199 yen) + 750 yen (shipping) = 3148 yen. That's roughly $32 which was a great price. Sales are great and perfect for an ouji on a budget! Here's a picture of everything together minus the wristcuffs. I actually hope to see BL add more ouji designs in the future.


Rolandolutions

Sep 22, 2013

Hooray, it's officially the first day of autumn! For those in the northern hemisphere, that means jacket weather is here. I sadly have to wait a little longer since I'm in the land of humidity, but that's not going to stop me from writing about my favorite jacket in my favorite season.

The Roland Jacket is definitely the most iconic piece from Atelier Boz. Its simple and sleek design makes it versatile to work in many styles including aristocrat, ouji, and lolita fashion. Boz always has them in stock and every year they make all sorts of different versions. I can't get enough of them, so I tracked down all of the "evolutions" starting with the original solid black Roland Jacket. 

BZ2130/BZM2130 solid
polyester/rayon blend: black
BZ2130/BZM2130- additional colors
white, bordeaux, navy
BZ2130B/BZM2130B
brown, grey
BZ2135/BZM2135
velveteen: black
BZ2135/BZM2135- additional colors
velveteen: bordeaux, navy
BZ2153/BZM2153
tartan
BZ2153/BZM2153- tartan additional colorway

BZ2190/BZM2190 "Eclipse Roland"
striped corduroy
BZ2237/BZM2237
wool
BZ2239/BZM2239
polyester/rayon blend: striped
BZ2256/BZM2256 "Eternity Rolamd"
sheer jacquard black
BZ2256/BZM2256- additional color
white
BZ2302/BZM2302
metallic silver
BZ2302/BZM2302- additional colors
metallic green, black, blue
BZ2333/BZM2333 "Ondine Roland"
khaki green, bordeaux; no lining




Nagoya store limited "Shiny Roland"
gold

Nagoya store limited "Executive Roland"
men's size only
Nagoya store limited "Agent Roland"
men's size only

Shinjuku store limited 4th anniversary "Astrid Roland"
sheer jacquard purple, blue
BZ2346/BZM2346 "Langley Roland"

BZ2350/BZM2350 "Suvarutsu Roland"
gobelin pattern

BZ2350/BZM2350- additional color
dark blue






Other Varations

BZ2240/BZM2240 Long Roland Jacket
also comes in white
BZ2258/BZM2258 Long Roland Jacket

BZ2266/BZM2266 Long Roland Jacket
pinstriped

BZ224/BZM2274
BZ2314/BZM2314 "Moses Long Roland"
vest is detachable
BZ2314/BZM2314- additional colors
khaki, brown (brown not available in men's size)

BZ2347/BZM2347 "Valk Long Roland"
velveteen + polyester

Maybe this should be renamed to "The Rolando Challenge" for avid collectors. These Rolands should be added to Lolibrary soon. I finally joined about a month ago after meaning to join for years, so you might see my username occasionally. Ouji clothing isn't archived as frequently, so the more contributors, the merrier!