Jabberwocky: The Beautiful and Strange Gothic Fashion Magazine

May 23, 2017

Not too long after the announcement of the end of  KERA physical publications, h.NAOTO designer Naoto Hirooka announced that a new web magazine titled Jabberwocky (ジャバウォッキー) would be launching on May 10. Taking its name from the Lewis Carroll poem, this magazine will feature gothic, dark fantasy, genderless, steampunk, Victorian, and black lolita styles displaying a unique collection of fashion, hair, makeup, culture, and art. The magazine will publish 4-6 pages daily totaling over 120 pages per month.

The debut cover features long-time lolita model Midori Fukasawa wearing items from h.NAOTO STEAM styled in a very doll-like manner. Other models to appear in volume one include IBI, Yura, Satsuki Nakayama, Yui Minakata, Sarahphina, and Julia.

Magazine Staff
Editor: Mariko Suzuki
Writer: Kageyama Mika
Fashion Design: h.NAOTO
Graphic Designer: Yaegashi
Photo Graphic: MAI

Notably on staff is Mariko Suzuki who previously worked on Eternita, Lolita in Tokyo Wonderland, and formerly KERA, KERA Maniax, and the Gothic & Lolita Bible. Jabberwocky will be her first web project.


Naoto's announcement and the website were only made three days in advance prior to the launch. Just based on the cover, I was expecting an over-glorified h.NAOTO catalog and that's pretty much what it turned out to be. Naoto fans will enjoy, but it is pretty boring if you're not into his gothic and punk aesthetic. The pages are generously sized at 900 x 1200 pixels each which is a very generous upgrade from the tiny pictures that usually come from Japanese sources. Unfortunately, the pages are all in JPG format, so the text can't be ran through Google Translate which just turns it into a picture blog for me since I can't read Japanese. I was hoping for PDF format to be able to grab text off the interviews, but you can never expect too much. Compared to KERA, Jabberwocky aims to attract an older crowd. Instead of bright colors, we're seeing monochromatic colors with minimal text, so the focus is mainly on the clothing. The good thing is it's free!

I am uncertain about what to expect. Jabberwocky looks like it's aiming to be a long term magazine, but with Naoto always being inconsistent, it's hard to tell. Mariko's last work, Eternita, only had one volume. It will be interesting to see how long it will last since digitial magazines are still relatively new to the Japanese alternative street fashion scene. So far, the contents are clean and eye-catching, so I look forward to their upcoming posts. How are you liking Jabberwocky so far? What kind of content would you like to see?

Jabberwocky: OHP | Twitter | Facebook

Ouji and Aristocrat Sewing Patterns and Tutorials List

May 16, 2017

This list contains sewing patterns suitable for formal boystyle, specifically ouji and aristocrat. For lolita sewing pattern lists, please refer to F Yeah Lolita and Miss Carol Belle's Lolita Fashion Sewing and Pattern Archive. For sewing help, please refer to Sew Loli or Lolita Sewing Collective

(List is still in progress) 

Patterns

Gosu Rori

Patterns are in Japanese.
  • Vol. 1
    #08 double breasted swallowtail jacket
    #10 gothic coat OP
    #11 sleeveless punk blouse, long layered skirt
    #13-14 punk blouse, neck tie, skirt, breeches, arm band, tie
  • Vol. 3
    #14 bat collar blouse with jabot
    #15 above knee and mid-calf breeches
    #17 punk skirt belted pants
    #18 punk sleeveless swallowtail blouse
    #43 sweet/classic square collar blouse with sausage sleeves
    #44 pleated front bell sleeves blouse
    #46 frill long sleeve blouse, visual kei bondage pants
    #47 mini crown
  • Vol. 4
    #01 bat capelet and mantle
    #09 tie, and front zipper pants
    #10 punk blouse with lace trims
    #11 sweet capelet and peter pan collar long sleeve blouse
    #14 short necktie
    #15 mini hat
    #33 sailor parka and sailor breeches
    #36 pleated collar blouse
    #41 BJD punk chain shirt, bondage pants
  • Vol. 5
    #04-05 punk sleeveless blouse, asymmetric skirt, bondage pants
    #09 gothic long coat
    #49 mini hat
    #51 bell sleeves blouse
    #52 corset-back vest
    #53 aristocrat long skirt
  • Vol. 15
    #17 side flare blouse
    #18 pleated frill jabot
    #19 short pants
    #20 ribbon mini hat
    #21 bow tie
    #22 cuff sleeve frill blouse
    #23 suspender breeches
    #24 jacket with hood
    #25 punk zipper belt long pants
    #33 punk breeches

Gothic & Lolita Bible

Patterns are in Japanese. 

Otome no Sewing/ 乙女のソ-イング/Sewing Book of Girls

Patterns are in Japanese. Come in S, M, and L size. Each book contains 20+ patterns and a few tutorials.
Extra links: size reference/sewing advice | overviews of books with pictures | resizing patterns tutorial
  • Book 1
    #01 juliette sleeve peter pan collar blouse
    #10 short sleeve high collar yoke blouse
    #27 frilly juliette sleeve blouse with bow tie
  • Book 2
    #01 long sleeve bow tie blouse
    #08 mini pom pom beret
    #09 cape with pockets
    #10 round collar capelet
    #25 hooded capelet
  • Book 3
    #01 long sleeve peter pan collar blouse with bow tie
    #11 short sleeve peter pan collar blouse
    #14 wrist cuffs
    #15 mini sailor hat
  • Book 4
    #01 frilly high neck collar bell sleeves blouse
    #04 short capelet
    #13 ruffle bloomers (can be adapted to pants)
    #22 long sleeve blouse with back shirring
    #26 mini top hat
    #27 short capelet
    #28 suspender short pants
  • Book 5
    #01 long sleeve peter pan collar blouse with bow tie
    #08 short sleeve blouse with bow tie
    #14 corset-style bodice
    #37 sailor beret
    #38 short sleeve sailor OP (can be shortened to a blouse)
  • Book 6
    #05 echarpe
    #10 long sleeve bow tie blouse
    #15 boater hat
    #17 long capelet
    #18 suspender knee length short pants
    #27 sweet jacket with heart pockets
    #30 coat with detachable capelet
    #36 sweet jacket with heart pockets and fur trim
  • Book 7
    #02 long sleeve peter pan collar blouse
    #10 detachable yoke with bowtie
    #29 long sleeve peter pan collar blouse
    #34 sailor cutsew
    #36 beret
  • Book 8
    #03 fur stole
    #05 detachable sleeves/arm warmers
    #09 corset cummerbund
    #10 wrist cuffs
    #14 capelet
    #15 long sleeve peter pan collar blouse
    #16 suspender breeches
    #17 mini hat
    #29 mid-length cape
    #30 jabot blouse
    #31 suspender breeches
    #39 long sleeve bowtie blouse
    #46 mid-length cape
  • Book 9
  • Book 10

Commercial Sewing Patterns

Commercial patterns come in multiple sizes and are readily available to most areas. They will usually have to be modified to fit the ouji aesthetic.
  • Burda2459 Men's Pirate & Casanova
    2461 Children's Prince & Mozart
    2471 Napoleon Men's jacket, vest, pants
    2767 History 1848 Men's coats, vest, pants
    6871 Mens Wear, Sports Wear
  • ButterickB5687 Misses' Cape, Jacket, Skirt and Pants
    B6108 Shawl Collar Jackets, Bibs and Skirt
    B6255 Misses' Oversized Collar Coats
    B6340 Men's Banded Jacket, Breeches and Jodhpurs
    B6339 Men's Single or Double-Breasted Vests
    B6400 Misses' Boned, Back-Pleat Jackets
    B6433 Misses' Banded Jacket, Jodphurs, and Breeches
  • McCall'sM4139 Misses'/Men's Lined and Unlined Cape Costumes
    M4321 Men's Shawl Collar Vests, Bow Tie and Cummerbund
    M6228 Misses'/Men's Lined Button-Front Vests
    M6770 Ruffled Jacket, Bustle, Skirt and Pants
    M6800 Misses'/Miss Petite Flared Coats, Belt and Detachable Collar/Hood
    M6818 Floor-Length Coats, Capelet, Cape, Necklace and Dickey
    M7003 Men's Notch Collar Coat, Vest, Pants and Tie
    M7023 Misses' Low-Cut Vests
    M7140 Misses' Ruffled Jacket, Skirt and Tournure
    M7256 Misses' Ruffled Coats
    M7335 Hats in Five Styles
    M7374 Men's Collared and Seamed Coats
    M7399 Single or Double-Breasted Vests and Flat-Front Pants
    M7456 Seamed Jacket, Stirrup Leggings and Cape
    M7457 Men's Embellished Jacket, Pull-On Pants and Cravat
    M7513 Misses' Notch-Collar, Peplum Jackets
    M7555 Underbust, Corset-Style Vests
    M7585 Men's Three-Quarter-Length Coat and Vest Costume
    M7616 Misses' Lined Costume Vest and Jacket with Shaped Front and Back Hemlines
  • Simplicity
    1039 Men's Cosplay Costumes
    3677 Misses' Pirate Costumes
    4923 Men's Costumes (Pirate)
    5794 Misses' Capes
    8075 Misses' Steampunk Costumes
    8235 Men's Cosplay Costume Pattern
    8361 Hats in Three Sizes
    8408 Men's Shirt and Vests
    8263 Misses' Capes and Capelets
    EA251701 Men's Cape Coat
    EA258101 Miss and men's costume coat
  • Vintage

Miscellaneous Tutorials



Found a pattern to add to the list? Comment below and I'll add it in!
Disclaimer: I am not a seamstress.

The New Ouji Overview Part 1: Terminology

Apr 18, 2017

lolita (left), ouji (right)

Terminology

After several years of putting off the original Ouji Overview, I decided to start from scratch with a new and improved Ouji Overview! I hope you find this version more in-depth, but I've left the old one up if you prefer to read that one instead.

What Is Ouji?

Ouji/ouji-sama/王子, literally "prince" in Japanese, is the more masculine clothing style that is often associated with lolita fashion. Dresses aren't your thing? Don't worry, even if the style is more masculine, it can be worn by all genders. Ouji includes a wide variety of looks often combining pirate, punk, cute, and/or gothic elements.

Synonymous style terms include:
-ouji style
-prince style
-ouji-kei
-王子系

Or it can be referred to as the all encompassing terms:
-boystyle/boys style
-men's style

Ouji style is based on the menswear mainly from the historic eras of the 18th and 19th centuries and adds a modern, fanciful details to it. The most important element of an ouji outfit is pants. Like lolita, there is a wide variety of substyles and themes which I will go into detail in later parts.

varieties of ouji

Why Not Kodona?

Though the term "kodona" is widely used in the online international communities, "kodona" is not the proper term for the style. The term kodona has previously been sourced from a Gothic & Lolita Bible interview with Plastic Tree's vocalist Ryutaro to describe his personal style. However, this is incorrect. I asked several fluent Japanese readers to read the interview and according to them the word kodona does not even appear in the spread. Nobody really knows why the international community latched onto the word kodona.
Ryutaro's interview from Gothic & Lolita Bible Vol. 1
The origin of kodona is still unknown to this day. Googling any variation of 大人 (otona) + 子供 (kodomo) will fetch zero relevant results. If you were to go to Japan and ask a lolita off the street about kodona fashion, most likely they would have no idea what you are talking about. We've even asked brand designers in person and they don't know what kodona means. Alice and the Pirates designer Tomomi Nakamura, also known as Cathy, refers to the style either as men's style or ouji style. The term kodona doesn't translate well into English either. It would be the equivalent of calling yourself an adult child which has negative connotation.

Dictionary

Some terms and abbreviations often seen in online communities.
AATP: abbreviation for the brand "Alice and the Pirates", one of the more popular brands for ouji items; Japanese equivalent “A/P” or “A&P”
BPN: abbreviation for the brand "BLACK PEACE NOW"
CC: abbreviation for “Closet Child”, a second-hand Lolita store
CoF: abbreviation for “Closet of Frills”, a Facebook group that is the most active place to post coordinates
community: a group of people having the same interest, in-person or online; often abbreviated to “comm”
coordinate: an outfit; often abbreviated to “coord” or “code (コーデ)”
DS: abbreviation for "direct sale"
EGA: abbreviation for "elegant gothic aristocrat" which refers to one line of Moi Meme Moitie
gay: 基佬 "ji lao" slang for what the Chinese call ouji, this is the most common term on Taobao; sometimes seen as handsome gay 帥基 "shuai ji"
GL&B: abbreviation for the publication "Gothic & Lolita Bible"
IW: abbreviation for the brand "Innocent World"
Mbok: Japanese auctions site; short for “mobile auction” because the site is primarily accessed on a phone
MmM: abbreviation for the brand "Moi-Meme-Moitie"
ouji accessory: joke term from this video
OTT: abbreviation for “over the top”
PT: abbreviation for "pants"
SS: abbreviation for "shopping service", someone you pay to buy something for you
Taobao: a Chinese marketplace similar to Amazon where one can buy items from individual shops
WTB: abbreviation for "wanting to buy"
WTS: abbreviation for "wanting to sell"
WTT: abbreviation for "wanting to trade"
WW: abbreviation for the secondhand shop "Wunderwelt"
Y!J: abbreviation for “Yahoo!Japan” auctions

Related Styles

Boystyle is an umbrella term for multiple styles, ouji included. All ouji is boystyle, but not all boystyle is ouji. If ouji isn't your taste, try checking out some of these related styles.

Lolita 

Lolita fashion is the "sister" style to ouji. Despite being very similar to each other, ouji is not considered lolita because lolita dresses are defined by the silhouette of wearing a petticoat. It is incorrect to refer to ouji style as "ouji lolita/kodona lolita/boy lolita" or "brolita" because no petticoats are used in ouji.

Aristocrat

Mana in femme aristocrat (left) and homme aristocrat (right)
The terms ouji and (gothic) aristocrat are used interchangeably with each other, often incorrectly. While they both share eras of influence, the former adds fantasy and child-like fun to a vest and knickerbockers, while the latter aims to be more historically accurate with a mature elegant feeling. There are femme and homme versions of aristocrat. Information in this ouji guide can be applied to masculine aristocrat as well.

Gothic/Punk/Visual Kei

Visual kei band Versailles wearing costumes designed by Alice and the Pirates
The gothic and punk subcultures are well-known, so I won't bother explaining them here. The Japanese goth and punk aesthetic puts a softer and/or more elegant spin on the styles due to cultural differences and the influence of kawaii culture.
I'll liberally mention visual kei here as well since most of it has gothic and punk influences, only bolder for stage purposes. Visual kei is an overall bold look with large emphasis on styling hair and makeup. It is not uncommon to see ouji clothing used in visual kei or visual kei styling elements used in ouji style.
  • Resources: None that I would recommend. Just look at a band you like and take inspiration. 

    Dandy

     “Neo Classical Goth” Harajuku Style by Tokyo Fashion
    Dandyism started in the 18th century originating in the Western hemisphere. A very simplified  definition for dandy is a formally and fashionably dressed individual. The look of a dandy changes as fashion evolves. To a small degree, some forms of ouji can be considered a minor form of dandyism.

    Dansou

    Dansou model ROOT modeling ouji style for Alice and the Pirates
    Dansou is not a specific clothing style, but the action of a person, usually female, crossdressing as a male in a strictly fashionable sense. The goal is to pass as male, so non-clothing elements such as makeup, hair, and posing need extra attention. Dansou can wear ouji style, but not all oujis are dansou.

    Want to mix and match all of these things? No problem, there will be overlaps. Style is limitless, so don't get too worked up with labeling yourself.

      Additional Ouji Resources



      ← Table of Contents  |   Part 2 →

      Coordinates 14-19

      Apr 10, 2017

      These are actually old coords from the latter part of 2016. My posts are really out of chronological order and I don't think that's going to be fixed any time soon, ha...

      #14

      This is the whole coordinate from my Dream Holic review. I coincidentally ran into the end of a cosplay meetup at the local mall.
      Hair clips: ? taobao brand - it's been a few years and there's no tag, so I forgot the name of the store
      Cutsew: KOKOKIM Fall in Chocolate Turtleneck
      Salopette: Angelic Pretty Melty Royal Chocolate Salopette
      Wrist Cuffs: Pumpkin Cat Eat Chocolate Gain Weight Wrist Cuffs
      Socks: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Torchon Lace OTKs
      Shoes: Alice and the Pirates Clara Boots

      #15

      Blouse: Atelier Boz Aife Blouse
      Vest: Atelier Boz Edmund Sleeveless Jacket
      Pants: Alice and the Pirates Wide Pants
      Shoes: Na+H Platform Boots

      #16

      I love gothic aristocrat with long skirts. Unfortunately, it's hard for me to wear often because the skirts from most brands are too long on me even with 4+ inch platforms on. Because it's a tripping hazard on me, I'm selling this gorgeous bustle skirt on my LaceMarket!
      Jacket: Atelier Boz Kreios Short Jacket
      Blouse: Atelier Boz Halphas Frill Blouse
      Corset: Na+H Bone Short Corset
      Skirt: Atelier Boz Reveur Long Skirt
      Accessories: Atelier Boz glasses chain, official Bayonetta glasses, Na+H butterfly brooch

      #17

      What I changed into from #16, so I wouldn't fall on my face outdoors.
      Jacket: Atelier Boz Gilford Swallowtail Jacket
      JSK: Moi Meme Moitie Divine Cross Print JSK
      Necklace: Moss Marchen Rosary
      Tights: offbrand
      Shoes: offbrand

      #18

      Blouse: Sheglit Frill Blouse with Jabot
      Jacket: Atelier Boz Gerard Rider Jacket
      Skirt: BLACK PEACE NOW asymmetrical lace skirt
      Tights: offbrand
      Shoes: offbrand

      #19

      The more I look at this picture, the more I don't like it. Turns out the fit of the jacket is too large on me, but the cape part is so cool that I don't want to part with it...tough decisions.
      Hat: Corgi-Corgi Police Hat
      Jacket: EXCENTRIQUE Spencer Cape Jacket
      Blouse: Lapin Agill
      Pants: offbrand
      Belt: Alice and the Pirates Buckle Belt
      Shoes: Alice and the Pirates Roll-top Long Boots

      Spring Cleaning Sale!

      Apr 2, 2017

      I'm doing a massive spring cleaning of my closet, so please check out my sales over on my Lace Market!

      Brands include Atelier Boz, Angelic Pretty, H.NAOTO, Alice and the Pirates, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Alice Auaa, Moi Meme Moitie, 69th Department, Metamorphose, KOKOKIM, Enchnatlic Enchantilly, Innocent World, Juliette et Justine, Sheglit, Putumayo, indie, and offbrand.

      https://egl.circlly.com/users/buttcape

      [Scans] Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Post Cards

      Mar 31, 2017

      Scans are for personal use only. Please support the original source if possible! Credit is nice if reposting.
      Brand: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
      Model: Midori Fukasawa
      Featured items:  Fall in Love with the Sweet Magic of Scent Cologne JSK + OTKs, Fall in Love Lace Bonnet Headdress + Lace Up Blouse, Antique Ribbon Shoes
      Brand: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
      Model: SELEN
      Featured items: Kumya-chan's Ribbon Ribbon C'est Bon Belle Journée JSK I + OTKs, Kumya-chan Fur Headdress, Ribbon C'est Bon Blouse, Antique Ribbon Shoes, Usakumya Pochette
      Brand: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
      Model: Midori Fukasawa
      Featured items: Bambi de la forêt ~Petite Princesse de la forêt~ JSK II + Ribbon Head Bow + OTKs, Secret Forest Blouse, Mignon Petit Bambi Headband, Victoire Shoes

      New and Improved Lolibrary Coming Soon

      Mar 17, 2017

      A new and improved Lolibrary is on its way!

      For those of you who don't know, Lolibrary is a volunteer created database of lolita items, first started in 2010. Their mission is to provide our members with the means to share and archive records of Lolita fashion, including not only historic information on clothes and accessories but user generated content like true measurements, worn photos, ratings, reviews, and comments. Lolibrary cares deeply about Lolita fashion and wanted to revolutionize the way Lolitas get the information they need to learn more about the fashion, make informed buying choices, or to find their dream dress.

      As an active contributor, I caught a few sneak peeks of what's going on behind the scenes. The team has been working incredibly hard for months to completely rehaul the site. The user interface is now much cleaner. I'm most excited about the tiled view which has been requested by popular demand for so long.

      The hilight feature will be the incredibly powerful search bar. The upgrade will also fix the site stability issues that have been occurring in the past few months. The ETA for the new site is very soon; the current wait is for all images to finish transferring and some bug fixes to be made. Fun fact: the database is currently holding almost 1 million images.

      It's undeniable that Lolibrary is one of the top resources for lolita fashion fans. While the migration is happening, the home page will redirect to this lovely splash page. If you love using Lolibrary, consider sending in a donation today! Donations will be used to offset the server costs, so the archive can stay up. Alternatively, if you can't donate, consider contributing items to the database when the site re-launches. The new site will continuously be updated and we have more features to be added in the future, so look forward to it!


      * If you are a developer with experience with Laravel (5.4) who wants to help out, please message the Lolibrary Facebook page to be invited to the developer group.

      Na+H via Atelier Pierrot 2017 Lucky Pack Opening

      Mar 11, 2017


      Part of the celebration of a new year begins with New Year's lucky bags or in Japanese fukubukuro. Normally, I don't buy lucky packs unless I liked 75% of the new releases from a brand's previous 2-4 seasons which applied to Na+H last year. I was feeling pretty lucky on this gamble.

      Atelier Pierrot announced lucky packs for Enchantlic Enchantilly, Na+H, MARBLE, Atelier Ruby, Gothic Holic, Pina Sweet Collection, Morun x Muuna Stoik, and Atelier Beatrice. They posted preview for the Na+H pack which they didn't do for the other brands. The page is now gone, so I'll just paste everything here. Google Translate says:
      2017 Sale of Lucky Bag
      Na+H lucky bags will be sold in Atelier Pierrot Osaka and Atelier Pierrot Harajuku stores!!
      The price of a lucky bag is 30,000 yen + tax。 The contents are equivalent to 60,000 to 75,000 yen!!
      It's a very affordable bag! I'll preview some of the contents.

      * These [images] are the contents of some lucky bags, but does not necessarily include these.
      * Because these are limited quantity items, sale will end once they're sold out.
      * Reservations are not available.

      2017年 初売り福袋 Na+H
      アトリエピエロ大阪店、原宿店にてNa+Hの福袋を数量限定で販売致します!!
      福袋価格 30,000円+Tax
      中身は60,000円~75,000円相当!!
      大変お買い得な福袋です!
      中身の一部を公開しちゃいます♪
      ※こちらは一部の福袋の中身でして、必ずこれらが入っているということではございません。
      ※数量限定品ですので、無くなり次第終了です。
      ※ご予約はできません。
      When I saw the first image in the preview, I decided to give it a shot because I'd actually been eyeing the Frame Cardigan on the webshop for about 6+ months. I really wanted that cardigan. Atelier Pierrot's Harajuku location is located inside LaForet Harajuku, so the sales opened on January 1. Personally, I was not worried about it selling it out because let's be real; Na+H is an expensive brand and tiny brand in sizing and quantity. It's not a lolita brand, so it's not really that popular in and out of Japan.

      Na+H
      did offer several packs on their own website, but I decided to go with Atelier Pierrot since they offer free international shipping over a certain amount. Except my plan backfired because Pierrot never listed them online. I spent too much time waiting for them to list it, so the one on the Na+H site sold out. Grimy happened to be in Tokyo on the 13th for an anime food adventure, so I asked her to buy it as a joke because I thought they'd be sold out by now, but lo and behold, I got one.

      Spoiler alert: I got the second set, so no cool cardigan for me. The Na+H website(s) absolutely suck(s) and they move URLs so often that it makes finding item names and details is a major pain.

      1. Tank OP with net overlay

      Retail price: 29,000 yen excluding tax

      There's no stock photo, only a tweet about it. I believe these might have been made for the lucky pack and released separately in stores after. The most interesting feature of this OP is the corset lacing on the back. At first, I was disappointed when I pulled it out of the bag, but once I wore it, I realized I probably need it for the Texas summer.

      2. Frill Dolman Cardigan

      Retail price: 18,000 yen (estimated, excluding tax)
      Again, couldn't find any information about this one, so it may be the same case as above. It's very similar to something that was called "Frill Dolman Cardigan" released in 2016, but the sleeves are different. It's made of a sweatshirt-like material. In the video, I actually put it on the mannequin backwards, but I think it looks just as good as forwards.
      The loop can be arranged various ways. It's made of a stretchy tulle. I have other items with the same trim and I really enjoy it because it has a high frill volume while being lightweight.

      3. Frame Neck Cast

      Retail price: 9,800 yen excluding tax
      It's weird that they call this a cast for some reason instead of a neck corset. Pretty happy I received this one instead of the one in the sample image. This one is more frilly which I like. It also fits my dog Latte, so we can share another accessory.

      4. Studded Clutch Bag

      Retail price: N/A
      This doesn't have an official name because Na+H only produces bags as novelties. It's made of enamel making it very shiny and decorated with antique gold studs. I have no use for this since I don't like clutches, so I will be selling it. If you'd like to claim it before I list it for sale, feel free to contact me!

      The total value of my pack is 56,800 yen not including the bag. If I had to guess a value for the bag, it would probably be about 6,000 yen totaling 62,800 landing this pack on the minimum side of the price spectrum. As like most other gothic brands, the deal value of this lucky pack is not very high compared to sweet or classic brands; you really only save about 50% off. I would only recommend purchasing a Na+H lucky pack if you absolutely know you can fit their clothes and really like what they put out. It is a full coordinate though, so it is ready to wear.


      I made a video review before writing this post, so you can see the clothing details slightly better.



      Overall, for the amount paid I'm pretty apathetic about this lucky pack. It's not what I wanted, but it could have been worse. I could have ended up with example #3 and it would have been very difficult to sell in the international community. The clutch bag really brought my mood down. Heck, I'd be way more satisfied with some 2,000 yen socks or something since I'm just not a bag person. Luckily, I did not have to pay shopping service or shipping fees this time, but if I had to pay extra fees, I would definitely reconsider my purchase. I'm still sad I didn't get that Frame Cardigan, so I might just have to go buy it at retail price.

      Did you buy any lucky packs year? Have any sweet deals or regrets? Share your experience in the comments!

      Dream Holic Hime Ringo in Chocolate Wig Review

      Mar 3, 2017

      Greetings, world. Today's post will be about Dream Holic, a Chinese wig brand. In the past, I've had several bad experiences with other English speaking lolita wig companies with their quality issues and terrible business practices. Dream Holic has mostly positive reviews online from what I could find, but over the years I've learned to take most lolita wig reviews with a grain of salt because they usually aren't very detailed and the negative ones are never posted. This is not a sponsored review.

      When Dream Holic first appeared around 2012, I was impressed with the quality of their pictures. Previously, I had seen some of them in person being worn by Lillith and they looked great on her (probably because she always looks cute). I never ordered one on my own though since shipping was ridiculously expensive for one wig. One day, someone posted a group order on Facebook, so I decided to finally purchase a very girly for whenever I have random sweet lolita urges. I ordered the Hime Ringo style in the Chocolate colorway. It's a bob base with two detachable clip-in ponytails.
      The main stock photo for the Hime Ringo wig
      Price: $56.00 - 12% group order discount = $49.28 excluding shipping

      Ordering

      Their store was still on Etsy when this group order happened. Recently they had to move onto Storenvy, so the pricing may be different now. Browsing the Dream Holic shop was the most headache inducing process ever. First of all, despite the store's pictures being very pretty to look at, these pictures are absolutely terrible as stock photos.
      stock photo
      What kind of stock photo is that? The whole wig isn't even displayed in the picture and it's drowned in layers of VSCO filters, so I can't even tell what color it is. I tried looking for a worn photo for this style through their Instagram tag and a google search, but nobody seemed to own it.

      Second, for some reason lolita wig shops have to come up with ridiculous names for their colors. Usually half of the names don't make sense. Keep in mind, they have 40+ different colors. Each wig has a different range of colors, so if you like one color, it may or may not come in a style you'd like. The color chart isn't posted anywhere on their store; it's in one of their Facebook albums, so I had to inconveniently switch between their tabs of their shop and Facebook to try to decipher what I was trying to buy. I went for the chocolate brown because it seemed straightforward enough.
      color sample for Chocolate
      Luckily for me, the Hime Ringo style has individual pictures with labels of each colorway. However, only the newer wigs have extra pictures, so if you're looking at an older style, you'll have to play the guessing game.
      stock photo for Sweet Olive and Chocolate colorways

      Timeline

      August 30: Order placed.
      October 12: Wigs shipped from China.
      October 17: Wigs arrived in the US.

      Review

      My group order host mentioned that Dream Holic asked for a $150 shipping deposit up front and once everything was shipped, Dream Holic would refund the difference. This is a potentially dangerous way to handle shipping, but they did process the refund in the end. According to my host, the order was shipped in multiple boxes from China. There were a lot of issues with the order, mainly Dream Holic sending a bunch of wrong wigs, but DH slowly worked with my host to resolve the issues.

      The wig was packaged in a branded translucent plastic zip bag with a very sturdy piece of cardboard inside to prevent the wig from crushing. I store all of my wigs in a large box, but the bag's design sets it apart from all of the other wig bags. The cardboard isn't pictured since I long threw it out to save on space, but it was seriously the thickest and sturdiest piece of wig cardboard I've ever received. 
      Flipping the wig inside out, on the back there is a tag and it can be tightened with hooks. Sewn into the front, a hair comb in the center and two toupee clips on the sides for extra security. This is a nice feature for Dream Holic to include since it's not standard with most other wig shops. Often, I have problems with Chinese wigs being too tight because my real hair is very thick and I suppose that means I have a large head, but this wig's cap is fairly roomy and has a good amount of stretch to it.
      interior of wig
      This wig has a radial part which doesn't bother me that much, but if you're trying to make it look natural, look elsewhere. The ponytails attach securely onto the base with clips. The tightness of the ponytail can be adjusted with a drawstring. I really like that their ponytails have volume around the top.
      top and wig clip
      The brown is more warmly saturated in real life than the stock photo. I was expecting because the stock photo and all of their other photos are edited in a dreamy low contrast style. The color is close what I wanted, so this wasn't a problem for me; it is indeed the color of chocolate. The mileage may vary with the other colors though since all monitors are different. On the backside, there are a few hairs to cover the nape of your neck just in case you have a lot of hair in that area. The wig is just thick enough to hide all of my hair and netting.
      close-ups of the backside
      base wig
      Here I am wearing the wig out of the bag. I didn't cut or style it. I only shook out the pigtails to give them some life and combed through it for smoothness. For reference, I have a flat and round face. I find the base wig a bit unflattering on its own because the face framing bits make me look like I'm wearing a helmet of hair. My biggest gripe is the bangs though. If you notice in the pictures featuring my wig head, the bangs don't sit very well on its flat facial plane. I thought they were the "standard" lolita straight bangs from the stock photo, but instead they are they wispy J-shaped curled bangs that are popular in larme kei right now (think Risa Nakamura). Because the bangs are thin they subject to flying everywhere. Hairspray can be used as temporary fix, but they will move if you do enough moving in the day or wind hits it. It took me several minutes too long to get them to look right in my worn picture. The thinness would be unflattering for someone with a wide forehead.
      Who is this even?
      Earlier I mentioned that I liked the shape and design of these ponytails. The are super cute and I love how much volume they have. They can be worn in a smoother manner, but I like the more wild voluminous look. By arranging them in different positions, you can create multiple cute looks.
      Next, let's talk about the fibers. The wig is made from"Japanese high temperature wire." The fibers are soft to touch and the few tangles I've encountered were easy to untangle. Shedding has not been a problem. Hairs will fly only if you intentionally try to rip them out. I find the hairs comparable to cheaper synthetic wigs in terms of shine. I brought the wig outside on a cloudy day and took pictures with and without flash. In direct sun, the plastic shine will be obvious.
      left: cloudy day with no flash, right: cloudy day with flash
      After that, I brought the wig back inside my room. I hadn't noticed this earlier until now writing my review, but the wig can also look fake indoors as well. This picture was taken without flash in my room under my fluorescent lighting that isn't very bright.
      with indoors fluorescent lighting without flash
      Even some of cosplay wigs don't even shine this much. This wig can look very good in a environment with controlled lighting such as a photoshoot, but at the same time, it can look very plastic-like in a brightly lit environment such as the outdoors.

      Summary

      Quality: 3/5 ♦♦♦♢♢
      The wig is soft to touch and easy to brush through which makes it easy to maintain. The fibers are nothing special in terms of naturalness. They reflect a good amount of light which can make them look unnatural in certain lighting conditions. I have not tested the heat resistance out.

      Design: 4/5 ♦♦♦♦♢
      I bought the Hime Ringo because I've always wanted a twin tails wig without the generic straight twin tails. It looks cute even with just one ponytail. This bangs on this particular style won't flatter all face shapes and I wish they were thicker. It's comfortable and lightweight to wear.

      Price: 3/5 ♦♦♦♢♢
      For international buyers, Etsy/Storenvy prices do have a significant markup above the Taobao prices before shopping service fees. I was aware of this when I ordered. But since I didn't want to deal with a Chinese shopping service, I just went in the group order. With discount, the price I paid was bearable, but if I had to pay full price, I probably wouldn't. They do have shipping and discount promotions every so often, so that would definitely have an influence whether I'd order again.

      Shipping: N/A
      I went through a group order, so I didn't deal with it directly, so I won't give it a rating. My group order host mentioned that order fulfillment does take very long. They ship to the U.S. using EMS. When my group order host received the multiple boxes the order was split into, the 30+ wigs were not labeled, so she had to sort through all of them to decipher what each wig was.

      Customer Service: N/A
      Again, I went through a group order, so I didn't deal with them directly, so I won't give it a rating. Communication can be slow because of the distance and time zone differences between their staff. The factory is located in China, but the English support person is actually located in Sweden. The team member that handles their Facebook page did work slowly to correct the wrong wigs sent and did their best to make up for the mistakes.

      Overall, this wig scored a 3.3 out of 5 marking slightly above average. After I purchased my wig, I saw a friend wearing a black wig which had the same amount of shininess. The wigs are overhyped, but they appear gorgeous in photos. Seriously though, they could tone down the editing a lot to provide an accurate stock photo. Their webshops still need a lot of work in order to make it easy for the customer. Having to cross reference across different platforms is highly inconvenient. Arda Wigs had this same problem too, but their Flickr gallery is more organized than a Facebook album, so it was an easier trial. Arda has slowly been adding more stock photos, so I hope Dream Holic will do so too in the future.

      Dream Holic wigs are definitely unique with fun styles and color blends making them perfect for all kinds of cute and girly fashion styles. As far as I know, they haven't been involved in any scandals like, ahem, other lolita wig companies. Would I order from Dream Holic again? Probably not anytime soon. With good marketing (and Photoshop skills), I see them growing more popular in the future. They're not a perfect company, but they are open to helping their customers and improving their shop.