Monday, May 21, 2012

Updates and London Expo

Ugh it's been so difficult to write recently. I've run out of ideas for posts and I haven't had any inspiration at all. I've been thinking about changing the format of my blog lately, and doing more personal, journal-type things. That would be straying away from the original purpose of this blog though, so I'm not sure that's the direction I want to go in.

Anyways, this is just a short update to let you all know that this week, I will be traveling to London Expo! I'm excited, I've never been to the UK before! I'll probably be wearing lolita Sunday and maybe Friday too, and I'll be cosplaying as Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle on Saturday. I want to go see the Lolita exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum too~ I'll also be going to Edinburg in lolita, so if you see me (hint, I am a ginger!) please talk to me! I've never met a fan before, but I can see that many of my subscribers are from the UK. So I hope I can meet some of you!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Trends 2012

Spring seems to be upon us (finally) and you know what that means~ It's not a freezing, ice-covered hell outside anymore. And with a new season, means new trends to watch! I've been looking through Japanese fashion mags and spring fashion shows for the last week or so now, and I feel like I'm equipped to tell you all about some new(ish) things that seem to be in for spring.
Bell sleeves shown at the
BTSSB Fashion Show at
Anime Matsuri
Photo Credit

Bell/Princess Sleeves are popping up everywhere! In the BABY, the Stars Shine Bright line, there were bell sleeves everywhere!! Which is awesome for me, because I love bell sleeves~ There were a few last season, but now other brands are picking up this trend. Alice and the Pirates and Angelic Pretty both feature designs with bell sleeves this season! I think it has something to do with the overall trend back towards the original, more simplistic lolita style.

Jewel Ribbon Elegant Dress
Faux under skirts are also in right now, specifically for classic styles. I think this gives everything a sort of hime flavor, which I don't dislike. Innocent World, AATP, and Victorian Maiden all released dresses with this faux under skirt sort of look, they are quite lovely~ Florals are always big in spring time, as are fruit prints. This always happens in the spring time. But it would be nice to see some other spring motifs, maybe cute easter eggs or more animal-themed prints from the classic end of the spectrum.

Bonnets. Holy crap bonnets. Bonnets are so popular. Nearly every Japanese brand has a few different bonnet or half-bonnet designs coming out with their lines this spring. I've never been a fan of them, they take a certain face shape to pull off. But half-bonnets are a little more forgiving. Overall, bonnets just feel spring-y to me.
Chantilly Models at Anime Matsuri
Photo Credit: Octavekitten

Finally, diamond prints are in style this season. Diamond and check prints have always sort have been popular in lolita because they remind us of Alice in Wonderland. But this season I've seen more unique takes on the traditional diamond print. BABY did an argyle style sock, AP combined the diamond motif with horizontal stripes for a unique effect. Chantilly did a whole line of diamond print dresses, with socks and bonnets to match. So pick up a pair of cute diamond print socks, they come in every color to match any style wardrobe.

Did you pick up on other spring lolita style trends I missed? What new things are you going to try out this spring? I'm trying for a bit of a more subtle style with lots of different textures this spring, it's been really fun so far~

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Back from a Short Hiatus

Eh hehehe so I ended up going on a bit of a hiatus there from posting. And to be honest, I'm not sure that I'll be able to post more often even now. March and April are always the worst, I have the big local con to work on and then immediately after, the professors ramp up the work in preparation for finals. But if there are any articles that you want to see here, I'll be more than happy to try my hand at. It's been a bit difficult to come up with articles recently, but I do have a few ideas.
In the meantime, I made a Tumblr! You can follow me on there and ask me questions and stuff there, or on my Formspring! I'll try harder to write more articles from now on >.<

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ten Reasons to Love Solid Dresses

These days, Lolita seems to be all about the prints. People now have their "dream prints" instead of "dream dresses" and when a new print comes out, there's a mad rush to reserve it. But there's something to say about the dresses without prints. They aren't boring, they're perhaps more fun to own than prints!

1. Versatile
A plain colored dress is going to fit into more styles than a printed dress is. You can buy
one plain colored black dress and make it sweet, classic, or even gothic, depending on the details
in the dress itself, as well as the other items you put with it. Whereas, if you get a printed dress, you might be able to make it fit into two styles at the most. So if you're interested in a lot of different types of lolita, you can just grab yourself a simple, plain color dress, and go to town trying to coordinate it differently each time. I love this black OP on the left, I found it on Poupee Girl and have no idea where the person got it! But, as you can imagine, it would work in a lot of different coordinates!

2. Detail Love
Really, in today's lolita, it's all about the prints. No matter what style you like best, there are prints geared towards you. I'm just as big a fan of prints as the next gal, but for dresses with good old fashioned sewn-in details, prints just can't beat non-printed dresses. There are more fabric options in non-printed dresses, and while the printed ones do have lace and perhaps a few sewn elements, they are relatively plain compared to some plain dresses. Take this one on the right. It has a scalloped hem, two layers of ruffles (creating an underskirt effect), cap sleeves with ruffled edges, a detailed bodice with bows, and a faint border detail with bows around the top of the scalloping. If you tried to put all that with a printed dress, you wouldn't see the print!

3. Timeless
This dress on the left was made in 2002. However, if I hadn't told you that, would you have known? Maybe not. Whereas print motifs come in and out of style, solids definitely don't. This dress on the left has been made and re-made and re-released by BABY almost every year since the company first released this dress. It's their signature Karami dress.

4. Work for (almost) every style
You can change up the style of a solid colored dress simply by changing up the accessories and other items you wear in your coordinate. Again, using the Karami dress on the left, you can make this a very classic coordinate by using a simple blouse with soft and simple accessories. Or you could go sweeter, using a puffed sleeves blouse with a big peter pan collar and plenty of bows! It's lots of fun to try and make up completely new coordinates just by changing the other pieces used in the outfit!

5. Can be cheaper
This is a very short and, I find quite obvious, point to make. Printed fabric costs more to have made, due to the complexity of the manufacturing process, and the cost of the materials to make it (pigments and stuff). Whereas, solid fabric is simply dyed one color and it's ready to go. So dresses made with solid fabric don't cost as much to make. For example: this is a solid color Alice and the Pirates jumper that costs a little less than 23,000¥ ($287 US). And this is the dress right next to it, Melty Mermaid Princess. The printed dress costs 26,040¥ ($325 US), about 3,000¥ more!

6. Often come in more size options
This one goes a bit with the one above. You can make dresses for larger sizes with solid fabric more cheaply than it would cost to make them with printed fabric. An indie brand can make solid dresses in any size, but may not have access to the Japanese printed fabrics that the Japanese brands use. Dresses with a larger size option often have shirring, which does not always look okay with printed fabric. This absolutely does not mean that because you require a larger sized
dress that you can't wear a print. Angelic Pretty makes JSKs and OPs that fit over 100cm busts, as does BABY.

7. Come in every cut available
So you know how people look different and have different body shapes? Well, that means that there are different cuts to dresses too! And it seems that solid dresses come in all of different cuts of dresses. So if you're looking for a drop waist dress, chances are, you can find a solid color one a lot easier than a printed one. Some cuts are more flattering than others on certain body types,

8. Easy to coordinate
With solid dresses, it's quite easy make a balanced coordinate. You don't have to worry about pulling out colors from a print or anything. So you can take any color that looks nice with the dress color and make that your secondary color in the coordinate. You aren't limited by the color pallet of the print! For example, you can take a solid pink dress, and pair it with any color blouse for vastly different results. You can make very interesting coordinates this way~

9. Don't usually have to be bought on reserve
What is "reserve"? Many Japanese companies put their newest printed dresses up on a "reservation" page before they are completed so that they can take pre-orders for the dress. Often, popular dresses sell out on reservation before ever reaching the store. However, more
solid dresses don't go up on the reserve page, and they make it to the store without selling out. And since solid dresses are not up for reserve, they usually end up staying in-store longer. So you have a better chance of getting a dress released a few months ago if it's not a print.

10. Higher availability!
All of the awesome reasons above make solid dresses more available than printed ones! So don't limit your wardrobe to prints only, try out some solid pieces too~ It's so fun to try and make new coordinates out of things you already have in your wardrobe, and it helps you to think a little more creatively about the lolita fashion in your life!