Wednesday, 31 August 2011

100 Followers! Thank you!

Literally just as I was finishing the Angelic Pretty post below, I saw that I have 100 followers! Thank you so much everybody! I feel incredibly happy right now. I will have to make sure I keep on working hard on this blog now!

Thanks again!

Angelic Pretty's Wonder Story

Today I thought I would discuss Angelic Pretty's latest series Wonder Story (I meant to post this ages ago!). The set is made up of 2 dresses, a skirt, socks and a headbow. It is a fairly small series, but here is hoping that what lacks in quantity makes up for it in quality.

This is the round JSK. I thought the bodice part looked a little dull and shapeless. This might be because there is a large shirring panel running all the way across the back. The shirring looks very untidy and exposed. The front has a few lines of semi-circle shaped lace which curve outwards to follow the natural body shape. The waist bow is a little large but has a nice shape to it. I think that overall, the bodice looks a little flat but thankfully the frilly neckline helps a lot. The lace along the neckline and continuing on the sleeves is a lovely shape and features little tea cups. The ruffles and lace layering adds a little more volume. The neckline is finished off with a simple velvet ribbon which is a nice choice and will feel soft. As you would expect with a JSK described as round, the skirt part is very full and has a good rounded shape to it. The skirt part can flare outwards a lot and will hold a lot of petticoat underneath. Despite having a lot of gathering, the print is shown off nicely and because the skirt is quite plain, there are no distracting details. The bottom hem is finished off with cute looking tea cup lace. The tea cup lace is not the same as the lace used for Wonder Cookie but it is similar.

AP are calling this is JSK with collar. Aside from the print itself, the collar probably is the thing that really stands out about this dress. The collar is shapely and up close you can see that it has tiny details such as rose shaped lace running along it. I really like it! If you dislike the collar, it is detachable. Underneath the collar, the neckline is neatly rounded with simple straps. The bodice on this dress is more shapely and also has more detail to it so it is a little more interesting. The waist bow on this dress looks more shapely than on the first dress. The front has some folds which end with lines of semi-circle lace. There are 2 more bows on the front which are small and very cute looking. These bows are also detachable and underneath there are 4 card suit themed buttons (see below). The back of this dress also has shirring but this time the shirring is hidden by some ribbon corset detailing. The top part of the skirt looks a little straighter and less rounded than the other JSK but it still flares out nice and widely. Again, the skirt part has been kept nice and simple so the print is displayed well. The bottom hem uses the same tea cup lace but this dress has a layer of pleats underneath. Although I compared the lace to that used on Wonder Cookie, Wonder Story's lace is more see-through and I think having the material underneath helps to show off the lace better.

I thought the skirt/apron deserved a quick mention. I love how AP have not made the apron part too cutesy by not making it heart shaped or too OTT. This style of apron fits the mood of the print better. Plus, the apron part is also removable so you can wear this like a normal skirt too.

Both the skirt/apron and the collar JSK have these card suit buttons which I think are really cute! It makes a change from having just heart shaped buttons or plain looking buttons. AP usually throw in lots of little details and you can tell that they put a lot of thought in to their designs.

Finally, we have the print close-up. I have to say that this is one of my favourite recent AP prints. Unlike a lot of other AP prints which are sugary sweet, this print has the potential to be worn with a more classic style. Although there are lots of details, the print is not too overcrowded. The bunnies are so cute! I also love the detailing on the books and keys. Plus, the inclusion of macarons is brilliant! Although the print does have AP featured in it, the brand name is not shoved right in our face either, which I think is a good thing.

So overall, I would say Wonder Story is a very promising series. Generally the designs are strong with possibly a few tiny little details some people may dislike. Despite the small number of pieces, I also feel the series is very versatile and could be worn many different ways. Although all 4 colours available work really well with the print, I think the wine colour works the best. So yes, I would happily buy from this series!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Showcasing the incredibly awesome Beau!

I am having a bit of a lazy day today because it is a bank holiday weekend here in the UK. It is almost mid-day and I am not even dressed yet! But I thought I would quickly share some art work with you.

My lovely friend Beau drew some pictures of me and I think they are AMAZING.

This is the original. I love all the little details! Beau remembered to include my multiple earrings in my right ear and she chose an outfit that fits my usual style. I have been drawn with my favourite Pokemon called Swablu. Outside of lolita, I am a Pokemon nerd!

This is the coloured version. The colours in real life may differ slightly to how they appear here. The skirt reminds me of my Alice skirt from Bodyline but it has ducks on it because if you have not already guessed, I am also obsessed with ducks!

I wish I could draw as well as Beau! If I could even reach half of her level I would be happy. Thank you so much to Beau for making this picture for me. I love it!

Friday, 26 August 2011

A cute Baby jacket!

Am I the only one who finds clothing shops releasing their Autumn/Winter collections a bit depressing? It is a clear sign that cold weather is coming!

However, it does mean that we get to see lots of exciting new brand coats, jackets and outer wear. Meta have announced a coat collection and Baby have already released pictures of their new stuff.
So far, my favourite item is this fawn style cape! I can already think of several different prints this could work with and it will look stunning with solid colours outfits too. It would look beautiful with classic lolita but I would also like to see this jacket worn with a toned down sweet outfit. I do like how this jacket does not look too cute. I think the fur is fake too, which is a bonus (if it is real fur, please correct me).

My only worry was how versatile the jacket would be. It is short so would not be suitable in harsh weather conditions. It is a bit of a what I like to call "transition piece", which is best suited for those times between seasons when the weather goes a little strange. It looks like Baby have already thought of this problem-

This is what it looks like on top of another coat. Hmm... I love how Baby are trying to get people to buy both the cape and the coat! I do think the cape could be workable with other coats too.

Baby and Alice and the Pirates have a lot of cute outerwear on their website now so if you have been thinking about getting a coat, do have a look!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Good things come to those who wait

I have set myself a goal for the rest of the year. I am going to save a little every single month so that in January I can buy myself another dream print and some other bits too.

I have often wondered if it is better to buy stuff as and when you see them or wait for something better to come along. When I look at my own approach to buying lolita I have always seen things, bought them, not had money for something better, got a little annoyed and then sold things. At one point I was doing a Bodyline order once a month but if I had saved that money I could have got something I wanted more. Sure, my wardrobe would have been smaller but I would have felt like I had achieved something more. I am re-evaluating my spending and maybe (just maybe) in the long term my wardrobe will benefit from my new way of thinking.

I now have a new money plan which I hope will benefit me in the long term.

Want Vs. Need

Although my wardrobe is slowly getting better, I still feel like I am lacking a lot of basics or "wardrobe builders". A lot of this is down to focusing on prints rather than the rest of the outfit. So I have now come up with a list I have called Want Vs Need. The Want side is filled with all the prints and things I would love to own but are not vital for my wardrobe. The Need side is filled with all the basics that would give my wardrobe more variety and give my wardrobe more depth. So on the Want side I have stuff like AP's Melty Moon ring (I would love to have this!) and Innocent World's crown bag. On the Need side I have stuff like a black blouse, white boots etc. To decide which items go on the Need side I had to look at my wardrobe and work out what basics are missing and also how many prints/dresses that basic would work with. Here is the tricky part- for every item I buy from the Want side, I have to buy at least one item from the Need side. My theory is that I will be excited about getting the Want item and the Need item will be useful (and hopefully, I will get excited about the Need stuff too!). Eventually, those wardrobe holes will be filled but at the same time, I wont feel as though I haven't treated myself.

Print Priority

I have a list of all the dream prints I would love to buy (and there is a LOT of them). To work out which one I will buy next, I am listing them in the order of how much I love them. However, I am also factoring in availability and average selling prices. In fact, I might do a separate list but this time in price order. As I save my little bits of money for the rest of the year, I will see how high I can climb up on my list. I will evaluate if I am happy with how high I have climbed the list or whether I can push myself further and get the next item up.

Not being too reliant on the "Mights and Maybes"

I intend to only include money I 100% know I am going to get. For example, my father-in-law might give me some money for Christmas but he might get me something else instead. Because I don't know if I will get money, I wont include this in my spending budget. And then, when I do get money unexpectedly, it will be a nice surprise. I always work on a worst-case scenario when it comes to money now, even if it is a little depressing.

Real life before frills

No matter what, if I need money for something non-lolita related, that takes priority. I plan ahead which meets I attend, make note of people's birthdays, getting my flu jab, going to the dentist. All of these things have to have money set aside before I even think about lolita. And I always like to hold a little money aside somewhere for those emergencies and last minute surprises.

Shopping around

Whenever I see something I like on EGL Sales, I always feel like I have to make a decision as quickly as possible. In the past I have missed things because some of the lolitas on there are super quick! But EGL Sales is not the be all and end all of lolita shopping. Don't you just hate it when you buy something thinking that you were unlikely to get it elsewhere and then you find it on a Japanese auction site for a lot less? So now, I try to browse auction sites and re-sellers as much as possible just so in my head, I get an idea of the average prices. Then when I see something nice, I will hopefully be able to tell if it is a good price a lot quicker than I could before.


Whenever I see a friend going on a huge shopping spree, I can't help but want to do it too. But they are a totally different person and their situation is probably different. Every lolita has to come up with their own way of working out how to shop. It is no good trying to keep up with your friend if it leaves you with a massive heap of debt. Let's focus on our own wardrobes!

I sometimes feel like I am too easily lured in to buying stuff. I am hoping my new money plan will see that change. Of course, a lot of the plan does require some level of will-power. Let's hope I can hold off on the Wants and get more Need items!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Meta's Night of Masquerade

Today I will be discussing the new Meta series Night of Masquerade. The set has 2 dresses, a bustier, 3 skirts, a headdress, a bonnet and socks. At the time of writing this, Meta had only put up some of the product images but thankfully I am able to have a look at both of the dresses.

This is the JSK. I think the bodice has a good shape to it. It is nicely fitted and the neckline is pretty. The front has some ruffles with 3 bows on top. The bows are a good shape and appear nicely firm. I don't think the bows look too OTT because the pattern on the print helps to blend them in. The neckline is edged with a chiffon ruffle which helps to make it look softer. However, I do dislike the use of chiffon for the halter-neck straps. It looks very weak, as if it could break if you put too much strain on the straps. Thankfully, the straps are very long so hopefully most people wont need to tie them too tightly. The waist straps are very well placed and you can't see them from the front. The back has a ribbon corset which conceals the shirring panel well. I am a little undecided about the layer of chiffon on top of the skirt. However, it is a pretty shape and the gathering stops it looking flat. It would look a little odd without the chiffon on the bodice so the use of chiffon is fairly well balanced. My favourite part of this dress is the overall shape. The skirt is beautifully rounded and the chiffon layer doesn't even affect the overall silhouette that much. Sometimes Meta's dresses can look a little triangular in shape but this dress has a gorgeous bell shape. The bottom of the skirt has a few small bows and a line of ruffle, which has some thin lace to finish. It works really well and the decorations are well placed so that they work together with the print.

This is the OP. I think this dress is a good example of the triangular looking dresses that I mentioned above. The skirt shape on this dress is totally different and could possibly benefit from being a bit rounder, slightly longer and more bell shaped. However, it is very eye-catching and it would be fun to see just how much you could puff this skirt outwards (see the model picture below!). This dress is eye catching and is meant to be looked at! The waist part is finished with a soft chiffon bow which sits nicely and helps the dress sit on the waist better. The skirt has some ruffles just above where the picture part of the print starts. I don't think the ruffles are necessary but they look pretty and don't distract too much. The bottom hem has another ruffle and is finished with a line of floaty material. It reminds me of ballerinas. The bodice on this dress also has a good shape. The sleeves has a nice bit of puff to them. The bow has a nice shape and it is placed very well on the side of the neckline. There are a few layer of chiffon under the bow which is a little too much and I would have just had the bow there by itself. The choker is a pretty shape and helps pull the outfit together. The back of this dress is pretty much the same as the JSK with the corset and shirring. I was a little surprised that this dress has waist ties considering that the waist already has the chiffon tie.

My favourite part of the bodice is the military style detailing. The buttons and real chains look beautiful. Quite a few dresses from various brands have had military detailing. I like the use on this dress so much that I would even go as far as saying that this is my favourite use of military style on a lolita dress.

I had to include this picture in this post because I was amazed at how puffy this dress goes! As you can see, fully puffing out the skirt means you lose a lot of length and you can even see the top of the model's socks. This is probably a little too puffed outwards so you would have to choose your petticoat wisely.

This is the print close-up, here shown in navy. Ivory and wine is also available. I absolutely love this print! I love the pillars and all the little details like the fan and mask. Everything works so well together. The diamond part also works really well.

Sadly, I couldn't get a picture of the headdress but this is what the roses and feathers attached to it are going to look like. I like how the edges of the feathers have been rounded. It makes them look quirky and different.

If I didn't know these were Meta, then I probably would have guessed these were by a different brand. Quite a few brands have released socks like these so they are not exactly new or exciting. They are still pretty. I like the beaded line pattern.

Metamorphose have also released these necklaces. I really want one! I think they are so beautiful and different. I get the impression Meta have put a lot of thought in to this series and it comes together well.

I think Meta have really upped their game recently. Most lolitas are familiar with Meta but the brand is not loved as much as Angelic Pretty, Baby etc. I think this is a shame. It is series such as this one and their Fairy Tale print that show that Meta can release some absolutely beautiful pieces. Would I buy from this series? YES! Although I think the design of the JSK is better thought out, I would take a risk and go for the OP. My favourite colour is the navy version but the wine colour is also gorgeous. The ivory is pretty too but the print is stunning with the darker colours. The reservations for this series have already started. I am very happy to see that the OP is doing well and has already sold out in navy and wine (but also sad, because I now I can't order it!). I hope Meta keeps the good work up and releases even more beautiful prints.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Bodyline small homewares and new look international website

After a quick browse on the Bodyline website, I was a little surprised by the latest items. It would appear that Bodyline no longer want to just give us cheap lolita and cosplay clothing, they also want to give us some cheap homewares. It is an interesting direction for Bodyline to take.

Here are a few of the new items on offer-

This carousel is apparently a music box. This is possibly the strangest of the new items because it is purely decorative and has absolutely nothing to do with fashion. I suppose at a push, you could drape some small bits of jewellery on it. I would love to know if the horses spin around when the music plays. It is not the prettiest music box out there but considering the low price, I guess this is to be expected.

There is also a lot of jewellery stands available. My personal favourite is this ring cushion in the shape of a very fancy couch. I could imagine having one of these around the house somewhere.

Slightly less surprising is the mirrors. Bodyline already made some cute pocket mirrors so I guess this idea was not that huge a leap for them. They appear to be very cheaply made but some of the designs are pretty. However, if you consider the way Bodyline usually packages their parcels, this could cause problems. Hopefully Bodyline will put mirrors such as this one in a box or at the very least, they will be shipped in bubble wrap. I have a horrible feeling that they wont do this, but I will keep an eye out for online reviews.

But that is not the most exciting Bodyline related news today. International customers have a brand new look website! As I looked at the new site and was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with a background featuring their latest cosmetic print and a picture of one of the models playing a piano! I had a quick browse and most of the pages appear to load reasonably quickly. FINALLY!!!! I have waited so long for this day to arrive!

In other news, the design and model contests are back. I am debating submitting something for the design contest again. Despite a few items seemingly taking inspiration from the design I submitted last time, I have decided that in my case, this was probably pure coincidence. So I have not been put off the design contest... yet. As for the modelling contest? As much as I would love to meet the infamous Mr Yan, I have decided to give it a miss!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Meta Fairy Tale Review

Well, I am finally able to fully review my latest Metamorphose order and I have a video to share!

In case you are wondering why my living room is such a mess, it is because we are currently storing some of my mother-in-law's stuff whilst she moves house. Anyway... back on topic, my video is now available to watch on Youtube-

And now I am going to give a more detailed review right here-

Ordering Process

I had to use the pre-order form for this series. If you look under Meta's FAQ section, they give you a clear list of the details they need. I am not a massive fan of Meta's website layout but doing the pre-order was very easy. After I sent my request, Meta responded very quickly. I was meant to receive 2 emails and both emails arrived rapidly. So all I had to do was sit back and wait for the items to become available. About 2 months later (which was slightly longer than Meta predicted on their site) the items arrived and I got the email saying I needed to send my payment. Actually paying for the items was slightly harder because instead of Meta invoicing you, they ask you to send them the payment. The instructions are a little strict so you have to make sure you don't make a mistake. Thankfully, I was able to pay without any problems and I am usually hopeless in these situations! Meta ask that you send the payment within 7 days of getting the email to say the items are available, which I think is reasonable.


This part was a little annoying. Meta don't give you any options when it comes to shipping service so they sent my parcel using EMS. Meta also don't let you mark down the value or mark the parcel as a gift so if you get hit by customs, it might be steep. The EMS part of the shipping was very quick. However, my parcel was held up for the best part of a week in the customs office here in the UK. During this time, my parcel did not move an inch. It was just sat in the depot awaiting to be presented to the customs officer. My parcel was then handled by Parcelforce because we don't have EMS here. Feeling a little impatient, I got James to phone Parcelforce to see if there were any hold-ups. Phoning Parcelforce has got to be one of the most tedious things to do EVER. They just keep passing you between different people and don't give out any helpful information. The advice they give sounds automated as if they just repeat the same old information again and again. In the end, I did not get charged customs but I was charged VAT and then Parcelforce added their handling fees on top. So I had to pay £44. If I had a customs charge on top of that then that sum would have been a lot higher.


Sadly, I can't show the packaging from my parcel because I ripped it up and forgot to photograph it! If you watch the video you will see that my items were wrapped in thin paper-like cardboard. Although my items inside were safe, I felt that the package could have been more secure. There were a couple of small holes in the parcel so maybe Meta need to use a bit more parcel tape next time.

So, now I shall move on to the items I got!

This is the mini skirt in the lavender colour way. I can confirm that the skirt is absolutely gorgeous! The material has a slightly rough texture to it which is exactly what Meta said it would be like in their description. Thankfully, it doesn't feel cheap. The construction is good, as you would expect from one of the big brands. There are no loose threads and the skirt looks well made. The elastic in the waist is very stretchy and is not too stiff. This means it sits very comfortably on my waist. It doesn't dig in to my sides at all and you almost forget the skirt is there. The lining is soft too.

My camera does not do the print justice. It is beautiful. The print details have come out very clear and crisp. It is not the slightest bit blurry. The colours used are a bit darker and deeper than they appear in my pictures.

This is the crown lace around the bottom hem. It is a bit wider than I was expecting but it is very pretty. The edges are not rough. The lace is soft and not itchy at all.

If I had to pick something I dislike about this skirt, it would be the way the print is broken along the seam lines. However, it could have looked a lot worse and I am hopeful it wont look too bad when worn.

Overall, I am very impressed with the skirt. I also got the bonnet-

I used to avoid bonnets so ordering this one (my very first!) was a little risky for me. I have to be honest, I am not fully converted to bonnets yet so I wont be getting another one soon. But I don't regret getting this bonnet. My initial thought when I saw it was that it was huge! The bonnet has some wire in it but I am a little worried that it wont be able to support the shape and may flop about a bit. It doesn't help that it got a little bashed about during the shipping. I am going to have to spend a bit of time tweaking the bonnet to make sure it looks even and has a decent shape. There is a comb, which is very useful and helps to keep the bonnet in place. The bow you can see is detachable so if I am not feeling very brave I can always give the bonnet a miss! Thankfully the lace is not too wide and the bonnet has been kept very plain (apart from the bows). The ribbon ties are very soft and are not fraying at all. The ribbon is very shiny.

This is what the back of the bonnet looks like. It would have been good if the base part of the bonnet was more structured and could even benefit from another layer of wire to keep the shape better. When worn, the 2 bows on the back come down the sides.

I thought it would be cute to let Ahiru try on my bonnet. Ahiru looks cuter than me!

Out of all the pictures I took, I felt this picture best showed how the bonnet looks from the side when worn.

I also got a little surprise with my package. Apparently I qualified for a free gift! So I got given this water bottle as well.

It is made of metal and features the swan logo (this happens to be my favourite lolita logo). It is a lot brighter and pinker than it appears in the picture. It seems a bit of an odd thing for a lolita brand to give away but I am always grateful to receive free stuff. I was saying on Facebook that Meta need to gradually release an entire picnic set with the swan logo on it!

I tried the skirt and bonnet on just to show what they look like worn. I intend to wear some more elaborate outfits using this skirt in the future.

Don't be fooled by this photo. Although this picture suggests that the skirt reaches my knee, it actually sits a little bit above the knee (and I am 5'4'' in case you were wondering). I am wearing just one petticoat here so the skirt is not fully puffed out. It will probably handle more puff well. I was expecting the skirt to be a little short because it is listed on the site as a mini skirt. Compared to other skirts available, this skirt is a couple of centimetres shorter. I was wondering if I needed to wear an underskirt underneath but I think I can get away without one. I will also wear my hair bigger to help make the bonnet appear smaller. I only quickly tried the bonnet on so my hair is flat here and this makes the bonnet look very big compared to my head! It actually looks bigger in person.

So overall I am very happy with my new items. I can tell already that this skirt is going to be a favourite of mine. I already have a few different outfit ideas planned so do keep an eye out in the future!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Baby's Flying Love From Juliet

It occurred to me earlier today that I hadn't discussed this print on here yet! Today I am looking at Baby's Flying Love From Juliet. Some of the items are already on their shopping page. This set has 2 dresses, a skirt, a headbow, a blouse, a bonnet, socks, wristcuffs and some accessories. Despite being a very large set, I am only discussing the 2 dresses today. However, I do like the look of the rose wristcuffs and the necklace. Do go and check them out!

This is the first JSK. Compared to some recent Baby and AatP releases, the bodice doesn't look too badly fitted. The corset detail on the front of the dress looks well spaced. It doesn't attract too much attention and blends in nicely. The corset is lined with lace. The lace used is not to my personal taste but I suppose it fits the style of the dress. There is a large waist bow which I think could have worked nicely. Sadly, the waist bow on this dress looks a bit limp and could do with being a little stiffer and more shapely. The ribbon straps are a little thin but the lace parts are nicely shaped and has a lot of detail to it. The lace running along the corset part continues underneath the arm pits which has the potential to be very itchy if you are not wearing a blouse. It seems a little pointless having the lace there because most of the time you wont see it (unless you go around with your arms in the air a lot!). The gold rose buttons for the waist ties are really pretty. The waist ties themselves are a good length but are plain looking. The back part has another corset which again, is well spaced and hides the shirring panel well. The skirt part is a pretty shape for a classic print like this and would probably flare out well if you wanted a puffier shape. I love the way the printed part of the skirt is layered and the way it goes up at the front. The edge of the printed part has a pretty ruffle. It helps to add texture and layers to the dress and stops it looking flat. The skirt underneath is chiffon, which looks nice and floaty. The overall feel of the dress is soft, so chiffon suits this dress. The chiffon part has lots of little details such as tiers, ruffles and a line of rose shaped lace.

This is the other JSK. The bodice is a good shape. This is helped by the use of ribbon to help create a waist. The ribbon appears to be good quality and I like how the bow is to the side instead of the middle. It makes a nice change from the usual style of waist ties and then a bow stuck in the middle. The sleeves are nicely ruffled and look very stretchy. In fact, you could probably get away with not wearing a blouse with this dress. The sleeves are finished with a cute little ribbon bow.

I absolutely love the details on the chest. I like the way the lace falls, the rose details on the lace and the bow at the top looks cute! If you are a small in the bust compartment, this should help to even out your figure. I can take or leave the beads. If they had to have beads I think they could have come up with something more exciting than a line of 3 beads. The back of the bodice has corset detailing which again, is well spaced and helps hide the shirring panel.

The skirt part is a good shape but I would have liked to see it flare outwards a bit more. The skirt is relatively plain and is perfect for a more toned down look. The main feature of the skirt is the little gathered parts on the sides. I would have liked them to be a little bigger. Despite looking pretty, it sort of looks as though the dress has accidentally hitched upwards rather than being there on purpose. The edge of the print is finished up with some small lace which is not too distracting. The side parts have some more bows which match the bow on the bodice nicely. This dress is also finished beautifully with some delicate chiffon. It works really well with this series.
And finally, the print close up. This series is available in ivory, pink, brown and black. My favourite part of this print is the birds in the cage because it stops this print looking like every other floral print out there. If I am honest, the print does remind me a little of Grandma's curtains, especially with the addition of the doilies. However, this is still a very beautiful print. When I first saw the print title, I was hoping for a very Shakespeare themed and more dramatic print then this one. Also, with the brown colourway, if you look at it from a distance it starts to look like army camouflage!

Overall, this is a pretty set. It is not something that I would desperately seek after but at the same time, it would be a nice addition to a classic wardrobe. I think the second dress is especially pretty. Surprisingly for me, I like the pink colour the best! My least favourite colour is the brown. The print does not stand out that much but it should not be dismissed.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Meta special Summer set- blooming garden and cherry berry

It is such a shame my funds are low right now (my Meta Fairy Tale order has been hit with customs charges and I don't know how much yet). It looks like I am missing out on another Meta bargain!

At some point today (in fact, it will be soon because it is already evening in Japan as I type this) Meta are going to be selling their special Summer set. As you have probably already guessed by the post title, this time it is Cherry Berry and Blooming Garden on offer.

As pretty as Cherry Berry is, I have never considered it to be that hard to get hold of. I have seen it being sold very cheap. The one I am more interested in is Blooming Garden. 10,000yen seems a very good price for this beautiful print. 2 colours of Blooming Garden are being offered compared to the one Cherry Berry which suggests that Meta know this will sell well.

But what I want to know is... is the value of Blooming Garden going to go down now? Events like this don't seem to affect other brands like AP but with Meta it is a little different. Although I am missing out this time, I certainly wouldn't mind some cheap Blooming Garden in my wardrobe!

I also find it a little concerning how Meta have added so many sales/reductions lately. Along with the Summer Sale, they are holding special deals on Vintage Record and Fruit Punch Soda. Both of these prints are very recent. After a quick browse, a lot of the items from this offer are still available despite the cheap prices. Is this a sign that Meta is struggling a little or is it just that these 2 series were unpopular? All I will say is that if you are a Meta fan, this is a great time to get a good deal on some cheap brand.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I want to be me

I was recently loosely involved in some online drama. There was this thread and the conversation moved towards the Oxfordshire Lolitas. One person responded to a lolita who asked what our group was like by singling out a few of us and giving “helpful advice” on what we were all like. Thankfully, I got off quite lightly this time but it did highlight something which I hadn’t really noticed before.

We are quite a mixed group of individuals but with certain members, you can see certain ongoing influences in their outfits. It could be a colour or a motif. Raine has her retro themes, Sammi and Beau are always wonderfully accessorised, Nicola is our resident handmade fan... I could go on. So I wondered what my ongoing influence was. Then I realised that instead of following a continual theme, my style reflected my moods. And I am happy that way because I have always felt that I have multiple personalities. So although my outfits might not always make other people happy, they make me happy. Surely, this is a good thing?

There have also been times in the past where I have witnessed a discussion about recent brand prints. One person will say they dislike a print only for somebody else to say “Actually, I just ordered that print...” It could have turned awkward, but instead nobody was offended. It is down to personal taste. It doesn’t matter how popular something is, somebody will always come along and dislike and slate it.

People think it is a little strange that my favourite wardrobe item is my March of the Duck skirt. The reason I like it so much, is because it reflects my personality. Ducks are my favourite animal and the ducks look playful. So wearing my duckie skirt cheers me up! Call me silly if you like, but you cannot take away how special I feel when I wear that print. I got that skirt because I chose to ignore what other people were saying and just go with my heart. I happen to think it looks pretty good!

It is important to be yourself and lolita fashion is no exception. Instead of going for the latest must-have, try asking your heart whether you truely love it, or whether you are just going along with what the crowd likes. If you want to add your own unique touch, give it a go. There is nothing wrong with being individual or doing something different, as long as it makes you happy.

It is possible to be yourself in lolita. So let your personality shine.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Lumiebre- cute umbrellas and parasols!

I have been buying a lot of Kera magazines recently and recently discovered Lumiebre. Lumiebre specialise in parasols and umbrellas. Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to get a Baby umbrella for free (it is pink, foldable and I love it!) but despite this, I am still looking out for beautiful parasols.

Lumiebre are not strictly lolita but their products are still beautiful. Their website is here- and the links to their web shops are easy to find. The good thing is, that when I clicked on one of the web shops I saw that parasols and umbrellas had been put in to 2 separate sections. Although it appears that most of the parasols from here can be used in the rain, this is not always the case with certain parasols which are designed to shade you from the sun. Besides, when you have a really fancily decorated parasol which you have spent a lot of money on would you want it getting wrecked in bad weather? Especially with the weather here in the UK. I have a bad track record with umbrellas!

The good thing is, that Lumiebre has casual options but some could quite easily be worked in to a lolita outfit. I especially love this frilly-edged umbrella. The dusky rose one would definitely make a nice lolita wardrobe addition.

Or you could always go for a more obvious option. Recently, Metamorphose collaborated with Lumibre. You would have thought Meta would have mentioned something on their own website! I have to admit that I fancy getting a Meta parasol with the swan logo on it instead of anything from this collaboration. However, this umbrella is still beautiful and I love the roses.

This got me thinking... I need to pay more attention to Kera. Usually I just skip over the adverts but by taking my time, I might just find some additional inspiration. There is more to J-fashion magazines than the shoots and tutorials.

Coming soon- I shall be doing a review of my Meta Fairy Tale order when it arrives. It is currently awaiting clearance at UK customs. Please please please don't charge me, customs workers! Sorry if my blog has appeared a little quieter than usual. I have not been feeling well since my holiday but I am hoping that things will start to perk up soon.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Items of Desire- Re-Ment mystery boxes

Something that I enjoy outside of lolita is collecting things. I have a large Pokemon card collection and I like to collect designer vinyl toys like Dunnys. A lot of the item these are considered collector items rather than toys. One of the most exciting parts of collecting things is that sometimes collectables are packed in mystery boxes so you don't know what is going to be inside.

Recently, I have been craving items by Re-ment. I first came across Re-Ment when I visited a shop we have here in the UK called Artbox. They were placed next to the Dunny toys I was already collecting, so I picked up the box and had a look. I recall being amazed at how detailed the items looked. They would make lovely doll house furniture, but are cute enough just to collect by themselves. Since then, I have spotted several girls blogging about Re-Ment too. After seeing people showcasing these collectables, I really wanted them!

These are just a few of my favourites-

I have a strawberry obsession so naturally, I was drawn to this strawberry sweets themed collection!

I really want the Hello Kitty 3 coloured dango from this collection.

This collection has a melting theme. Some items are pretty typical, like melting ice cream but there are also more obscure items. The melting clock is very Salvador Dali.

I also like how Re-Ment are usually small. You could try attaching these to deco projects (provided you don't want to keep them in mint condition). If you wanted something simpler, get one of the keychains and attach it to your bag, or wherever else you want. You can also get other items such as magnets.

I know it is not really lolita specific, but I like these so much that I had to write about them. For more information, there is a website here-

And if you live in the UK, check out Artbox-

If I find any more links featuring items like these, I will try to write about them another time!

Just a quick note- It is my 2nd Wedding Anniversary on Saturday, so I am posting today instead of tomorrow. So if you were hoping I was going to post on Friday, then technically, this is Friday's post!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

AatP's Twilight Circus

I am in a very good mood this evening- my invoice for my Meta Fairy Tale order came through! Sadly, it wont be here in time for my 2nd wedding anniversary on Saturday like I wanted but it is good to know I will have it soon.

So today I thought I would discuss the new Alice and the Pirates series called Twilight Circus. This is quite a large series with 3 dresses, a skirt, 2 blouses, socks, a beret and various small accessories.

First up is this JSK. It features a corset style top which is very nicely fitted. It is decorated with pretty rose lace and then some ruffled lace. The corset makes it look as though the dress is split in to 2 parts. The top of the corset is decorated with pink ribbon. The pink ribbon looks pretty but was slightly frayed at the edges in a few of the close-up photos. The ends probably could have been finished a bit neater. I also thought the pink ribbon looked a little loose and baggy. There are also brown loops holding the ribbon in place which did not look too attractive. The lace used at the top of the bodice is very pretty but looks-wise, it is very different to the other types of lace used so it looks a little out of place. The straps on this dress are very thin and look like they could be quite weak. However, on the website the photos show that this dress can also be worn strapless. I think the dress looks better without the straps. This dress is not a good option for those who like a bit of support. The back of the bodice has ribbon corset detailing. The ribbon used for the colour shown in the stock photos is pink like the ribbon on the front. I think it would have been nice to have the ribbon the same colour as the bodice so it blended better. The skirt part looks like it is a decent length. It appears that the skirt has a fair bit of gathering in it but despite this, you can still see the print part clearly. I would have liked to have seen the skirt flare out a bit more. There are some ribbon bows at the bottom of the skirt which go well with the print and are not too distracting. The bottom hem is finished off with this semi-circle shaped lace which is thin and is nice and simple.

This is the other JSK. I am really loving the whole military trend that we have been seeing on a lot of dresses recently. The military detailing on the front is very pretty. The bodice looks like it is very well fitted around the waist area. However, it looks slightly looser around the arm pit area. Where the bodice meets the skirt, there is a line of lace which helps to break up and make the waist area look less harsh. A similar lace is used along the neckline which is good for continuity. The neckline is a good shape. It is a little low-cut so it is a good excuse to wear a blouse with a very detailed collar! The skirt part of this dress appears to have a better shape compared to the other JSK. It is more rounded. It looks a bit shorter in length, but you could probably hide a decent amount of petticoat underneath. The bottom of the skirt has a bold stripe of colour which at first, I thought was the end of the skirt. in actual fact, there is some lace at the bottom. The lace looks a little flimsy and delicate. I think I would prefer it if the dress ended with the bold stripe of colour.

The really interesting part of this dress is the back part of the bodice-
In my opinion, it looks a little peculiar! The ribbon corset part looks well-spaced and neat and tidy. Although I am not keen on the waist ties, I would put up with these. But what exactly is going on with the bow hovering above the corset part? It looks very out of place compared to the rest of the back. It looks wonky and awkward. I would try and remove it!

However, my least favourite design from the series has got to be this OP. Detail overload! I don't even know where to begin with this dress... The waist ribbon looks ridiculously over-sized compared to the dimensions on the rest of the dress. The other saggy bows on the front do not help one bit. I dislike the see-through panel and the ruffled collar is too much for my personal tastes. The sleeves are covered in loads of little ribbons too. It does not look a lot better when you remove the detachable bell shaped sleeves. I know it sounds harsh, but there is not a single thing I like about the top half of this dress! This is something I would expect from a costume shop, not Alice and the Pirates. At least the skirt part looks pretty. The length appears to be nice and long. The shape is slightly rounded. The print part is displayed nicely and the lace on the bottom hem is pretty and looks tidy. It is such a shame that the top half ruins this dress. I know some people like this sort of style but in my opinion, this OP is a huge disappointment.

This is the print close-up shown here in "Candies Glow" (purple and black). It is also available in Nostalgic Memory (ivory and brown), Nightfall Party (navy) and Phantom Carnival (black). I have chosen Candies Glow as my favourite colour because I like the deep berry tones that they have used. They compliment each other very well. As for the print itself, I love all the clowns! I love the clown which is floating skywards whilst holding a massive bunch of balloons and all the tiny playing cards. There are lots of lovely details, for example the way the clowns each have a different pattern on their trousers. A lot of thought has gone in to this print. It is also good to see that the print is not too crowded.

These are the socks. I thought they looked really cute! I like how they have chosen the balloon part for the socks. Having the clowns on the socks might have looked a bit too childish.

There was another part of this series which amused me-

I think most people would struggle to make this mini beret look good (prove me wrong lolitas!). It doesn't even look like a beret, just a brown puffy mess. The pom pom just makes it look even sillier! It looks like it was cheaply made too.

Well, reading back what I have written, it doesn't look as though I like much of this series! It is a shame because the print is pretty. It is just let down by the dress designs. With a few small changes, both of the JSKs could look very pretty. They have potential and will probably look very beautiful on some very well co-ordinated lolitas. I am sorry, but I think the OP is a huge mess and I can't help smiling every time I see the silly mini beret! If I was buying from this series, I would ignore the dresses and get the skirt. Out of the dresses, I think the military style JSK is the prettiest. I reckon this series will do better than I am predicting but so far, I am not that impressed.
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