Monday, 30 September 2013

Mini Meet at a Vintage Fair

After discovering there was a vintage fair being held in Oxford this weekend, a group of us decided to go to it and have a casual meet.

I wore Dream Sky because I recently obtained a set of Melty Moon jewellery, thanks to an Angelic Pretty re-stock! The outfit was not really lolita because I thought lolita would be too full-on in a packed fair and I was seeing how much Dream Sky/Melty Moon stuff I could cram in to one outfit. Apart from the wig, I wanted to be casual. I had a little trouble with matching sax blues and purples, but hopefully it doesn't look too bad!

In the end, the vintage fair turned out to be a bit disappointing and I don't really have any photos of it. Most of us came out empty handed, although Haley and a few of the others came out with loads! I obviously haven't got the hang of vintage fairs yet. All I could see were dodgy Christmas jumpers and stuff from Topshop or H&M (do they really count as vintage?). It also turned out there was another vintage fair going on in Oxford on the same day, which was better. I am a bit gutted we didn't go to that one instead but we know for next time...

Anyway, after the fair we got some food at Noodle Nation and I finally stayed in there long enough to complete the dragon colouring in page on their menu! Although mine got a little spoilt because I split a bit of my drink on it. I am still very happy with how my dragon turned out though. I think maybe it is time for Noodle Nation to do a new colouring in page because the dragon has been there for years!

After getting food we wondered around town for a bit. Primark was once again filled with random stuff, including this mannequin complete with Santa's legs. I can't work out if the shop staff did it on purpose or whether a customer was joking about. 

And finally, a group shot! We walked around Christ Church. So many tourists asked for photos that we had to get Jenni to step in as our PR! It was good to have a relaxing meet-up and despite the fair being a disappointment, I was really glad to see everybody.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Bodyline wig 089 review

I am finally getting around to a post I was meant to write weeks ago...

So back in August I ordered another Bodyline wig after having a fairly good experience with them last time-

This time I ordered wig 089 in Medium Brown 4. This is what the stock photo looks like-

The reviews I have seen for this wig have been good and I loved how thick the base wig looked in the stock photos. The wig was packaged in the exact same way as the last one. The wig pieces were wrapped individually in nets, placed inside a cardboard circle and then put inside a bag. 

The wig didn't really live up to my expectations. In this photo I had already worn the wig once, so it has been brushed out a bit, but the curls didn't have a great shape to them to begin with.

A shot of the back. The colour is very lovely. The wig has got a slight shine to it, but I don't think the shine looks too bad.

The main problem I am having with this wig is that is gets tangled and frizzy very easily. It was like this when I initially got it and I have been battling the frizz with it ever since. It got so bad at one point that I almost didn't wear it to the Frock On event and I spent most of the day worrying that my wig looked awful. It is definitely going to need a lot of TLC.

The clips are done in the same way as my other Bodyline wig. Thankfully the clips are not as frizzy as the base wig, but you can see there are still some flyaway strands. For some reason, I have found it hard to get the clips in to a good position on the base wig. They don't seem to look that natural and I think they will require a bit of brushing out to make them sit on the wig better.

The top looks relatively the same as my other Bodyline wig. Thankfully the top bit looks lovely and smooth!

The wig cap on this wig feels a bit more generous size-wise. I found the cap easy to adjust as well. The base wig is a bit thicker than my other Bodyline wig, and I think it is possible to get away with wearing the base wig by itself.

And, finally, a random photo of me wearing the base wig. I spent most of the day with the wig mainly covered by my bonnet, but I will see if I can find some better shots of me wearing the wig!

So overall, I think the wig is a lovely colour, fits well and is reasonably thick. But the tangling is a big problem, the base wig loses its curls very easily and the clips don't sit on the wig quite right. I guess now I understand why people say Bodyline wigs are a bit hit and miss. I am going to try and give the wig a good brushing and styling before I completely write this wig off though. Hopefully I can restore it to the way it was meant to look!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Sweet Poker by Metamorphose

Today I will be taking a look at a recent series from Metamorphose. It is called Sweet Poker and includes 4 dresses, 2 blouses, an apron skirt, a skirt, 4 hair accessories and 2 pairs of socks.

This is the OP. Underneath the apron the bodice is very well fitted. The shape is a bit frumpy looking though. I think the sleeves could do with being a bit shorter. The gathering on the sleeve ends help to liven them up a little though, and I do like how the lace gives a nice finish without being overpowering. The dress underneath the apron is quite simple with just criss-crossed ribbon on the front, which is spaced out well. At the neck area, we find a detachable yoke. The use of pleats, lace and pretty buttons on the yoke help to liven it up a bit and gives it a bit of depth, but the shape is quite dull. I think the problem is that the lines of the neckline are too straight which looks very harsh and too simple. I have come to the conclusion that the dress looks better with the yoke detached, but it still doesn't look quite right. As for the apron, the top part's shape is very square and basic but the use of buttons and lace helps to make it look a bit cuter. I like the gathering on the skirt part of the apron. I still think it could do with livening up a bit though. The back has no shirring and is quite plain and basic. The stock photos show the skirt can flare out nicely. Whilst the shape is fine, I think it could do with being a slightly rounder and sweeter shape. It's like the dress can't quite decide if it is classic or sweet. The apron covers most of the front of the skirt, but the border part of the print is displayed quite well. The bottom hem is then finished off with some card suit themed lace which fits the theme, but I have seen much prettier card suit lace before. Underneath the lace is a simple gathered ruffle.

This is the Shirring Pinafore JSK. As the name suggests the bodice is fully shirred. It does mean the size is more flexible but the bodice looks very lumpy and bumpy. The neckline is a bit dull too. The dress has 2 sets of straps which are a bit basic looking and a bit boring. The dress has a waist bow which is a bit big but doesn't look too out of place on this dress. The bow is a bit basic but the shape is good and it sits nicely on the dress. I am not too fond of the frill on the front centre but the card suit shaped gold buttons are cute. There are 2 bows at the bases of the straps. The shape of the bows is cute, although maybe they are a bit on the big side. As the dress is fully shirred, that includes the back and it looks pretty much the same as the front does. I am still not a fan of the way it looks. The stock photos show the skirt flares out quite well at the bottom. The top bit of the skirt could do with a bit more shape to it though. The skirt is kept simple and the print is displayed well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a simple ruffle.

This is the High Waist Apron JSK. The name is very apt as the waist is so high that the bodice is barely there. I imagine it would sit awkwardly on some, especially those with a big bust, and may not suit everybody. The straps look very wide and supportive but look a bit bulky. I do love the ruffle on the outside of the straps though, as they are very cute. Somehow, Meta have managed to fit 3 bows on the very short bodice. They actually look quite sweet with a cute shape and surprisingly don't look too crowded. The neckline is a bit simple but the shape is better than some of the other dresses, and the lace smartens it up. The back doesn't have any shirring, so the sizing is quite limited. The back also features a button up and thin bow design which I wonder how easy will be to fasten up! The dress shape is quite smock-like. It looks a bit shapeless, although on the right person, with the right amount of petticoat, I think it could potentially look quite cute. However, on most people I think it may end up looking a bit sack-like or not quite right. The tiered design is quite cute and the tier join is done well. However, the tier's gathering means the border part of the print is quite obscured and the bows on the tier line seem to blend in a fair bit. The bottom hem features the same average looking card suit lace.

This is the Front Open Pinafore JSK. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted. I am not really a fan of the low scoop neckline but I suppose it is great for showing off a fancy blouse underneath. I still think the execution is a little off though, as it doesn't quite look right to me. I think if the straps had been a bit wider and the neckline was just a little higher, I may have liked it a bit more. Thankfully the neckline is lined with more of that card suit lace, otherwise it would look even more plain. I think the waist bow is a good size for the style of dress. The shape is good and it is very perky looking, sitting pretty well on the dress.

For some reason, I don't like the back. I dislike the way the straps cross at the back and I think the use of lace on them looks a bit tacky here. The back is fully shirred, although judging by this photo it doesn't have much gathering to it and wont offer a great deal of extra room. When I compare the front view to the back view, the back just spoils it for me. Usually, I would just cover this up with a cardigan, but that would conceal any blouse that I would want to show off with the low neckline at the front. So for me personally, it doesn't appeal.

The skirt at least has the potential to get a lovely, rounded shape to it. I think that shape-wise, this dress has the best skirt in the series. I really like the full bell shape. The skirt is kept free of clutter, so the print is displayed well. The bottom hem is then finished off with more of the card suit lace.

And here we have part of the print close-up. This print is available in pink/brown, sax blue and lavender. The print has obvious Alice in Wonderland tones to it, so the sax blue is an obvious choice. The pink and lavender are a bit more unconventional, but Meta do love to throw in random colours! The sax blue is probably my personal favourite. As for the print itself, I think it is quite cute. I think the combination of the diamonds and the stripy background work together quite well. I am getting a very slight Emily Temple Cute vibe off it. The teddy bears and rabbits have been drawn very cutely. Their outfits have a nice amount of detail to them and team up nicely with the royal looking swan logo. I also like how the outer edge of the diamonds is lined in a subtle way with golden lines, as it makes the print look a lot smarter. The chains, clocks and bows fills in the space at the bottom well, without making the print look too overcrowded. The background is filled with flying cakes and teapots, which makes the background more interesting but also doesn't distract too much from the main diamond part of the print. And despite the Alice in Wonderland tone of the print, I think the Alice theme is subtle enough to keep people interested in what is otherwise quite an overused theme in lolita.

Despite liking the print, I feel the dress designs are a bit lacking. It is like they are missing that special something that makes a really great lolita dress. But at least there is still the skirt! I would pick the skirt in sax blue over any of the dress designs. If I had to pick a dress, I guess I would go for the OP. Would I buy this series? Probably not.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Challenge Your Wardrobe

After having a bit of a creative slump recently I have been wondering what challenges I could set for myself with my current wardrobe. I want to see if I can wear things in new ways or maybe give an abandoned piece a bit more love.

So I have come up with a few challenges, just for fun. Whenever I am feeling a bit down or bored I can give one of these challenges a go. Who knows... maybe I can come up with something really great!

Here are a few challenges I have come up with. Feel free to use them yourselves.

- Combine your favourite wardrobe main piece with a colour you have not worn it with before

- Take your least worn dress or skirt and come up with 5 different outfits for it

- Have a blouse or an item that you always seem to wear with nearly every outfit? For your next 5 outfits you are banned from using it.

- Put a list of all your main pieces in to a hat and in another hat put a list of some of your blouses/accessories/etc. Pick an item from both hats and see if you can make those 2 items work together.

- Take a main piece that is a certain style (sweet, classic, gothic, etc) and try to make it fit a different style. For example, take a sweet dress and try to wear it in the classic style. Don't forget other smaller sub-styles such as pirate, country and sailor!

- Take inspiration from magazines like Kera and do a 10 items, 7 outfits challenge.

- Try to make an outfit that in total costs under £100

Sometimes doing challenges like this can make you see your clothes in a different light. Even if the end results don't turn out that great, at least you will have hopefully had fun!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Royal Crown's Tea Package by Alice and the Pirates

Today I am taking a look at a recent release by Alice and the Pirates. This series is called Royal Crown's Tea Package and it includes 3 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, 3 hair accessories, a rosette, a jacket, pants, tights and a pair of socks.

This is JSK I. The bodice is very well fitted and an interesting shape. The straps are a suitable width for the dress. However, I am really not a fan of the neckline with the folded over tartan material. The lines are too straight and something about it looks a bit awkward. I would have been happier if the bodice just had the solid coloured velveteen and I think the end result would have looked smarter. I do like the use of gold braid on the bodice though. It is interestingly shaped. This makes it look a bit different to other 'military' style bodices we have seen in lolita. The braid has been used neatly and the gold matches really well with the print. I also think the buttons are a good choice. They have a nice crown picture on them. The buttons have also been spaced out quite well. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed by a ribbon corset. It would blend in pretty well if it wasn't for the white lace along the edges of the shirring panel. Also, the folded over collar looks bad from the back too. The skirt appears to be a decent length. In the stock photos they seem to have used a flatter petti or none at all. Hopefully in person the skirt flares out well as it looks a bit dull and lifeless in the stock photos. The skirt is kept simple, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with good quality lace.

This is JSK II. Again, the bodice looks well fitted and the shape is interesting. The straps are quite thin and I would have maybe preferred them to be just the slightest bit thicker. They don't look very supportive. I personally think the waist bow is too big for the style of dress. However the shape is pretty and despite its size, it does appear quite perky without showing obvious signs of drooping. I like the use of gold lace on this bow as it ties in with the gold in the print. I wouldn't have used the white lace on this bow as well though, as it just adds to its already bulky appearance. The bodice has a yoke which has been done very neatly. It has a pleated edge, which gives the bodice some extra texture and makes it more interesting. The yoke itself is pleated and also features rose shaped lace, which stops it looking too dull and flat. I am a bit disappointed with the 3 buttons though. I wish they had used the crown printed buttons from the other JSK here as well. The neckline has a line of lace running along it which gives it a softer appearance. The only thing I would change here is to make the neckline a bit straighter. The bases of the straps are covered by 2 ribbon bows. The ribbon used is a bit shiny but the shape is good. However, I personally think these bows look a bit too cute in comparison to the rest of the dress and I would have been just as happy if they were not there. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the potential to get a lovely rounded bell shape with the skirt. It looks full enough to create a pretty classic silhouette. The skirt is free of cluttering details so the print is displayed well. The bottom hem is then finished off with good quality lace.

And here we have a part of the print close-up. This print is available in ivory, pink, green and black. The green and black versions work very well. The ivory also seems to work but is not to my personal taste. The pink looks quite garish to me. As for the print itself, I think the emblems and crowns are drawn beautifully. They have lots of detail to them, especially the emblem with all the floral bits surrounding it. The crown is beautiful. The tartan background teams up brilliantly with the prints features. It definitely has a very regal appearance to it. I am not too fond of the lines of tassels though. There are 2 lines of tassels on this print and I would have stuck to just having the one line at the bottom. But I think the tassels are fairly easy to ignore and overall this is a very lovely print.

Also available is the Royal Crown JSK which is much simpler. I think I would have preferred the printed part along the neckline to be a bit straighter and I think the bit on the skirt that looks like pockets is a bit too cute in comparison to the rest of the dress. The bottom features a crown and some writing but it looks a bit strange having just the one at the bottom by itself. I would have liked to have seen the crown printed more along the bottom. But this dress does at least offer a more mature and simpler option if the other dresses are not to your tastes.

So overall I think the print is very pretty and the dress designs are reasonably well done. There is the odd bit here and there I would change on the dresses but I think that overall, they are quite good. I'm not sure I would choose to buy this print myself, but if I did I would probably go for JSK II in green. The tartan collar on JSK I spoils it a bit too much for me to pick that dress. Overall, I think this is a good series and it is an interesting combination of tartan and royal themes.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Taobao Being Awesome

Lolitas hovering over keyboards, waiting nervously to hear from shopping services and counting down every single agonising second... a popular must-have series is being released. This week I watched on as the hype grew and grew. I was secretly wishing I had saved up a bit more money so I could have tried for it, but at the same time I was relieved I wasn't dealing with all the stress.

But this time it was not one of the major Japanese brands everybody was lusting after. It was Taobao brand Krad Lanrete with their jellyfish print.

It is certainly very interesting to see everybody get excited about a Taobao brand release. For years many of us lolitas have brought from Taobao, but it was mainly seen as a cheap way of building your wardrobe with good staple pieces and pretty accessories. Sometimes you would get the odd piece which had a lot of fans, but Krad Lanrete has surpassed this.

With people trying to sell on Krad's Mozarabic Chant for more than retail price and now the mania surrounding their jellyfish series (it sold out super quick and there are still a lot of fans who are currently left empty handed) it really feels great to see Krad Lanrete doing so well. I am happy to see something other than the latest Japanese brand release sell so successfully. And if the jellyfish dresses are as good in person as they are in the pictures, I think Krad Lanrete fully deserve the success they have had.

2013 has proved to be a good year for Taobao brands in general, with some very beautiful releases. If this continues then maybe in the future we wont just be hearing about "brand whores" and "AP fangirls", but also about "Krad collectors" or "Taobao fangirls". I for one, would welcome this. As much as I love Japanese brands, it makes a nice change to be strongly praising a Taobao release. I hope these strong releases continue and I am very excited to see what the lolita Taobao brands come up with next.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Musee Du Chocolat by Angelic Pretty

Today I am looking at the latest Angelic Pretty chocolate print. It is called Musee Du Chocolat. This series includes 4 dresses, a skirt, a blouse, 3 pairs of socks, tights, 3 hair accessories, a sash, gloves, an umbrella and several pieces of jewellery.

This is the OP. The bodice is an interesting shape and looks like it is reasonably well fitted. I think that the interesting thing about this OP is that it has been made to look like a JSK with a blouse underneath. The very first time I glanced at this OP I seriously thought the blouse part was separate! But this just goes to show how well it has been executed. The crepe de chine sleeves are a lovely length and are finished off well with bows and good quality lace. The chest area of the 'blouse' is covered with carefully layered lace and the end result is frothy, with lots of texture and detail to it. There is also the detachable bow with a line of gold trim, which I think makes a fantastic neck decoration. Although it is a shame that the use of gold elsewhere on the dress is so subtle in comparison to this bow. The ruffles around the neck match up perfectly with the chest area, although I wonder if it may be a bit itchy and tickle the wearer! The waist bow is a pretty shape. It looks quite perky and sits well on the dress. I would have preferred it to be just a slight bit smaller though. However, I do like the use of gold to line the edges of this waist bow. The front then has ribbon corset styling and the ribbon used is not shiny looking at all. I would maybe prefer the ribbon corset to be slightly wider width-wise so the ribbon is spaced out more and a bit less bunched together. The only other thing I would maybe change is the buttons on the chest area, as the ones used look a bit dull. Overall though, I think the bodice is good. The back doesn't have any shirring but has been kept quite neat. The stock photos show the potential to get a very rounded skirt shape. If anything, I think it may be slightly too rounded. But at least it would suit a more OTT sweet co-ordinate if you are in to that sort of thing. The skirt is free of cluttering details and so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with a subtle line of gold that adds a hint of luxury, and then a simple ruffle that matches the 'blouse'.

This is the first JSK. The bodice is a relatively interesting shape. It looks like it could fit well, although in some stock pictures the material also looked a bit on the baggy side. The straps are a decent width and look quite strong. The straps are lined with lace which does soften the edges nicely, although does make the straps look bulkier than they actually are. The neckline with the line of brown braid and the gold trim has been done very neatly and helps to liven up the bodice a bit. Hanging from the neckline is a gold chain, which is detachable. The chain ends are concealed neatly beneath the gold trim. However, I feel the detachable chest ribbon and the waist brooch are a bit of a disappointment. Both of these bows look a bit droopy and basic. They look too plain and simple teamed with such a dressy print. I do like the little embroidered sash part on the waist brooch but the saggy bow lets it down. The trouble is, I feel the dress looks too plain with both of these bows detached. For me personally, this dress design is not to my personal tastes and the detachable bows are a bit part of that. The back is fully shirred the whole way across and so, it is left uncovered. But because of the busy print, the shirring blends in a bit and doesn't look as bad. The stock photos again show that the skirt has the potential to be very full and rounded. The skirt is just slightly more subtle than the OP. The print is displayed reasonably well. The bottom hem is finished off with a line of beautiful custom lace.

This is the second JSK. The bodice looks fairly well fitted but the overall shape is a bit too 'boxy' for my liking. I think the straight lines are a bit harsh. The straps are a good width though, and suit the dress. They are lined with gold on the outside too, which stops them looking too basic. The triangular shaped yoke on the bodice is... interesting? It is a very bold and different choice but I am not a fan. It has been executed neatly and the lace lining it fits well but something about it just doesn't quite work for me. I think maybe it would have looked better if there had been a proper waist bow in the centre to soften and slightly conceal the bottom point so the triangle shape looked less harsh. The rope style belt with the mini waist bow and tassels is a nice idea, but looks a bit too slouchy. Basically, I hate the triangle yoke and I wish the waist was a bit more 'nipped in' and defined. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The skirt shape is again very rounded and full. I think the skirt could do with being a bit longer length-wise though. The skirt is kept clutter free and so the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off with more of that pretty custom lace.

This is the Low Waist JSK. I think it is fair to say that this JSK wont suit every body shape. The dropped waist gives it a more slouchy and casual appearance. The bodice appears reasonably well fitted and is an interesting shape. The straps are a decent width and look fairly strong. The bodice has a long yoke on the front. I think a smaller yoke would have worked better, as having a yoke that ends so low on the bodice just emphasises the long bodice shape a lot more. A smaller yoke would possibly look a bit cuter too. However, the yoke does have neat pleats and lace, which give make it a bit more interesting and not too flat looking. There is a line of buttons running up the middle of the yoke. The buttons are simple but whereas they looked too basic on the OP, on this more casual dress they don't look too bad. The yoke is finished off with a cute bow at the top which has been done neatly and is a good shape. The neckline is finished off with some lace which stops it looking too plain. Along the edge of the yoke and up along the inner straps there is a line of brown braid and thin gold lace, which adds some interest. The waist brooch is the same as that on the first JSK and I am still not a fan of the sloppy, simple bow. However, I do think this brooch suits this casual looking dress better than it does the first JSK. I also think this dress looks okay with the waist brooch detached as well. The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed neatly by a ribbon corset. The shirring panel has been extended downwards and widens towards the bottom to accommodate the lower waist line, which is useful. The shirring panel has a detachable bow at the bottom but I would prefer to detach it, as it would emphasise a larger backside. Perhaps this bow could be used to decorate the front of the dress somewhere? The skirt is short but has a decent amount of fullness to it. I think it has the potential to look quite cute even if it is not your standard lolita silhouette. The bottom hem is then finished off with the lovely custom lace. Interestingly, this dress does not use the bottom part of the print, but luckily the print is still detailed enough for it to work well here.

And here we can see what the print looks like. As you can see, the print comes in ivory, pink, mint and brown. These are quite standard AP chocolate print colours, so there are no real surprises here. But seeing as these colours work so well, why change things? For me the ivory is the stand-out colour because whilst it works well for sweet, I could see it working with a more classic outfit with the right styling too. As for the print itself, it is very busy but I think it works well. I love the background, decorated with cakes and crowns. I am especially a fan of the inclusion of crowns, giving the print a slight royal theme as well as the chocolate theme. As for the chocolate frames, the use of bolder brown makes the frames really stand out. The frames are decorated well and look very pretty. The pictures inside the frame are nice but one stands out a fair bit... I am not really a fan of the teddy bear in this print as it seems to stick out and doesn't quite match up with the other frames in the print. It just looks a bit out of place. The other pictures are wonderful though. I especially like the carousel horse one. The bottom of the print is also lovely, with the subtle chocolate bar tucked away at the bottom. Ignoring the teddy bear, I think this is an amazing print. I could probably learn to ignore the teddy bear but it seems a shame that this one small bit lets the print down.

It would appear that sashes or 'echarpes' are becoming a bit of a trend at the moment. The recent Day Dream Carnival re-release had one and now Musee Du Chocolat does too. I have also seen some lolitas online who have made their own versions too. I personally am a fan of these sashes. I think they are an interesting way to add an extra special something to an outfit. Whilst it wouldn't be that great with a more casual outfit, I think sashes are perfect for a more OTT outfit or for when you have a bigger event to attend. As for this particular Musee Du Chocolat sash, I think it matches the series perfectly. It reminds me of a ribbon used to finish off a box of chocolates, so it is very fitting! The only thing I would change is to use slightly more gold to give it an even more luxurious finish.

So I think this series has a wonderful print, although there are times when I am not fully sold on the dress details. This print wont be going on my wishlist but I still like it a lot. If I was picking a dress I would go for the OP in ivory or possibly brown. I never saw this coming, but the casual looking Low Waist JSK is growing on me too. There are lots of pieces in this series to keep AP chocolate print fans happy. I especially like the gloves, beret and sash. Such a shame I don't have any chocolate prints in my wardrobe to match these accessories! 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Frock On!

The Tea Party Club is 6 years old and this meant another huge London lolita event! This year Kyra, Michaela and a load of volunteers organised Frock On! for the weekend of 31st Aug/1st Sept. With even more lolitas attending this year, it was guaranteed to be packed full of fun and lots of beautiful outfits. I was there for the Saturday event with some of my fellow Oxfordshire Lolitas and here is what we got up to. Some of my pictures didn't come out that good but hopefully this post will give a good idea of what the event was like.

This year the shopping area was so big! All the stalls were packed together quite closely in the room to make room for it all. I had a very hard time trying to decide what I should spend my money on. If I was able to buy every single thing I wanted I reckon I could have easily spent well over £1000! But that is not all... there was also the Bring and Buy. The Bring and Buy had loads of dresses in it. I was a tiny bit disappointed that there wasn't more brand jewellery available but I was able to come out with a BABY dress and some other bits. 

The hotel was so beautiful. Can you believe this picture of me was taken in the toilets!? It really comes to something when even the toilet area is bigger than your entire house! It was the perfect location. I wouldn't mind spending a night or two here!

This was my outfit for the Saturday event. I wore my beloved Midsummer Night's Dream dress by Alice and the Pirates. I teamed the navy with a few different shades of lavender and purple, including my AP chiffon blouse, lots of fake flowers and my Cambridge satchel. My goals for this outfit were to make sure all the colours worked together and to stick as many fake flowers on myself as possible! I also wore my new Bodyline wig (which I forgot to review on here in the run-up to the event). Sadly, I don't think this wig is as nice as my other Bodyline wig as it tangles easily, but I love the colour and length. 

But that's not all! I also modelled for HaeNuLi in the first fashion show. I got to wear the Little Prince print in the Fantasia colour. I don't think the pictures really do this dress justice. The print is gorgeous in real life. When I first found out I got picked by HaeNuLi I had this strange feeling I would end up wearing Little Prince and I was right! The dress and matching bow was teamed with a blouse by Lady Sloth and the rest are items from my own wardrobe. I was meant to be wearing matching space tights but they seemed to go missing (you should have seen how many boxes Kyra brought with her).

One of the perks of being a model was that we got to see what everybody else was wearing too. I have been dying to talk about this new Juliette et Justine rabbit dress for weeks but we were made to keep it secret! It is so beautiful and the matching socks are amazing too. I would definitely keep an eye out for this one.

Later on in the day there were various work shops and Michaela's Fashion Fix. Michaela and Kyra faced off against each other with Michaela representing off-brand and Kyra representing brand. They had various themes and the audience had to cheer for which outfit they liked best. The end result was a draw! 

There was also a panel with all the attending designers. I felt it was a shame they didn't get much time to talk and maybe some more questions would have been better, but the schedule was quite packed. Hitomi from Grimoire was very lovely in person. She knew some basic English and was able to help run her Grimoire stall in the shopping area. A lot of the models got to talk to her at the rehearsal too. Some girls showed her pictures of themselves visiting the Grimoire shop in Japan and Hitomi recognised some of the girls!

Later on there was a raffle. This year I won some colouring in pages but I didn't recognise the name of the company on them. Some people won dresses and entire outfits from some of the attending brands, which is amazing! 

I opted for the VIP ticket and got given this goody bag. It contained a lot of postcards, a few accessories, the tote bag and a Japanese kitkat. I think the kitkat was peach flavoured? It was very nice, whatever it was. My favourite part was the postcard drawn by Minori. Minori was unable to attend Frock On! but she left a message for attendees on the back of her postcard. Her artwork is beautiful.

This is my haul from the event. I mainly purchased things from the Bring and Buy. My biggest purchase was the BABY Bunny Milk and Snow Strawberry JSK. It is one of my dream prints (I have 9 dream prints left to go!) and my top colour choice. Now before my regular readers say "Luna! I thought that you are meant to hate that little pom pom trim, like at the bottom of that dress!",  this is one of the rare occasions where I actually think it works quite well! The pom pom trim matches the print theme really well. I do usually hate pom pom trim but this time around I am happy to make an exception. 

I also got a sailor cutsew from Cherie Cherise, an AP top from the Dreamy Bows stall, an Innocent World umbrella (from a stall where the prices were expensive, but I liked the umbrella anyway), a pair of socks from Grimoire that I plan to wear with Midsummer, a bag from the bring and buy and also a bow made by Shalisa from the Oxford group.

I managed to get some videos of the fashion show finales and they are now up on my Youtube channel-

The day was absolutely amazing and although my anxiety flared up before the modelling, I was really happy with how things went. My only regret is I was suffering from lack of sleep and didn't get to talk to as many people as I would have liked. But I did manage to get a wonderful new dress and lots of fantastic stuff! Overall I feel the day was a huge success. I wish I could have gone to the Sunday tea party too but that may have been overkill!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Looking For Baroque by BABY

My Frock On! post will be coming on Thursday as I am hoping to get a few days rest. I probably have lots of photos to sort through! Also to pre-warn people, I wasn't feeling too great when I wrote this post so sorry if it isn't that good.

Today I am looking at another new BABY print. I am calling this series Looking For Baroque as the actual name is far too long! This series includes 5 dresses (one is non-print), a skirt, a blouse, a few pieces of jewellery and an immense number of hair accessories.

This is the OP. I kind of feel the bodice is slightly frumpy looking and the material looks a bit baggy in places. So I wonder how well it will fit on a real person. I know that puffier sleeves would maybe be too cute for a classic series like this, but I think the sleeves look a bit shapeless and flat. I would have maybe preferred them to be a tiny bit shorter with just the slightest bit more 'puff' to them. 

What I do like about the sleeves and the bodice is the use of the red and gold braid to line the edges. It has a really luxurious look to it and I think it gives the series a more 'special' feel. The braid around the sleeves with the thin line of pleats and topped with a small, matching bow really finishes off the sleeves well. The waist is belted and it really helps to nip the waist in and make it more defined. The solid colour and braid helps to break up the busy print too. The waist bow is big, although I think the size suits the dress well and I like how it is positioned to one side as well. The top part of the bow is firm and has a nice shape to it. The bow tails sit nicely on the dress. Once again, I like the use of the braid and the lace one the bow matches up with the neckline, so the dress has continuity. The bodice also has buttons going up the front. The buttons themselves are pretty, but they blend in a bit. I didn't even notice they were there are first glance. The neckline features a line of lace, then braid, then solid colour material and finally, another line of lace. Whilst the solid colour part here matches well with the waist belt, I think I would have been happier with just the one line of lace and the braid for the neckline. It looks a bit too fussy for my liking and the braid by itself would have enough detail to keep the neckline interesting. The neckline is topped with a gorgeous ribbon bow with a beautiful charm in the middle. The bow is a really good match for the braid too.

The back doesn't have any shirring and is relatively plain. However, the back of the skirt has got a chiffon bustle. The chiffon layers are spaced out nicely and sit on the dress quite well. And because chiffon is such a soft material, it will hopefully not add to much bulk to the backside (this is a big deal to bottom heavy people like me!). My only complaint is that I wish the bustle was a bit wider and spread across more of the back of the skirt., as the bustle looks a little narrow to me. The skirt shape looks a bit triangular when puffed out and I think it could have been been a bit better. The skirt is kept clutter free, so the print is displayed well and there is enough detail on the bodice anyway. The bottom hem is then finished off with a very neat pleat and a tulle ruffle.

This is the Long Frill JSK. The bodice looks nicely fitted and is an interesting shape. The waist line looks slightly messy though. The straps are a good width for the dress. I like how the straps are lined with tulle for a much softer finish and also match the skirt. The waist bow is a good size but I think the shape is awful. Even with the gold lace around the edge, the bow looks very basic and looks like it may droop a bit. The bodice has a yoke which has been done very neatly, with a tidy pleat and gold lace around the edge. The lace in the yoke is pretty and interesting. The yoke is topped with 3 tulle ribbon bows which I don't think are really necessary. The bows look a bit too cute and having 3 bows is a bit overcrowded too. I think the dress would look fine without these 3 bows on there at all. The neckline is softened with a line of tulle. The back has a panel of shirring which is covered neatly by a ribbon corset. The skirt shape is... interesting. It seems to lack any real shape and I think the printed part could do with being a bit longer. The tulle layers are very pretty but a bit too overpowering. With more of the print and a few less tulle layers I think it could be a lot better. But although I dislike the execution on this particular dress, I do think the skirt layers are beautiful and maybe could work with a different design.

This is the standard JSK. The bodice is a reasonably interesting shape, although the material looks slightly baggy in some of the pictures. The ribbon straps are very pretty and interesting, they look slightly flimsy.

And at the waist we find more of the pretty braid! It nips in the waist nicely and looks neat. The waist bow is kept small with just a simple ribbon bow, but the dress has a lot of bows and anything bigger would have been bow overkill. The neckline is beautiful. Here we find more braid and a neat pleat. The fake flowers on top are lovely. I would have maybe preferred a more symmetrical arrangement of flowers, but the design used is good. The base of the straps are decorated with more ribbon bows. The bows are beautiful but I think smaller bows would be better, or maybe just with smaller tails. The pearl chains are a lovely finishing touch and the ends are hidden well by the bows.

The back has a panel if shirring which is concealed well by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has the potential for a lovely shape. It is quite full and rounded. The print is displayed well, although the ribbon bows near the bottom are maybe a bit distracting because the dress already has quite a few bows. Apart from these extra bows, the bottom is finished off with more pretty braid and 2 ruffles of tulle. The tulle layers are a good width and layered well.

This is the Corset JSK. As the name suggests, the bodice is very well fitted. The bodice is also an interesting shape, although the bottom of the corset at the waist area could have been done a bit neater. The straps are a decent width for the dress and the neckline is beautiful. The neckline has a layer of wide lace which covers up the straps. It gives a real soft and floaty appearance and makes the corset style look less harsh. The neckline is topped with small, gold roses and a soft tulle bow underneath, which is very pretty. 

The waist line is lined with lace which compliments the soft neckline. The lines of lace going in a V shape help to draw attention to a smaller waist. However, I am not a fan of the criss-crossed ribbon on either side of the bodice. They look quite flimsy and blend in quite a bit. I think I would have preferred it if the ribbon was shorter and started lower down the bodice. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about the ribbon here looks a bit off.

The back has a panel of shirring, which is concealed by a ribbon corset. The skirt is slightly rounded, although the skirt shape looks slightly strange teamed with the straight waist. The skirt is relatively simple and so the print is displayed well. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a lint of soft tulle, which goes well with the soft looking bodice.

And here we have part of the print close-up. This print is available in ivory, pink, bright green and black. I am not too fond of the black version but the other 3 seem to work quite well. Thankfully, despite being called "bright" green, it doesn't look too bad in reality. I would say my favourite is probably the ivory though. As for the print, it has a very Juliette et Justine feel to it with all the classical paintings. Although here BABY have chosen a variety of smaller different paintings, which means we are treated to some pretty looking frames. The frames are drawn beautifully with a lot of detail to them. The pictures inside the frames are wonderful and I like the art chosen. The roses in the background are interesting too.

I wouldn't usually be a fan of a series like this but the print teamed with the details on the dress give this series a bit of a special feel. I can see a lot of attention to detail has been put in. Although this wont be going on my wishlist, I think this is quite an appealing series. I predict it is going to do quite well. After a lot of thinking, I decided my top choice would be the Regular JSK in ivory. Although I haven't included them here, I am also very keen on a lot of the hair accessories. They are definitely worth a look!

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