Thursday, 28 April 2016

A Bizarre Adventure in London

As both Sammi and James have birthdays in April, we decided it was about time we held a joint celebration for their birthdays. We decided on a trip to London, where we could visit some of our favourite shops and try out a different pub as well. To say the day was eventful is a bit of an understatement...

I was wearing Innocent World's Astronomical Clock for the occasion. I was really unsure how casual or dressed up I should go, and I was also having a bit of a legwear crisis. It turns out I really need to buy more ivory tights! In the end, I layered my star print tights over ivory tights to match the ivory lace on the neckline of the dress. Sadly, it turned really cold as the day went on, and we all ended up dashing in to Primark to buy some emergency tights! So I was glad I was at least able to get some photos of my starry legs before they got covered up. The shoes proved a big mistake too, and my feet were killing me by the evening. But overall, I was pleased with how my outfit looked. It just maybe wasn't the best choice for going to London.

Throughout the course of the day, we encountered a lot of strange people. Right at the start of the day we had people trying to force their way on to the train, without letting the people on the train get off. Common sense would surely mean letting people off, so that you could get on? There was also this very rude old man at Paddington who ended up attacking James with his walking stick and even now, none of us are quite sure why this situation happened. There were the usual buskers and people handing out leaflets in Leicester Square. I ended up being given this leaflet by some sort of church, which had some strange quotes about naked turtles in it. It made for interesting reading at least!

As we went for lunch, the presents and cards were doled out. Sammi seemed to really like the brown and gold Teja Jamilla tights that we got her. I didn't realise that Sammi and Shalisa had got a present for James (there was a lot of sneaky Facebook messages going on behind the scenes!) and he seemed really pleased with his gift. 

James also got us some cupcakes. I thought I had taken a photo of the cakes without the plastic on them, but clearly I hadn't. But I can confirm that the cakes looked really cute in person and they had somehow managed to survive being shoved in a bag and the massive squeeze on the train to London. I was feeling very full from our Chinese food, so I saved mine for later on.

After going shopping, we ended up at a pub called the London Stone, which I can pretty much guarantee I will never be going back to. The pub was recommended to us and to be fair, the actual pub itself is really cool. It is done up in this gothic style with loads of gargoyles and stone pillars. I wish I had gotten some more pictures of the place, but sadly it felt a bit awkward taking pictures when there were so many people in the way. We went for cocktails, as the London Stone has this Seven Deadly Sins and 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse cocktail menu. Sadly, it did not live up to our expectations. The very first cocktail we got tasted like nothing but juice. So to rectify this, we decided to order the 'Death' cocktail from the 4 horsemen menu, which had 3 different shots of rum in it. It is basically a Zombie cocktail. Alas, even this cocktail tasted super weak to us, and we are not exactly heavy drinkers.

Despite this disappointment with the cocktails, we were having a good time. Look how happy we are in this dark photo! And then it all ended on a sour note when a random guy supposedly called Ian came over and decided to try talking to us "young people" as he kept putting it. For all we know, he could have been perfectly harmless, but it was a bit creepy and he wouldn't leave us alone. He was probably only at our table for 20 minutes, but it felt like an hour. It did sadly put a bit of a dampener on our evening. We ended up legging it out of the pub as soon as we could, which meant I couldn't use the bathroom facilities and made for a very uncomfortable tube ride. So yeah... cheers, Ian!

Sammi and I didn't even get the chance to enjoy our cupcakes in the pub as planned, so we ended up eating them on the train home! They were really tasty, so that was at least a positive. I went for the red velvet cupcake, which had the most amazing frosting on it. I think these Waitrose cupcakes may be some solid competition for the Sainsbury's cupcakes that all of our group are really fond of.

I didn't buy much myself. I got a few sweets and a curry pan from the Japan centre and a new book from Treadwell's. Sammi got loads of stationary from Artbox. Whilst she was paying, I found these free postcards from Tofu Cute (who have a concession in the Artbox store in Covent Garden). They had these cut-out-and-keep characters on them. I was initially a bit amused to see that poops are apparently kawaii now, but to tell the truth, this little poop character has grown on me! Seeing as random everyday things like fried eggs are now seen as being cute, I guess a poop with a smiley face can be cute too. And yes, I did cut out the characters! The poop and tofu are in fact on the shelf right next to me, as I type this post. Whether they will stay there or not, I am not sure. It might be a bit difficult explaining to people why I have a random cardboard poop on my shelf.

So the day was a bit of a mixed bag. We seemed to get really unlucky with some of the people we met throughout the day, but I would like to think there were some good moments to the day as well. It has just made us more determined to have a better time the next time we meet up. It is a shame we were not really able to get many photos (Shalisa lugged her massive Instax camera to London for nothing) and our day would have been better if "Ian" hadn't turned up, but at least we were able to visit all the places we wanted. And I got a free cardboard poop and insightful messages about naked turtles for my troubles!

Monday, 25 April 2016

A Print Double

And... once again, my favourite brands are releasing prints faster than I can discuss them. So scroll down further to see my thoughts on Little Royal Icing by Baby.

First up today though, is Angelic Pretty's Strawberry Whip. This series includes 3 dresses, a head bow and socks.

First up is the Short Sleeve OP. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is quite cute. I love how the short sleeves have just a slight amount of puff to them, giving them a really sweet look. The lace on the sleeves has a nice design and is of a good quality too. I like the stripy bows on the sleeves too, but perhaps would have liked them to be a little bit smaller. Maybe the bodice shape is a bit old-school, but it works. I like the square neckline and I think the detachable neck straps finish the neck area off well. There is a waist bow, which I think is far too big, but I admit the shape of the bow is pretty. For a bow of its size, it holds its shape well, and the thin floral lace used neatly on the waist bow has a lovely design. I do think it is a shame that the waist bow doesn't seem to be detachable though. The main part of the bodice features just 2 lines of vertical lace, which given how busy the print is, it not necessarily a bad thing. The neckline is then finished off with a line of lace layered on top of a chiffon ruffle. I think this is a nice idea, but looking at it on the dress, it seems to stick out at an odd angle and it sits funny on the dress. There is also a small stripy bow on the neckline, which is a cute shape and size. The back of the dress is fully shirred, which means lots of size flexibility but it isn't too attractive to look at. I especially think the fully shirred back looks bad with this particular print, as it makes the strawberries look really wrinkly. The stock photos show that the skirt is generous in volume and it flares out well. I love the full, plump bell shape in the stock photos, so I think this dress has a lot of potential. The skirt is then kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with spiky looking polka dot lace. Perhaps AP thought strawberry themed lace would be too obvious...

Here we have the JSK. The bodice doesn't look particularly well fitted and I think the shape of the bodice is a bit dull. The straps seem to be a good, supportive width, although it is a bit hard to tell with all those ruffles. I like the use of lace on the outsides of the straps, as it has been well gathered and shaped nicely. There is also the very gathered lines of lace on the insides of the straps which then continue down the bodice until the waist area. This gives the straps a very frothy, frilly appearance, which is quite cute. The waist bow is again quite large, but has a nice shape and use of the floral lace. Once again, I really wish the waist bow was detachable, because I think this is the one thing that is really putting me off this dress design. Inside the 2 ruffles of lace on the bodice, there are 2 lines of lace running horizontally across. The design looks quite pretty and I like the lace used. I feel the bows on top of these lines of lace look a bit poorly placed though. I don't know why, but there is something about the way these bows look on the dress which doesn't look quite right. The neckline is finished off with a gentle chiffon ruffle. The back features a panel of shirring, which has been neatly topped with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares out well. There should be plenty of petticoat room. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with the spiky edged polka dot lace (really not a fan of this choice of lace) layered on top of a chiffon ruffle. I think if I liked the choice of lace a bit more, the bottom hem could have been quite pretty. The bottom hem is also topped with several stripy ribbon bows, which have been well positioned and sit nicely on the dress.

This is the Standard OP. The bodice looks well fitted, but I am not fond of the sleeve shape teamed with that bodice. I much prefer the shorter, puffier sleeves on the other OP, but if this OP had the same sleeves then I guess the dresses would look too similar. The sleeves are finished off nicely with some pretty lace and stripy bows, although I wish AP hadn't then placed an additional pair of bows on the shoulder area. I really don't get the point of the shoulder bows. Unless somebody had a bird's eye view of the dress, you are not going to really notice them. Once again, the waist bow has a nice shape but is too big in size and I am disappointed it is not detachable. The bodice features many lines of lace, which are set out neatly. I especially liked the daisy shaped lace, which is a good match for the print. There is also some criss-crossed ribbon in the middle, which is well spaced out, and the ribbon only has a slight sheen to it. I am not really sure what is going on with the chest area of this dress. It looks like there is a layer of lace and then on top, AP have gathered a piece of the main dress fabric to mimic the shape of the bow. The problem is, the gathering hasn't been well executed, so the bow laces any real shape. The end result looks a bit messy. This OP also comes with a matching choker, but the choker design is quite basic and is nothing to write home about. I have seen similar chokers on Taobao. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is limited. The print does at least seem to line up well along the zip line, but I am not sure I would have bothered with the ruffly lace on the back. The stock photos show that the skirt is plump with volume and it flares outwards generously. The wearer should be able to create a great shape. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed quite well, although with the gathering it perhaps isn't as well displayed as it is on the other dresses. The bottom hem is then finished off in the same way as the JSK and my feelings towards that are exactly the same.

And here we can see what the print looks like. This series comes in ivory, lavender, pink and red. These are quite standard choices for a berry print, with the exception of the lavender. My guess is that after seeing lavender work quite well with Drained Cherry, they would try using it again for this series. At least there seems to be a good amount of variety. The print itself is very cute. I love the cakes at the bottom and the berries are also drawn very well. My main complaint with this print is that the berries for the non-border part of the print are too big, which makes the print look too crowded. If these berries were taken out, or were made a lot smaller, then maybe it would have worked a bit better. I guess then, the print would be more of a cake print, which happens to features strawberries. But maybe that would have been okay. Cake prints tend to go down quite well anyway and with so many strawberry prints released every year, they can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. The good news is, this print doesn't have any crosses in it! That automatically makes me like this series a lot better than a lot of the recent AP releases.

So I feel that whilst there are bits of this series that I like, but I am overall a little bit disappointed. I think the dress designs could have looked a lot better if AP had just made the waist bows detachable for starters. The print also looks a bit too busy for my tastes. I would love AP to do a strawberry print in a similar style to Drained Cherry, with a simpler print and dress cuts. I think it is safe to say I wouldn't buy this series. My top choice would be the Short Sleeve OP in Ivory. 

Next up today I am looking at Little Royal Icing by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 3 dresses (one non-print), a skirt, a head bow, socks, a blouse, a cutsew, a necklace, brooch, hair pin and a ring. 

This is JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is simple, but lovely. The straps are a suitable width and look very supportive. I actually quite like the scalloped edge of the outside of the straps, because it has been done subtly and the lace lining the straps softens the design. The bodice features a raised chest panel which has a scalloped edge. This is all lined and decorated with cute heart shaped lace. The scallops are well shaped and the lace has been used well. I think it would have looked fine if it wasn't for the fact this area is then topped with a large bow. This chest bow is too big and I think it is a bit of a weird shape as well. I can't imagine this massive bow being that flattering. This chest bow is detachable, but then the chest area looks a bit plain and flat without it. Underneath the chest details, there is also an additional 2 bows on the bodice with wide lace on either side. The bows are a cute shape, but they could do with being a bit smaller. I am also not overly fond of the choice of lace used here either, as I think it is a bit boring. The back has a panel of shirring which has been neatly topped with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a lot of volume to it and it flares outwards beautifully. There is lots of potential to create a lovely shape here. The skirt is then kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with 2 pretty ruffles and a discreet line of heart shaped lace. These ruffles look so soft and fluffy, but I would have preferred them to be under-stitched instead of over-stitched.

Next up is JSK II. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted, but I think the shape is a bit odd. It looks oddly tube-like in shape, and I don't like the neckline shape and lace either. The straps are an okay width. They could have perhaps been a little bit wider and some lace could have livened them up a bit. The waist line has a band of polka dot lace, which sort of makes it look like the waist has a belt. I like that it breaks up the main dress colour and helps to define the waist a little bit. There is a really large waist bow which unfortunately seems to be really saggy. I don't think the shape of the bow helps its droopy appearance either. It just doesn't feel like Baby put much effort in to this bow at all. This waist bow is thankfully detachable, and the dress looks so much better without it. The bodice then features this raised panel with a scalloped edge, which features a polka dot lace overlay. Personally, I think the entire panel and its details look weird. The shape is a bit bizarre and I also think the panel looks as if it sticks out at an odd angle. This panel is then further topped with a large bow. It is definitely overkill having this chest bow and the waist bow. But I do wonder if maybe this chest bow will make the dress look too top-heavy when the waist bow is detached. I am also not fond of the shape of the chest bow and think it is strange how only some edges of the bows have been lined with lace. This bow has a cute Baby logo charm dangling from it, but that is about the only positive thing I can think of to say about this bodice. The back is fully shirred, which means plenty of size flexibility but it isn't too attractive to look at. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares out brilliantly. There is plenty of petticoat room and I really like the shape in the stock photos. The skirt is also kept very simple, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of simple, but good quality lace. It is a shame I hate the bodice, because the skirt part is lovely. 

Finally, here is one part of the print...

... and another part. This series comes in ivory, pink, mint and sax blue. All 4 colours compliment the print theme, but I do worry with the lighter colours that some of the print details may look a bit washed out. I struggled to see some of the print details in some of the pictures. As for the print itself, I really like the individual cookies. The 'royal' theme is continued throughout the print well with the choice of objects used on the cookies. The lacy fan shaped cookie is my personal favourite. I would love to be served a cookie like that! The border part of the print is perhaps a little bit cluttered though. Although the ribbon bows are drawn beautifully, perhaps they could have been a bit smaller, so they were a bit less prominent. I really like the piped icing used for the non-border part of the print. It is a shame they only seem to be easily visible on the mint version.

So overall I think the print is very cute, but it is too washed out on certain colour ways. I don't feel this print has been done to its full potential. I also think both of the dress cuts are a bit weird. Would I buy this series? Probably not. My top choice would be JSK I in mint, purely because that is the only colour I feel truly does the print justice. I am a bit annoyed Baby didn't do a brown or black version. The cookie accessories from this series are adorable though, so those are worth checking out.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Making Kuro and Shiro More Interesting

I've often felt that kuro and shiro lolita are very under-appreciated. There is this kind of misconception about these 2 sub-styles that sticking to all-black or all-white outfits can perhaps be a bit... boring. Adding colours can be one way of adding a bit of excitement to a lolita outfit so to stick rigidly to one colour can be a bit stifling. I think that this is a real shame. There are some absolutely beautiful solid black and white dresses out there. Some dresses by Atelier Pierrot and Alice and the Pirates come instantly to my mind, although there are lots of budget options out there too which are also really pretty. But I think a lot of misconceptions about these 2 sub-styles come from how they are typically styled. Usually, kuro lolita gets lumped in with gothic lolita, and it is easy to see why. When you think of gothic fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is the colour black. Similarly, shiro is usually styled in a sweet or classic 'bridal' sort of way. But when you break it down, the only real 'rule' about these 2 sub-styles is to stick to that one colour. So I decided to attempt to put together a few outfit collages to see what I could come up with.

But first, I think there are a couple of things to consider when putting together a kuro or shiro wardrobe-

Materials- Different materials will have different textures, so even though 2 pieces may be the same colour, they can have very different appearances. A good example of this would be comparing chiffon and velvet. Chiffon is light and airy whilst velvet is richer and more dense, so it is possible to create some very different outfits.

Extra Details- Lace, trims, lots of ruffles... a single coloured dress does not have to hold back on the detail. The little details can make all the difference and stop a single coloured dress from looking too boring

Different styles- Going for dresses with bows, for example, would give the dress a more sweet feel. I feel a solid-coloured sweet dress can be a good choice for a classic or gothic lolita who maybe likes sweet, but doesn't feel too comfortable going all-out. Seeing as a lot of kuro dresses typically have a classic or gothic look to them, going for something sweeter can be a fresh take on somebody's typical style.

Themes- Just because you are only working with one colour, it doesn't mean that your outfit can't have a theme! As long as you stick to that one colour, I think you can introduce a lot of themes, which I hope I have shown in my collages.

And now, on to the collages! For these collages, I have tried to go for the exact same dress (Bodyline L362, in case you were wondering) to show how the same dress can look a lot different with just a bit of styling.

First up is a circus/carnival themed outfit. I feel the AP Shadow Dream Carnival tights just about get away with being okay for kuro. I tried to add carousel horses and stars to help the theme come through. I wanted to add a top hat a bit like AP's Star Night Theater one (but just in the black colour, of course) but it proved difficult to find a nice, all-black top hat that wasn't from some cheap costume! So I ended up using an Alice and the Pirates hat for this collage, although it wasn't my first choice. I think this kuro outfit has a slight sweet feel to it.

I had the most fun creating this floral kuro look! I like that this kuro look has a country feel to it. It worked out better than I was expecting it to. I thought of using the Innocent World shawl and then had a bit of a search to see if I could find matching black straw items. As you can see, I managed to find what I was looking for. What I thought was going to be the most difficult collage, ended up being my favourite.

I don't feel I was as successful with this royal themed kuro outfit. I couldn't get a picture of the crown I wanted and the accessories proved difficult too. In the end I went for a crown with velvety details to it, so I decided on using a velvet cape to make sure the crown didn't look too out of place. I feel this outfit could have been a lot better, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what I was aiming for.

So with these ideas in mind, I hope this post encourages people to take another look at kuro and shiro. They are far from boring and there are lots of possibilities! I am admittedly a bit of a print addict, but I had a lot of fun creating this collages. I have worn kuro before (I don't feel shiro would look good on me) and I don't think this is the last kuro you will be seeing from me...

Monday, 18 April 2016

Little Dreaming Sailor by Alice and the Pirates

Today I am looking at Little Dreaming Sailor by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 3 dresses, a skirt, 3 hair accessories and socks.

First up is JSK I. The bodice seems well fitted and the shape is quite interesting, although I am not sure I like the waistline. Something about the waistline just feels a bit 'off' to me. The straps are a decent width and look quite supportive. I adore the sailor details that top the straps. It has been executed so neatly and the braid and lace looks amazing. This sailor strap detail is probably one of the best ideas I have seen AatP come out with recently. The bodice is broken up in to panels and sadly the print does not line up that great along the seams. The bodice also features 6 buttons, which have a very appropriate anchor design on them. In the stock photos, one or two of the buttons don't seem to be positioned that well, but here is hoping this will be corrected on the actual dresses. There is a bow on the neckline, which sadly is a bit shiny. It is a cute shape though, and the size is nice. There is an AatP charm dangling from the bow too, which is a nice touch. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has an alright amount of volume and I like the slight bell shape. The skirt is then kept very simple in design, so the print is displayed perfectly. Although the bottom hem is very neat, with just a thin line of lace, I would have liked AatP to have done something with the trim on the straps along the bottom hem. I think that would have given the bottom a nice little pop of colour and it would have shown great continuity as well.

Here we have JSK II. The bodice material looks a bit loose and puckered in places and I also think the bodice shape is a bit dull. It is too square and boxy looking. The straps look a very supportive width and I like that they have been neatly lined with some thin lace. There is a 'belt' at the waist, which helps to nip in the waist area. I am not overly impressed by the gathering and the incredibly dull buckle on the belt though. The gathering just looks like a crumpled mess and the buckle is just a basic plastic circle with no interesting details to it at all. There aren't any details on the main part of the bodice. I can understand AatP maybe thought too many details would look too much with the chest area details, but some simple details such as pleats could have added a bit of interest to the bodice without looking too OTT. The bases of the straps have 2 bows with a line of pearls dangling between them. Whilst I think the choice of ribbon has a pretty design, I don't think it is the best choice for these particular bows. It isn't the best choice for creating a great bow shape. The pearl chain is a good length. Maybe there could have been a double chain? The pearls then dangle downwards slightly on one side, which is then finished off with a really cute anchor charm. This chain is detachable, but I think the dress looks too plain without it. The back is fully shirred, so there is plenty of size flexibility, but it isn't so attractive to look at. The stock photos show that the skirt has a good amount of volume and it flares outwards well. In the stock photo I chose it looks as though there maybe isn't enough fabric at the bottom of the skirt, which causes the bottom of the skirt to curve inwards. I have a feeling it may have been the choice of petticoat used for the photo though, as the skirt shape looks alright in the other stock photos. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off with a thin line of lace which is so thin, it is barely there. 

This is the OP. The bodice looks a bit baggy in places and I am not fond of the bodice shape, which I think the sleeves are responsible for. I feel the sleeves need to be a bit shorter and a bit puffier. It just looks a bit frumpy as it is. I do like the way the sleeves have been finished off with the stripy tricolor part of the print though. The bodice is mostly kept very plain, probably because AatP wanted the focus to be on the sailor collar and the print. I do feel the bodice needs a bit more than just having a simple line of pearly buttons running up the middle though. Some thin lines of lace could have easily livened up the bodice a bit. The sailor collar itself is a cute shape and I love the neat line of braid, but it is perhaps a bit too small. At first I didn't like the shape of the neck tie, but it has grown on me. It is quite a mature looking shape. The fabric used for the neck tie is still really shiny though. The neck tie part is detachable, but I personally feel the dress looks too plain without it. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. From the back, the sailor collar is a neat square shape. I think the triangle of the neck tie poking out underneath looks a bit messy though. The stock photos show that the skirt has a reasonable amount of volume and it flares out well. It should hold enough petticoat to create a decent shape. The skirt is one again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed really well. The bottom hem is then finished off with a line of braid and some thin lace. This is how I feel the bottom hems on the other 2 dresses should have been done. It looks a lot better.

Finally, here is one bit of the print...

... and another bit. This series comes in yellow, rose pink, blue and black. I think the yellow version is absolutely vile. I guess they were aiming for a slightly golden tone, but at the risk of sounding a bit crude, the yellow colour reminds me of a slightly dehydrated person's urine. The other 3 colours are a great improvement and at least work well with the print. As for the print itself, it seems to be a load of objects copied and pasted on to a plain background. It doesn't feel as though a great deal of thought or effort has gone in to the print. Also, some of the objects in the print feel a bit random. There are the usual marine themed items such as anchors and ships, but then there are items such as the teddy bears and musical instruments which look very out of place. The print also looks really grainy, which is probably due to the fabric choice. On a more positive note, I guess the tricolor at the bottom looks okay. I don't think this has been used in the best possible way either though.

Sadly, this series is a bit of a mess in my opinion. This post started off on a positive note with the cute sailor straps on JSK I, but it sadly went downhill from there. There are things I would change about each dress design and I really dislike the print as well. So I think it is safe to say that I wont be getting this series. My top choice would be JSK I in black (as I quite pleasantly surprised by how nice the black version looked). Overall, this series feels really lazy. It is a shame, because Alice and the Pirates have put out a couple of decent sailor themed pieces before. So this series really feels like a disappointment.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Alice Fururun Review

I recently placed my first ever order with Fururun so today I thought I would share my thoughts on my experience. I ordered a pair of Angelic Pretty Sweetie Violet socks. Although I had seen an auction for the exact same socks, I ended up buying from Fururun because they were so much cheaper on there. It just goes to show you need to shop around and that auctions are not necessarily the best deal.

Ordering Process

If you look on the Fururun home page you will see there is a link about overseas ordering, but it is quite small and very easy to miss. The information on this page could have also gone in to more detail. I decided to use the shopping cart method and I found that you have to look carefully for the bits on the page that are in English, as they give you the instructions you need to fill in the form correctly. The process is doable, but perhaps the instructions could have been a bit clearer for a bit of extra reassurance.


When you have placed an order you get sent an automated email. What I didn't initially realise is that they like you to reply to their email to confirm that your information is correct. So I did reply to the email and it then took them a few days to get back to me. I placed the order on the 25th of March and they got back to me on the 30th. To be fair, this was over the Easter weekend. I don't know if Fururun were off over the holiday, which could mean they are usually a bit faster. I paid the invoice and I made sure to reply to their email to say I had paid (I am not sure you need to, but I thought it was better to be safe than sorry). My socks were shipped out on April the 1st.


Fururun ship overseas via EMS and my socks arrived on the 5th. This is pretty quick, so I was pleased.

My socks arrived in what was a very thick shopping bag. It was sealed neatly with tape. As I was only buying a pair of socks, I felt the packaging was suitable, but if I was ordering something more expensive I would have probably expected something a bit more secure than this. The packaging was very cute though!

Inside, my socks were wrapped in a protective layer of plastic and there were those little tiny metal clips which are usually used to hold socks in place. 

My socks were ranked as a B and when they arrived they were almost like new. There was a tiny bit of dust on the bottom of one sock that came right off. I could tell right away that they had hardly been worn, if at all. The logo on the bottom of the socks was still crystal clear and there was no signs of wear, such as piling, at all. So I am really impressed with the condition.

So overall, this was a positive experience for me, but there are things that Fururun could improve on. Their instructions may seem a bit confusing if you are not used to ordering from Japanese second hand shops. But the socks themselves were exactly what I was expecting and it wouldn't put me off ordering from Fururun again.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Holy Theater by Angelic Pretty

Today I shall be taking a look by Holy Theater by Angelic Pretty. This series includes 3 dresses, a head bow, socks, a necklace and a ring.

First up is the OP. The main bodice looks well fitted and the shape of the main dress looks okay. I am really unsure about the chiffon shoulders and sleeves though. I don't like the off the shoulder join in the fabric and the way the arm parts have been shaped. The arm parts look too straight and the cuffs are too long and too basic in style. I also cannot stand the pearl crosses on the cuffs. Whilst I appreciate this is a "holy" themed print, the pearl crosses just look tacky and really poorly done in my opinion. I also feel that because of how dominating the over-skirt is on this dress, a short sleeve would have been a more sensible option. The long sleeves just don't seem to work. Speaking of the over-skirt, I really love the shape of it and the way it drapes. However, I don't like how this over-skirt has been paired with a high waistline. It just makes the dress look really awkward and I can't imagine it being too flattering on some body shapes. I also wish that the waist bow was smaller in size, although I do think the shape of this bow is quite cute. Maybe AP could have gotten away with not having any waist bow at all. The bodice features several lines of trims, lace and a line of pearls. This is refreshingly simple in comparison to the rest of the dress. I also like the heart shape "neckline" of the main dress fabric. The back offers no shirring, so size flexibility is very limited. The back of the dress is set out quite neatly, although in the stock photos the print does not line up that well along the zip line. The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards well. It looks as though there is the potential to create a really nice shape, but it is a little difficult to tell with that over-skirt in the way. The over-skirt means that there is just a small "window" of the print at the front which is displayed really clearly. Although given how I feel about the print, some might say this is actually a blessing. The bottom hem is then finished off with some beautiful cross themed lace.

Here we have the Standard JSK. The bodice material looks a bit puckered in some of the stock photos, but I the overall shape of the bodice looks okay, albeit a bit simple. I love the slightly heart shaped neckline. The straps seem a suitable width and I like that they have been lined neatly with gold lace. I think the chiffon shoulder parts could have maybe been shaped a bit better though, as they look a bit flat and lifeless. Maybe it looks better when it is worn though, rather than drooping down on an armless mannequin. I love the shape of the neckline as it is bold and a bit different. What I am not so fond of is the wide lace then used along the waist line. I think this waist line would have looked better with a sharper, simpler appearance and still had the gold trim to help define the waist line shape. The wide lace along the waist line just looks fussy and messy in my opinion. The bodice features many pleats, which have been done neatly and give the bodice an interesting texture. There are also some subtle thin lines of gold lace and a line of star shaped buttons. I like how the buttons have been spaced out, with the exception of the top button which is obscured by the lace along the neckline. The neckline has been lined really nicely with a line of good quality lace, which also has a nice design to it. It sits really nicely on the dress. There are also some ribbon bows topped with star buttons at the bases of the straps. These bows are cute in shape, but I wish they had been a bit smaller in size and maybe a slightly less shiny ribbon could have been used. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a decent amount of volume to it and it flares outwards fairly well. There should hopefully be plenty of room for petticoat underneath. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off with the cross themed lace again.

This is the Switching JSK. The bodice looks really well fitted, although the bodice shape is maybe a bit too simple (or have I just got too used to AP's more OTT designs?). The straps seem to be a fairly good width. I really love the lace used to top the straps that also goes along the neckline. It has been layered well and gives the neckline a cute, frothy appearance. The waist line features a very gathered line of lace which again, I don't feel looks right. I like my waistlines more smooth and defined. Perhaps a ribbon belt could have been a nice option here? The bodice features some lines of gold lace on either side, which have an interesting curve to them and looks a bit different to just having lines going straight down. There is also a triangular panel in the middle, which has been filled with lace. I initially didn't like this detail, but now I actually think it has been executed quite well and the design has grown on me. The neckline is then topped with a small bow, which I think is just the right size and shape. I love the glittery choice of ribbon that has been used for the bow too. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been neatly topped with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show that the skirt has a generous amount of volume and it flares out really well. I really like the shape of the skirt in the stock photos and think there is the potential to create a really cute shape. The skirt is again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed excellently. Once again, the bottom hem is finished off with the cross themed lace.

Finally, here is the print. This series comes in ivory, sax blue, lavender and navy blue. All 4 colours seem to compliment the print really well, but for once I think I may actually prefer the lighter colours over my usual go-to colour of navy blue. As for the print itself, I think it is a bit unusual looking. The animals are well drawn, but I find the eyes a bit creepy! I feel like if I stare in to their eyes for too long, they are going to take my soul. Whilst the curtains, drapes and bows in the print are really pretty and look nice, I feel that all together it makes the print look a bit too cluttered. Maybe everything needs to be a bit more spread out. I like the clouds and stars in the non-border part of the print and I personally would have preferred to just have this as an all-over print instead of having the border part of the print. This print also has the crosses, which seems to have become a staple part of AP prints lately, but thankfully they are not too obvious.

So here we have another AP series which is very similar in style to a lot of other recent AP prints... I am really starting to get fed up of these AP releases with the religious themes and the crosses. I think it is safe to say I will not be buying this series. If I did, my top choice would be the Switching JSK in lavender, but I would definitely add my own ribbon belt to it. If the recent fashion shows and lookbooks are anything to go by, it seems some of the upcoming AP releases look a bit less cross-dominated, which is a relief. Judging by how slow this series seems to be selling, it seems I am not the only one who is feeling a bit bored of AP at the moment.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Recent Outfits

I thought today would be a good chance to have a bit of a catch up with some of my most recent outfits that I haven't showcased on my blog. Although I am generally quite good at writing about my mini catch ups with my lolita friends on here, I don't think people realise that I do wear lolita a lot more frequently, even if I am just lazing about the house! I try to post my outfits to Tumblr, but my Tumblr is quite small and modest and to be honest, I have never quite gotten the hang of posting at the optimum time and tagging efficiently. I need to get back in the habit of posting on LaceBook as well. There are so many different places you can share things now, it is hard to keep on top of it all!

So I thought that first I would share a few outfits from when I have just been at home or doing small, boring errands. This outfit was one I was actually meant to be wearing on one of my meets with Sammi and Shalisa, but unfortunately Shalisa was sick. I was really eager to wear this outfit though, so I got dressed up anyway! Ever since I first got hold of Meta's Nostalgic Chess, I have always wanted to do an outfit that involved pinstripes somehow. If you look at the trim on the dress, you will notice that the dress does in fact have pinstripes on it. I recently managed to obtain the blouse that came out with this series, so I knew I had to get it! I felt the pinstripes needed some balancing out though, so I looked online and found some pinstripe tights to match. Although the pinstripes are not the same width, I still quite like how it turned out. I ended up adding red to this outfit because when I initially tried it without red, it felt a bit too bland. I think the red helped to pull the outfit together.

I was having a bit of a "princessy" moment with this next outfit! Although I wrote a post late last year about how I wasn't so fond of wearing OTT lolita any more, there are still times when I feel like dressing up a bit more. I am glad I was at least able to get a few photos of this outfit, because not long after this photo was taken, my hair style decided to completely collapse! I wore a similar hair style to Regalia last year, but I was using a different hair tool which doesn't have the strap of elastic going over the top of my head, which meant that there was less support to hold my hair up. It really does suck having thick, heavy hair that refuses to stay put sometimes! There was no real theme or plan behind this outfit. I just really wanted to look like a princess for the day. Fancy Egg is actually one of the dresses in my wardrobe that I seem to struggle to co-ordinate, so I was glad this outfit was not a total disaster.

Next up is Cinderella Jewellery. This dress had been hiding in the back of my wardrobe for the longest time and I felt it was time it got some much needed wear time. I am not really sure why I decided to wear the tricorn... I just sort of ended up putting it on my head and quite liked it. It gives the outfit a very slight pirate vibe, which I like. I have always wanted to wear pirate lolita and I think this is the closest I have gotten to being a pirate so far. Maybe this is a goal I need to work on in the future.

And finally, I will give you all a look at what I ended up doing on Saturday with Sammi and Shalisa. It was a lovely, sunny day so it was time to break out yet another strawberry print! I got Chained Berry Memoir around about the same time I got AP's Strawberry Ribbon, but I didn't want to wear them one after the other, so I ended up waiting a few months to wear this outfit. This is pretty much my go-to style when I am wearing strawberries, but I did make a few subtle changes. I wore the berry wrist cuffs Shalisa kindly got me for Christmas and a few weeks ago I discovered an old Bodyline strawberry keychain that had been hiding away in one of my drawers for ages. I decided that as I had made this discovery, it was some sign that I should include it, so it ended up getting attached to my bag.

It was also my first time wearing the strawberry hat I got from Infanta. It still bugs me that the strawberries don't always stay in place, but it is still quite a cute hat and I don't regret getting it. 

After going to our regular hang out for food, we headed to the Oracle riverside to head to the Reading branch of Slug and Lettuce. By some curious twist of fate, we all ended up wearing berry prints! We did think about going to the Purple Turtle, but after seeing the Slug wasn't actually that fully packed, we ended up at the Slug instead. Although the cocktails are 20p dearer here than the Oxford branch, I think we all ended up agreeing that the Reading branch was really good. So chances are, we will be back again! The staff were really lovely too and we were not really bothered by anybody, which is a massive bonus. The lovely Christopher even complimented our hats!

I tried a Dune Bug cocktail for the first time. It is rum based with midori in it. I have previously avoided it because it contains Creme de Banane (I don't like bananas!) but in the end, the staff were happy to make it with this ingredient omitted, which made me so happy. I was so glad I went for it because it had a lovely, fruity taste to it. And it just goes to show that sometimes if you want something, all you have to do is ask.

So I hope you all enjoyed my mini outfit round-up. Hopefully soon I will be able to get a bit more on top of sharing my outfits. It was great to see Sammi and Shalisa too. I always have a fantastic time when I see them.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Happy Balloon by Metamorphose

Today I am taking a look at Happy Balloon by Metamorphose. This series includes 3 dresses, 2 skirts, a head bow and tights.

First up is the Sailor JSK. The bodice looks well fitted and the overall shape of the bodice is really interesting. What I am fascinated the most by about this dress is the sailor collar, which is in fact detachable. Meta are usually really great at doing sailor details, and this dress is no exception. The sailor collar is a cute shape and lined neatly with lace. I like the stripy bow too, here in the photo used to finish off the collar. This stripy bow is also detachable, so you can use it any way you want. The brooch in the centre of the bow looks a bit tacky though, if I am being honest. The only thing I would change about the sailor collar is the use of rik-rak, as I am not a fan of this trim. I would have used a thin line of ribbon in place of this. When you detach the collar, the straps underneath are a supportive looking width. I personally think the dress looks a bit boring with the sailor collar detached, but it does help to tone down the OTT feel of the bodice if you do detach it. The bodice also features 2 lines of vertical lace and a line of buttons in the centre. I think thinner lines of lace would have looked tidier. Although the button design is kept simple, they still look quite cute and they are fairly well spaced out. The back is fully shirred, which means there is plenty of size flexibility, but also means the shirring is exposed and is not too attractive to look at. I also think the back looks a bit bizarre when the sailor collar is attached, because it looks weird teamed with the low dress back. The stock photos show that the skirt is generous in volume and it flares out far more than is needed. There is more than enough room for petticoat and the potential to create a really full shape. The skirt is kept simple in design, so the print is displayed perfectly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of rik-rak just before the bottom hem and then some swan themed lace. I am glad that Meta are starting to get a bit more creative with their lace choices, although I don't feel the swan lace really fits in with the theme of the dress. There are also some shiny ribbon bows along the bottom hem, but they look so lifeless and I wouldn't have bothered with them.

This is the Puff Sleeve OP. The bodice material looks a bit loose and puckered in some of the stock photos and I am a little unsure I like the bodice shape. I think the style of sleeve teamed with the neckline shape gives it a bit of a frumpy feel. The sleeves could have probably done with being a bit shorter and maybe even a bit puffier. The lace used on the sleeves and inside the neckline is cute though. There is a waist bow, done using very pretty ribbon again. Both the ribbons used for the bow are quite shiny, but I think I can forgive that because it has a lovely design to it. This waist bow again features the brooch in the middle, which I am not fond of. As well as the waist bow itself, this brooch in the middle does seem to be detachable, which I am thankful for. The bodice features a row of buttons and several lines of lace, which are set out quite neatly. There are 2 shiny ribbon bows with star charms attached to the neckline which are a cute shape. However, I wouldn't have bothered putting bows here at all, as I think the placement of them looks awkward. There is enough details on the bodice without them. Fortunately, these bows are also detachable, which I would do if I had this dress. The back is fully shirred which again means a not so attractive looking back, but plenty of stretch. The stock photos show that the skirt is very full and it flares outwards well. There is more than enough volume and I love the shape that has been created in the stock photos. The skirt is again kept simple, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with the same rik-rak and lace as the Sailor Jsk. This time they didn't bother with the poor saggy bows though, which is a bonus.

Here we have the Lace Up JSK. The bodice seems well fitted, although the overall bodice shape is perhaps a bit simple. The straps look a very supportive width, although they are a bit crowded with all the details. There is lace lining both the insides and outsides of the straps, which is okay, but perhaps the lace could have been a little more narrow to make the straps look less bulky. The straps are also topped with rik-rak and there are ribbon bows at the bases of the straps, which I personally think looks too much. The cluttered appearance that the bodice has is not helped by the absolutely ginormous waist bow, That waist bow is far too big and the use of lace and rik-rak only emphasises how big it is. Surprisingly for such a large bow, it holds its shape quite well. The waist bow also features the same brooch (not pictured, but you can see it on the other dress photos above). Thankfully, this waist bow is detachable! It is a shame, because I feel like the dress is missing something with the waist bow detached, but I hate the waist bow so much. The bodice features a gathered panel which is topped with a ribbon corset and then lined with lace on either side. The gathering looks very messy in my opinion, and I am also not sure I like the ribbon used in this way. I can't put my finger on it, but something about the ribbon just doesn't look right to me. The back has a panel of shirring. which is topped neatly with a ribbon corset (why is it always my least favourite dress that has the nice back?). The stock photos show that the skirt has plenty of volume and it flares outwards well. I love the full, slightly rounded shape in the stock photos. The skirt is once again kept simple in design, so the print is displayed brilliantly. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a line of swan lace, and some ribbon bows which are a bit better placed and shaped compared to the bows on the bottom of the Sailor Jsk. Such a shame that I hate the bodice...

Finally, this is the print. This series comes in cream, navy and blue. Given the theme of the print, these colour choices are pretty obvious ones to go for. Maybe Meta could have been a bit more adventurous, but at least all 3 colours look amazing with the print. As for the print itself, it is a very cute idea. Seeing as ducks are my favourite animal, I think it is safe to say I approve of the ducky balloon! All of the balloons are colourful and are drawn quite nicely. I feel Meta could have mixed things up a bit more though with the positioning of the balloons. It feels like all the balloons are clumped together in a straight line with little variation in height. Perhaps some of the balloons could have been higher or lower. Or maybe Meta could have made this an all-over print instead of a border print? I am not saying it looks bad, but it could have been better. I like the fluffy clouds in the background and the subtle use of a sky writer to add the Crown Label name in to the print. However, if I am completely honest, this print is too childish looking for me.

So overall, this series is very cute, although there are little tweaks I would make to each of the dress designs. The print is nice enough, but perhaps Meta have played it a little too safe. Would I buy this series? No, because I personally think the print and dress designs are a bit too cutesy. However, my top choice for a dress would still be the very cutesy looking Sailor JSK. As for the top colour, I would say they are all about even. Usually I would go for the navy blue, but I am quite liking the slightly lighter shade of blue. The cream looks quite good too. I am glad to see Meta are still including ducks in their prints though!

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