Monday, January 31, 2011

Unintentionally casual lolita for a day

Nothing wrong with being casual lolita in my opinion! In fact, living in Singapore with its wacky weather and high humidity, casual lolita seems quite the logical choice to go with. However, I had actually intended to do a less casual look for the Black Alice tea party meet held last Saturday.

Jsk: Meta
Cardigan: Viola
Shoes: Sale wedges at S$9.90, bought on the day
And why, yes, that's Spotlight to the left of me
(Photo by Ivory)

So why I ended up wearing wedges was because I just could not locate my only pair of white loliable shoes on the day of the meet. I was going to wear off-white socks plus those damn shoes with this coordi but since the aforementioned cursed objects decided to get themselves missing to goodness knows where, I thought of quickly going to the shopping mall where the meet was being held and get myself a new pair of white shoes.

But you know what? Plaza Singapura, the mall in question, with its total number of 4 shoe shops, does not possess any white, off-white, passably loli-able covered shoes at all. No bows, no straps, no ribbons, no Mary-Janes, no nothing. Sandals yes, pointy toes yes, wedges yes, 6" stiletto heels yes. Everything else, no.

In the end, after wandering like a lost soul for roughly an hour and already terribly late for the meet, I decided to get these pair of blue wedges I saw. Dealbreaker? They were on sale for $9.90

Conclusion being: Never look for loli shoes at the very last hour.

The wedges do go very well with the Meta jsk surprisingly, being almost the same shade of blue! For an unintentional casual outfit, I guess it's not too bad? But it just wasn't the coordi that I was planning for originally, lol.

Monday, January 24, 2011

To alter or not to alter: Hamlet didn't say

I recently managed to acquire the frill pinafore jsk from Metamorphose's Old Rose series. I had seen this jsk in-store last Sept when I was in Tokyo and had really liked the design with the spiralling Metamorphose logo then. When the chance came to get this jsk at a much lower price and brand-new, I naturally seized it with grabby, greedy hands~

On hindsight, perhaps I should also have seized the chance to try on the jsk when I was at the store then!

As the jsk had a panel of shirring behind its back, I had assumed I should be able to fit into it but oh I was wrong! On the first try, I was unable to zip it up completely and the problematic area in question was the chest area. The waist was fine but when it reached my bust area, the zipper stubbornly stayed stuck and there was a gap between the zipper teeth. Only after I wore my super-duper sports bra which effectively flattens my boobs by a few cm was I able to zip this gap close. While using this method to close the gap didn't really cause a uniboob effect, I am still facing the question of whether... send the jsk for alteration and taking out the shirring completely?

It is a relatively minor alteration and taking out the shirring from the jsk would, in all likelihood, allow me to fit into the jsk more comfortably.

There's been plenty of discussions on this subject on the EGL LJ forum. Up, down, sizeways and leftways. Attitudes, in general, are quite positive in this day and age when more fuller-figured and plus-size girls are into this fashion now. The main concern against altering brand would seem to be it's because some see their brand dresses as an investment and hence, the resale value would drop drastically once it's been altered. 

And yet, current positivity aside, I have not quite overcome this mental barrier of altering brand to fit better but this block only applies when it comes to myself! While there are brands that are catering to larger sizes now, anything beyond a Size L is pretty rare for them. Of course, this could be partly because, in the early days, gothic lolita brand designers probably did not expect this fashion to eventually gain a sizeable following outside of their own shore and their dress sizes would naturally cater to Japanese measurements.

Thus the idea that a medium height, petitely proportioned frame is the archetype ideal to wear gothic lolita in order to achieve the overall 'correct' look stuck and it's still might be a prevalent way of thinking for some. That the subject of altering brands rears its head up on the EGL forum now and then would indicate that, despite said positivity, there is still the underlying fear that to be seen altering brand is to commit an unforgiveable taboo.

One might argue that a certain conformity in gothic lolita fashion is a must as it is a particular look to be achieved and distinguished. And to achieve it, there must be a modicum of specificity and guidelines. However, in following this set of specificity, within the same reasoning, wouldn't altering brand dresses would therefore fall into the realm of apostasy??

Or perhaps I am thinking too much, lol! In the end, to alter or not, ultimately depends on the individual, as cliché sounding as that might sound.

And me? I think...I shall and will overcome that mental barrier and alter this Old Rose jsk from Metamorphose. I do feel that in gothic lolita fashion, yes, there should be some general specificity in order to be distinguished that I am wearing this particular fashion style. And I think too that one should also enjoy and be comfortable wearing the fashion and if the alteration does not drastically change the basic shape and feel, then do it and have fun doing it!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Weekly Alice

Just a quick post as I've been down with the flu lately and drugged up with antibiotics. Blocked nose and hacking cough, begone!

Almost every gothic lolita brand that is geared towards the sweet side, has probably come out with an Alice in Wonderland or related print before, one time or another. The prints can be anything from an original Alice rendition drawing or a re-print from John Tenniel's storybook illustrations.

Alice associated motifs such as spades, hearts or trumps can be popular as well. Most recent and notable being Angelic Pretty's Trump Carnival Card series.

At first sight, the print can look way too busy with rows of falling cards as well as sundry animals (I spy a rabbit there, hither and thither) and random alphabets to the eye. I do still think the print can be a bit overwhelming, around the bodice area especially, but the series does have two very vibrant blue and red colourways that help to negate the fussy print a lot.

Angelic Pretty demonstrates their suggested coordination for the jsk, which I feel, also geared towards the safe zone. Although I wouldn't necessarily go with stripes if I was trying to tone down the overall look but the striped stockings does have that extra 'Alice effect'. A hime cut hairstyle, the choice of black for the blouse, all helps to tone down the busy print while the Card Heart bag seals the deal, I would say!

Of course, one can always go the other extreme, going over the top instead of trying to dampen the overall look. Do the poofy hair, pile on the accessories and mis-matched stockings for example! It could look pretty fantastic if done right.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Loli Achilles Heel

Around the end of the year, a phenomena happens in the lolita community which is simply called...lucky packs and end-of-year/new year sale season. And I always go slightly *coughs* crazy during this period, hanging on to news of which brands will be having their online sales and when.

The brands I look out for during this period are usually Metamorphose, h.Naoto Gramm and Innocent World. For a new lolita who's on a budget but wants to get some good brand pieces, this period can be especially fortuitous.

Earlier in January this year after a rather disastrous try at the h.Naoto sale (the website crashed on me the minute the sale went online. When I did get in, items were being sold out even as I browsed =X), I turned to Metamorphose. I did see a few items that I really like but I wasn't sure yet and didn't click to buy immediately.

See, here's a little tip for Metamorphose sales: if you're willing to take a chance, Metamorphose usually further reduces the prices of their still unsold sale items after 2 or 3 weeks. It's a risk but it can pay off as prices can go down to as much as 50%.

For me, I took that chance and waited for the second reduction and got this:

The solid bustle pinafore jsk in black which went down to 11400yen after the second reduction.

Which will look like this when I take it out of the plastic pack, lol

I also participated in the Innocent World sale (still-ongoing!) and bought a jsk and some socks. For Innocent World, they rarely do further reductions for their sales so if you see something you like, get it immediately. Especially if it says 'few remaining' on the quantity. As this means they probably only got one or two pieces left!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Weekly Alice

I love it when designers do their own take on Alice in Wonderland and I love it more when it works. It doesn't always have to be a blue dress with a white apron :)

Those slippers! Adorable~

"Alice in Wonderland” by Antonia Yordanova, Niki Phoeni, Hristov Momchil.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Big, blonde and beautiful

I'm not blonde by the way ^^

A few years back, I went into a local boutique (non-loli) and started browsing among the racks. The shopgirl sauntered over and asked me perfunctorily if I'm looking for anything in particular. I picked out a dress and asked her if there was a Size L for this.

She glanced at the dress and said no. Then she added, 'actually, there's nothing in this shop you can fit in.'

I was so taken-aback that I just put the dress back and walked out. Few months later, I could laugh about it as I likened my experience as reminiscent to that famous scene of Julia Robert's character trying to buy a cocktail dress at Rodeo Drive, in 'Pretty Woman', and being snubbed at by the snooty shopgirl.

But oh, it stung like a bitch when it just happened! I'm a US Size 12-14 now and a Size L - XL locally although a lot of clothes for Asians tend to run towards Size M even when it's labelled as Size L, I find.

Something similar happened in July 2010 when I was in Tokyo. I was shopping at the Harajuku branch of Closet Child when I spied a Juliette et Justine dress that was shirred around the waist. I know over-stretching tends to look fugly but I still wanted to give it a try as it's JetJ, one of my adored brands that I love to look at but knowing with a bittersweet taste, that I can't fit into most of their dresses.

So I brought it over to the counter to ask the shopgirl if I can try on the dress. She took the dress, looked at it, then looked at me and replied in Japanese. I don't understand much Japanese beyond 'kawaii!' but I got the geist of it. She was saying she doesn't think it's a good idea that I should try the JetJ dress on as she's afraid I would stretch it out too badly.

The Closet Child shopgirl wasn't snooty or mean, but she looked so troubled when I was asking her, lol! So I just mumbled it's ok and left the place.

In case there's a myth going around, there ARE plus-size lolitas in Japan. I've seen them when I'm there.

As for the JetJ dress that I wanted to try, it's this one, or similar, with shirring around the waist.
Pintucks own my soul.

It probably would have looked too fussy on my 159cm frame anyway, hur. But I was already planning to minimize any over-stretching of the dress shirring with belts or a bolero. Which I didn't get a chance to try...I don't blame the shopgirl at Closet Child, it was within her right as an employee of the store to safeguard any shop items as she deemed fit.

But again, oh how it stung then and there!

Maybe that's why Metamorphose is one of my favorite brands (besides their kooky hits and misses) is that their models look plump, possess middling height between 152-159cm and they do seem to recognise plus-size girls as a big part of their market.

Her eyes are somewhat scary but hello there, 152cm Meta model who doesn't have a waist size of 21"

I don't begrudge those who can fit into the less plus-size friendly brands and I focus my energies into finding lolita dresses that fit and is flattering and right for me instead. But sometimes, sometimes!, I do wish I can finally wear a JetJ or Mary Magdalene dress that has no shirring on it whatsoever without having to diet and live off cereal for a year.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky!

Ah, Lucky Packs! Blessings and banes in equal measures. The brand companies get to upload their unsold seasonal items away while buyers get to possess a potential full outfit at a fraction of the total price of whatever items the brands have selected to put inside. The risk being, of course, you might get a psychedelic print of a crazed looking black bear running through the woods, lunging at a pathetic deer with blood splattering artistically.

(But I exaggerate....maybe) 

Normally, I stay away from Lucky Packs as I have a fear of the unknown and because I have large boobs so the danger of getting things that I can't fit is like a bright red danger sign flapping luridly in the wind. I made an exception with Metamorphose though in Dec 2010 and ordered my first ever online LP. Reason being, with the C/L Honey Picnic LP set, I could actually SEE what I'm getting.

However, with my first online LP, I ended getting pink and I emo-ed awhile as I had prayed to the Meta LP gods that be, to not send me pink, please. I wanted the mint or lavender colour schemes. But I got pink. So I sold the pretty but sadly pink jsk away to an exotic far-away land.

The First Pack

Then Meta came out with a second Winter Lucky Pack a week later, packaged at 10000yen, and furthermore, stated the skirt that will come in this pack would be fully shirred. Hallelujah!! This is welcome news indeed, and more importantly, safe news, as it means there's at least one thing in the pack I should fit even if the rest doesn't.

After a week and a half of waiting after making payment, my second LP from Meta arrived today! I asked the postal service to deliver the pack to my workplace and I can't imagine what my receptionist's expression was when he received this pink, pink bag from the postman since it's obviously not official documents, hur. Nevertheless, he duely gave me a ring and I rushed down to collect it.

Oh joy!! After the disappointment with the C/L Honey Picnic LP, I was alternatively jumping like a fava bean on fire and scared to open it lest I be struck with depression once more.

So I opened a corner tentatively and then thought what the heck and ripped through the edge of the pack. The first thing that greeted my eyes was THIS:


I was so chuffed and darn amused due to the fact that I got Honey Picnic AGAIN! Oh, the irony, the irony!

Thank goodness it's a colour scheme that I like this time plus the waist is fully shirred too =D

Here's the rest of the items in my pack:

The Second Pack
The Honey Picnic skirt, a basic white blouse with a neck-sash thing, white bloomers, yellow printed socks, a necklace and finally, black sparkly Meta bag.

I'm really so much happier with this second pack I got. I don't know about the blouse though, it's long-sleeved and tropical weather here isn't too fond of that. I'll try it on first and ponder after.

Ah, Lucky Packs! I think I might just give you another chance this year-end, if only for the excitement of not knowing what one will get and then finding out what one is getting.

I was thinking, for folks who bought the C/L Honey Picnic LP and also this LP as well...what if they ended up getting a Honey Picnic skirt too?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Weekly Alice

I'll like to start a regular blog post every week highlighting a particular Alice in Wonderland shot that grabs me or a gothic lolita item relating to Alice. Right. Way to tone down that small little Alice obsession I mentioned in an earlier post.  On the other hand, starting a Weekly Alice, as I term it, would give me something to post when I finally run out of things to write about.

To kick off this week's Weekly Alice, I stumbled across this themed shoot based on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland film. Nothing too out of the ordinary as the movie set off a renewed all things Alice craze for a time but what stood out for me is that this shoot is actually done for an engagement! How cool is that? Very, in my opinion. I love it when couples do out-of-the-box engagement shoots and when paired with an Alice theme, great photography and compositions, it's all good.

There's so many shots in this engagement shoot that I really like but I can't put them all up, lol. The photographer has a blog post about the shoot plus more photos here. And the bride-to-be seems to be wearing a lolita pinafore jsk as well although I can't quite place where it's from!

A small little thing: I do wish she wore a cute lolita blouse instead of the cap sleeve t-shirt although she looks lovely still.

Monday, January 3, 2011

All things Alice

I hesitate to call it an obsession as I CAN be discerning on what items or things to buy...but on the other hand, I know I am an Alice-phile in many ways (ah, denial in all its myriad forms).

I don't remember when I started liking Alice in Wonderland but I do know this liking was exacerbated when I played the game, American McGee's Alice, and got into gothic lolita fashion at around the same time. To an extent, Alice in Wonderland and lolita fashion is firmly intertwined for me. Lolita fashion may not have started out being influenced by Alice but it can't be argued that it isn't heavily associated with now, what with the Gothic Lolita Bibles doing semi-regular Alice fashion editorials and even Disney starting a range of gothic lolita Alice items to be sold in-store in February! Macaron Hearts did a recent post on the last event if you would like to know more about it.

As for me, I do enjoy it when brands come up with Alice prints but I absolutely love accessories with Alice motifs more often than not. Lately though, this seems to be extended to....scotch-tape of all things =X

Behold what I discovered in Daiso the other day and couldn't resist buying:

I don't know exactly what I plan to do with these tapes, in 3 colours no less, but I'll think of something...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Coordi shot and a little epousing on babydoll dresses

Happy New Year!!

There's a conundrum that we plus-sized girls and boobie-chans face in the lolita world. Many of us have problems fitting into most of the brands' regular sizes. Honestly, if there isn't shirring somewhere on a lolita dress, chances are I won't be able to wear it at all.

Herein lies the conundrum - while shirring allows a greater chance for plus-sized girls to fit into brand, but it also potentially means stretching the shirring to a point where it will sit uncomfortably on one's body and just doesn't look good.

Normally, I try to avoid dresses with full shirring and this especially goes for babydoll dresses. Many a times, I have worn a babydoll dress and have had people standing up on a crowded train to offer me their seats.........well, at least chivalry isn't dead!

But when I saw Meta's Swan Chandelier jsk in green up on mbok and despite the full shirring AND babydoll style, I knew I had to get it.

The jsk is even more gorgeous in real life with gold appliques added onto the print! So despite my reservations, I bought it and finally wore it today to a loli meet with friends.

coordi shot!

Jsk: Meta
Bolero: Meta
Bag: Meta
Socks: Innocent World
Boots: Commode

To counter the full shirring on top, I wore a bolero over which I thought did help much. I decided not to wear a petti underneath as well, as poofing out the skirt would inevitably make me look  6 months pregnant, unfortunately.

And besides those reasons, I also wanted to tone down the outfit to make it look less sweet and more suited for a loli in her 30s ;) Mature sweet if there's such a thing!