Monday, April 30, 2012

The Washington Ballet's Alice

Just gorgeous, simply gorgeous, breathtakingly gorgeous set of photos done for the Washington Ballet's production of Alice in Wonderland. And, curse my wretched lack of funds or a time-machine, I couldn't be in Washington between 11-15th April 2012. If there be a DVD on this particular ballet production, I am so getting it.

Creative & Art Direction:  and  of Design Army
Photography: Dean Alexander

Hair & Makeup: Dean Krapf for T.H.E. Artist Agency
Makeup: Jenn Quinn

Costume Designer: Liz Vandal
Costume Graphic Design: 
Fabric Digital Printing & Glossy Finish & Swarovki Elements Applique By Masking Technologies & Innovations: 
Based on Lewis Carroll‘s beloved tale, “Alice” promises to be The Washington Ballet‘s grandest production yet with designs by  (Cirque du Soleil‘s “Ovo“) an original score by Matthew Pierce, choreography by Septime Webre, sets by , and puppets by Eric Van Wyk.  The Washington Ballet World Premiere runs April 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th in the Kennedy Center‘s Eisenhower Theatre.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sandman Slim and the pint-sized, knife-wielding lolita minions

'When I turn around, there's a platoon of twelve-year-old Cutie Honey types staring up at me, letting me know that I'm extremely not welcome. It's Village of the Damned with ankle socks.

I say, "I'm looking for Cherry Moon."

One of the Lolitas walks over to me. She barely comes up to my chest.

"Who the fuck are you?"

It's exactly what I thought it would be, and now that I know, it's even worse. What comes out of this mouth of Lolita in a pink ball gown and yellow ribbons isn't a cartoon squeak, but the voice of a thirtysomething bar chick who's had too many late nights and smoked too many filtered Luckies. That's the other thing Mason gave Cherry. The power to be twelve forever and to do the same thing to her creepy entourage. A terminally fucked-up fountain of youth.'

Above excerpt taken from one of my latest library forages for good urban fantasy yarns. 'Sandman Slim', an urban fantasy book about one James Stark who was condemned to Hell while not dead and eventually becomes a hitman for a demon overlord. After finding out his girlfriend on earth has been horribly murdered, he manages to escape Hell, back to Los Angeles to seek bloody revenge on those who killed his girlfriend and also sentenced him to literal living hellish torture because, conveniently, they're the same posse. Of course.

And one of the posse happens to be a Gothic Lolita going by the moniker of Cherry Moon. Who owns a store on Rodeo Drive called Lollipop Dolls. Who apparently, through blackest magic, is really a 30-ish year old woman who looks like an eternal 12 year old girl and has a website of pictures of her in 'maybe a hundred different Gothic Lolita outfits. everything from Shirley Temple pinafores to pirates to a kimono-clad vampire with fake fangs.' (pg. 180)

I was actually halfway impressed here, that the author knows about Shirley Temple Cute until I realised he was probably talking about the 1930s child actress with her little girl dresses and not referring to the brand itself.

It gets better. Continuing from the first excerpt, after Stark confronts one of Cherry Moon's minions, she...

'snapped out a white furry-handled tanto knife and is pressing it under my chin hard enough to break the skin.

"Why don't you get out of here, Grandpa? We have a reputation and you're driving down property values. Cherry doesn't want to talk to you. And, by the way, you look like a faggot in that jacket."

Even with her cute move with the knife, I'm guessing that she's not a real blade fighter. If she was, she'd be holding the tanto under my ear, where she'd be right above a major blood vessel.

I sweep my arm in front of me, faster than she can see. All of a sudden, I'm holding the knife and she has a sore wrist.'

Thankfully, the gothic lolita related parts in the book are minor and lasts only a few pages. I did enjoy the book despite the allusions to lolita = anime-mad, cosplaying, fake wannabe 12 year olds as I like gritty urban fantasies with foul-mouthed, down on their luck, but still bad-ass heros. Plus I had a good laugh over descriptions of Cherry Moon and her pint-sized, knife-wielding lolita minions. Whether or not lolita fashion is accurately portrayed, you know, I still always get a kick out of seeing the words 'gothic lolita' unexpectedly jumping out at me from a page in black and white.

Read it if only for the mentions of lolita minions!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shopping in Tokyo, love plus hate

Shopping in Tokyo for me is a balance of love and hate. Love because there's so many gorgeous things around and hate because said gorgeous things usually won't fit me. I was at Liz Lisa, a gyaru clothing store, at Harajuku, looking at dresses on sale and a lot of their clothes were labelled a Size 0 even with some back or waist shirring available.... unless I eat a cereal bar every day only for the next 6 months, I doubt I'll ever see a Size 0 looming on the horizon anytime soon. And neither do I really want to be a Size 0 either. I merely want to be large, healthy and happy!

Happily though, some lolita brands like Innocent World have started making larger sizes and I find I usually can fit in Metamorphose back-shirring dresses and I'm more or less a UK size 12-14. Although when you're in Tokyo and surrounded by tons of lovely lolita dresses, one does kinda wish one was a smaller size so as to fit in them, lol.

I managed to cram in visiting Marui One, LaForet, Closet Child Shinjuku and Harajuku for some loli shopping this time. But really, if you can visit these few places, you would have already covered most of the essential lolita shopping in Tokyo.

As mentioned, I was with my mother this time round so I didn't get to stay very long at each store and really pore through all the things each had to offer. I did manage to spy at least a few things I wanted on first sight.

Metamorphose's Revival Bouquet Bustle OP & AP's Moon Night Theatre OP

Moon Night Theatre isn't something on my wishlist but I was pleased to find the cream version at Closet Child as I did like the print, especially in the red colourway. But the cream version is quite lovely too so I get! Especially when the dress fits well. It can easily stretch up to 100cm at least for the chest area. And I was surprised to see that the bodice is actually has plastic boning so that was an added bonus!

Victorian Maiden Frill Collar dress & Excentrique's Thorn Princess dress

VM's Frill Collar dress is on my wishlist so very, very chuffed to find it at Closet Child on my second visit! But I love the Excentrique dress even more. I bought it new at the Excentrique store at Marui One. Over-priced? Definitely. But I loved it instantly. Maybe it's the simple lines and that it has the look of a vintage 1920s summer dress that attracted me so much. I don't regret buying it even though it did cost a pretty penny. I've always been intimidated by Excentrique because their clothes look so structured and veering on the heavily gothic side but I realise they have a lot of vintage inspired looks that isn't solely just Victorian. Browsing through their shop and subsequent online catalogue, I find Excentrique has a lot of Edwardian and 1920s inspired designs too. I suspect I'm more than halfway to being an Excentrique convert after this trip!

For other non-lolita purchases, I got a Liz Lisa lucky pack for the fun of having a lucky pack and opening it, lol. I do like Liz Lisa though, just that, as said, their clothes are really geared for Size 0 - 2 girls mostly. But their fun and flirty, feminine dresses plus hyper shopgirls always make visiting Liz Lisa enjoyable.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back from Tokyo! With loot!

Well, not as much loot as I might have gotten if I didn't go with my mum! It's very hard to buy lolita when your mum's standing next to you with a critical eye and words, hur ^^ I managed though and got some dresses from Closet Child and one from Excentrique.

Here's a few pictures of the displays at OIOI, Shinjuku and LaForet, Harajuku, that I snuck with my cam. OIOI, LaForet and practically all the major departmental stores in Tokyo doesn't allow photos inside their premises. I've been stopped (nicely) by a sales staff at OIOI when I attempted to take the Moi Meme Moitie shop. I know folks have taken photos of the brands' shopfronts and gotten away with it but I decided to be law-abiding and not do it anymore, lol. But the mannequin displays outside the shops and on the different escalator levels of OIOI are more or less safe to take.

Metamorphose on top, Angelic Pretty below

Emily Temple Cute window display at OIOI. Rather liking the electric blue dress! 

Not a lolita brand per se, La Parfait. More gyaru style. 

 Also, not lolita or even a lolita kimono! But they're still gorgeous.

Metamorphose's new print, Card Playing Kitty, on display. It's a lot nicer in person! The blue colorway is the best, imho.

Angelic Pretty's Sugar Fairy Cake print. A bit too waitressy for my liking.

Lastly, Putumayo. Randomly, Putumayo shopgirls are always quite nice. Even if it's a pretense, they really look genuinely happy to see you! For hyper cuteness, that would be Liz Lisa shopgirls.