Wednesday, January 26, 2011

again with the carnival!

Angelic Pretty's Trump Carnival JSK
This is a slightly different than usual Angelic Pretty dress.  The print is called Trump Carnival and the print is very detailed with images of playing cards and ponies all over, and letters spelling out "ANGELIC PRETTY" falling down the dress!  It has tulle lace at the bottom of the ruffle, a large black bow at the waist (except for the pink version, which has a pink bow on it!), a small black bow at the top, and a ribbon brooch at the strap.  This is a pretty unique dress for AP!

close-up of the ribbon brooch
I think this dress is really cute, especially because of how different it is from AP's normal sugary-sweet-pastel-vomit, and as much as I like that (in fact, I love it!) it is always nice to see something different.  While this is similar to their other dresses in that it comes in pink and black with pink accents, the other colour choices are much different.  It comes in red and black and blue and black, as seen above.  These two colours might be seen more often in other brands (especially the moitie-esque electric blue!) but they are fairly rare for Angelic Pretty.  In fact, I think the last time I saw these colours in one of their prints was 2009's Starry Night Theatre, which this print actually reminds me of!  Since this print is called "Carnival Trump" and Starry Night Theatre has to do with a carnival, they are actually quite similar.  If you look closely, they also have a similar bodice and both of them have felt brooches that came with the dress!  However, I still believe that they are pretty much entirely different, except for those few similarities.  The colours were, to me, the sole-defining feature of this dress.  If this dress was released in typical AP colours (pink, sax blue, lavender, yellow, mint, or any other pastel colours) this dress wouldn't have been nearly as interesting, and I don't think it would have worked as well either!  I like the more goth-y elements to this dress, like all of the black accents and the vertical stripes that are created because of how the print was produced, and if it had been made in pastel colours, it wouldn't have looked nearly as cohesive and just plain appealing.  My favourite colour in this print has to be the blue; it is just so bright and fun!  That blue colour makes me think that this is what a moi-meme-moitie dress would look like if they designed a sweet carnival print -- highly unlikely, but that's what I think of!  (Of course, they would make it much, much more elegant than this ridiculously cute and ruffly piece, but ah well.  Maybe this could be a jumping-off point?  MmM, make a carnival print dress, it would be your new Iron Gate for the borderline sweet-gothic crowd!)

AP's coordinate!
I also just flat out love how AP chose to coordinate this on their website.  Red is my favourite colour, especially bright shades of it like this dress, so I really liked seeing this coordinate; I think it's awesome!  I'm really glad that they didn't shy away from using black in the coordinate, because they could have easily made this super-sweet by pairing it with lots of white and hardly any black. I also love the ridiculous star wand (I am such a sucker for stars!) and the playing card purse, though I think all the white of the purse is sort of distracting.  I am also a huge fan of blouses with gigantic bows at the neck, so that's also a plus.

Sadly, I haven't seen anybody actually wearing this dress, besides the AP models.  I haven't even seen any street snaps with this dress or this print!  Which is too bad, because I think it's truly a lovely dress and so I wonder why more people don't like it.  When it was first released, there were discussions on angelic poodle and EGL about it, and the general consensus was . . . nobody liked it!  But I fell in love with it at that point (I was definitely in the minority) and when it was posted to the website and I saw this coordinate, it made me love it even more!  I'm hoping that in a month or so (for my birthday!) I can find this for cheap on mbok or Yahoo! Japan, because I love this print.  Since nobody else seems to love it, that makes me more hopeful that I can find it for cheap somewhere!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a (almost) photo-only post!

The current monthly theme circulating around EGL has to do with wardrobes and taking pictures and posting everything in your lolita wardrobe!  Since I'm home sick from school today, I decided to do it!  So here's my wardrobe.

the plethora of carousel dresses

I'm going to start doing one post a week dedicated to an item that I love!  I find items like these very often, so I don't think this will be a problem!  This week, I'll talk about . . .
ALICE and the PIRATES carousel applique jumper skirt II
. . . this ALICE and the PIRATES jumper skirt!  I think this is absolutely beautiful.  It's made of velveteen fabric and is detailed with cotton lace and velvet ribbon, with pompoms and dot tulle at the hem.
the print on the black dress!

The print/applique on this dress is super cute; it's of a carousel horse underneath a carousel top with real black ribbons pulling the curtains back on the sides!  I think the bow at the bottom is a really cute touch, as are the roses at the bottom of the curtains; it gives it a more classic feel to an otherwise hard-to-classify dress!  It's hard to tell from their pictures, but I believe that the print is black and very pink-y lavender.  I love black and lavender together, so this is another selling point for me!  I think this colour scheme makes the dress more of a sweet one, even though the other colour ways (wine red and emerald green) make it seem more of a gothic dress.  The appliques on the other colours are also much darker; the red one has mostly red and silver with a touch of black, and the green one has green and silver with hints of black.  I think that's what makes the black version stand out so much; the colours are unexpected!

BtSSB's El Dorado JSK in black!
This is, of course, an ALICE and the PIRATES dress.  However, way back in 2008, AatP's mother company BABY, The Stars Shine Bright made a dress with a similar print!  It was called El Dorado and also was an appliqued dress (as opposed to screen printed or the print woven into the fabric) that featured a carousel and horses escaping and running off!  On top of the carousel, there's a flag that says "Revolution, Revolution" which I think is funny; it makes me think of lolitas wearing this dress while performing a coup d'├ętat!  In all seriousness (well, as serious as lolita can get!) I think this is an equally beautiful dress and the blue version is definitely one of my dream items, and it has been ever since I saw it in person at a convention in 2009. Also, I believe that Angelic Pretty probably got some ideas from this dress for their famous Sugary Carnival print!  (this, conveniently, is also a dream dress of mine!  I absolutely adore the lavender version.  I guess I just love carousel prints, who knew?!)


I absolutely love ALICE and the PIRATES; they're definitely one of my favourite brands.  When I lose a bit of weight and get down small enough to wear their things, I'm probably going to do most of my shopping from them.  (I just need 1-2 more inches lost before I can wear most of their stuff!)  I love seeing them do sweeter, yet still gothy, things like this dress!  I hope to see more things like this in the new year.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

buying lolita (on the cheap)

I'll start out by saying that buying lolita clothing is not always easy.  You have to struggle through Engrish-filled websites, fill out endless text boxes of information, use translators for websites entirely in Japanese even if they sell internationally, or even use a shopping service for those brands that just refuse to ship overseas!  However, more and more Japanese stores are opening English website, resellers of Japanese brands are popping up all over the place, and brands are even opening stores all over the world!  But if you don't want to pay upwards of $400 for an outfit, there are cheaper possibilities out there.  Whether you're a brand-new lolita trying to get your first outfit or someone old and experienced trying to pad your wardrobe, there are many places to buy cheaper lolita clothing so you don't have to break the bank to look cute!

 

EGL Sales community artwork by ruin_hci!
  • The sales community.  The egl_comm_sales is my absolute favourite place to buy clothes.  While most of the things on there are used, lolitas tend to take very good care of their clothing (since everything is so expensive, why wouldn't you take good care of it?) so you can bet on most things being in pristine condition.  I generally feel very weird buying used clothing, but even I feel comfortable buying things from the sales community.  I have found many cheap things on there as well; I've bought an almost perfect Angelic Pretty skirt from someone for only $60 (a piece that I've been looking for since I first saw it!) and an older, but still perfect, AP dress for only $80!  The sales comm is definitely the best place to buy cheap clothing, because you don't need a shopping service and you can probably find someone selling in your own country, maybe even your own city!  The only downfall is that you need a livejournal account and a paypal account to buy anything, but those are two easy things to get!
  • Japanese auction sites.  While a bit more inconvenient than the sales comm because of needing a shopping service, Y! Japan Auctions and mbok are both great places to get really cheap things.  Both of these places work just like eBay; you find something you love, it's probably really cheap, you bid on it, and when the auction expires, whoever has the highest bid gets the item.  I have found MANY extremely cheap items for sale both of these places, many of which were dream items of mine (curse my non-existant income!)  Since lolita is, by far, much easier to get in Japan, there are many more girls who resell their clothing.  I'm not sure why people sell for such low prices, but I'm grateful for it!  Usually things are in very good conditions as well, but there are the occassional pieces that are stained or torn, which you might not know about until you receive the item (unless you can read Japanese!)  There are a few downfalls to this method though; there is a definite language barrier that translator services might not help you with, you need a shopping service, and sometimes people won't sell to known shopping services.  This is a problem if you use a company as a shopping service as opposed to an individual person shopping service!
  • Closet Child and Fairy Angel.  Closet Child is a great store with branches all over Japan and a webstore with international shipping.  They are basically a consignment store; people bring in the clothes that they don't want anymore and Closet Child sells them.  While their prices aren't the cheapest, especially for prints and rarer pieces, they have a lot of sales where they reduce their prices sometimes as much as 70%.  You have to be quick though, the best pieces sell quickly!  Fairy Angel is another used clothing website, though there prices tend to be much more ridiculous than Closet Child's.  They sell prints for exuberant prices!  However, they do have cheap accessories and blouses.  The problem with these two websites are the shipping prices; since they ship from Japan, there's usually about a $20-$30 shipping fee.
  • Bodyline and Taobao.  If you're not looking for brand or are still iffy about buying used clothing, then Bodyline and the stores on Taobao are definitely the places to be.  Bodyline used to be a sexy-shop back in the day, and so lolitas tend to look down on it because it stuck with its roots for a while after they started to make lolita clothing.  Bodyline used to be known for its replicas and awful-quality clothing made of satin and rachel lace.  However, in the past year or so, they've really increased the quality of their items.  They have started making their own prints, using better lace, and using higher quality fabrics, so people are changing the ways they look at Bodyline!  Taobao is basically an internet mall; it has many different stores all selling different products, though they have a lot of lolita clothing.  One great thing about the Taobao stores is that everything is made to your size!  However, you need a shopping service.  Qutieland is the most popular, but they have very inflated prices.  If you are cringing at their prices, then you can go through the much cheaper Taobao Spree shopping service, though it's a bit harder to use because you need to hunt down all the items that you're interested in.
These are just a few ways to do lolita while not spending enormous amounts of money on it.  There are definitely other ways but I can vouch for these four ways!  What's your favourite way to buy lolita?

Friday, January 7, 2011

new year's resolutions!

New Years has come and gone, but every year, people around the world make resolutions to help keep them through the year.  Most people set out to make them but never follow though; I, myself, do the exact same thing.  However, I've been making promises to myself recently that I've been keeping, so I thought that this might be the year of me actually keeping some of my resolutions!  
 
 
Here's a picture of mine.  I wrote it on the piece of stationary that I received in my metamorphose Crown Label Honey Picnic Special Set!  (Which I absolutely love, by the way; it's the best $150 that I spent all year because it included a print that I absolutely adored since it's initial release, matching socks, a blouse, and a necklace!  Here's a photo of me wearing most of it!)
 
If you can't read what it says, here's what I wrote:
  • exersize 30 minutes every day (at least!)
  • keep up my blog!  post every other friday
  • keep updating my etsy
  • sell at a convention!
  • make better use of my current wardrobe
  • stop cutting corners when I sew for myself
  • sew more in general
  • expand my wardrobe
  • buy brand that I LOVE!  (more prints!)
  • settle on a favourite colour scheme and stick to it
  • expand my lolita style!
  • be a more loving person to everyone
  • stop being mean
  • be more helpful
  • learn to love myself
  • more generic ones!
As you can see, most of these are related to lolita!  (I have more personal ones but I chose not to include those, as I was trying to keep to only lolita ones because they seem more achievable!)  I reallywant to start exersizing to get into shape and to be able to wear more lolita; while I am perfectly fine with my body the way it currently is, I am aware that at my current size, I am not able to wear all of  the dresses that I want to -- in fact, I know that my dream dress would not fit me!  By exersizing, I hope to get healthy while losing some weight.  I don't need to lose much!  My goal is to lose two inches on all of my measurements by the end of the year, so that gives me some time to work on it.
 
One of my dreams recently is to sell my wears at a convention.  It just seems so fun to me!  I'm not that into anime or manga, or Japanese music to be honest, but I like going to conventions because of the atmosphere (along with the lolita programming!)  I would really love to sell at one of them; even though I don't make a lot of stuff and I don't sell a lot either, I want to sell at one so that I could kind of get my name out there in the general public and so that I could feel more professional!  Those seem like silly reasons, but I would really love to be able to create things at a professional level, and I have ever since I was little.  In relation to that, even though I love to sew, I haven't been able to lately because of how busy and stressful my school life has been recently!  A lot of my lolita wardrobe is handmade and I always get lots of compliments on my handmade items.  Plus, sewing is really fun and it usually takes my stress level down, so I would really like to get back into that!  I just bought four new fabrics to make a dress and two skirts out of, so I'm pretty excited about that.  My first projects of the new year!
 
I have a habit of wanting a lot of things, so one of my goals this year is to stop buying things I just like and only buy things that I love!  Usually I see something, and if I like the price, then I get it.  This usually ends up with me reselling whatever item for a considerably lower price, which results in me being sad!  So I'm going to make a concious effort to only buy things that I am absolutely in love with.  (Luckily, Angelic Pretty hasn't been putting out appealing prints recently, so I'm definitely safe there for the time being!)  My wardrobe is also completely eccletic in terms of colours, so I usually only have a few things to match a few other things!  One of my definite goals for this year is to kind of reorganize my wardrobe, sell thing that I can't really match, and try to settle on a few colours to buy stuff in.  I'm leaning towards pink, black, and mint green right now!

These are just a few of my lolita-related goals for this new year.  What are some of yours?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

hello!

Welcome to my blog!  I'm starting it this year (2011) as a resolution; I wanted to create a blog for various reasons, including the following:

  • I want a place to post updates about my webshop, called je moi mien, so I can update the world about my store!
  • I want to have a place where I can post tips and guidelines for lolitas and maybe create interesting posts to read about.

So, here's a little bit about myself.  My name is Gina and I love sweet lolita!  I've been dressing in it for about three years and, even though I can't wear it all the time, I always am dreaming up new coordinates and outfits to wear.  My favourite brand is Angelic Pretty, but I love many others, including BABY, The Stars Shine Bright and metamorphose.  I also love playing video games, my favourites being any game in the Legend of Zelda series, the Kingdom Hearts series, and, of course, Pokemon!  I've been playing video games since I was about 5, and I always carried my Game Boy around with me, everywhere I went.  I absolutely love watching movies and TV.  I have so many favourite movies, it's not even funny!  I can't even begin to name them all.  My list of favourite television shows is much easier to contain; I love Modern Family, The Office, The Big Bang TheoryMad Men, and Arrested Development, among many, many others.  I have a wide range of musical interests, ranging from rock to metal to classical.  My favourite bands include The Beatles, My Chemical Romance, Bright Eyes, and Andrew Jackson Jihad, though I like so many others!  One of my favourite things to do is draw and create art, and I hope to one day become a comic book illustrator, because I love reading and writing comics.  I also love to sew and I am starting work on a hair accessory brand called je moi mien!  I sew a lot of my own clothes and I've been sewing since 2006.

Thanks for reading my blog!  I hope to update every other Friday (excluding today, of course!) so look forward to my first real post on Friday!