Saturday, 29 June 2019

Review: Écailles de Lune "Forest of Pipe Organ" Special Anniversary OP (2017 version)

Hello bats!  I've had this review sitting in draft mode since September 2018 (oops) and I finally got around to finishing it off.

Today I'll be reviewing a dress from Écailles de Lune, my absolute favourite Chinese indie brand! I've owned nearly every one of their releases and have been consistently happy with the quality, price point, and unique designs. I've always wanted this dress, but I never managed to find it in my size secondhand, so I was thrilled to see that in addition to the original JSK and OP designs, Écailles de Lune designed a special edition OP with a collar accessory to celebrate the anniversary of the print series! I'm still sad that the black x grey 2014 colourway hasn't popped up again, but I'll get my hands on it someday...

I love her so much! She has such a regal face.
I splurged a little bit and bought the OP ($182 CDN) and matching collar ($32 CDN), both in the black colourway. I placed the order with my shopping service on October 31st, 2017. The order arrived to me in June after several delays - first the dress was slated to arrive in late March, which was pushed back to late April, and then to May. They finally shipped the dress to my SS at the beginning of June so by the time I actually received the dress on June 11th I was pretty annoyed, given that I paid on the very first day that reservations opened yet saw many people on social media received their dresses several months before I did. I don't usually reserve dresses on this a normal thing?

Whatever, let's talk about the dress.

The construction is tidy, and the fit of the dress is very good. The bodice fits me perfectly with no wrinkly or baggy spots.  It's super comfortable to wear and has no awkward gapping in the back even when pulled to its tightest. There's a lot of room for a petticoat.

The upper part of the dress features a simple gathered bodice and ruffled lace detailing, with a crucifix sewn to the neckline. The back of the bodice is a little bit bare for my tastes - I think it would have looked nice if they'd used some of the same scalloped lace from the front to trim the back side. There's no shirring or stretchy material, but here's a generous amount of corset lacing in the back, tied with a soft satin ribbon.

The cap sleeves are formed by 2 layers of different types of raschel lace. I wish they had stuck to using the ruffled chiffon sleeves they used in the normal OP, or puff sleeves, or, given the high price point, long sheer chiffon sleeves. Or literally anything else. I love raschel lace, but I'm annoyed that it doesn't match the lace that's on the bodice.

The skirt portion consists of bustled, asymmetric layers of chiffon, rachel lace, and mesh, with a dot tulle overlay over a printed skirt. Unlike many of their previous releases, the overskirt portion is not removable, although the fabric can be pinned up via 2 buttons along the waistline. The printed skirt has a neatly serged hem, and is lined with polyester hemmed with ruffles of dot tulle. The ruffles are even with no lopsided spots unlike some of the other dresses I have purchased from this brand in the past.

The print is beautiful and crisp, and lines up perfectly along the seams. It's unfortunate that there's no way to pull away or detach some of the tulle overskirt so that the gorgeous print could be on full display, although I really love the shadowy effect created by the overskirt. I think that if the bustles could be adjusted with ties like the Atelier Pierrot corset skirts are, or if the overskirt could be removed, it would add some more interesting style options.

The one thing that annoys the hell out of me is the detachable collar. It just seems a lot fuller and darker in the stock photos. I wasn't really expecting to get 2 pieces of lace on a lace tie for $32. It's pretty, but...really?

Overall, I'm happy with the dress, but there are some weird design decisions that stop me from totally loving it. It is well-constructed and uses beautiful materials.

Update: I did end up eventually selling this piece, as I just prefer the look of the original OP and JSK after seeing them all in person. Now if I could find the 2014 black version of the JSK, I'd be one happy goth!

Shopping Experience: 1/5
3 extra months isn't a long time to wait, but the brand's communication of the delays was pretty poor, and I was one of the last people to receive my dress even though I was among the first to reserve it.

Quality: 4/5
Great construction and thoughtful design, but some details could be improved.

Overall Score: 3.5/5

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Today's Video: Stop Trying To Explain Lolita Fashion To Outsiders

Hello bats! I recently decided to revive my YouTube channel since there's not much new gothic lolita content available these days. Please check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Thank you for stopping by ~

Monday, 22 April 2019

Tea Party with Mana! Kawaii Kon 2019 Trip Report

Hello bats!

I recently spent a week in Hawaii to visit Kawaii Kon, a 3-day anime convention held at the Hawaii Convention Centre in Honolulu. Me and 4 of my closest friends rented an AirBnB and bought plane tickets the moment we heard that Mana was going to be the guest of honour. It was wonderful - we got to see Mana, enjoy the beach and sunshine, hang out with the lovely Hawaiian lolita community, and most importantly we got to meet many new American friends! We're already planning our trip for next year.

Unfortunately I was stuck using my phone camera most of the time, so the photo quality isn't up to the usual standard. Apologies!

† Moi-même-Moitié Fashion Show 

I was selected to model in the fashion show, along with many of my friends! It was such a fun bonding experience and everything went very smoothly when the show ran around, even though the rehearsals and preparation got a little bit hectic. This show was a lot smaller than the one at Eternal Twilight, with around 14 models instead of 22.

A total of 3 brand-new items were announced at the fashion show. We were allowed to take photos of the secret new items, but we weren't allowed to reveal any details or photos until they were officially announced. However, we were allowed to reveal the re-release of the Gardenia OP and Gardenia Apron! It was definitely unexpected.

The OP will be available in black and in navy, long cut only. The navy isn't a true deep navy in person - it's almost like a darker cobalt colour. The fabric of the OP is thick and heavy, so it would be perfect for autumn or winter. The matching apron is available in white or black - again, long cut only.

Gardenia OP in Navy. On a side note, I'm really loving the blurry, overexposed photos they've been using in some of their photoshoots. It feels nostalgic, like old GLB adverts.
Gardenia OP and matching apron.
Now that the official photos have been released, I can share photos of the other two items revealed during the fashion show: Moitié's first yukata, and new bat collar blouses!

This is the only colourway available. The print features blue roses and a MmM logo print on a grey striped background. The obi will be available in blue and possibly black.
The bat collar blouse will be available in both men's and women's sizing.
I was selected to wear...a lot of black layers, so I was really grateful that the staff allowed me to wear my natural hair in an updo instead of a wig...I probably would have died. Thankfully the air conditioning was running on full blast where we were - there were sections of the convention centre that were open air and it was blazing hot that day.

Funnily enough, this is almost the exact same outfit that my friend wore at the Eternal Twilight fashion show.
Dress: Juliet OP (short cut)
Blouse: Rose Flare Sleeve Cutsew
Bustier: Side Lace-Up Corset
Socks: Ritual OTKs
Headdress: ??? I've never seen this piece before - it was a bow with polka-dot tulle pieces. 
Jewellery: Rose Cabochon Ring, Rose Pearl Cabochon Choker, Jewel Cross Pendant
Shoes: Yosuke USA

This coordinate is so elegant and it really sold me on both the Juliet OP and the new Rose Flare Sleeve Cutsew. I honestly thought the cutsew looked cheap and scratchy in the stock photos, but in reality it's quite soft and comfortable. The flared sleeves also have beautiful soft lace. I tried to buy it after the fashion show, but unfortunately they were all gone. I did end up buying the Juliet OP, though. I love how short it is. I'm all about showing my legs peeking above the OTKs.

The backing music was a variety of Moi Dix Mois instrumentals set to match each coordinate. Each model had around one minute to walk down the runway and pose individually except for the models wearing Gardenia, Silent Moon, and Sleeping Garden, who had group routines. I got to have Sanctum Regnum as my backing track (yesssss). After the last model walked, Mana himself walked down the runway and posed - naturally, there was lots of cape flourishing and dramatic hand motions. Afterwards, all the models lined up again to the tune of Pageant, and Mana came out to pose with us. We were encouraged to be a little bit showy and sassy with our poses, so I definitely played up the dramatic vampire hand motions.

I was kinda goofing off and dancing in the backstage area with my friends. We weren't aware that Mana was standing behind us so that makes it two times that I've danced like an idiot in front of him! Haha~

As usual, photography was banned, but the fashion show was videotaped and will be posted on the Moitie website when it's complete. I will leave a link and repost some of the photos when they're made available.

† Mana Q&A †  

The Q&A was scheduled shortly after the fashion show, so everyone quickly got changed and rushed downstairs to line up. My friends greeted us with iced tea and spam & egg musubi to perk us up a bit as we were all pretty tired. We were first in line, so we got the best seats in front row, directly in front of Mana. He was wearing the newly released bat cape, white blouse, black trousers, black Demonia platform boots, with his trademark blue makeup and backcombed hairstyle. Mana covered his face with a fan and a bouquet of blue roses as he whispered to his translator. It was really cute!

So...usually these Q&A sessions are a little repetitive because people ask lame questions that have been answered dozens of times ("Will you open a physical store in the US?" "Why do you like blue?" "What's your favourite dress?"). I think they were aware of that, so we were encouraged us to ask questions about upcoming releases. They revealed some interesting tidbits about what to expect in the near future, so I'll give you the highlights.

Where are you?
Firstly, the thing everyone is wondering about...Silent Moon. The Silent Moon re-release will drop "very soon" but they gave no indication as to what cuts or colourways will be available, and no comment was made on if the handbag would be re-released as well. This is purely conjecture, but I'm assuming that they will at least re-release the short OP in white x black, black x blue, and black x white at the very least as these are the pieces we've seen crop up in the fashion show over and over.  I know that the Moitié staff use old samples and their own pieces to supplement the fashion show if some things are unavailable, so it's really hard to say what exactly will be released.

We saw the long OP in white x blue displayed at the Eternal Twilight fashion show, but I don't think this cut or colourway is really in demand...for all I know, they might make an entirely new cut like they did for Neo Gothic Arch, and it seems weird that they wouldn't release a JSK version at all. My only hope is that the cut isn't anything like the new Sleeping Garden which doesn't seem to fit anyone well regardless of size.

Another re-release potentially coming down the pipeline is the coffin handbag from 2000. When asked, Mana expressed interest in it as it's one of his favourite pieces and that it was on the list of potential re-releases but I don't remember if they said there were any concrete plans as of yet. I hope they will keep the real leather and the stamped details from the original release (and not the 52k yen price tag).

The legend.
Someone else asked if the old jewellery was slated for re-release as we saw some pieces like Metal Emblem pop up in the fashion show. Unfortunately, they have no plans to re-release these pieces because of the difficulty and expense of finding a good manufacturer. This broke my heart a little, since it's really hard to find and the prices are usually pretty wild and I really don't want to wear used earrings, you know? That said, maybe it's for the best. Some of the newer jewellery I've bought from them, namely the candelabra necklace and earrings, are really fragile and my friend's set has already broken. My Jewel Cross pendants and bag charm are still fine, though.

Likewise, they stated that they do not plan on introducing or re-releasing any shoe designs due to manufacturing difficulties. I would love to see them collaborate with an existing shoe brand that fit with their aesthetics, like Yosuke USA. And since they've already collaborated with a Chinese brand (Krad Lanrete) it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that they might collaborate with a Chinese shoe manufacturer someday. One can dream, anyway.

I asked Mana if he planned on reintroducing the red and green colourways at some point. Fans may know that one of his favourite pieces is the Cross Arch Lace-Up JSK from 2011 in the green colourway. The response was that there's a good chance that we will see some more green pieces in the future! I adore black and green together (brings me back to my baby cybergoth days) so I'm praying that we see some black pieces trimmed with green lace...or even black dresses with sparkly emerald green screen prints? Pipe dream? Probably.

"The vibrant green shantung is very beautiful. I think most people will think of blue when they hear the words Moi-même-Moitié, but actually, I like green as well. I’m really pleased with how the shimmer of this JSK makes you feel like you’re wearing emeralds." - via JRockNews
I'm also kicking myself because I planned to ask if Divine Cross would be re-released and I totally forgot and instead asked if they planned on releasing a new butterfly print (nope). D'oh.

In other news...Moi-même-Moitié Salon members are already aware of this, but if you haven't forked over $17 to read it, Mana recently had an interview with Naoto Hirooka of h.Naoto. When asked if they were planning on collaborating, he responded that there were no concrete plans but they were open to the idea and had discussed creating wa lolita pieces.

In addition to dress releases, new housewares are on the way! I'm really hoping to see some new bed linens or a duvet cover. In the same vein, Mana is interested in releasing comfy roomwear items like nightgowns and slippers, as they have in the past. They seem keen on turning Moitié into a more lifestyle-oriented brand so that you can live and breathe Moitié, and I honestly couldn't be happier. I'm personally hoping the bathrobe makes a comeback - one recently sold online for like $20 and I'm still mad about it.

Lastly, no new EGA or men's pieces are currently in the pipeline. Sigh.

In addition, we got some cute tidbits of information about Mana.
  • Mana likes walking outdoors and hiking, and asked for recommendations on good places to visit in Hawaii. I never really pegged him for an outdoorsman so this answer surprised me.
  • Mana would like to visit New York City and Canada in particular someday.
  • Mana recommends visiting Cimetière du Montparnasse (Montparnasse Cemetery) in Paris for the beautiful scenery. 
  • Mana loves cooking, and there will be an upcoming live event in Japan where attendees will get to sample Mana's recipes! I would love to have a gothic-themed cookbook written by Mana.
  • If Mana were to release a perfume, it would smell "sweet, fruity, and dangerous." When asked to define "dangerous" he told us that it was up to our own imagination. Spicy!
† Kingdom by the Sea Tea Party † 

The tickets were so pretty! They had the Silent Moon print in the background and holographic candelabras.
We lined up for the tea party early so that we could get the best seats. We took the time to socialize with the locals and take photos. I loved the style of the local girls! A lot of them seemed to go for a more mature, aristocrat-influenced style with longer dresses, jackets, and hats. Honestly, simple and elegant coordinates are the purest form of Moitié that can exist. It was lovely to be in a roomful of people all wearing Moitié from head to toe. That said, I have no idea how they manage to wear this stuff on a tropical island without dying of heatstroke. Props.

The tea party was fantastic - probably the best convention tea party I've ever been to. You could really see how much love was put into the decorations. Blue rose petals were scattered in front of the doorway. When the double doors were opened, it revealed a pathway of rose petals leading towards the front of the room where Mana would be sitting. Each table had a cute little black and blue lighthouse, black and white tablecloths, and black and silver candelabra confetti. Every place was set with a blue facecloth featuring a blue rose background and the Holy Queen print in white.

Now, most tea parties held in convention centres hotels have frankly god-awful food in tiny quantities, so I was really pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity of the food we got. They had the standard tea party fare of scones with clotted cream, fresh fruits (including pineapple!), and cake loaf. The jams were made from local fruits like guava, papaya, and lilikoi, and they were amazingly delicious. The best part is that we could eat as much as we wanted!

After we were finished eating, Mana entered through the double doors and walked down the rose petal path to his seat. I was sitting right next to the path and was in the table nearest to him, so he brushed right past me. Mana's outfit was a little more toned down for the tea party, but he was also wearing one of his trademark floppy black top hat-bucket hat hybrid things adorned with lots of black flowers and trims to make it more "Hawaiian-inspired" (his words). Precious.

Mana is wearing the bat collar blouse here!
There was a brief interview/Q & A period. Even though he covered up his face with his blue rose bouquet when whispering his replies, we definitely caught him smiling a few times. We also got some interesting news - Mana has finished composing the next Moi Dix Mois album and plans to record everything within a year or so, if everything goes according to plan. The album will have a lot of nature- and season-themed songs. I know that one or two tracks have been leaked already, and that they were being test run at lives, but I haven't heard anything yet myself.

There was also a photo area set up in one corner with a Silent Moon backdrop and rose petals scattered on the floor. Mana was taking really cute selfies in front of it with his selfie stick at one point. The lighting wasn't great, but I still got a decent outfit shot. I made a last minute outfit change - I was going to wear a black blouse with blue lace trim, but I'm glad I decided to swap for the blue blouse instead. It's obnoxiously bright. I also clipped my new barette onto my bustier since I didn't have a brooch.

Skirt: Moi-même-Moitié Gothic Arch
Blouse: Moi-même-Moitié Rose Ribbon Blouse
Bustier: Alice and the Pirates Isabelle Rose Bustier
Headdress: Moi-même-Moitié Rolled Rose Headdress and Arch Lace Choker, Antique Beast Sub Rosa Headdress
Socks: Moi-même-Moitié Holy Cross Lace-Up OTKs
Jewellery: Moi-même-Moitié Candelabra Pearl Necklace and Jewel Cross Pendant
Shoes: Yosuke USA

Afterwards, Mana stood near the backdrop and we were called up table by table for Mana to hand us a rose and shake our hands. We were also allowed to speak to him. I told him that I've been a big fan of him for over 15 years, and thanked him for his role in Malice Mizer and Moitié because without those things I wouldn't have met the dearest and most beloved friends I've ever had. My friends had all said similar things to him, so we were all getting a bit teary and huggy. Then it came time for Mana to leave. He exited along the rose petal path, waving, bowing, and evne blowing kisses at us as he left! Things wrapped up pretty quickly after that.

Also, one guy got kicked out of the tea party within the first...3 minutes? But that's a story for another day...

† Autograph Session 

Mana was available for 2 separate autograph sessions. We each got one free autograph with our entry ticket, but people who purchased over $150 worth of merchandise got tickets for extra autographs. I had him autograph my vintage Memoire DX CD, a postcard, my Alchemy phone case, and a photograph. Sadly, the rules were that he would only autograph flat pieces of Moitié/Moi Dix Mois/Malice Mizer merchandise only, but by the end of the session when there were only a few people left they seemed to ease up on the rules a little bit - my friend got her leather bat bag signed! At the end of the second signing, we all cheered and waved goodbye, and he bowed and waved back very elegantly.

†  Shopping: Moi-même-Moitié Booth and Vendors † 

I lined up 20 minutes before the shopping booths opened in the dealer's room so that I could get first pickings at the booth. It wasn't much of a bloodbath, but most of the good stuff sold within the first hour and I didn't end up getting everything I'd wanted. They brought a good selection of items from the online shop, but the purses and umbrellas were sadly not available. 

I was actually able to buy a few items that were sold out online at the time, which was great! They also carried over the sales that were available on Wunderwelt, so I ended up getting the Juliet OP for a very good price. Wearing it in the fashion show really won me over. The seersucker fabric is super lightweight and comfortable in the summer heat, and it can be worn casually without a petticoat too. I also purchased the Rose Ribbon Blouse in blue. It was very comfortable and breezy despite the summer heat.

After the fashion show, the Silent Moon OPs were on display with big "NOT FOR SALE" tags but that didn't stop us from havign a collective heart attack when we saw them on the mannequins. Don't play with my heart like that, Moitié.

Anyway, two Kawaii Kon exclusive items were also available for purchase. The first item was a round corsage hair barette that was available in black x blue, black x white, and black x black. The barette features two types of lace, 3 roses, and a candelabra charm - very similar to the M+CROIX Lace Barette released earlier this year. The second item was the candelabra pearl necklace with a bright blue bead instead of the standard black one.

Barettes (the item numbers are X-00204-3 and X-00204-1).
Candelabra necklace with the Lapis Lazuli pearl.
I was delighted to meet Sweet Mildred again! I first met her in Finland, where I was impressed by her beautiful craftsmanship and her great customer service. She's probably one of the friendliest and nicest people I've ever met. I ended up buying a white rectangle headdress (I have a million of them already, but this one was so soft...) and a black hat. My lovely friend bought me a butterfly brooch as well!

That just about wraps up my Kawaii Kon experience. It was a fantastic, friendly little con - it felt a lot like Anime North used to be. Even if Mana weren't a guest at the con, it was so much fun meeting the locals and just experiencing the con that I can definitely see myself going back. We're already making plans for another trip to Honolulu!

Until next time ~

[Current Music: Trevor Something - Enjoy The Silence]

Sunday, 6 January 2019

2018 Wardrobe Post

Hello bats, and welcome to my wardrobe post! This is my first time participating in this time-honoured EGL tradition. It's difficult to take photos indoors in winter where I live, so please excuse the questionable image quality. I'm finally at a place where I'm pretty happy with my current wardrobe and I'm eager to start diversifying what I have a little bit.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Rescuing a Cursed Blouse

Hi bats! Today I'll be restoring possibly the most heinous, disgusting blouse I've ever had the misfortune of seeing. The tragic backstory is that my best friend bought a Moitié blouse from someone on Facebook in supposedly "good condition" and received...well, this smelly yellowed nightmare. The pictures speak for themselves. It's too gross to put on my fluffy blanket for photos, so on the floor it goes. Beware: cursed images ahead.

This blouse needs an exorcism, stat!
It looks like they tried to button the blouse while their hands were covered in poo and then smeared it all on the collar for good measure.
As you can see, this blouse is in a terrible state. Firstly, it's absolutely filthy. It's straight up greyish yellow when it should be white, and all of the lace is completely yellowed. There are YELLOW pit stains (I'm praying that it's just old deodorant and this person doesn't actually have yellow sweat); makeup in varying shades of brown, black, and red all over the sleeves; a couple of mysterious black stains; and a lovely brown ring around the neck. All of the buttonholes are also stained brown for some reason. Surprisingly, it doesn't smell (much).

Aside from the filth, it's damaged. Every single seam was stretched to bursting on both the front and back, so the blouse has lost its shape and has some small holes. All of the buttons are on the verge of falling off, and the buttonholes are misshapen because whoever was wearing strained them to the max. The elastics on the sleeves are on the way out, too.

The first thing I did was soak it in Resolve in-wash stain remover for about 3 hours in a bucket of hot water. I know you're supposed to mix detergent with it, but I was just too lazy to go all the way to the laundry room in the basement, and I was also curious to see what would happen. Actually, it worked pretty well. The whole blouse is a few shades whiter and many of the darkest stains are gone or significantly faded. The pit stains and makeup are mostly gone, but the lace is still somewhat yellowed.

Already looking a LOT better!
The next thing I did was soak it in hot water, Sunlight laundry detergent, and the same Resolve in-wash stain remover for about an hour before handwashing it in the mixture. Me being me I splashed myself with it and got a lovely red rash on my arm, so this had better be worth it. I tossed it in the washing machine on gentle for good measure.

Aaaaand...success! The blouse is so clean and pretty now, with not even a hint of staining. Smells way better too. All I need to do is reattach all the buttons and possibly replace the elastics. The evil has been defeated.
[Current Music: Siouxsie and the Banshees - Hang Me High]

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Review: St. Peter's Cross Lace OTKs (Re-release Version) and M+CROIX Lace Hair Clip

Hello bats! Today I'm going to be reviewing a few of the new products available from Moi-même-Moitié: a re-release of the St. Peter's Cross Lace OTKs (4536 yen/$54 CDN) from and the new M+CROIX Lace Hair Clip (5940 yen/$71 CDN). People have been waiting for Moitié to release new lace-topped OTKs for several years now, so this was a very highly anticipated release. I actually woke up early to grab them right at the release (2AM local time, oof) only to realize that they must have had a huge amount of stock because not a single colourway sold out. I purchased 4 of the 5 colourways: black x black, black x white, black x navy, and white x white. There was a bloodbath for the headdresses, though. I planned on buying all of the colourways, but everything sold out within seconds, so I only managed to get the white one.
St. Peter's Cross Lace OTKs
M+CROIX Lace Hair Clip
I'm a bit late to the game with my review because there was a postal strike, so I didn't receive my order until last weekend. I did see a few unboxings and reviews on Instagram so I knew what to expect - unfortunately, people's initial impressions ranged from mixed to negative, and sadly I'll have to echo that sentiment. I say sadly, but I'm actually pretty annoyed, so read on...

I purchased the items from Tenso via Wunderwelt. As usual, Wunderwelt provided a very good purchasing experience and my items arrived very quickly to my Tenso warehouse. No complaints about their service. Not much else to say here, so let's move along.

Thank you for your valuable contribution, Z.

St. Peter's Cross Lace OTKs

I didn't pick up the white x blue colourway.
White x White
Black x Blue
Black x Black

Black x White

Upon first impression the socks don't differ significantly from the original release from 2006: lace-topped OTKs with an unfinished tulle edge and a satin ribbon decoration on the side. The sock material is the same stretchy, sturdy fabric that they've used previously for their lace-topped OTKs. These ones feel pretty tight and the elastic is very snappy, but I'm not sure if that's because they're brand new or because they're actually smaller. Either way, they will definitely feel tight on someone with bigger calves. They fit me very snugly.

The socks are trimmed with the new run of the St. Peter's Cross lace design. Many people were disappointed with the quality of the lace compared to previous releases, and I have to agree. It looks really good from a distance, but it isn't quite on par with the custom lace on other Moitié socks and accessories. Unfortunately I don't have any older pieces with the St. Peter's Cross lace design to give a direct comparison, but when I looked at my older pieces with different designs (Cross Arch, Scalloped Rose, Holy Cross) the difference in quality is apparent. The embroidery thread on the new lace isn't as thick, and the netting is a little bit stiffer. There are a lot of small gaps and inconsistencies in the embroidery that are especially obvious in the more contrasting colourways. They aren't terrible by any means, but these socks cost a bit more than their predecessors and yet have worse lace, so...hmm.

I'm not terrible bothered - nobody is going around feeling up socks to see how soft and thick the lace is, and the little messy parts aren't visible unless you're examining them closely. But given the price of the socks and the quality of my other Moitié socks, I was expecting the lace to be better. I heard that Moitié has finally found a new lace manufacturer (they were looking for a factory to produce custom lace for a long time, and seemed to be surviving off of old scraps and samples they had left over) and maybe they're still working out the issues...? If you're really particular about the lace, the black x black and white x white colourways have the least amount of contrast and look the best at all distances.

I also noticed was that they're shorter than the other Moitié OTKs that I have. Most of them come up a few cm over the top of my knees whereas these ones land right at the top of my knees without any room to spare. I have pretty long legs for my height, but I'm still only 155 cm tall (5'1") so these socks might be more like knee socks on a taller person. This doesn't bother me because I really like the look of lace tights or fishnets underneath my socks, and this allows them to show below the hem of my skirt.

The elastic lands right along the top of my kneecaps, so they want to roll down a bit.
Overall, I'm more-or-less happy with these even though I think they're a little bit lower quality than I would expect from the brand.

M+CROIX Lace Hair Clip

AAAAAA he's beautiful!!
Look at all that soft, fluffy lace!! The roses are silky, but stiff enough that they hold their shape well.
The M+CROIX Lace Hair Clip features a bundle of roses on a canotier made of layered Cross Arch and Holy Cross lace. The back has a pin as well as a hair clip so it could be worn as a giant brooch, since it's about as large as my outstretched hand. The roses are attached on wires sewn into the lace, so they can be moved around a little bit. There's also a tiny gold cross peeking out from underneath the roses, which is beautifully detailed and heavy. The lace is soft and thick, on par with my older pieces that have the same lace designs, so they must have used old leftovers to make these headdresses. The item page says that they were handmade by the brand staff, which made me oddly happy and gave me a cute mental image of a bunch of gothic lolitas meticulously sewing in a candelit room together.

I'd been looking for a white Moitie canotier for a long time, so I was excited to get my hands on this. Key word being was. Last night I was at a concert - Ghost was playing at the Sony Centre, which was an absolutely amazing experience! - and while I was filming it my MMM phone case broke apart and I nearly dropped my phone onto the concrete floor. This is the phone case I bought in September at Eternal Twilight, so it's not even 3 months old at this point. The glue that holds the phone in the case is dried up in places and the sliding clip is messed up and won't slide properly anymore. I have to be careful or it launches the phone right out of the case. I barely used the slide feature at all, so I have no idea how it even broke.

Anyway, I was telling this story to a friend the next day while showing her the M+CROIX hair clip as I was getting ready to leave, and she joked that the hair clip was going to be the next thing to break. Lo and behold, the hair clip broke off 2 hours later, upon my very first time wearing the damn thing.

The clip is just hot glued straight onto the lace. I'm afraid to pull the glob of glue off because I have no idea if the gathers in the lace are held together by the glue or if they're actually stitched together. I'm just glad I was indoors so it fell into my lap instead of onto the dirty street. I can easily fix it myself, but it shouldn't have happened in the first place. Am I being dramatic about such a small flaw? Maybe a little bit, but this is just poorly designed. A headdress this big should be secured by something sturdier! Even a small piece of fabric or felt to stitch a clip or comb to could have worked well.

Moitié's quality has historically been a cut above other brands. Some of my pieces are between 10 and 15 years old and still look great despite hard wear - I'm far from the first owner for most of my stuff, and I wear my dresses to  nightclubs, metal concerts, punk shows, work, and all sorts of places that are pretty hard on your clothes. I know that they know how to make stuff that lasts.

I think WW needs to slow their roll a bit and concentrate on maintaining Moitié's reputation for high quality and attention to detail. They've been pumping out items at a faster and faster rate, but if this is any indication of what their quality is going to be like in the future, I'm not sure that I'd feel comfortable purchasing anything else. And as a devoted Moitié fan, that breaks my heart. If I couldn't wear Moitié, I don't know if I'd even want to be a lolita anymore. I'm going to write to WW to let them know that myself and many other people have been having issues with their new items and that we're deeply concerned for the reputation and future of Moitié.

I usually score my reviews out of 5, but I'm just...I dunno. I'm at a loss for words for once in my life, haha.

Stay spooky,
[Current Music: Ghost - Spirit]