Friday, 16 February 2018

Lolita Blog Carnival: Preferences for Solids or Prints - What Draws Your Favor & Why

Hello bats! For today's Lolita Blog Carnival I'll be discussing my thoughts on solids vs. prints.

Even though a huge chunk of my wardrobe is made up of prints (I'm a slut for black x navy prints), I'm gonna have to vote for Team Solid. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons...

A few of my favourite coordinates with solid dresses.
1) Solids are perfect for daily wear.

Solids are easy to wear on a daily basis because they're way easier to camouflage as normie wear - a plain black OP wouldn't attract nearly as much attention as something like Milky Planet. You don't need to worry about matching accessories to the colours in the print, since you can match them with nearly anything and call it a day. Solids are so easy to coordinate, and so versatile in that you can pair them with plain or printed accessories in much wider range of colours.

The best part - if you throw them in the wash, you don't have to worry so much about bleeding colours or melting screen prints! Nothing sadder than watching Berry Bunny turn into Bloody Bunny because you forgot your colour catcher sheet.

2) Solids are accessible.

Solids are plentiful and cheap - in the age of prints, the value of a lot of solid dresses has decreased significantly. It's easy to find perfectly wearable dresses in good condition for $100 or less, especially on Japanese auction sites. This makes solid dresses a great option for anyone who is looking to pad out a wardrobe with more "wearable" everyday pieces, or for newbies who aren't fully confident in their ability to coordinate.

One of the most painful things about lolita fashion is waiting months (if not years) for a rare print series to come up for sale. While some solid dresses are extremely hard to find, especially if they're old, very few are as sought after as the holy grail print dresses, and rarely command ridiculously high prices. Even pricier brands like Atelier Boz and Moitie tend to hover around retail or lower for their solid dresses.

3) Solids showcase good design.

I think solids allow the craftsmanship, design, and creativity to shine. It's easy to create a great illustration (well, it's not - but you know what I'm getting at) and slap it on a boring dress and call it a day. Creating a visually interesting, creative dress without using prints is a little trickier since designers have to rely on arranging generic detailing like ruffles, pintucks, etc. in a unique way. Playing with different textures, transclucent fabrics, asymmetry, layering, removable parts...there are lots of ways to make a dress interesting without using a print.

Atelier Boz's nun-inspired Giulietta OP in Black x Black. In my opinion, Atelier Boz, Sheglit, and Atelier Pierrot are the undisputed masters of beautiful, aesthetically pleasing solid dresses. (I'll give you Victorian Maiden, Mary Magdalene, and Innocent World if you're more of a classic fan.)
 I also wanted to share a few thoughts on prints...

Newbies to lolita may not know this, but early lolita was nowhere near as print-centric as it is right now. In the early-to-mid-2000s the overwhelming majority of dresses across all substyles were solids. Details were typically added with contrasting fabric and trims, appliques, and patterened or textured fabrics. Prints, if used at all, were usually simple border prints.

Mana wearing the Cross Print JSK - one of Moitie's (and lolita's) earliest and most iconic prints.
I think it's a bit strange that lolita has become so hyperfocused on prints to the point that people will buy a dress purely because of the print and not because of the fit, cut, or details...which are also important parts of lolita fashion. A lot of cheaper Taobao brands pump out cute, unique, well-drawn prints at a breakneck pace but take shortcuts with quality and overall design...essentially, slapping a cute print on a badly sewn, badly designed dress. Great concept, poor execution.

Don't take this as me hating on Taobao prints, or prints in general. I just frown when I see people focusing on a gimmicky print at the expense of...well, everything else. Prints aren't everything, and that's coming from someone who is desperately trying to collect every single cut and colourway of Silent Moon and Iron Gate.

It is what it is - there's a place for both solids and prints in lolita, and even if I sound salty about print supremacy...the truth is that I'm still a slut for prints and will continue to hoard favourites even though I mostly buy solids now.

Thank you for reading!

Check out what these other lolitas had to say on this week's LBC topic!
| Cupcake Kamisama's Lolita World | Poppy Noir | Petite Tomoyo | The Bloody Tea Party |

Friday, 20 October 2017

Moi-même-Moitié @ Girlism Fashion Festa 2017: New Accessories!

Just a brief post about some recent Moi-même-Moitié activity for you guys...
Girlism, a Chinese lolita publication, is hosting their second annual Fashion Festa event on October 28th. Moitié is one of the brands that was invited along! This will be their second Chinese event in recent memory (check out my previous post). The brand expressed on their Weibo that they have a lot of interest from Chinese fans and hope to attend more events, which could potentially be a huge boon for them. Speaking of which - if you aren't following Moitié on Weibo, make sure to add them since it looks more active than the Twitter and Instagram pages.

Anyway, I was surprised to see Moitié featured at another Chinese event so soon after Hello Lolita...not only because the brand typically avoids overseas events, but simply because it's in China. From my observations from Instagram, Taobao, and Weibo, Chinese lolitas are predominantly sweet/classic, and the gothic/ouji styles available tend take their stylistic cues from cuter and more youthful gothic brands like Alice and the Pirates or Royal Princess Alice, rather than the major gothic/aristocrat brands like Atelier Boz, Atelier Pierrot, and Moitié.

That being said, China has also produced some formidable gothic brands like Krad Lanrete, Dark Box, and Ecailles de Lune (let's just pretend that they are not associated with each other since they are 3 different styles/lines) that are more in line with Moitié's traditional gothic lolita aesthetics. Amastacia and Surfacespell also produce excellent quality gothic and aristocrat items, so there must be a significant market for the darker, classical gothic lolita style. Even when straying away from that style, Chinese gothic brands are WAY more experimental with themes and motifs.

Anyway, back to the actual event...

Here are a few pictures of the special items Moitié is bringing to Fashion Festa. In addition to the Sleeping Garden JSK in black x grey (Leftovers? Re-released?? Samples??? This print is pretty old!), a few colourways of Rose Cross, some coats that I can't recall he name one, and the Ornament Table bag, they will have 2 new hair accessories and a set of OTKs for purchase.

From top to bottom, roughly translated: Neo Gothic Arch Printed KC (5940 yen), Neo Gothic Arch Mini Flower KC (9720 yen), Blue Rose Jewelry Knee Socks (5940 yen)
As you can see, the headbow and canotier match the new Neo Gothic Arch print released earlier this year. For those of you who don't know, Neo Gothic Arch is a re-release of 2006's Gothic Arch print featuring new cuts, colourways, and a larger print. The headbow and canotier currently available in black x silver, with no other colourways announced yet.  The socks feature a blue and silver recolour of the Jewelry print released a few years ago, minus the rhinestones. There are a few other colourways in the works, including a black one! It doesn't look like these are available in the webshop or on CDJapan, and I don't know if these are sample items brought specifically for in-person events or if they will ever be available for sale online.

Still, this is some great news for Moitié. I hope the event is successful for them so that they can continue to move forward and appear at more overseas events. This is an excellent start!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Moi-même-Moitié is Back! Ownership Transfer Announcement

All rise for your lord and savior, Mana-sama.

An unexpected and exciting new announcement was posted on Wunderwelt's page! The announcement contains a message from Mana and Tanaqro Co. Ltd (Wunderwelt's parent company) and reads as follows:

"Towards a new Moi-même-Moitié
This October, Moi-même-Moitié business ownership has been transferred from previous owner Maglaia to TANAQRO’s apparel division. Being able to reach the whole world by making use of TANAQRO’s global structure will be helpful with facing Moi-même-Moitié’s most important future challenge: To expand Japan’s prized Gothic Lolita culture on a worldwide scale. My fundamental convictions have stayed the same ever since the foundation of Moi-même-Moitié. It is my wish to guard this culture and make it known to more and more people.
- Moi-même-Moitié Producer Mana

Notice regarding business transfer of Gothic brand Moi-même-Moitié
TANAQRO Co., Ltd., which also runs Wunderwelt online shop, agreed with Maglaia Co., Ltd.* on a business transfer of Gothic brand Moi-même-Moitié. In order to realize Moi-même-Moitié's worldwide expansion, the brand will make the best use of TANAQRO's experience with providing service to global users. The business transfer was decided upon with the aim to revitalize the brand."

Firstly, there isn't a lot of comfirmed information about Maglaia - I was always of the understanding that it was Mana's private record label, formed sometime after Midi:Nette became inactive.The most recent Moi dix Mois record, Reprise, was released under Maglaia instead of Midi:Nette. It appears that Mana owns and runs the entire Maglaia operation.

Operating under the assumption that Moitié was completely owned by Mana, it would appear that he's handed over the brand and rights to Tanaqro, but may remain involved in his regular capacity as a spokesman, designer, and producer. Given that Mana maintains a very tightly controlled and iconic personal brand that extends to his clothing, it would be unusual for him to let someone else take over entirely. Of course, I'm speculating, but his message certainly doesn't read as a goodbye. Moitié is nothing without Mana, and I'm sure he would never agree to hand it over unless he remained closely involved with operations.

Up until this year, we haven't heard a lot of from our beloved brand, and loyal fans were starting to wonder if it was the beginning of the end. Gothic lolita has massively decreased in popularity, even in European countries where it always had a much stronger following. To make things worse, the classic sharp, western goth Moitié style is not terribly common even among gothic lolitas - soft and cute is definitely more in favour right now. Moitié was hit hard and is unable to keep up with the breakneck pace of companies like Angelic Pretty and the massive Taobao market.

Things had been looking pretty bad for Moitié over the past few years. The slow closure of all physical shops, dwindling releases, the complete lack of hype, lackluster releases, the removal of Moitié from the GLB, the end of GLB itself...things were looking pretty grim. Honestly, I predicted that Moitié would just slowly die within a few years. They were hard to buy from (CDJapan = terrible customs fees, SS = horrible commission fees), hard to fit (listed measurements are usually wrong), and most of the lolita world had moved on.

That said, Moitié seems to have been ramping things up in the past couple of months. Earlier this year, Wunderwelt announced that it would be carrying new Moitié pieces in addition to its usual secondhand selection, and featured an interview segment where non-Japanese fans could submit questions for Mana to answer. Additonally, some photos recently surfaced of a large lolita event in China called Hello Lolita featuring Moitié as a brand guest, with some interesting clothing samples available for purchase (check out the Tweet).

Moitie items at Hello Lolita Shanghai.I would kill for one of those headbows and the tights!
So what does this all mean for the future of my favourite brand? Well, Wunderwelt is much more internationally focused than Moitié. After Wunderwelt was transferred to Tanaqro, they began to focus intensely on capturing the market outside of Japan, and were very successful despite a rocky start. Most of the site is available in English, and they have English-speaking staff. They also ship internationally and often have sales and coupons available for international customers. They are also more heavily involved in Chinese events. Moitié doesn't seem very popular among Chinese lolitas (they seem to favour sweet and classic, or cutesy gothic rather than...gothy gothic) but the sheer number of Chinese lolitas means a whole new market is available. Reaching out to the Chinese lolita market has proven to be an excellent strategy for Angelic Pretty and BTSSB.

I'm cautiously optimistic about the brand being more available for overseas customers. In addition to it simply being easier to buy, we might see things like accurately listed measurements, more forgiving cuts, a more frequent release might also drive down the secondhand market, which is currently absolutely ridiculous. There are literally dozens of girls selling unpopular dresses from 2008 with $100+ added to the listing price because they're secretly trying to recoup their customs fees. None of it ever sells - some of those listings have been up for a year. No tea, no shade...

In the same vein, I'm curious to see if they'll continue to refresh older prints (like Iron Gate/Royal Gate and Gothic Arch/Neo Gothic Arch) or if they will straight up re-release older prints AP style. The latter would certainly make a ton of money, especially if they kept the classic colourways/cuts but expanded the sizing. Neo Gothic Arch was a modest success, but I feel like it could have been a smash hit if they reused the older colourways. Depending on the approach they take, this might crash the secondhand market or keep the classics in high demand.

(As someone who owns Gothic Arch and Iron Gate, I have really mixed feelings about this haha...)

Now...for the bad.

It's entirely possible that Mana may maintain creative control but the business aspect of the brand will take precedence over his vision. By that, I mean that the brand may become profit-motivated instead of design-motivated. Mana has that same old school goth mentality...always held true to his original image and ideals of what he wanted EGL to be without being influenced by trends or outsiders. Increased production may mean greater quantity at the cost of quality, or worse...the brand might have to cave and design based on what is trendy rather than what maintains the iconic style of the brand.

(I plan to do a timeline series soon showing the various aesthetics of Moitié over the years!)

While there have certainly been plenty of style changes and lower quality releases over the years, the core aesthetic has remained more or less the same, and the brand is known for being well-made. One of the main gripes I hear about the rapid-fire pace of new AP releases is that the cuts and fabrics have become dull and uninspired (tiled prints in muted pastels on chiffon sack dresses) and the construction quality has taken a slight dip.

I really don't want Moitié to start following the current trends in gothic...which, if Taobao is anything to go by, either sickeningly cutesy or overly gaudy and overdesigned. No shade - I love a lot of Taobao gothic brands, but a lot of it is just...well, it's not that I dislike it, but it's not very Mana. When I think of Mana and Moitié, I think of simple, elegant, mature, and refined. I just get nervous when I hear the word "revitalize" because it often means "totally change our artistic vision" and that would be devastating to the steadfast fans currently keeping the brand alive.

Overall, I'm really excited but keeping my expectations in check - any news about Mana and Moitié is good news to me, but I've never witnessed a change in ownership like this before, and it could go quite well or become a total dumpster fire. Until then, I'll keep praying at my Mana shrine.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Lolita Blog Carnival: Difficult Things to Deal With in the Fashion

This is an interesting writing prompt! Until I sat down to write the post, I hadn't seriously considered all of the difficulties associated with participating in this fashion. It's a bit shocking seeing it all laid out here, but to me it's 100% worth the struggle.I can certainly understand why people find it difficult to break into lolita, and I've definitely encountered people who give it a try but ultimately lose interest just because it can be so challenging to deal with at times.

1) Lolita is a shopaholic’s worst nightmare.
I’m impulsive by nature and I’ve always had the attitude that there’s no point in hoarding money when you could be using it to enjoy life (within reason of course). Time or money wasted on something you enjoy is not wasted. I also love bargain hunting, so lolita can be a dangerous temptation. I deal with it by keeping a strict list of items that I want, divided into tiers based on how badly I want them and how much I’m willing to spend on them.

Another thing that can help curb impulse buying is holding items in your cart for a long time before purchasing them. This is especially useful when ordering from Taobao, where it's easy to amass a huge cart of inexpensive items only to be unhappy with them when they finally arrive months later. Been there, done that! Now, I keep my items in the shopping cart for at least a week and carefully consider them before making the decision to purchase. How often will I wear it? Is the fabric quality and construction worth the price? Very often, I find that by the end of that week, I've dumped most of the items from my cart.

2) Lolita fashion can promote consumerism.

I can think of a LOT of  things I could have bought with the money I spent on lolita.
I wouldn’t call myself frugal, and I don't have any problem with enjoying shopping and collecting items in themselves - but I try to be mindful of advertising and consumer culture, and how it affects my psyche and behaviour. Lolita is interesting because it is an underground (yet brand-focused), expensive luxury fashion subculture. Like more traditional luxury fashions, having a large collection of name-brand items and owning coveted, rare pieces is a status symbol. Lolita itself is an expression of decadence.

On the other hand, lolita is an indie, "slow" fashion with a thriving secondhand shopping and handicraft culture in a conglomerate, fast fashion world. I think that the craftsmanship and quality of the average lolita garment has given me a greater appreciation for well-made clothing in general. I find myself doing a lot more secondhand shopping and making alterations than I did before, and buying fewer quality pieces instead of heaps of poorly made items that I won't get much use out of.


I am eternally grateful that most of my wardrobe is machine washable, because I wear lolita a few times a week and it's just way too much to handwash. Laundry sucks. I don't even want to devote a full writeup to laundry because it doesn't deserve it.

4) Meeting up in public spaces attracts a lot of unwanted attention.

Toronto is a big city with a huge alternative scene so it isn't at all unusual to see lolitas, punks, goths, or other weirdly dressed people hanging out in public. The response from locals varies from total apathy to candid photos and awkward questions, but it's usually not too bad. I love taking out my phone and snapping pictures of them in return! Most people are curious but harmless, and some are nice enough to ask for photos instead of just taking creepshots.

Going into a touristy area is almost guaranteed to turn into a paparazzi shitshow of harassment. People have tried to get me into their cars, asked me if I'm a prostitute or a dominatrix, touched me without permission or tried to look up my dress, and all sorts of incredibly inappropriate things. I've lost count of the number of times someone came within spitting distance of me and started filming or chatting me up while I'm eating a burger or on my phone or something equally uninteresting. They wouldn't do that to someone dressed normally, so I'm not sure why wearing an unusual outfit waives my right to sit in peace.

My local comm has a lot of girls who are too shy or afraid to defend themselves when someone is getting out of line. Thankfully, most of the older members are good at politely defusing the situation and asserting themselves, but it doesn't always work on people who are really persistent. I'm...less than polite to say the least! My natural inclination when faced with rudeness is to be even ruder - and quite frankly, I feel no need to show decorum or respect to someone who won't return the favour. Juvenile, yes. Satisfying, also yes.

5) The media depicts lolitas in the worst light possible, making it difficult to explain our hobby to others.

Anyone remember this debacle? This poor girl was misled about how her photo would be used, resulting in this movie poster that associates lolita fashion with ageplay and pedophilia.
If I had a dollar for every shitty, badly researched """""documentary""""" (using that term extremely loosely here) I've seen about living dolls or every cringeworthy ita making an embarrassment of themselves on one of those TLC makeover shows...well, I wouldn't be rich but I could buy a fancy bottle of liquor and that's almost as good!

It's incredibly rare to come across a media depiction of lolitas that is fair or realistic. Instead, they usually fall into one of two categories: A) we're all depressed, emotionally damaged girls using babyish princess clothing as a way of escaping real life or B) we're all perverted fetishists who dress as children (or worse) for the kink. Sometimes a combination of both.

I personally am not bothered by ageplay fetishists, even though the idea makes me deeply uncomfortable. It's none of my business what people do in their private lives as long as nobody is being hurt. But I really don't want any kind of fetishistic lifestyles associated with lolita fashion. 

It doesn't help that these documentaries almost exclusively focus on sweet lolitas who love cutesy, pastel weeby stuff. I personally have no problem with that, but many westerners conflate liking sweet childish things with being immature, or wanting to be an actual child. I feel like if they interviewed a gothic lolita it would be similar to those really bad 90s-era news reports about how goths are S&M maniacs who believe in literal vampires - still bad, but less damaging than potentially being viewed as someone who has a fetish involving children.

The filmmakers seem to go for the easy targets - people who are willing to talk about themselves at length on camera and expose themselves to public scrutiny are usually the absolute last people you would want to represent lolita fashion to the world. In short, they seem to pick people who are total itas or people who are a, instead of choosing the 99% of lolitas who are completely normal functioning adults who happen to like dressing up.

6) Sizing is a royal pain.

Lolita is notorious for running too small for most western body types. We're just bigger over here than the average Japanese woman, even at a healthy body weight. Height, bone structure, and bigger busts are usually the culprits. I think it makes people feel insecure and unhappy with their bodies, which is really sad. I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a "wrong" body - it's the clothing that is wrong. Thankfully, many brands do custom sizing now and there's lots of shirred pieces available. Overall, brands are increasing in size as time goes on, But there's only so much you can do - if your ribcage is too big for a bodice, you can't do a whole lot about it short of sawing them off.

I have long limbs and broad shoulders so finding things that fit properly is an adventure. Blouses and OPs are a crapshoot - either the shoulders are too small or the sleeves are too short. For instance, my ladies' size Atelier Boz Roland jacket fits my chest and waist with wiggle room to spare, but it's so tight on my shoulders that I can't raise my arms properly. I own a lot of JSKs and skirts because it's just easier to deal with than having an OP that I can't cram my shoulders into. .

Some brands are much better for me than others - Moitie and Millefleurs fit me perfectly, longer dresses from AatP/Baby and JetJ make me look stumpy, AP is too big in the waist...basically, if a dress doesn't have waist ties or corset lacing, I won't buy it. Of course, it doesn't help when manufacturers' measurements aren't accurate. I'm looking at you, Moitie.

I'm trying to give you money, Mana. Why you lying?
But despite all of the annoyances and heartache that come along with the fashion, I'm never going to stop wearing it. I've met so many amazing people and had some wonderful experiences all because we bonded over these ridiculous dresses. I don't think I could have picked a better subculture to call home!

Check out what these other lolitas had to say on this week's LBC topic!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Review: Krad Lanrete's Transilvania Moonlight Skirt

Transilvania Moonlight is finally in my hands, 2 years after it was first revealed on Krad Lanrete's Weibo! I wasn't a fan of either JSK cut, so I decided to go for the skirt in the red colourway - I was feeling some nostalgic AatP Vampire Requiem/Vampire Prelude vibes. I preordered the skirt for $138 USD through Clobba. Here's my quick review!

However, I had some reservations about purchasing this dress. For those of you who don't know, Krad's customer service has always been questionable but they were involved in some major drama back in 2015 when their Constellations of the Zodiac series was released. The Etsy reseller set up to serve overseas customers had astronomical markups and horrifyingly bad customer service. When I say horrifyingly bad, I mean that they stopped communicating with customers, closed their Etsy store without warning while people still had open orders, and took months to ship out orders. Dozens of people filed Paypal claims to get their money back. Eventually, it came out that the Etsy reseller was operating separately from Krad and things continued to go off the rails.

Ultimately, this culminated in a huge shitstorm resulting in Krad only accepting overseas orders through the Taobao shopping service Clobba. Unfortunately, this means that overseas customers have to pay Clobba's SS fees as well as Krad's markup. While Clobba has excellent customer service, many people would prefer to save money by using an SS to order from Krad's Taobao shop (which they no longer allow). In addition, the dresses shipped out after the preorder date and as far as I'm aware, Krad didn't explain the delay. I do think that customer service is an important part of the shopping experience, which is why it's included in the review. So in summary, buying from Krad is a royal pain in the ass.

Clobba delivered pretty good service as usual, although there were some long delays in communication. Krad was a couple of weeks later than their estimated delivery date, as expected. I have to admit I was a little salty seeing reviews from Chinese customers on Taobao who received their dresses weeks before Western customers (and I'm not including the shipping time which was super fast)...with absolutely no comunication from Krad whatsoever. Thanks!

Onto the actual review! Peep my badass Sailor Moon blanket.

Firstly, let's go over the appearance of the skirt. The skirt is made from a beautiful textured fabric, just like the AatP Vampire series dresses. The waist is trimmed with a cute chiffon ruffle, while the hem is trimmed with a simple cross lace. I've seen this lace on many Taobao pieces so it isn't unique, but it's well-made and very pretty. The stock photo is a bright crimson red while in person it's got a cooler, almost purple undertone. The print is very crisp and clear with no pixellation or blurry spots, although again the colour is slightly cooler and bluer than in the stock photo. There's actually a lot of teal in the print, and so many other details that are not visible in the stock photos. It's a real treat to look at!

Now for a quick rundown of the construction quality and structure. The skirt is fully lined with a smooth red polyester. The seam on the inside of the skirt's hem is serged, and the lace trim is sewn neatly along the seam with no uneven spots or lumps. All of the finishing on the inside of the skirt is done very cleanly. No pockets, sadly.

The corset waist has decorative lacing with silver grommets in the front and functional lacing with a shirring panel in the back. The lacing is your standard high-quality satin double-sided ribbon. The plastic boning in the corset waist is very soft and flexible, so it doesn't add a lot of structure and you don't really feel it putting pressure on your waist. It's mainly used to maintain the shape of the widow's peak on the corset.

The back has partial shirring with a good amount of stretch (maybe 2-3 inches) with corset lacing overtop. The corset loops are just loops of fabric sewn into the inside of the corset, so even though there's a decent amount of shirring the pressure on the loops might rip them out. I say this because I managed to rip a loop out on the second wear and I'm well below the max measurements for the skirt. It was an easy fix but still...I have no idea why brands use grommets as decoration in front and crappy little loops or lace on the actual functioning corset lacing. WHY?!

Ahem. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this skirt. The design is beautiful and I appreciate the more mature take on the vampire theme - a lot of brands' Halloween prints are too sugary sweet for my tastes. The construction quality is quite good and feels roughly on par with my Vampire Prelude skirt. It doesn't really suit my personal style, though - I prefer simple prints and solids rather than detailed, multicoloured illustrations. I have since sold it.

Shopping Experience: 3/5
Quality: 4/5
Overall Score: 3.5/5

Here are some coordinates!

I love horror and guro themes in lolita, so I had tons of fun making this coord!
Blouse: Moi-même-Moitié
Headdress: Antique Beast
Tights: Triple Fortune
Shoes: Angelic Imprint
Bag: Killstar
Accessories: Moi-même-Moitié, Restyle, offbrand
I went for a more elegant, aristocrat-inspired styling this time. I love the subtle grey print on these socks and how it matches the grey in the skirt!
Jacket: Atelier Boz
Blouse: Offbrand
Bonnet: Elpress L
Socks: Moi-même-Moitié
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood
Bag: Killstar
Accessories: Moi-même-Moitié, Restyle, offbrand, handmade

This picture is from my Instagram, so the quality is hot garbage and you can't see the cute red print on the socks. Just a simple comfortable coord that I happened to wear to a vampire-themed escape room. Did I mention I love vampires?
Blouse: Offbrand
Capelet: Ecailles de Lune
Headdress: Antique Beast
Socks: Alice and the Pirates
Shoes: Bodyline
Accessories: Moi-même-Moitié, Restyle, offbrand

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Lolita Blog Carnival: Plans Derailed! 5 Things In My Wardrobe That Just Didn't Work

In today’s edition of the Lolita Blog Carnival, I’ll be discussing a few pieces in my wardrobe that didn’t work out quite as planned! I’ve had my fair share of duds in my wardrobe over the years. To be completely honest, I can’t even remember all the things I bought and ended up selling. But I’ve noticed 2 patterns: I sold almost all of my Taobao/indie dresses after only a few wears, and I’ve literally sold every AatP item I’ve even had. I feel like my problem is that I fall in love with a print’s illustration, only to find that the cut is not flattering on me or the print does not translate very well into a life-sized dress.

1) AatP - Vampire Prelude
I have a love-hate relationship with AatP’s Vampire series….and with AatP in general. I’m a huge vampire fan (surprising absolutely no one) and the illustrations are beautiful. I just don’t feel like the illustration translated very well to the dress – it looks a little too full and busy, especially with the ivory areas on the black background. I prefer prints to be a little more muted, I guess. I’ve settled for using the print as my phone wallpaper. If I were to try it again again, I’d buy the ivory version. It’s still too busy for my personal taste, but I think it’s less jarring than the black version.

† † †

2) Ista Mori - Nameless Poem
I really love the whole gothic nun aesthetic (surprising absolutely no one), so I snapped up this dress as soon as I could. It’s gorgeous…but it’s not gorgeous on me. I’m short and slim with broad shoulders, and the dress just didn’t suit my body shape at all. I guess I’m going to have to just wait until I see another Moitié Nun OP on auctions…

† † †

3) Sweet Pirate Addiction Rose
Yet again, I fell in love with a print in a cut that didn’t look good on me. The dress also had some sewing quality issues and I wasn’t a huge fan of how the print looked in person - it is beautiful but overdesigned and has a bit of a clip art look. They released a cut with corset lacing about a week after I bought mine, which would have fit me much better. I decided to just let it go. I also managed to find  an old floordinate photo I made! This was such a long time ago…I have so many more accessories now!

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4) Moi-même-Moité Holy Stained Glass JSK
Something about this dress is just distinctly unflattering on me. I feel like the bodice is just a tiny bit too long and the hemline is a little too low. I had to shorten the straps. It’s not terrible, but it just looks…off. I truly love the print and the cut of the dress is lovely, so I’m really determined to make it look good. I’ve been on the fence about selling it for a few months. I'm both stubby and stubborn!

Ok, that was really bad. Sorry.

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5) Écailles de Lune Black Goat of the Woods
I bought this dress to twin with a friend of mine. It looks amazing on her but it’s a bit goofy-looking on me. The bodice is very…tube-like on me because my bust is pretty small. You need a little bit of boob to fill out the bodice properly. I covered it up with a corsage but it definitely doesn’t look right. I’m also 155 cm tall so even in my 12 cm heels it comes down well below my knees and I look like a little black layer cake. It’s such a beautiful dress but I feel like it was designed for someone a few inches taller with actual curves. I ended up selling it to someone who had been searching intensely for it and really loved it, so I'm glad it has a good home.

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Check out these bloggers' take on this LBC topic!

Monday, 3 July 2017

New Moi-même-Moitié Release! Neo Gothic Arch

I’m a little late to the party reporting on this exciting news because I was on vacation when the release dropped. But for those of you who don’t know, Moi-même-Moitié recently released a new print series Neo Gothic Arch on CDJapan and their webshop. Look familiar?

Unlike Angelic Pretty or Baby the Stars Shine Bright, MmM does not re-release old items – once they’re gone, they’re gone. However, this isn’t the first time that the brand has “refreshed” an older piece: for example, 2012’s Royal Gate print series is clearly a spiritual successor to the iconic 2006 Iron Gate. The cuts, colourways, and materials changed but the print details and overall feel are very similar. Likewise, the classic bat handbag has been released many times using different materials and colourways.

Neo Gothic Arch is available in 3 cuts: JSK (33500 JPY), long JSK (36000 JPY), and OP (37000 JPY). It features colourways that are more in keeping with MmM’s newer releases, and none of the original colourways have returned. All 3 cuts are available in Navy x Silver, White x Gold, and Black x Silver.   

For comparison, the original Gothic Arch came as a JSK, skirt, midi skirt, and long skirt in 3 colourways: Black x Navy, Black x White, and White x Black. The matching handbag came in Black x Navy and Black x Silver.

The new colourways are interesting…I don’t like the two-toned navy in the Navy x Silver colourway, but the Black x Silver and the White x Gold are absolutely gorgeous. I fell in love with MmM’s metallic prints on black ever since I saw Silent Moon and Divine Cross. I would have liked to see a Black x Gold colourway, too! I'm torn on the cuts. I don't like the OP as much and I don't think it would suit most girls very well because of the sleeves and bust....I can't quite put my finger on why but I think it would just emphasize any broadness in the shoulders and chest. The JSK cut is lovely, it reminds me of the Royal Gate OP and is looks like it'll be more flattering.

Overall, I prefer the original cuts and colourways but the new print is way better. You can really appreciate the small details, and the larger print just looks more balanced compared to the smaller border print on the original release. It's practically twice the size of the original print!

Gothic Arch is one of the most expensive, coveted, and recognizable MmM prints (second only to Iron Gate) so it makes sense that they would choose to remake that print series. It’s a great opportunity for newer fans of the brand to get their hands on an iconic gothic print, while maintaining the exclusivity of the original. I'm curious how this release will affect the price on Gothic Arch, if it all. The JSK currently goes for ~$600-800 CDN and the skirt for ~$350-400 CDN, so it's not nearly as expensive as IG but still pretty pricy.

What do you think of this print series? Do you prefer the old or the new?