Monday, 26 September 2016

Brand Spotlight: Atelier Pierrot

Hello bats! This is the first entry in a series of blog posts I wanted to write about some of my favourite lolita brands. Today we’ll be taking a detailed look at the mainstay gothic brand Atelier Pierrot. All of the featured images are from their Facebook page and social media (click to enlarge!).

Brand Info 
Atelier Pierrot (sometimes styled Atelier-Pierrot) is a small Japanese gothic brand headed by lead designer and CEO Yuko Ashizawa. Their pieces have been featured in the Gothic & Lolita Bible from the very earliest issues right up to the present. While the brand is known for their distinctive bustled corset dresses and ruffled blouses, they also design hosiery, jackets, corsets, petticoats, and headpieces.

Atelier Pierrot isn't afraid to experiment. Many pieces are available in a range of unusual fabrics and textures that aren’t seen frequently in lolita: iridescent organza, shiny satin, brocade, and crinkled polyester to name a few. Many of their pieces are in unusual colours like dark purple, ultramarine, or bright green, but their signature colours are simple black and white. The few prints that they do release are range from simple, single-colour designs to technicolour cats.  Their dresses vary in length from ero miniskirts to calf-length dresses better suited to EGA, making it a very versatile brand.

Even though gothic seems to be experiencing a decline in populartity, Atelier Pierrot has been going strong for 30-odd years and shows no signs of stopping. Furthermore, they support the growth of other indie designers by carrying their lines in their store and webshop. Even if gothic dies out completely someday, I have no doubt that they'll still be around because of the good quality and versatility of their pieces.

Of course, we can't discuss any brand without mentioning their staff. These ladies have amazing taste and coordination skills.

Signature Style

Atelier Pierrot’s designs are very recognizable – no other brand makes anything quite like they do. You can almost always tell one of their pieces by the oversized details, drapey bustles with ruffles, chiffon underskirts, and heavy layers of lacy ruffles on hems and sleeves. Big, frilly, and OTT is their trademark style. However, unlike other gothic brands, they aren’t known for their prints. Most of their pieces are solids or simply patterned (often with stripes or harlequin diamonds).

The most popular Atelier Pierrot piece is their bustled corset skirt design, which is released every season. The standard design includes a plastic-boned corset, front and back lacing, several adjustable bustles, and a ruffled chiffon underskirt. The variable details are usually ruffles, peplum flounces, and trains. The design is incredibly versatile as you can lift all of the bustles for a poofy OTT look, let them all down for a more classic look, or lift a single one and for an asymmetric look. It’s easy to see why these skirts have been re-released for years and years!

They’re also well-known for their luxurious princess-sleeve blouses, which are also released every season. They typically feature layers of ruffles and often rows of shirring up the sleeves for that old-school Michelin Man kind of look. A nice thing about their blouses is that they’re often shirred and loose-fitting with elasticated necklines, so they’ll fit both petite and plus-sized people.

Shopping Info

The Atelier Pierrot store in Laforet carries not only their own brand, but other smaller indie brands such as Sheglit, Enchantlic Enchantilly, Pina, and Abilletage. If you can’t get to Japan, the webshop has fantastic service - they waive taxes on purchases over 5k yen and offer free EMS shipping for purchases over 20k yen. They have English-speaking staff who have very kindly created a shopping guide to help you purchase through their store, and they are prompt and available by email if you need help. It’s wonderful to see a brand really making an effort to reach out to international fans!

Previously, AtePie was available through the Lorina Liddell webshop which unfortunately has been closed indefinitely. It’s a shame because Lorina Liddell also carried indie brands brands like Excentrique, and offered similar support for international buyers. Additionally, sometimes they had items that had already sold out on Atelier Pierrot’s webshop and vice versa. Hopefully we see them open again soon!

One of my favourite things about this brand is that if you miss out on buying one of their trademark items like a corset skirt or princess blouse, never fear – in a few months, they’ll release something very similar. These staple items are always going to be available.
Secondhand prices for most AtePie pieces are quite reasonable. Their signature corset skirts frequently auction for under 10k yen (I bought one for 5k yen) and corset OPs can easily be found under 15-20k yen, depending on the colour and cut. However, if you’re looking for a specific item they can be very difficult to find (especially prints) because they are such a small brand and they don’t manufacture many. If you do see a piece you like, you might as well jump on it because it may never pop up again.


That concludes my writeup on Atelier Pierrot. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and I’ll be back soon with another brand spotlight! Until then, stay spooky~

Friday, 19 August 2016

Lolita Blog Carnival: Lolita Influences On Your Daily Wardrobe Style

Hello bats! Today I have a short blog post for you about everyday fashion. I definitely want to do a longer writeup on my casual everyday fashion in the future. 

I’m not a daily lolita since my job doesn’t allow for it. I work in a tiny optical store, and having a big poofy skirt swishing around fragile glasses and hot tools is just asking for trouble. So my everyday style varies quite a lot depending on how I’m feeling,  and I can’t really pin it down to one label. My style is influenced by a pretty wide range of fashions – mainly rockabilly, romantic/trad goth, and strega. I’m also influenced by a lot of j-fashions – larme, rokku gyaru, menhera, and EGA. I’m that finding the older I get, the less I care about looking 100% recognizably ubergoth all the time. 

What do all of those styles have in common? Honestly, not a lot…but surprisingly, my wardrobe is surprisingly cohesive. No matter what the style, I’m often drawn to the same silhouettes, detailing, and colour palette. Since I started wearing lolita, I started choosing more clothing with lolita-esque detailing like corset lacing, ruffles, and quality lace. 

I wear my lolita blouses, cutsews, shoes, boleros, and bags frequently since they don’t look terribly out of place with most of my outfits. For instance, one of my favourite work outfits is a chiffon Moitié blouse with a black velvet pencil skirt, sheer black stockings, and gothic-looking pumps. I like to buy pieces that work with my daily wardrobe and with lolita so I can get more wear out of them. It seems like a huge waste of money/space to have tons of clothing that I don’t even wear regularly. 

I used to have a TON of outfit photos, but I broke my old phone and lost most of them. I tried to find a few examples! Most of these are pretty old and not the greatest outfits or examples, but they’re just for illustrative purposes.

I'm wearing my H.Naoto skirt, Innocent World bolero, and Moitié choker, socks, and cutsew. My friend is wearing Swankiss!

Bodyline shoes and Moitié bag.
Moitié bag and BPN OTKs.
Thanks for reading!

Check out these takes on this blog topic!
Pastel Peggy
Cupcake Kamisama's Lolita World

Monday, 27 June 2016

Spring 2016 Coordinates and Snapshots

I haven't had much time to wear lolita these days, but here are a couple of my most recent coordinates.

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Dress: Atelier-Pierrot
Blouse: Atelier-Pierrot
Bonnet: Elpress L
Socks: Moi-même-Moitié
Shoes: Antaina
Bag: Moi-même-Moitié
Accessories: Moi-même-Moitié, Restyle, offbrand

Outfit I wore for a friend's high tea at the Royal York Fairmont. I had to wear two pettis to get maximum poof....the cut of this dress makes it look really sad and droopy unless you have an absolute monster of a petti. It was blazing hot and my hair basically came apart over the course of the day, too.

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Coat: Atelier-Pierrot
Dress: Moi-même-Moitié
Blouse: Moi-même-Moitié
Bonnet: Elpress L
Socks: Moi-même-Moitié
Shoes: Antaina
Bag: Moi-même-Moitié
Accessories: Alchemy Gothic, Restyle, offbrand

Decided to wear Sleeping Garden for an Easter party since it was the first day of spring, and nothing says springtime like dead trees with a bunch of tombstones. Also, not a single shade of blue in this coord matches. Thanks, Mana.

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Jacket: Atelier Boz
Dress: Atelier-Pierrot
Blouse: Ista Mori
Bonnet: Elpress L
Socks: Metamorphose
Shoes: Bodyline
Bag: Mu Fish
Accessories: Restyle, Marble, offbrand

Some comm members held a tea party at their house and were kind enough to bake an amazing spread of gorgeous macarons, pastries, cakes, and scones. I wish I could bake on that level, but I have enough trouble with simple cakes.

Also, I smashed my phone to bits and I couldn't recover all of the photos I took of my eye makeup, which I was very proud of. :(

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Dress: Moi-même-Moitié
Bonnet: Elpress L
Shoes: Antaina
Socks: Moi-même-Moitié
Bag: Moi-même-Moitié
Accessories: Moi-même-Moitié, Restyle, offbrand

My outfit for International Lolita Day meetup at the Toronto Botanical Gardens! It's beautiful, but the weather was nice that day and there were heaps of people in the garden. People kept coming up and pestering us for photos until our tour guide kindly told them off. I was pretty happy with how my hair cooperated despite the crazy wind, but I probably should have trimmed those side bangs off.

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That's all for now - my next post will actually be something more interesting than selfies, I promise!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

A Gothic Lolita Soundtrack, Round 2!

I decided to make this into a recurring topic since I can babble on and on about music for hours. Last time, you met Lacrimosa, Stillste Stunde, Cross Vein, GPKISM, The Birthday Massacre, Lacroix Despheres, Rose Noir, Kaya, and Elend.

As before, I’m going to avoid mentioning the most commonly suggested artists like Malice Mizer and Kanon Wakeshima – not because I don’t love them, but because everyone has heard of them already. Also, a lot of these artists are French – just a heads up!

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Rasputina is quirky and unique – definitely one of my favourite bands. The lyrics often have unusual or historical themes. Many lolitas enjoy their sound, since they even performed at Rufflecon!

Recommended Songs: Transylvanian Concubine, Stumpside, Girls’ School,  Antique High Heel Red Doll Shoes

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The Eden House

 Refreshingly modern gothic-rock/post punk band with a lovely female vocalist. Like a softer, dreamier Fields of the Nephilim.

Recommended Songs: Hunger, Trashed Treasure 

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Switchblade Symphony

While their sound is a bit dated now, Switchblade Symphony is a hallmark of 90s goth music. They bring together darkwave, ethereal wave, and trip-hop in a wonderfully creepy and dreamy mix. Their later albums are much more industrial/trip-hop influenced, but the first album is a cult classicthat  would definitely appeal to many gothic lolitas.

Recommended Songs: Bad Trash, Dollhouse, Wallflower, Clown

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Artésia’s music is so relaxing. I like to go for long walks through the cemetery or woods while listening to them – it almost feels like walking through a movie scene (cliché, I know...). It’s instrumental dark, folky, ethereal music, sometimes with haunting female vocals. I would recommend Artésia to anyone who enjoys nature, faeries, or fantasy. You don’t need to understand French to enjoy their songs, although my French is passable and I can follow along.

Recommended Songs:  Le Haut Bois, Lying on the Grey Foam, Eveil Et Deséspoir

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Emilie Autumn

Self-styled “Victoriandustrial” artist Emilie Autumn is adored by angsty teenage girls the world over for her asylum escapee persona and frilly costumes. Her music is an odd blend of industrial and neoclassical with dramatic fluttering vocals. She makes lots of references to Victorian-era literature and events, if you’re into that historical sort of flavour. Her discography up until Fight Like a Girl is pretty solid.Definitely a guilty pleasure. 

Recommended Songs: Castle Down, Misery Loves Company, Leech Jar, Rose Red

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Rule of Rose OST

Rule of Rose is a fairly disturbing survival horror game about creepy, psychotic little girls from an alternate world. Naturally, the music is melancholy, instrumental piano and violin music – not a cheerful soundtrack by any means. Sadly, most of the songs are pretty short.

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Cécile Corbel

Some more French music for you!I feel that Cécile Corbel’s music is appealing to all lolitas because her voice is so sweet and dreamy, but not overly saccharine and poppy. The string backing tracks are pleasant, too. 
Recommended Songs: Jardin Secret, Red Rose, Folia

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I hope you enjoy these recommendations! Until then, stay spooky and keep your eyes out for Round 3.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Review: MeLikesTea "Cotton Candy" Petticoat (PT06V)

Hello bats! Today I’m going to be reviewing the Me Likes Tea (MLT) Cotton Candy petticoat. I ordered the petticoat in black voile. It was part of a very large group order so it took several months to arrive, but I’m more than happy with Tai’s friendly service and patience!

I’ve never seen voile used to make petticoats before, so I was curious to try it out. Voile is a very soft, flowy, gauzy fabric similar to mosquito netting or chiffon, and it was used to make petticoats in the early 1900s. It has very little natural stiffness unlike tulle, so the volume of the petticoat comes from the layers of ruffles. Voile is usually cotton so it’s easy to clean, but this petti is made from polyester voile.

In my order I specified a waist of 60cm, a bit larger than my own waist because I can’t stop eating and there’s nothing worse than being strangled by your petticoat at a buffet. It is accurate and does fit a little loosely, as expected. The waist is elasticated with a drawstring, so it’s very comfortable and adjustable. The elastic does tend to slip down a bit when wearing a silky blouse. The petti is also 45 cm long with 5 layers of ruffled voile and a polyester lining, as advertised. It looks exactly like the stock photo, so I’m very pleased!

Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: poof pictures! I’m going to be comparing the MLT petticoat to the pettis I already have. Honestly, it’s not going to be much of a competition since the other contenders are pretty shite.

First up we have my flat, deflated Bunny House Medium petticoat, henceforth referred to as BH. This petti lasted all of 3 months before it completely collapsed – even starching can’t stiffen it. It works fine for lightweight chiffon dresses, or for casual outfits. Anything heavier than chiffon and it just looks like I'm not wearing a petti at all.
Next we have the CP A-line petti. As you may already know, CP’s reputation is circling the drain with regards to quality control. My petti lasted about 5 wears before the top layer of ruffles literally tore in half. However, it’s still pretty poofy and stiff despite repeated wears. 

Lastly, I’ll be comparing it against the poofy, sweaty abomination that I’ve lovingly dubbed THE UBERPOOFER: layering the deflated BH bell on top with the CP A-line underneath.
I’m also going to include a photo of all 3 pettis stacked up, just because.

A CHALLENGER APPROACHES: Petticoat Army vs. Moi-même-Moitié Velveteen Scalloped Lace JSK
Click to enlarge!
This dress is an A-line cut, but I just wanted to see if the pettis were able to stand up to the weight of my heaviest dress.  As you can see, the poof of MLT petti is pretty much equal to THE UBERPOOFER which is quite impressive. It maintains a nice bell shape even under heavy velveteen. Under lightweight dresses, it creates a very exaggerated bell shape which would look wonderful in sweet coordinates. 

It also works well for layering if for some reason you want to wear multiple petticoats. I like the triple looks like I ate a sweet lolita and absorbed her powers.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this petticoat. The quality of materials, construction, and performance are top notch for the price paid (130 Brazilian reals)  and I would definitely recommend MLT to anyone looking for a new petti – just keep in mind that Tai is very backed up with orders so you might have to wait.

Shopping Experience: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Total Score: 5/5