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.

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. 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 in the front and functional lacing in the back. 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.

Here are some coordinates!

Blouse: Moi-même-Moitié
Headdress: Antique Beast
Tights: Triple Fortune
Shoes: Angelic Imprint
Bag: Killstar
Accessories: Moi-même-Moitié, Restyle, offbrand

This picture is from my Instagram, so the quality is hot garbage and you can't see the cute red print on the socks.

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 sell 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 (again, surprising 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…

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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. They released a cut with corset lacing about a week after I bought mine, but I decided to just let it go.
I actually found 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. 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.

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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 heels it comes down below my knees. It’s such a beautiful dress but I feel like it was designed for someone a few inches taller with actual boobs.

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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?