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~

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