13 Jul 2016

Favourite Recent Releases



Not sure about you, but since I got into Lolita it feels as if there have been years of feast and years of famine, to use a biblical metaphor. Up until about last year almost every new release that the big Japanese brands were bringing out made me gasp, drool and immediately want everything in that release (and subsequently cry that I can’t afford all this frilly goodness). However, what the brands have brought out since then, for the most part, I acknowledged, then shrugged my shoulders and moved on. Maybe it’s because now I have a clearer idea as to what my style is within Lolita, or maybe its to do with trends and what’s popular, I’m not going to analyse that. Yet in amidst all of this there have been a few releases so far this year which piqued my interest and which would be nice to obtain – and those are the ones which I will talk about here.

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For the purpose of keeping this post a reasonable length, I won’t include anything that I have actually purchased (but might mention it) and I’ll only name items/series which made me consider getting them quite seriously (i.e. made me do sums to check if I could afford it), nothing less. These aren’t going to be the detailed analyses that people like Luna Rain put on their blogs, although I will try to balance my excitement with some critique, the amateur that I am. So, in reverse chronological order, because I’m using Lolibrary to help me remember what has come out so far (and all photos are taken from there):

Haenuli Just One Bite
Photo from Haenuli's Facebook page
I know that this hasnt actually been released yet, but I simply couldnt resist including it. Even though I don’t wear Gothic Lolita myself, I have a lot of appreciation for Gothic aesthetic as I had a long phase during my teen years where I wanted to be a Goth but never had the guts to go through with it. Gothic music influenced me a lot at that time and it still evokes a lot of powerful emotions. So I simply could not go past this print without a gasp. It feels so different from your usual Gothic and/or fairy tale-themed prints - it’s dark and sinister, an actual Gothic (as in the medieval art movement) image of a very popular and often infantilized fairy tale. The details on it are so rich that I wish I had a bigger and higher resolution image of it so that I could take it all in. It certainly stands out in the crowd of cross-and-stained-glass-Gothic prints. Shame that it will only come in black, it could look just as stunning in very dark wine or navy, maybe even dark forest green. I’m really looking forward to seeing the cuts, which way will Haenuli go: simple to showcase the print or dramatic to match the print? Either way, it’s very exciting, to the point where I’m reconsidering my stance on Gothic Lolita (although that would involve buying a lot of new pieces to match).


Angelic Pretty Astro Academy JSK
This series essentially disappeared amidst the double release madness of Diner Doll and Strawberry Whip re-release. And it’s a shame because it really is cute in its simplicity. Uncomplicated, yet elegant, you could either take inspiration from its name and do a more school uniform type of outfit, or go totally Sweet/Circus/Military/Classic/Gothic/whatever style you want, really. Simplicity and no print make this JSK really versatile, so this would probably make a great first purchase for beginner Lolitas who haven’t figured out yet which style they want to go into. Having said this, I’m not crazy about the bottom of the skirt with the double layer and lace. It feels a bit too much and I think personally I’d get rid of the lace. I know that this is supposed to be an Astro Academy, but the starry lace feels out of place and almost pushes this dress towards being a bit more schoolgirly than it already is and distracts from the lovely pleats, which are elegant and enough of a statement for me, but that’s just my opinion. I actually first discovered the series through the OTKs, which I also adore, as I went onto the socks section of AP’s online store to check out Diner Doll’s socks (which at that point weren’t ready yet), but I’m glad I did because I genuinely feel like I could get this in white or navy. Maybe not at full price, but I’m hoping for some good sales on this or nice deals second hand. With the right blouse underneath maybe I could even wear it to work!

Angelic Pretty Harlequinade JSK

This print raised my eyebrows in interest when I first saw the previews posted on Facebook, but as nice as it looked there I sort of left it be. But on the Saturday of the release, when I noticed that literally none of the items in that series sold out, I looked at it more. And I found myself drawn to this JSK cut, especially in sax. All the colourways are interesting, with navy being my second favourite, but what attracted me to sax is how subtle the print looks against it – you could either play it up with a masquerade themed royal parade of an outfit or tone it down to a simple Sweet-Classic look. I’m really feeling the gold accents and the belt, which accentuates the waist very nicely – removable back bow instead of the usual fiddly waist ties because of said belt is an added bonus. What I’m not so keen on is the front fastening on the belt, although it looks as if it may be possible to tuck those long, thin gold ribbons underneath and pretend that they don’t exist at all (out of sight, out of mind, no heretical alterations on brand needed). I will definitely keep an eye on this release, see how it fares. I don’t like it quite enough to jump at it just yet, especially as I was waiting to get a closer look at AP’s Diner Doll series (which I did end up getting). Right now I feel like I should hold on to my money because of Wicked and Whimsy in August and other more personal reasons, but if this JSK was to go on sale later this summer (or even in the new year if it lasts that long), I think I’ll have a go at it.

Metamorphose tems de fille Country Flowers Button Down Low Waist JSK

If you’re keeping up with this blog, then you’ll know that I’m into florals at the moment. Meta released this series right in the middle of my flowery phase, so I jumped at it from the moment I got the email. I must admit that I’m not sure about the low waist, I’d have to try it on first to see how it’d look on me, but the only alternatives are the skirt (and I only like high-waisted skirts in Lolita) or the OP, which is a bit long. Yet other than the waist worries, I’m in love with this JSK. The flowery print is exactly what I’m into at the moment, girly and summery, but with a strong oldschool vibe. And ever since I bought Meta’s Shirring Tiered Ribbon JSK, I am in love with the idea of button down dresses. That adds another level of versatility to an item, as you can do variations of how open/closed you want to wear it and what may peek out from underneath. If it had the same waist as the OP I think Meta would’ve tempted me into reserving this beauty. But then again, this one’s still around and not sold out as well, and I’m not quite as desperate, so unless I manage to get my hands on a different floral piece before that (cough-cough, Georges Rose, cough-cough), I may try to wait until this goes on sale. After all patience is a virtue, right?

Alice and the Pirates Marching Drum bag

Who said I’d only talk about dresses? I love all circus-themed things, as well as bags in unusual shapes – this combines the two perfectly! On the stock photos it actually looks massive, that’d probably fit even a change of shoes if you needed it. Having said that, because of its size, it seems to sit a bit awkwardly or as if there isn’t any truly comfortable place for it to sit at. And I am skeptical about it only having a magnetic clasp for a fastening. Unless worn with the fastening facing up, I’d be constantly worried that my stuff is going to fall out and, in case of the more fragile things, break. I know that it’s more convenient/quicker to use than a zip (and I know that from using the Merry-Go-Round bag from Innocent World), but a zip at least offers some security and peace of mind: you know that your things won’t fall out and that you’d feel if someone tried to mess with your bag and pickpocket you. Finally, I would’ve liked to see at least one more colourway. Blue x red is fabulous, and I can see plenty of people using the black x grey one, but the brown one looks more like a oldfashioned travel suitcase than a drum bag. Maybe gold or purple, or a white with an accent colour? Nonetheless, this is still a very cute bag – and maybe a used one will appear somewhere cheaply one day

Innocent World Chiffon Sleeve blouse

As I’ve already talked about Innocent World’s Georges Rose in the post about my floral phase, let’s skip straight to this one: a blouse. It’s actually nothing special or unusual – but I find the simplicity charming, and I think this is a very elegant blouse. It looks good with a skirt, as on the stock photo, but I’m sure that it’d also add a lot of charm to JSKs. And although overall it’s a pretty Classic one, because of the Peter Pan collar, the heart-shaped buttons and the frill around the sleeves I think you could sweeten it up very easily, possibly even to an OTT level. I do wish that Innocent World offered a little bit more leeway in the waist area in their blouses, as judging by their listed measurements, an M would be exactly my bust size, but too small in the waist – whereas an L would be a little too big in the bust, but potentially just fit in the waist. They don’t even have to do any shirring, simple corset lacing or ties, which I’ve seen them do before, would surely do the job, allowing slightly bigger waist measurements to still fit slimmer Lolitas. I know, I’m whining when there are plenty of Lolitas who don’t even have that potential of just fitting into it, this is a very first world problems – but then aren’t all Lolita problems very first world problems? Anyway, I’m quite sad that this has sold out in the L sizes in both white and ivory, but having said that I’m not sure if I would risk buying it, just in case that it wouldn’t fit. Why am I not in Japan anymore? I would’ve just gone to the shop and tried these things on (but then I’d be far more tempted to buy all those things if they did fit).


I was going to talk about AP’s Eternal Carnival and maybe even Charlotte’s Bear, but in the end decided not to. I know that I wouldn’t get Charlotte’s Bear because of how different the colours are in real life compared to the stock photos (if the colours matched, I would’ve gone for ivory or maybe blue, even though it is quite an unusual shade of blue which I’m not sure if I’d ever find a match for outside the series). And Eternal Carnival… Well, I still quite like it, particularly the peplum JSK, even though the peplum covers up half of the print – it’s such a cutesy peplum though! But in the end, other than the peplum, it’s just another carnival-themed dress, and I doubt I need another one of those (I can still want one though, can’t I?). It hasn’t wowed me as much as Crystal Dream Carnival has, and as cute as the print is, I think I’d be just as happy getting a poster of it and admiring it as one would a painting. Still, I’m feeling AP a lot more this year than I did last year, and even if I don’t particularly like a print, I still find them very inspiring (e.g. Aquarium Carnival). They’re back to pastel cuteness, which appeals to me a lot, and I’m very happy with that!

If I had done a post like this in about 2013-2014, I’d probably put every other release, and not just from Angelic Pretty. But really, after 2015, which was way too full of crosses and sack dresses for my liking, having these five items which I would love (and would have gotten if I had more money), and at least two or three other items which I found inspiring, is very promising. I’m looking forward to what will the second half of 2016 look like!

What have been your favourite brand releases so far this year? Did you get any of them or are thinking about doing so?


* Thumbnail uses a photo by Sorayachi entitled Reading Gothic Lolita Bible, taken from DeviantArt.

6 comments:

  1. I remember looking through the AP website and finding Astro Academy and being mad at myself for not knowing about the release! It's just too short for me and I think those pleats + an underskirt wouldn't work, but I love it - I think AP's non-print is often underrated, and I really enjoy this series!

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    1. I recently started to appreciate non-print stuff more in general, but yeah, AP has some great one, and so does Meta (Baby often ends up a bit too much of everything, and Innocent World often feels like vintage/vintage reproduction style and getting actual vintage is usually cheaper). But yeah, Astro Academy was barely advertised/announced at all, it was just shoved under big prints. Sad... Oh yeah, I guess it is on the shorter side. Again, it's a shame that they have that lace - without it you could potentially find/make a matching fabric and add another layer of pleats to make it longer.

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    2. I need to buy or make more non print! My wardrobe is lacking in things like that. I love Meta's velveteen that they release every winter, it's a great mix of old and new school (and classic meta wackiness!)

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    3. That is a worthy mission indeed. Part of me wants to get more non-print main pieces too, but I'm already struggling for storage space and I'm expecting two new dresses at some point, so that might have to wait until I either figure out how to double my storage space or move out :P

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    4. ...I just bought a print. A super sweet print that is in no way anything like the non-print dresses I've been admiring. I can't stick to my own goals for longer than 24 hours :P

      I have two wardrobes and one is almost entirely lolita now...oops!

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    5. Haha, which print is it? :D

      Lucky you! I wish I could have that, but I only have one chest of drawers and one "hole in the wall" (it previously hosted the old heating stuff, but has since been converted for a wardrobe for myself) for ALL my clothes. I periodically do cleanouts and/or reshuffles in my regular clothes, but the effects never last long. :P

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