23 May 2017

Day Out in Manchester

I was going to go to a meet with my comm – but when I realised that this would mean not seeing my boyfriend for another whole month (if not longer), I cancelled on that and called up a plan us two have forged earlier: spending a day out in Manchester. Which, of course, called for dressing up!

| Song and Temple Fairytale Library skirt | Axes Femme
blouse | Innocent World Millefeuille bolero | Putomayo
Celestial Light OTKs | Innocent World Art Nouveau
headbow | Fantastic Grim Jewellery necklace | offbrand
beret and shoes (New Look) |

This is actually what I would’ve worn to the comm meet as well. The Fairytale Library skirt is my new favourite because of how easily you can dress it up or down. In fact, I’ve been wearing it to work for a whole week before that weekend and got plenty of compliments on what are some simple outfits by Lolita standards. So it also ended up feeling quite cathartic to finally do a proper Lolita outfit with it. Also: big shout out to the Putomayo socks as they stayed up almost all day without sock glue. Now I want more Putomayo socks, but I’m waiting for them to do some new designs.

Our day in Manchester consisted of visiting the Manchester Museum, going out for ramen (which is what started the whole thing) and a little bit of shopping. Despite it being a pretty gloomy day all day, we managed to avoid most of the rain and stay relatively dry, but unfortunately (and very surprisingly!) I was a little bit ill on that day which affected my spirits a bit. (Context: last time I was ill, and that was quite seriously ill, was 2014.)

The Manchester Museum is actually a part of the University of Manchester and while I knew that they had several different exhibits on, it still confused me a little bit. Rather than being a museum specialised in one specific thing it felt more like a museum of everything anyone affiliated with Manchester Uni ever laid their hands on. So one moment we were looking at a typical archaeological exhibition focused on Ancient Egypt and Ancient Roman artefacts found around Manchester – and then suddenly we’re in a natural history part… from which we ended up in a little aquarium of lizards and amphibians? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a better marking of what’s where or at least a map suggesting visit routes would’ve mitigated the confusion a little bit. But hey, the museum staff appreciated my book skirt, so I can’t really complain and I did enjoy the visit.

From there we made the walk to the city centre, which was a lot quicker than what Google Maps told us (25mins according to them, more like 15-20mins at my low-energy pace). We went to Shoryu Ramen, which is actually a London-based chain that managed to open up a Northern branch. I’ve tried them before when I went to London once, so I knew that I was getting what I was craving, but I’m glad that I also converted my boyfriend a little bit too (this was his first time trying ramen). Bonus – the ramen made me feel a bit better, proper comfort food, but also soups are amazing when you’re poorly. It’s in Piccadilly Garden, so right in the middle of the city and hard to miss.

What I didn’t realise has also come up North from London was some of the shopping that we did after we refuelled. After eating we had about an hour before shops would close and I don’t miss a chance to go to Lush, ever. On our way there, however, I spotted a familiar tattooed face on the Debenhams window. Yes, the Kat von D line, which has been available through Debenhams in the UK since like last November, has finally become available not just online and in London, but in other branch(es?) too. I can’t exactly say that I’m obsessed with her makeup line, but I wanted to try the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks for a while and selecting colours online makes me uncomfortable. And rightly so, because the colours that I would’ve bought online I did not like at all in real life. Since I couldn’t decide, I bought two and went straight to the till before I dropped any more money, and then we proceeded to Lush where I dropped more money. The lady in Lush told me that Debenhams has launched the Kat von D line in Manchester only the day before, so that was such incredibly lucky timing as well! But whilst in that Lush I realised that even “my” Leeds brand, which I thought was so great and well stocked, was poor in comparison – the Manchester one had things which up until then I’ve only seen online, like the iridescent eyeshadows. Again, deciding was hard, but in the end I only got one which I plan on doubling up as a highlighter – as well as one bath bomb and a small bottle of shower gel. Because I was ill and deserved to spoil myself a little!

This is kind of silvery lavender sheen in real life

On our way back to the car I also fulfilled a promise I made to my boyfriend in that I’d treat him to something nice and he decided that this “something nice” would be a milkshake. We spotted two branches of this milkshake (and burger) place called Archie’s and it turned out to be absolutely delicious! I was too worried about a cold drink making me worse, though I didn’t refuse when offered to try my boyfriend’s Oreolicious – it was absolutely gorgeous! Pretty large for a regular size as well, but totally worth it!

So in the end, even though I felt a little weak and not really myself, I enjoyed spending a day out in Manchester. It’s a place that I feel I should know better, but somehow never make my way there – but every time I’ve been there recently I’ve been nothing but pleasantly surprised and genuinely enjoyed my stay. So I guess it’s time to attend more meets with the comm there, isn’t it?

19 May 2017

Madillustration Brooch Review

There are so many indie brands creating absolutely amazing things that it’d be impossible to list them all. Recently there’s been a bit of a rise of popularity for brooches and pins and you’re really spoilt for choice. But when I saw Madillustration’s Patisserie series I knew I had to have it.

16 May 2017

A Crafty Weekend

So far this year I’ve focused a lot more time and energy into making things and getting more into crafting. Yes, I’ve done bits and bobs before, but those were all things I knew I could do anyway, there was no challenge there. Now I’m venturing out of my comfort zone a little bit and learning new things whilst at it. Crafting also keeps me from spending money (even though I still check out sales and find things I like and put myself out there to be tempted) by giving me something else to do, so there definitely will be more things coming!

12 May 2017

Taobao Preorder Unboxing

This skirt has been on preorder since January and it's finally arrived. And while I was at it and needed something anyway, I took advantage of having a Taobao order on the go already and added something extra from Fan+Friend (gosh, I never know how to spell it, separately, together, using words or the plus sign...).

9 May 2017

Super Easy Sash

I’ve been getting pretty crafty recently. It’s such a fun and relaxing way to do something that’s Lolita-related that doesn’t involve buying new clothes (and in light of a recent, fairly pricey pre-order, it’s something I should do a lot more of). Having said this, I’m still a total amateur and all my projects are aimed at all the crafts novices. This one, as you may remember, was on my to-do list for Dreamy Masquerade Carnival, but I took advantage of the bank holiday weekend and all that extra time to get it done earlier.

5 May 2017

What Would You Like To See Brands Do More Of?

No matter how much you love a brand, there’s always something you wish they did more of. My favourite is Angelic Pretty, so there are a few things I wish would feature more with – some are things that other brands already are doing and some are what I’d like all brands to take note of.

2 May 2017

One Dress Four Looks Take 11

It’s time to get creative with the outfits again. At my current rate of buying things, one of these posts a month might not cut it, so I’ll try to speed things up a little. This was my first piece from Metamorphose temps de fille and I bought it mainly as I thought that a solid colour JSK would be a good, versatile addition. And it is, as well as a very comfortable one due to the full body shirring, and yet I’ve kept putting it on the back burner a bit. Time to stop that.

28 Apr 2017

Create a Coord Based on Royalty

Ideologically I’m neither in favour nor against monarchy. However, aesthetically royalty, especially from various periods of European history, is a huge source of inspiration.

25 Apr 2017

Spring Picnic Meet

Initially I wasn’t going to go. This meet was organised kind of as a spur of the moment thing (well, as much as 2 weeks’ notice can be spur of the moment) and it was shortly after my return from Belgium, so I anticipated myself to be tired and in need of rest. Plus I wasn’t optimistic that the weather would hold. And, as usual, I’m so glad that I went!

| Innocent World Revival Sweet Teddybear JSK |
Innocent World 2017 LP blouse | Cutie Creator headbow |
Sosic Shop heels | offbrand jewellery, tights and cardigan |

For the sake of comfort I went for a very simple coord. In true spirit of #lolitaproblems, none of my sax items match and I didn’t want to do red and blue again (as much as I love red and blue), so decided to white and brown. Innocent World does Sweet-Classic vibes like no-one else and I’m totally into this, especially with this dress, so even though the coord is pretty basic it works so well. I would’ve liked to have maybe a brown ring or white x brown OTKs, but even without those I felt appropriately Lolita.

The picnic turned out so much better than I expected! For one, the weather was really nice, warm with sunny spells – and during those sunny spells many of us took off our jackets and cardigans, it was genuinely that warm. But also, Leeds comm turned out to be expertly organised. We were due to leave the train station at 1pm – at precisely 12:59:57 the last member of our party arrived and we all departed at 1pm sharp. If you don’t understand why this is so shocking in Lolita communities, then you must be very new. And then not only did everyone bring something delicious to eat, we had a good balance between savouries and sweets and enough responsible people to think about the boring basics: cups, plates, cutlery, napkin, even a bin bag. Well done, Leeds, you have nailed that picnic thing.

Our spread (plus my foot spoiling the photo).
Photo by Kirsty.

The park we were in was right in the city centre, maybe 5mins walk from the train station (if you walked leisurely), yet it was pleasantly empty, which meant that we didn’t have to fight for any kind of spot to claim and were generally undisturbed. Apart from a wedding party, which took over the opposite end to take some photos, one random guy with his girlfriend who thought he was being swag and one man with a pugalier dog to the delight of most of our party, there was nobody there. This in turned allowed us to really enjoy the afternoon, chat amongst ourselves, browse through the magazines the host brought (mainly some English GLB’s, but also a few other things like Eternita or the Tea Party Club annual), play charades, take photos and, of course, eat copious amounts of food. We all agreed that food meets are smashing and food should be incorporated into as many meets as possible in an official form (leading the host of the next meet to change her mind and declare next meet ‘dumplings and berets’ rather than just berets). And if the weather holds, I’m sure we’ll have more spur of the moment picnic meets as more bank holidays and summer breaks approach.

At the end three of us broke away from the definitely-returning-home group to make a quick stop at Lush – mainly because every time I’m in Leeds I go to Lush, it works out cheaper for me than buy Lush things online. To my despair I learnt that one of my favourite products, hair oil called Shine So Bright (ah, that name always reminds of of Baby, the Stars Shine Bright) is discontinued, so on top of some compulsory bath bombs I ended up with a pot of R&B (to take care of my ends and keep them from splitting) and a very generous sample of Jasmine & Henna Fluff Eaze Hai, which is a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment promising to strengthen your hair and add shine. I tried it on that same day and while it was odd to put it on before washing my hair, but I think it’s done something. Based on the instructions, I probably didn’t put enough, but I was still wearing some of my Lolita and didn’t want the product to end up on my clothes, so I’ll try again next weekend for some extra pampering. I also returned home to my Charlotte Tilbury order having arrived, so extra luxury for me. I was a little hesitant about buying a lipstick from them since it was on the pricier side (still not the most expensive lipstick I bought), but having seen how much care went into preparing my order, including three complimentary samples, two of which I could’ve chosen myself, I’m incredibly impressed. Which means that I’ll probably buy from them again.

Look at the size of that sample - it's almost a full 100g pot!

Such luxury, much treating myself!

Have you been lucky with the weather recently? Did it result in a similar outdoor loveliness, either with your comm or not? Do you like picnic meets? I used to be sort of meh about them, but this one definitely changed my mind!

21 Apr 2017

Outfit Double

I have returned from my trip to Belgium, half refreshed and half tired (a lot of sightseeing and a lot of catching up with long-unseen friends don’t make for a lot of sleep), and I’m all ready to resume business as usual. Despite taking only a small suitcase for a 12 day trip, I manage to pack two Lolita dresses and my Classical Puppets petticoat – packing skills acquired as a student came incredibly useful here, but they did require a little bit of magic as well.

However, although I had enough things to wear a few different outfits with what I brought, I only ended up wearing Lolita twice: on date night with my boyfriend and then on a visit to the Royal Gardens in Brussels. I had packed for a slightly warmer weather, but I’m still happy that I managed to wear both dresses out.

I hope the mirror selfie isn't too poor.
| BtSSB Sugar Bouquet Shirring Princess JSK | IW bolero |
IW Rose and Diamond OTKs | Bodyline tea parties | offbrand
jewellery and hair accessories |

Our date night involved going out for a curry, so I pounced at the opportunity to wear something fully shirred and elegant. And it indeed turned out to be the perfect choice as I felt dressed up enough for a date, yet could have all the curry I wanted (still not managed to finish it, but I enjoyed it all the same). A pair of heels would’ve looked so much better with this outfit, but having packed all my stuff I only had enough room for one pair of shoes so opted for these as ones that go with both dresses. I love how many detachable parts are there on Shirring Princess, the dress almost never looks the same. Next time I’ll definitely do something a bit more well-rounded and suitably Classic.

| AP Diner Doll JSK | AP Creamy Shirring blouse | Metamorphose Heart
Ladder Lace
OTKs | Bodyline tea parties | BtSSB ribbon combs (borrowed) |
Peacockalorum wrist cuffs | After Midnight doughnut brooch | offbrand jewellery |
Now, you may wonder why I wouldn’t wear Shirring Princess again, since the Sugar Bouquet print would fit the theme of visiting the Royal Gardens. The answer is that I needed some fresh shot in Angelic Pretty to submit with my modelling application for DMC and out of all AP that I own Diner Doll felt the most wearable in a slightly more casual way. With the friend whom I was visiting, who also wears Lolita, we actually came up with two different versions of this coord before deciding on this, the third one, which mixed elements of the other two. As I didn’t bring my matching cardigan, I wore my leather jacket over this most of the time when not being photographed and discovered that it actually kind of goes (it’s a mocha/light brown biker-style jacket, which fit both the 1950’s diner aesthetic and, surprisingly, the colours) and I’d love to try something more in that direction at some point.

After the gardens, having walked so much throughout my entire stay, we deemed that cake not only was appropriate, but necessary and turned to TripAdvisor for some suggestions. As that was Easter Monday most places were closed, significantly narrowing our search. Mostly at random we picked this place in Etterbeek, just outside Brussels, which is called Au Vatel and we were totally stunned with how utterly divine their cakes were! And this was number 18 on the list of best bakeries/patisseries in Brussels too (probably because it’s not actually in Brussels, so fewer people would’ve reviewed it). If you’re in the vicinity I wholeheartedly recommend this place – the cake pictured here totally blew my head off, I melted, died in a rich chocolate-y nirvana and never wanted to return to any kind of reality.
Absolute foodgasm from Au Vatel <3

I won’t go into detailed accounts of my trip to Belgium, I’ve done so much and this blog is intended to be about Lolita fashion. Overall our focus seemed to have been fashion (we visited three separate fashion exhibitions and would’ve been to a fourth similar one had we not missed the opening hours), food (duh, waffles, chocolate and fries!), strolling around the cities and finding all kinds of weird and wonderful things in each of them (we’ve been to Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges, Hasselt, Brussels and very, very briefly to Namur and each was charming and amazing in its own way) and reminiscing about Japan (which is where we met on an exchange programme). I honestly can’t pick a favourite place of these, I’ve seen too little of the French-speaking part of Belgium than I would’ve liked and as I said every city charmed me with something different, though as a total city rat craving city life and luxuries I could imagine myself living in Antwerp – and then travelling around to revisit all the other lovely places!

And there it is – very brief outline of what I’ve been up to this past week, where I’m so happy I’ve managed to squeeze Lolita in. Usual blogging will resume (this trip gave me quite a bit of inspiration, for general posts as well as for getting stuck with some crafting) and I’ll speak to you soon!

11 Apr 2017

Brand Accessory Haul

Yes, this should have been a video. However, as you’re reading this, I’m on my way to Belgium, visiting a long unseen friend there and having some Lolita fun. And when this arrived I was too impatient and wouldn’t have had the time to edit so… Back to the good ol’ fashioned text and picture review it is!

7 Apr 2017

What do You Believe is Important to Make a Cohesive Coordinate?

Some fashions are ok, even promote chaotic mish-mash and putting together things that clash. Lolita isn’t one of them – we strive for perfection and for the whole outfit to flow together, from the smallest to the largest piece. It’s a skill, putting together things that are so cohesive that individual items blend together to form one whole coord, one that we learn and polish all of our Lolita lives.

4 Apr 2017

Dreamy Masquerade Carnival Planner

I think the last time I was this excited about something was last year when I got the tickets for Wicked and Whimsy. This year’s 10th anniversary of Tea Party Club under the theme of Dreamy Masquerade Carnival, in aide of the special guest, Angelic Pretty, will be even better. Hell, let’s be real – it’ll blow the roof of whatever building we’ll be in!

31 Mar 2017

Lolidrobe Reassessment Post 2017.1

With April literally around the corner, it’s time to see how I’ve been doing so far this year.

28 Mar 2017

Cardigan Meet

For the longest time I had no idea what to wear to this meet. I knew that I wanted to work my outfit around a cardigan and initially thought of doing something with my gold AP one, but there was no inspiration for everything else. This was the first time I had such a block in my head regarding an outfit, so it was quite a strange feeling.

And then I remembered an outfit that used a cardigan that got a lot of positive comments here…

| Haenuli Whipped Cream Kitty JSK | Hell Bunny cardigan |
Innocent World Anchor OTKs | Bodyline shoes | Angelic
Pretty Twinkle Sky headbow | Innocent World brooch | offbrand
blouse (not visible), jewellery and beret |

Selfie showcasing my hair before it got ruined.

Yes, I decided to take the sailor-style coord with Whipped Cream Kitty out for a spin and it was a total winner! It was comfortable, yet cute, and because of all the vintage vibe I didn’t feel as self-conscious as I sometimes can be in Lolita (even with such a bold print on), because in my head I felt like I was wearing 1950’s fashion (or that this is what the public would see). It’s worked a treat! And I must say, I was very lucky with the weather, it was really warm and sunny, just enough for me to forego a jacket and just strut about in my cardigan.

I actually went to Leeds a bit earlier as I wanted to buy a few bits. On the train station I bumped into two teenage cosplayers who complimented me on my coord – bonus points for knowing that I wore Lolita, I know not all cosplayers know that so kudos to these two lads. There was a bit of going back and forth, as I couldn’t find glitter eyeliner that I was after, but in the end I managed to get this, as well as a pastel blue eyeshadow and some bath bombs from Lush (because how can you walk past Lush and not buy anything, right?).

Our crafty meet, which was all about lolifying offbrand cardigans, actually took place in the community room at the (still) new John Lewis in Leeds. It’s on 4th floor right where the haberdashery is (convenient) and turned out to be fantastic space: well lit (though not such great lighting for outfit shots), spacious, quiet, away from the public and they’re ok with food and drink there. I think we’ll have a lot more meets taking place there, we all really enjoyed using that space. In the end it turned out to be a very small meet, 5 people total down from something like 8-9 who were originally meant to come, but quality over quantity.

Not the community room, but all of John Lewis looks very

Much as I tried I didn’t achieve a dramatic transformation that the others have managed. I brought 2 cardigans, but only ended up changing the buttons on both of them and ironing on a cute cookie patch to one. With one I didn’t know what to do to it, I had no vision, whereas with the other it was more of a matter of not knowing how best to accomplish my vision as well as being one or two bits short. So in the end they’re both a work in progress, although as the more “complete” one here is a before and after shot of the bolero that I felt was the most finished looking of the two.

Still, despite that I had great fun doing that! I think for future crafty meets I should come in with more of a vision of what I wanted to achieve and potentially bring my own materials rather than rely on the organiser to buy the right bits (this or ask them to buy very specific things). We all were quite impressed with the community room at John Lewis and it seems like the next crafty meet will be as early as May, which gives me a bit of time to prepare.

Have you done anything crafty recently, on your own or with your comm? Has it turned out the way you wanted to? Do you enjoy meetups based around crafting? I’d love to see photos, if you have any!

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