Saturday, 14 October 2017

Newcastle Lolitas Café Meetup

Last Sunday the Newcastle Lolita community held another meetup and, of course, I went! I wanted to write a bit more of an in-depth meet up post this time around, so prepare of a bit of a long one!

I was running a tiny bit late (because it took me longer to do my hair than expected…whoops) but got to the chosen café in the early afternoon; James was a sweetheart and drove me there and back, which was much nicer than taking the train. We also had really fantastic car conversation, it was actually kind of a bummer to get to the meet and have to stop talking! But arrive we did. James had to double park to drop me off so I grabbed my bag and quickly scrambled into the café. The waitress at the door knew exactly where to direct me, based on what I was wearing. Got to love how distinctive we lolitas are!

Took this later, but sharing it now...

I joined Rosie at the table she had booked (bless this girl for getting the ball rolling on the community again) and we sat and chatted for a while as we waited for our third confirmed attendee to show. But unfortunately she didn’t, nor did the girl who said “maybe” on facebook, so after waiting a while we decide to just go ahead and order. We both got the soup of the day (potato and bacon) which was insanely nice, along with some pretty and tasty frappes. Still on our own after we were finished we decided to wander down the street, which is Newcastle’s sort of trendy café strip, to find a good place to take outfit photos.

Yes, I'm the person who takes photos of food. all. the. time.

As we walked I peered around at all the different shops, and jokingly said that if we passed a second-hand bookshop I’d have to go in...and what did we pass? You have one guess about what happened next! I tried to exercise some self-control, but that went out the window really quickly and I ended up with a big bag of 8 sci-fi and fantasy books. I just really like books! It was good/bad timing in a way, because on my birthday which was the Wednesday prior, James took me to a bookstore and let me loose, which resulted in the purchase of four new books, so now I have a really, really big stack of books to read. Which is great, I’m a massive nerd and have not satisfied my desire to read anywhere near enough this year. Part of me feels bad about getting so many books, but mostly I feel incredibly chuffed about it.

Pretty books I didn't buy...

Then, laden with books, we headed further down the street to find a good photo spot. We were heading for the park where we held the last meetup when Rosie spotted a gorgeous jacaranda tree flowering in front of the city library (or at least, I think it was the library, whatever). The pretty flowers in front of the hard lines of a city building were really pretty to me, so I took on the role of photographer and directed Rosie to stand under the tree and pose. But then, we heard a voice as a man walking by said “do you want to be in the picture too?”. So I handed off my phone and he took some photos of both of us! It was so nice and so random that this happened – thank you friendly random bloke! I call him a bloke because he seemed so typically Aussie; khaki shorts and shirt, slightly weathered skin, and exuding friendly cheer. I don’t think he even commented on our clothes, which happened a lot wherever we went that day.

With the group photo taken care of so quickly we took outfit photos of each other and before we knew it we were done, and still had some time left before James was due back to pick me up. So we decided, since we were literally right there, to visit the Newcastle Art Gallery. The kind lady at the welcome desk let us stash our bags behind the counter and off we went to look at the art.

Now, I’m not really an art person. I love photography and modelling, and approach that as a form of art, but in my experience the actual exhibition scene is full of as much wankery and bullshit as it is genuinely amazing works. So I went in expecting to be judgemental but was pleasantly surprised to really enjoy myself. So much so that when James called to let me know he was only a few streets away Rosie and I still hadn’t finished looking at everything…and it’s not a huge gallery! I will say though that there were certainly some pieces that really annoyed me but there was also a lot of truly amazing and beautiful stuff.

I’m not going to talk much about the art but I do want to share a couple of things that I especially loved. First of all, this painting from 2017, entitled Woman with a mullet.

Everyone I have showed this to has laughed. It’s brilliant.

On the second level of the gallery was an exhibit of works by the late Mazie Karen Turner, along with some of her photos and notebooks, and I loved them all! I’d especially suggest looking up for Blue Prints works – they were astounding in person.

While we were looking around I was sneaky and kept snapping photos that I was calling “Rosie in the wild”. I just really love pictures of lolitas doing things while dressed all cutely, so I took a few of her looking around the gallery. And then, because I like the results so much, I handed her my phone and asked her to snap a couple of me while I was looking at my favourite bit of the Mazie Turner exhibit. Much as I rant against wankery, I am a wanker myself at heart. I just don’t pretend it’s art!

While we were in the gallery we were approached by two middle-aged women who were curious about what we were wearing, and later on one of them asked to take a photo of us. That’s a first for me! I haven’t been approached for a photo while out in lolita before and I’ll admit it made me feel kinda happy and special ^__^

The time in the gallery flew by and James called me before I realised the time had passed so Rosie and I made a hurried goodbye and I made my way back to the café to get picked up. James and I picked up our car conversation where we left off and soon enough we were home. I happily removed all the layers lolita requires and morphed back into my usual self – wearing pyjamas and playing computer games.

So with this meetup, that makes three I’ve attended so far this year…I’m really pleased with that! Even though it was just Rosie and I for this meet it was great to spend some time with her and hopefully soon the Newcastle community will have a few more active members so we can continue to frill up the joint!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Easter in all seasons; Egg Art outfits

Egg Art is the last of my recent influx of new main pieces (five in two months!) and as usual I am celebrating its arrival with three flat lay outfits. I really love doing flat lays for new pieces (as well as existing ones!) because it gives me a good opportunity to see what options I have for it.

And Egg Art certainly has a lot going on to build off! It’s black and white (obviously) which is classic and easy to work with, but there are also a lot of different colours in the print to pick up on. You could run with the Fabergé egg theme if you wanted, or a bejewelled kind of look, or just ignore the print entirely and match off colours.

First of all I wanted to coordinate it as-is. That’s the great thing about special sets like this – just add shoes and you’re done! However, I don’t think I’d really wear it like this (though it does look really good, so I might) so for my other coordinates I did something a bit more interesting…

For look two I wanted to play down the black as much as possible, so I covered up the top with a white bolero and ran with light and colourful accessories. Even though in retrospect I think black shoes may have been a good idea I really, really love this look! It’s fun and cute without being too overdone, and it would be super comfortable to wear as well.

Then for the last look I wanted to take the opposite route and add more black. To be completely honest I didn’t end up being a big fan of this outfit. Not quite sure why (if you can pinpoint it, let me know!) because it works on paper but eh. My gut likes some things and not others, and who am I to argue with my gut?

All in all I think Egg Art is very cute, easy to wear, and is definitely a worthwhile wardrobe addition!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Coordinates from July - September 2017

I was on a roll with lolita these past three months! I wore 8 lolita outfits for a bunch of different reasons, and I'm excited to share them all with you. September in particular was my lolita month ^__^

The first time I wore lolita in this quarter was at the end of July for the Newcastle lolita picnic meetup, which I posted about here.

JSK & shoes: Bodyline
Blouse: The Floral Notebook
OTKS: Innocent World
Beret and collar: Peacockalorum
Flower: Offbrand

I really enjoyed this outfit! It was quite simple in a way, but very me - brown, floral, fawn fur…what’s more me than that? I also enjoyed how this outfit morphed from my first idea that I actually tried laying out as a flat lay.

To be honest, I changed the blouse because the brown one was too tight on my arms at the time and then, with that changed I thought I may be able to add some fawn fur, which didn’t quite work with the brown blouse. So in the end it looked pretty different but I think I liked it even more!

And, in case you didn't see the post I actually put this coordinate in a CGL draw thread and received some amazing drawings!

In August after I got my July haul in I decided to wear Berry Stripe to work on a casual Friday. This is not really a proper lolita outfit because I couldn’t find my petticoat in the morning so there’s no poof as well as being super simple! But one of my goals for this year was to wear my lolita items more, even if it’s just in non-lolita outfits, so I did and I’m sharing it ^__^

OP: Metamorphose temps de fille Berry Stripe
Bolero: Banned
Everything else: Offbrand

I couldn’t fit my whole self in this (work bathroom mirror) photo, but the bottom half isn’t interesting anyway, just black tights and black flats. I still felt so happy and cute wearing this to work though! I even took a selfie on the train! Public selfie taking is a rarity in Roli-land…

Then I started September off the right way by wearing lolita to work on the first day of the month! Not much to say about this outfit really, but I got some nice compliments on the skirt and my weeby co-worker recognised it a lolita. My friend/housemate/workmate Natalie was lovely enough to take photos for me as we walked into work form the train station. Due to being all black I've lost a bit of detail here, but I enjoyed wearing this outfit!

Skirt: Victorian Maiden
Cutsew: The Black Ribbon
Flower: Taobao
Everything else: Offbrand

On the third weekend in September I achieved a personal record - I wore lolita on both days of the weekend. Well, for the parts where I couldn't stay in my pyjamas, that is!

On the Saturday evening I dress up cute to go play Cards Against Humanity with James and some friends. It was a great night and I got several outfit compliments too! And of course, CAH was the usual horrifyingly funny experience ^__^

Skirt & Cutsew: Metamorphose temps de fille <3 Patisserie Dream
OTKS: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Shoes: Bodyline
Bag: Angelic Pretty
Accessories: Offbrand/taobao/Pastel Skies

I really enjoyed this outfit, and loved being so damn cute. Black x pink x white is love ^__^

Though, when James was taking outfit photos for me I managed to make such a terrible facial expression I just had to share...

The next day James and I went out in the morning to check out a local photography studio we will probably be using in the future and I decided to dress up again. I only had 20 minutes to get ready so it's quite a simple outfit but I rather liked it.

OP & Headbow: Metamorphose temps de fille Egg Art set
Bolero: Heart E
Bag: Angelic Pretty
Socks & Shoes: Bodyline

Then I wore Berry Stripe for work on a Friday again in a more properly lolita way. Nat was kind enough to snap a photo for me again, and I got compliments from workmates and the lady working at the Red Cross (Nat and I did some spontaneous op shopping on the way to the station after work) said she loved my dress. I also ended up putting my hair in a low bun which I think actually looked a heap nicer than just loose but didn't grab a photo at that time ^__^

OP: Metamorphose temps de fille Berry Stripe
Bolero: Heart E
Shoes: Bodyline
Everything else: Offbrand/taobao

I kept the ball rolling that weekend when James and I spontaneously went to visit one of my sisters on the Sunday. We were in the middle of a heatwave so I ummed and ahhed about wearing lolita, but decided that since I was going to be sticky and uncomfortable regardless, I may as well be sticky, uncomfortable, and cute! So I wore a very casual outfit that would survive some rough and tumble with my nieces and nephew (turned out to be only one niece home...much easier to manage) and though I didn't love the outfit it was still nice to dress up.

 Skirt & headbow: Handmade
Cutsew: The Black Ribbon
Socks & Shoes: Bodyline
Bag: Axes Femme
Overediting: Meitu BeautyCam

I also have a bonus photo cuddling one of my sister's bunnies ^__^ This was entirely James's idea, and stolen from his Instagram. Gotta love it when your partner has better lolita photo ideas than you do!

And then I saw the month out with a bang. On the last day of September James and I did two photoshoots with Angie, a model friend of ours, and one of the two looks was a lolita one! I got James to snap a quick shot on my phone so I could share it here with an outfit rundown for both of us.

My JSK, both shoes, Angie's OTKS: Bodyline
Angie's JSK, both blouses: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (got to put her in Shirring Princess!)
My headbow: Meta
Everything else: Offbrand/taobao

Of course I'll be sharing the final photos here since they're on topic for the blog, but if you want to see them first and also see our super awesome steampunk photos as well - complete with genuine steam trains, mind you - I suggest following our facebook pages.

Link to my modelling page
Link to Angie's modelling page
Link to James's photography page

So those are my latest lolita outfits! I'm really, really pleased with how much I was able to wear lolita, especially in September, and also that I participated in the community more and did a photshoot! And I'm keen to see what the rest of the year holds  ^__^

Oh and PS today is my birthday! Just thought I would mention that since it'd feel weird if I posted on my birthday and didn't say anything, lol.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: September 2017

Another month and another round of blog posts to share. Oddly enough, September was actually a quiet month on the blogging front. Still have some cool posts to link you to but yeah, there was not as much going on in the loltia blogging world this month as there often is.

A Lolita Reads Lolita from Luna Rain
Exactly what the title says! I read Lolita in high school to keep up with some of my highly intelligent and super literary girlfriends. I did not, and still don’t, like it both from a moral perspective and simply because I didn’t enjoy reading it. However, being part of a fashion subculture that shares the name I am glad that I have so I can at least say “no, it’s not a paedophile thing” and actually know what I’m talking about.

Dream Masquerade Carnival 🎠 Part 1: A Dream Come True from Teacake Time Machine
I always enjoy reading about events, but this one stood out for two reasons. One, it was from the perspective of a vendor and designer, which was cool. And second, look at how cute all the pictures are! Everything is so bright and colourful and wonderful and just makes me feel all happy and fluffy and excited about lolita. And I really freaking love posts that make me feel like that.

As a note, there were a bunch of other posts about DMC but to avoid being repetitive I'm not going to share any more of them.

Barcelona ’17, Day 3 – Omnia Vanitas Main Event from Lolita Wonderland
And another event report! This one is a pretty late in coming, but it’s from my number one favourite lolita blogger, so I couldn’t not share!

SWIMMER vs FLAPPER: Biscuit Bag Battle from Milk Circus
Comparison reviews are super helpful, and this one is no exception. Though now I have a hankering to buy more bags...

Angelic Pretty Lovely Shopping Cutsew OP from Ruban Rose
I love seeing lolitas happily wearing new pieces! This blogger shared her purchase of this dress in one post (with some great close-ups, it's worth checking out) and then followed it up with this outfit post and that honestly just makes me so happy to see.

Classic Lolita from Silver Afternoon
I really don't need to reiterate how much I love seeing people do lolita photoshoots, so I'll just drop the link and tell you to go have a look at all the pretty pictures!

Pop-up store: Laforet HARAJUKU in Paris from Deer Alice
I don't always mean to sound jealous but oh my goodness I really get envious about shopping opportunities like this! Oh, to be able to browse all the wonderful things in person...

Did you read anything awesome online that you don't see on this list? Link me! I'm always looking for new lolita blogs to follow.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Lolita 52: My "signature" outfit

You know, when I got up to this topic I really couldn't figure out what my signature outfit was. To be honest, I didn't think I had one, especially because I don't actually wear lolita too often. Flat-lays don't count for this! And besides, what I like and what I wear tend to be different animals. In the end, I went through my lolita outfit album and I found that there were actually two repeated outfits (or at least, item combos) that I have worn three times each over the years.

The first combo was not at all surprising; my Chocoberry skirt, a black top, red beret and red shoes. I think I wore all of these for uni! I do love red and black and berries and to be honest this is an outfit I'm probably going to continue wearing variations on.

Middle photo by The Enthusiast.

The second one was also not surprising when I thought about it; my Lyris Design underbust JSK with an offbrand blouse and a brown beret. I just love this blouse with the JSK and what can I say, berets are awesome! I wore this outfit for a better range of scenarios: probably uni, a photoshoot, and a local convention (awkwardly cropping out my friend Nat)!

Honestly I was kind of surprised to see that I did have this much repetition and could identify two "signature" outfits. To be fair, these coords are all from 2016 and earlier, so my wardrobe was smaller and I was also wearing simpler outfits with some regularity for university. It will be interesting to review my outfit timeline again in a few years and see if any other patterns emerge, or whether I still will gravitate towards certain coordinations.

Do you have a lolita outfit you keep coming back to? Or even a particular item, like me and berets?

Friday, 22 September 2017

Flowers and candlelight; Dim Light outfits

I am totally, utterly head over heels for Dim Light. To finally own it after admiring right from when I was first getting into this fashion is such a  great feeling.

I love the print, I love the cut, I love the fabric, I love everything about it! So of course, I have some flat lay coordinates to share.

This first outfit is what initially came to my head when thinking how I might coordinate it. What I love is that it’s fairly straightforward, but still detailed and a little bit extravagant. However, this is also an outfit I feel would look heaps better on as then you’d get the full effect of the billowy sleeves; and in flat lay I had trouble making the blouse lay correctly, as it has a neckline ruffle which in this outfit I’d just tuck under the JSK straps and neckline.

To be honest, I only had that single idea leap into mind as a coordinate, so for my next outfit I ran with a trusty classic brown combination. And I actually really, really like it. You can’t really tone down this JSK but this to look to me takes it in a bit more of a simply elegant direction, rather than the in-your-face drama that you can do with this cut!

For the third and final outfit I was literally putting the dress against different blouses in my wardrobe and found that this one matched the colours in the print really well. And I thought to myself; it’s such a sweet blouse, with such a dramatic classic dress, it won’t work. But I decided I’d give it a shot and came up with my favourite coordination of Dim Light so far! Call me out in the comments if you don’t think it works, but I do! Honestly, when you hide the chest ruffles of this blouse it’s not too overtly sweet, so there’s no style contrast there. And this is just such a pretty outfit!

As a final note – I love the detachable pieces. For outfit one, both the cape and chest bow were attached; for outfit two, just the bow; and for outfit three anything I could remove I did. And I enjoyed that versatility!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Review #47: Pastel Skies

Recently the indie accessory brand Pastel Skies put out a call looking for bloggers to receive two items in exchange for a detailed review. I thought their stuff was pretty cute so I volunteered and was chosen! Cue excitement!

I have been thinking about making some gradual improvements to my jewellery collection so this came at the perfect time for me. I chose the Pastel Pearl Shower Chiffon Ribbon Heart Bracelet and the Biscuit Heart Bow Ring in Brown. They also had some cute hairclips, a range of multi-coloured bracelets and even some things like scarves but I wanted to choose things I would actually get some good wear out of.

The items were listed on Lolita Desu and shipped via them. As per the last time I got something from Lolita Desu the shipping was fine. The two items came packed in a little tupperware container and I got a free cute gift as well! So ten out of ten there. However, this review isn't about shipping it's about the accessories so here we go.

To put the TL;DR at the top – both items are aesthetically pleasing and good quality. I’m super happy with them ^__^

First of all, the ring. As soon as I saw the ring my immediate thought was "I want that". The ring is set on an adjustable base and is securely constructed. I gave it a few experimental tugs to see how well it was attached and it didn’t budge (not that I was trying to break it, of course, but just seeing how it stood up to normal bumps and stuff). 

The ribbons are nice and soft and the biscuit charm is very cute – and matches the biscuit hairclips I got off eBay recently, which is a total win. I’m really happy with this ring; it’s cute, relatively simple, and just the right size for me.

I was told the bracelet was a production sample and thus had some flaws. I didn’t care, because I thought it was pretty, would fit my wardrobe and once again wasn’t something I already had. Then, on receiving it my first thought was “flaws? What flaws?” Because really, the only thing that may be considered a flaw is that the knot of the ribbon to the bracelet itself is a bit large and feels a bit rough when you really poke around at it (it appears to be tied and then glued for security, though I certainly could be wrong). Along with that, the two sides of the bow are of different sizes.

However, it’s comfortable to wear and fits great on the wrist as well as looking really cute so I think it’s fine! Like the ring, this feels really good and sturdy, and is super pretty.

All in all I'm very happy with these new accessories for Pastel Skies, and if I'm ordering from Lolita Desu in the future I'll certainly add a few more things to my cart from them if there's something to my liking!