Friday, November 21, 2014

AatP - Galactic Journey to the Stars

Talking about another Alice and the Pirates print this week, which is Galactic Journey to the Stars (sorry the photos are a bit weird, it was really hard to capture the real colour of the piece). Isn't it odd that the print includes a train flying through the night sky, a crane and several apples? That's because the print is based off of Kenji Miyazawa's novel, Night on the Galactic Railroad

Honestly, the story itself is quite mediocre to me, the ending being especially puzzling. After all of his travels and the death of his friend, the main character (Giovanni) literally goes home to give his mother some milk. 

What I do find interesting is the religious connotations behind the story. The views presented seem somewhat opposing, though the author manages to fuse ideas from various 'religions' together and make them align.

The milky way is first discussed in a scientific setting, in Giovanni's classroom. Later, as he and his friend travel between stars IN the milky way, it becomes apparent that the train is some sort of transcendent vessel, bearing each passenger to their afterlife. I think it is more reminiscent of the Christian religion, the idea of a heaven in a lofty place, inaccessible to the general populace. 

Text on the print itself reveals the designers' intent to convey that the story is indeed about Christianity for some part, because it reads: "Even though it be a cross that raiseth me. Nearer, my God, in Thee". The cross could refer both to the Crucifix, or the Northern Stars visited on the journey. 

Regarding the prominent appearance of apples on the print, here's an extract from Anime Introspection: In "Christianity, apples symbolize knowledge and defilement. NotGR however, reclaims that image. Here, they represent people understanding their limitations as individuals and accepting community - and the necessity of making sacrifices for humanity’s greater good - as a way to make up for their flaws. NotGR stresses over and over again that people value humanity or some abstract conception of “life” over themselves, and that this path leads to profound spiritual contentment." This concept and the fact that the designers emphasised it on the design, impressed me more than anything. Even the tiny trees on the border print have little glitter apples on them.

Another part of the design that I like is the tickets. They're labelled with the names of some of the constellations which are stops for the rail train, and is a super cute touch.

The cranes are actually herons, and in the story, there is a man who catches them to make candy out of them! I don't find the story that great, but I do appreciate the ideas that Miyazawa conveys, and the ultimate question posed: "what is true happiness?"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November Purchases

This is the collation of a few months' purchases, including one parcel from FJ and another from TBN. I will be using SpreeNow after this, which is TaobaoNow's newly developed website.

As always, FJ was quick and easy to use, although for some reason the sellers I bought from this time all took ages to ship the items domestically. Overly protective packaging, but I'm glad they put the layers of thick paper in, because I would've been very upset if customs slashed my pieces xD


First up is my BtssB Angel's Gentle Whisper in the Heavenly Holy Night Melody pattern Michael JSK in carol (ivory). Which is a huge mouthful, so I'll just refer to it as Angel's Whisper lol. It's super beautiful, the glitter details and colours are amazing. It's missing the pearl chain, and I've already ordered the supplies to make my own substitute. I'm unsure about the back lacing, the lace they've used as the grommets is very thin and looks like it could break easily :v

This is a terrible picture, but it's the AatP Galactic Journey to the Stars skirt, bonnet and OTKs set that I scored. I'll be doing a blog post on the specific print in a few days, with close ups and such.

Innocent World Chocolate Chess OTKs in brown
AatP head bow (or so the seller said, I have a feeling it's hand made though, because it has no tag and the quality is debatable) 

Antaina gold shoes, super sweet and a warmer tone than the BL ones

Super high quality head bows in 3 colours with adorable pearl drops, and another great floral head bow

Two Little Dipper blouses, the brown one is a really soft chiffon (with nice long sleeves!) and the white is a stiffer cotton

 Two blouses from different taobao shopfronts, but I think they're from the same factory because they came in the same printed plastic bags. Awesome quality for the prices, and both came withe a jabot / bow
Princess sleeves | Other blouse

Black hair piece | White hair piece | 4 bows | Pair of bows | Floral hair piece

MILK replica gold heart bag

 LunaRossa End of the Vanitas JSK - print is a bit fuzzy close up, but my goodness it's still gorgeous and I didn't think I'd enjoy wearing human faces all this much! I just dislike that small bow at the waist, it looks really out of place and too sweet for the piece :x

 Ecailles de Lune Forest of Pipe Organ JSK - aaaaaaaaah! I first reserved this because I couldn't find Lief's Night at Basilica for sale, but honestly, I like this more now. The print is gorgeous, ombre effect amazing and the light chiffon will be great for warmer days.

Monday, November 10, 2014

AatP - Stained Glass Angel / Seraphim

Stained glass prints are now a common feature in lolita pieces, though perhaps not all know the stories behind them. The print discussed in the following is the Alice and the Pirates release from 2009, which is actually a rerelease of the 2006 BtssB collaboration with Koitsukihime. Featured on the prints are literally 'stained glass angels', and we'll explore what kind of angels they are.

They resigned the print a little, changing the colour scheme and making the faces of the seraphs less classic. The original art has much more of a Byzantine 'flavour'. I personally think the original has a substantially gothic feel to it, and the AatP print can be coorded in a way to be classic or even sweet.

What drew me to this print was the representation of the 'cherubs', I thought it odd that they should have three pairs of wings. Before I encountered this print, I had little interest in religious imagery, much less wearing them. 

Upon research, a seraph is an 'upper class' angel / heavenly being in Christianity and to some extent Judaism. The sphere they belong to is closest to their God in celestial hierarchy, and they're are seen as the caretakers of his throne. Seraphim means "burning ones" in Hebrew, and theologian Thomas Aquinas believed that they were named thus according to the properties of fire, containing an excess of heat. One of the reasons for this, he considers, is that fire has the quality of clarity, or brightness; which signifies that these angels have in themselves an inextinguishable light, and that they also perfectly enlighten others. They are vastly different in appearance to cherubim, and in role too.

Another part of the print I found interesting was the other angelic beings present in the print, who are not seraphim. In the angelic host, they could be seen as angels (which the two on either side seem to be labelled) or Dominions. 'Genesis' here could mean either a beginning, the first book of the Bible or both.

It is interesting to begin to understand some of these stories that designers are telling through their prints.Even if you're not religious, like myself, I think it's fine to wear religious prints as long as you respect the ideology behind them. Prints featuring religious motifs such as stained glass, crosses and angels are favourite prints of mine to wear!

Bonus: BtssB print dresses on Koitsukihime's dolls, from an online index

Sunday, November 9, 2014

October Purchases

Should've done this two weeks ago, but I thought my other packages would arrive earlier and I'd collate them all into one post. Mostly things from bodyline this time, since they had that huge sale - 1000yen off shoes, free shipping AND then yen trick! I still remember when I was a beginner, I didn't know about the yen trick and ended up paying about $25 more for two pairs of shoes :1

shoes168 in brown | shoes268 in enamel brown
Both are comfortable and true to size, although in all honesty, the 268 shoes are so rounded they look a little like clown shoes when I wear them xD

shoes300 in gold | shoes163 in gold
I anticipate myself wearing the 300 pair lots, since they're easy to coord with many dresses that I own.
The boots aren't strictly lolita, but I do want to pair them in casual outfits

Not the best photo, but Innocent World's Strahov Library corset JSK. The bordeaux is really pretty, and the gold details are gorgeous in person.

Assortment of socks I bought in a pack, was only really after the ETC x zipper chocolate ribbon OTKs, but the other socks are nice too! More otome, though.

acc1078 in off white and black
A bit smelly but the quality is good for the price, and elastic is very stretchy

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lolita52 - Part M

41. Fondest meetup memory
I've been to so few meetups, I can count them on one hand. They were all quite different, so instead of choosing a favourite memory out of them, I'll briefly explain what each one was. My first meetup was with the whole comm, an Easter picnic! It was super fun and I got a Downton Abbey vibe from the meet. My second meet was a train ride, and so many of the other passengers complimented us. The lunch afterwards was delicious, and it was great for getting to know the girls in the comm. The most recent meet I attended was a small picnic with the lolitas at my university, and I got to know both of the other girls much better. The food was really yummy and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.  

42. The ways in which I fit the cliche
I like frills (duh!) and conform to many of the lolita 'rules'. I can't bear to think about wearing a JSK without a blouse, and after a previous beginner faux pas, will always wear a petticoat with a dress when I'm aiming for the lolita silhouette. 

43. The ways in which I do not fit the cliche 
I don't really believe in the 'lolita lifestyle', modern and 'edgy' things are cool too! Someone mentioned a little while ago that they think lolitas who only wear their dresses to meets / conventions are somehow fake, which I don't agree with at all! As long as you're well dressed and fit the aesthetic, there's no reason why anyone can't be a lolita.

Friday, October 10, 2014

September Hauls

I received many packages in September, lots of them food themed!

First up, my q-pot anniversary 'fukubukuro'. It contained an assortment of things: pan paka pan shirt (6,500), burger mousepad (1,800), croissant case (9,000), chocolate peanut necklace (13,000), pretzel three tone earrings (13,000), croissant ring (13,000) and cloud nail stickers (1,200)

I also got my Melty Royal Chocolate cardigan by Angelic Pretty

Another package I received was my Peppermint Fox brooches

The last parcel I got recently contained these:

Rilakkuma Chocolate & Coffee charm, AP Promenade de Paris tights, AP Melty Royal Chocolate tights, Emily Temple Cute x Zipper chocolate tights, AP Radiant Candlelight OTKs, 2 x q-pot parlour rings

I really like everything that I got, and am super happy with how well they match my wardrobe
Especially impressed with the ETC chocolate tights, they're so stretchy and worth every dollar I paid 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

DIY Ribbon Flats

These flats were inspired by the Melissa ballet flats that I've seen floating around, and I wanted to try make a cheap, affordable version.
All up, this only cost me $10.50 ($5 for the flats, $3.50 for the whole bottle of fabric paint, $2 for 12m roll of ribbon) and took around 3 hours to complete.

- pair of plain flats (if you're planning on wearing socks/tights with them, make sure the flats aren't too snug on your feet)
- fabric paint
- paint brush
- ribbon
- clear sealant (optional)

1. Make sure your flats are clean by wiping with a wet wipe / damp towel

2. Using your fabric paint and paint brush, spread thin layers of the paint evenly on the whole surface of the shoe. Let each layer dry before adding another on top, and stop when you're happy with the opacity (took me about 5 layers to get the gold I wanted). This is also when you'd spray / paint on your sealant.
*Fabric paint adheres to most synthetic surfaces pretty well, so I did not bother with using primer

3. Cut your ribbon to length. Do this by taking some ribbon and tying it around your foot how you would want it to look with the shoe. This can be awkward but try your best, since ribbon that's too short will be ribbon that's wasted!

(3.5) The ribbon I had on hand was white, and I figured I'd just paint it to match my shoes. Blunder, because the base of the shoe was black, and the golds don't match at all hah! 

4. Depending on what you prefer, you can glue the ribbons on the inside of your flats, or you can just wind them through the little tabs that flats often have on the inside.
- by gluing the ribbons down, you ensure the bow doesn't move after you tie it, and your shoes are tied to your feet
- by not gluing it down, you're free to change the colour and length of your ribbons any time you like

Here's what mine looked like, although I'll most likely buy matching ribbon the next time I'm at the craft store:


Hope this helped, sorry I didn't take pictures of my earlier progress, feel free to shoot me a question on tumblr if you have any!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

taobao shop reviews: kingdomc + fantasycat + tb_jliu + rococo-soul

This post will review the accessories that I got from the following 4 taobao shops: kingdomc + fantasycat + tb_jliu + rococo-soul

Everything from kingdomc came wrapped, like a chip packet xD
I really like it though, feels like lots of effort went into it, and things don't get damaged as easily

Everything that I got, clock-wise from top left:
2-way rose pins - not many colours to pick from, but the ones I got are lovely with good detail
flower comb - the flowers are a bit flimsy and got a little crushed during shipping, but looks lovely and comb is robust
beret - very good value, and nice size
freebie star clips - bit of an odd colour pairing, but they're free xD
2-way flower brooch - super pretty, reasonably sturdy, pearl strand isn't detachable

 The pearl strand on the comb is detachable, and the rose pins are very sturdy

Cherry pin - a little disappointed, it's flimsy, but still good quality for the price
Candy bracelets - these are amazing and super cute, but might be a bit small for people with thicker wrists
Chocolate ring - average, but pleased with it
Bow ring - good shine, quite like it
2-way star pins - very nice and quite affordable, although I haven't got a chocomint one to compare them to
Cupcake brooch - slightly pixelated, but very cute and sturdy

kingdomc: 4.9/5 (could be a little sturdier, but awesome on the whole)
fantasycat: 4.5/5 (great value for money, just watch out for quality)
tb_jiliu: n/a (didn't get enough to really judge, but they have some cute stuff to browse!)
rococo-soul: 4.7/5 (good quality, a little pricier)

All in all though, I'd recommend purchasing from these shops or at least having a look, because most of the items are heaps cheaper and there's a much greater variety to choose from :D

Friday, August 29, 2014

August Haul: Taobao + YahooJapan Auctions + chibitenshi

Finally got three of my orders today! The taobao order has been pending since the start of March, the chibitenshi one was a quick order, and the YJ parcel is from July :3

I'll be posting more detailed reviews in the coming weeks :)

Picture of the three packages

Loyal Rosette navy OTKs from chibitenshi (with free BtssB paper bag)
Very good service with prompt replies, although I wish she could've held my socks until IW released their new stained glass and book prints uvu

I was surprised at how well TaobaoNow packed my things (even though I've used them before), it was a huge order and they used the box space very efficiently ^u^

rococo-soul Age of Sail blouse

Various footwear / legwear


Chess Story cloud jewellery set (came in a really cute box)

Various accessories and cute things. Right-most 4 items were gifts

Sticker sheets and envelopes

Wax sealing supplies

Little Dipper lavender JSK

Krad Lanrete Lost in Sea Blue / Auralia JSK

Little Dipper blouse

rococo-soul United States of Chocolate JSK + head bow

CEL St Augustine black JSK (collar + waist tie included)

Three blouses + peignoir
1. | 2.
 | 3. | 4.

fromjapan YahooJapan auctions order! Could've been packed into a smaller box, but I like how they wrapped everything very carefully. Sent out pretty quickly, but I think their service fees are a bit high if you're purchasing lots of small things - it's a better deal if your purchases are more expensive.

AP Crystal Dream Carnival blue OTKs

Various accessories (Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright + Alice and the Pirates)

AP Royal Stripe ivory head bow (the wax seal is detachable!!)

AP Royal Chocolate mocha skirt

AP Royal Chocolate brown round JSK (size wasn't listed on the auction so I was super worried, but it's M and it fits perfectly :D)

BtssB brown x pink chocolate cardigan

So yeah that's my huge haul, can't wait to wear everything because it's all so SQUEEE *u*