2016 Wardrobe Post


Hello, Darlings!

In the Lolita community, it has become a yearly tradition to share a yearly "Wardrobe Post". 

Lolitas usually write about how their style and wardrobe has changed since the previous year, as evidenced in their purchases. Or, maybe each new ensemble has a story, rhyme, or reason behind it. Or sometimes, Lolitas just take it as an opportunity to photo dump and share their fashion eye candy. The posts are as colourful and varied as the individual Lolitas themselves. 

I haven't completed a wardrobe post since 2014. I posted it here, on Darkly Darling, but many Lolitas also post it to the EGL community on Livejournal. 

The EGL community, often referred to solely as "EGL" used to be a Lolita's main source of info on Lolita fashion, as well as a sounding board for Lolitas to share their outfits, lifestyle projects, and the like. Over the years, as the popularity of Lolita fashion grew, and the popularity of Livejournal died out, Lolitas moved on to easier to use platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. These days there are even stand-alone social media outlets for Lolitas, such as Lacebook. 

Still, no matter how many have wandered, many Lolitas consider it a tradition to return to EGL and share their wardrobe posts; as you can see here. (Though recently, posting to Livejournal has been considered an "Oldschool Lolita" practice.) 

This year, for nostalgia's sake, I'd like to post my wardrobe to EGL as well. But first, I'd like to share it here.

In the past year my wardrobe grew considerably. My closet used to contain only a few main pieces, with scarce accessories, shoes or bags. I had a couple of offbrand blouses I would switch out, but generally, I only had one coordination for each main piece.

Over the past year, instead of constantly buying main pieces, I focused on buying accessories and add-ons, such as boleros, different hair accessories, and different bags. It was a big success, and it's possible I even overdid it. I now have several different ways to wear a single item, increasing the wearability and vitality of my wardrobe. It brought new life into pieces I've had a long time, and also helped me invest in new main pieces more efficiently. It's hard to justify buying a pink dress you'll never wear, when 98% of your closet is a series of coordinated darker colours!

Another thing I did a lot of this year is re-buy old pieces I had years ago, when I started Lolita fashion. I started gravitating more towards an old-school aesthetic, such as older Baby pieces with embroidery, and solid coloured dresses with white lace. All-over prints appealed to me less and less, unless it was a piece I've had many years, or one I've coveted for a long time. 

I may add a blurb with each main piece, but for now, I'd like to just jump in to the photos!

You may notice the photo backgrounds vary, and that has to do with the method of curating this post. Rather than re-photographing each individual piece, I reused old photos I took over the course of the year. The photos were either from when I first received the new piece, or as I was working out an outfit for an event. I apologize for the inconsistency, but hope you understand; I saved a lot of time this way!

Alphabetical by brand... 

Alice and the Pirates


I've had the St. Helena's jsk since 2012 or '13, and it remains one of my favourite pieces. The silhouette is quite flattering on a tall hourglass figure, and the solid navy colour is appropriate to wear year-round. In 2016 I was delighted to complete the set with the matching capelet. 


Angelic Pretty







In 2016, I trimmed down my AP collection. Fad prints came and went, and though I went all-out in Melty Berry Princess for Summer ILD, I realized I just wasn't comfortable in OTT sweet. 

The prints I've held on to are more toned down, or, in the case of Wrapping Ribbon, it's just one I've loved for years. But in general, I've kept the prints that are in darker colourways, or have a more mature print. 

I held on to both of my Holy Lantern pieces, because I adore the styles of the dresses themselves, aside from the print being considered "overdone". The Holy Lantern OP was comfortable for me to wear late into my pregnancy, because of the flowy trapeze-dress shape. 


Atelier Pierrot


Another piece I've had since 2012 or so. Green has become one of my favourite colours in Lolita fashion, although it's rare. This is also a print I rarely see anymore. I don't see myself letting go of it any time soon. 


Baby, the Stars Shine Bright






You can see the strong Oldschool influence in my BTSSB collection. I purchased three of their classic high-waisted jsks, both because of my infatuation with Oldschool style, and because of their ease of wearability while I was pregnant.

This year I also purchased an Usakumya rucksack, something that was a long-time wishlist item for me! In truth it's rather impractical, as you can hardly fit anything in it. But really, it's more of a Lolita icon than anything. 

The "Angel in the Window"/"Angel's Relief" jsk (bottom right) was an important purchase to me. The first time I met a Lolita offline, she was wearing that jsk. At the time, I was wearing a very "ita" outfit, as I had just started wearing the fashion that year. When I saw her in that jsk, complete with a black Baby blouse and headbow, I remember being in awe of how beautiful she looked. I also remember marveling over the little details of the embroidery on the dress; after all, it was probably the first "real" brand dress I had ever seen. I was blown away by the quality.

I purchased the dress for myself a few years later, around 2008-'09. I wore it to my first Hiloli meet-up in Hawaii, where I made some of my closest friends I still keep in contact with. I ended up selling it later that year.

For all the memories attached to this design, as well as my love for the embroidery, I decided to bring it back home to my collection. I'm very glad I did!


Enchantilic Enchantilly

 


Chantilly is one of my favourite brands, for their delicate prints and vivid jewel tones. I ordered a Happy Pack from them this year, and am excited to see what else I can add to my collection! 


Excentrique


Not only is this jsk a favourite for me, for the military-style design; but it was also the jsk I wore when my husband proposed to me, at the top of Tokyo Tower.

I also won a "Best Dressed" fashion contest at a Steampunk event this year, dressed in it! 


Innocent World 


Innocent World remains one of my favourite brands, but I severely trimmed back my collection this year. The "Three Archangels" dress on the right is stunning when worn, and I think it's very flattering on my hourglass figure. I hope to purchase more long OPs from them in this cut, in the coming year.


L'esprit de la Noblesse


L'esprit de la Noblesse is a Russian Indie brand, headed by an incredibly talented couple, Elizabeth and Nicolas. (You can see their signatures on a gift tag in the print of this dress). 

This dress is a Christmas themed print, featuring Christmas trees, angels and small children in period dress. I love the long hemline, as well as the delicate, faintly metallic chiffon.

Part of their proceeds from this print went towards donating Christmas presents to the elderly, and children in need. When I received the dress, it was wrapped like a Christmas present, and accompanied by a Christmas tree ornament and Russian Christmas Card. It filled me with the joy and spirit of Christmas. I can't say I've had such a full experience connected to ordering a dress before! 

You can find their Etsy shop here. I highly recommend following them for future release. 


Makiro


I believe Makiro is a Taobao shop. I purchased this dress second-hand, so I can't say for sure.

Marie Antoinette seemed very on-trend this year, and is popular with Lolitas in general. I, however, greatly prefer Elizabeth the First as a style icon. When I saw her on the print of this dress, I just had to add it to my collection. 


Metamorphose temps de fille


When I first started Lolita, Metamorphose was my favourite brand. Today, I have surprisingly few pieces from them. 

The Nostalgic Matryoshka Doll set, on the right, is the first set I've purchased from them in years. (The last thing I purchased from them directly was the Honey Picnic Lucky Pack!) However, I have an affinity for Matryoshka Nesting dolls, and have a small collection of them, now displayed in my daughter's nursery. So I could not resist investing in this set!

Purchasing it was a bit of a blood bath. I was travelling for work training, and six or seven months pregnant, but still woke up at 3 am to buy it! I'm happy I did, because the red colourway sold out in a matter of minutes. 


Moi Meme Moitie


I actually just sold this, but I like the coordinate photo anyway. As much as I love Moitie, I always end up parting ways with their pieces. I think part of the problem is the empire waist, which makes my bust look much bigger than it really is. 

Funny, a lot of styles these days are hyper-sexualized and would probably value that! But in Lolita, it just doesn't go with the aesthetic, so it had to go. 


Sweet Mildred


Sweet Mildred is a wonderful Indie brand that I highly recommend. I believe she is mostly known for her high-quality headpieces, of which I also own; but she also has a variety of jsks appropriate for Lolita and Otome fashion. This coffee jsk, which I purchased from her in-person at a convention, is one of my favourites. I love the unique charcoal colour, and how well it compliments warm tones such as brown. 

You can check out Sweet Mildred on Etsy, here


Triple Fortune


Triple Fortune was an unattainable brand for me for many years. Though I've loved their bonnets for as long as I could remember, they lacked a website where one could have their goods shipped overseas. So until recently, you needed an intensive shopping service to order from them. 

However, recently Triple Fortune has started doing more and more events outside of Japan, allowing multiple opportunities to purchase from them in-person. Their increased popularity has also lead to more releases, which made them more attainable on the second-hand market. Because of these factors, I increased my bonnet collection from one to three, and also invested in my first Triple Fortune main piece.

I love it, but I will probably invest in a nice long petticoat for it this year. I am currently using a hoop skirt, to accommodate the long, full skirt. Though it fills out the silhouette perfectly while standing, I tried to wear the outfit like this to a tea party, and it was utterly impractical! The hoop skirt simply pushed forward and got in the way. It was very difficult to sit in, and as the host of the tea party, I was up and down constantly. I definitely need a proper petticoat for this dress, or to pass it on to the next lucky Lolita! 

In addition to the above items, I also have these currently "in transit"... 







I'm very excited to post about my Chantilly Lucky Bag! Some of my friends purchased one and got a great haul, so I have high expectations. 

I was going to post individual accessories such as jewelry, tops, shoes, and bags, but this post is long enough as it is! That is why this year, I decided to post each main piece as it's own "coordinate", with hints of the other items included. It's not a thorough documentation, but close enough for me!

I hope that you enjoyed this wardrobe post, and that it wasn't too long! I am excited to see how it grows and changes in the year ahead! I wonder what new releases await this year, or what old dream dresses may pop up second hand? 

As always, thank you for reading! I look forward to checking out everyone else's wardrobe posts this month!

Xoxo, Cherie 

2016: Was it the Year of the Lolita?

Hello Darlings,

In typical fashion, almost a year has passed since my last blog posting. It seems like whenever I make an effort to return to Lolita, and focus on my label or blog, life just cranks up the crazy meter!

In addition to moving to Maryland and joining the Charm City Lolitas comm, a new member has joined my family. This winter I gave birth to my first child, a baby girl named Willow.


She is perfect in every way! However, she does keep me very busy.

Though she's still very little, I already ordered her first kid-sized Lolita dresses. I hope that someday she looks on them fondly and wants to dress up with me, but if she dislikes it, even that is okay with me.

Though the birth of baby Willow is definitely something to be highlighted, that is not the reson I'm posting today.

Last year (or still this year, in January, I suppose), I said that this year would be "The Year of the Lolita".

But now I want to revisit, and see... was it? Let's take a look at some of the goals I set for myself.

In 2016, I wanted to...

Improve my wardrobe

I'll say, I definitely improved my wardrobe this year. Not only did I add a lot of mains that were on my wishlist, but I seriously fleshed out my collection of accessories, blouses, bags, boleros and things like that. My goal was to purchase less main pieces, and instead invest in things that could change up the look and improve versatility of what I already have.

I dare say, I managed to do both. Soon, I'll post my 2016 Wardrobe post, and you can see for yourself.


Be more active in the community online, and in-person

My success rate on this was fifty-fifty. I certainly attended more meets this year, but did not stick to my blog as I promised myself I would. In the coming year I would like to be more regular with my blog postings, and interact more with other Lolis by reading and commenting on their blogs. 


Improve my blog by sharing reviews, event reports, coordinate posts, crafting/sewing posts, etc. 

Yeah, well, see above. I suppose I'll write this off as a 2017 goal as well.


Attend more meet-ups

Check, check, and check! I definitely attended more meet-ups this year, at least monthly. I also think I dressed up in Lolita more this year, than ever before.

It took a lot of effort, to get outside of my comfort zone and meet the new Lolitas in my area. I made it a goal to meet at least one new person every time. And for the most part, I think I was successful!

I am happy to say that I left my comfort zone this year, and made some meaningful connections because of it. 


Host or help plan a meet-up

Check! I planned and hosted my own meetup in July, at a local tea house. I also designed and printed my own raffle tickets, donated some prizes from my label for the raffle, and had some prizes donated from local lolitas as well.





I'm really glad we got to visit this teahouse, Tea on the Tiber. Not long after this meetup, most of their property was destroyed by a flash flood. They have yet to reopen their doors. They were an iconic and unique highlight of Historic Ellicott City and I'm sure their triumphant return is anticipated by many.

I also managed to set up a Karaoke meetup, even though it was much less smooth, and only a few Lolitas came! I took it as a learning experience though. Let's face it: sometimes the hours of operation on a business' site will be incorrect. 

We still managed to find another karaoke place as a back-up, and we still had fun!



Travel and visit different comms, to meet all different kinds of Lolitas

Though I didn't get to travel as much as I wanted, mostly due to being pregnant most of this year... I am very glad I got to meet and connect with the Lolitas here. They are so kind, and I am very happy in my new comm!

I think it's been a great year for Lolita! I'm looking forward to 2017 and setting new goals for myself. I will think about it a little and write about it in a future post! In the mean time, thank you for your continued readership and support. I hope to get to know each of you and your individual blogs as well!



Have a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve!

Xoxo,
Cherie

LLC: Dresses Released When I Started Lolita

Hello Darlings, and Happy Hump Day!

Today I wish to discuss the topic of "Time Travel". 

For my first act of time travel, I will turn back the clock and journey into the distant past- by completing a Lolita Lifestyle topic on the wrong day!


Yes, this is out of order, but I wanted to complete it very badly!

And how appropriate, that the topic shall be "Time Travel" in it's own sense. I feel it is important to look back at the roots of your fashion, to see how it evolved and consequently, how you evolved with it.

This was an odd topic for me, actually! For the past couple of years, I was fairly certain I started Lolita in 2007. I wasn't sure how or why I knew that, it just seemed like a good guesstimate to me.

So in preparation for the prompt, I started browsing Lolibrary for Jumperskirts released in 2007.




Indeed, Metamorphose was in its heyday! I remembered the release of Gingham Cherry quite well, and have ever since pined for the navy blue jumperskirt with matching boater hat. I even owned the embroidery pocket jsk on the far right, at some point! 

But as I was browsing the dresses of 2007, I thought, these were all released when I was already in to Lolita fashion. I remembered seeing the updates on websites and on EGL, so surely I was already decently "in" to the fashion? I couldn't have just been a beginner!

So... did I start Lolita in 2006?? 

I plugged the year "2006" into Lolibrary, and low and behold, I saw it- the first dress I ever bought from Metamorphose.


 "Back in the day", Metamorphose was one of the few easily accessible Japanese web shops for Lolita that shipped worldwide. So in my first humble beginnings in the quest to acquire a Lolita dress, Metamorphose was where I directed my mouse to.

I didn't have this dress for long, and I'm not sure I even wore it- but I can never forget that Music Note Print, the tulle collar and trim, and the gathered tulle bustle back of this dress.

A quick browse through the archives sent me down memory lane, with a number of other dresses I used to own:

 

Looks like I always fancied the unusual colors!

And of course, I had a Candy Violet by Vivcore Classic Set in blue.



It was quite fun and nostalgic, browsing the archives of dresses released when I started Lolita fashion. The fashion has certainly changed a lot in ten years!

But also, I am kind of sad I didn't realize it's been 10 years! This year marks 10 years in Lolita fashion for me and I didn't even know it! At least I noticed it early on in the year, and I can still celebrate, and make this the best year so far.

Xoxo,
Cherie