Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sweet dreams are made of these; Handmade chocolate outfits

You know me...I get (or in this case make) something new and shortly thereafter I'll do some flat-lays because, you know, like 40% of this entire blog is flat-lays. So it should be no surprise to see me posting some outfits with my new handmade chocolate JSK. I still haven't fixed the few hings that need fixing, but let's not worry about that for now...

This close-up shots came out rather darker than the dress is in real life, but it does show the nice little gold details that are scattered throughout the print. Though they're not particularly noticeable, I do like that they're there as it gives the fabric a bit more dimension. The colours are a lot more accurate in the outfit shots.

As a side note, I fully intend to make some matching accessories for this dress, but that's something for down the track. Currently I'm thinking of making a beret and a pair of medium sized two-way bow clips but if you have any ideas of what would go well I'm open to suggestions!

But enough of what I haven't yet done and onto what I have; the outfits!

Firstly, I put together a casual look that I liked way more in my head than I do in reality! To be honest, I think the bolero was a mistake - it's just too dark for the dress, even though it matches the hat and the shoes. I do like those OTKS with the dress though, as well as the hat.

And of course I had to try pink! I love this look, it's super adorable and sweet and just so cute! Even though I don't tend to wear sweet-sweet outfits, they're aesthetically some of my favourites. 

I am actually planning on doing a ridiculously cute photoshoot in this dress sometime soon and I just may wear this outfit for it...

Lastly I pulled out the trusty classic ivory to take it in a bit more of a toned down direction. I also really like this outfit, even though it is mixing themes (chocolate and floral, oh my!) I think it works rather well.

This JSK actually turned out to be a bit hard to match with my wardrobe since it's a lighter brown than most other pieces. Colour-wise it's probably closest to my Jam Paradise JSK but the underbust cut and lack of accent colours in the print make it a bit harder to work with. However, I'm still quite pleased with myself for making this dress and love that even though it's a bit of an oddball I can still coord it in varied ways.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Lolita Goals for 2017

This year my lolita goals are a little more ambitious than last year, because there are two sets of them; wardrobe building (or refining, really, at this point) and wearing lolita. Because in 2016 I think I wore lolita four times; to a convention, for a proper photoshoot, then a casual photoshoot, and kind of to my work Christmas party. More on that later because first I want to focus on the quantifiable achievements I want to make in Lolita; the wardrobe improvements.

Wardrobe Building

Doing my 2017 wardrobe post was great because it truly made me realise how nearly “perfect” my wardrobe is. I have options for everything, and I think I have a great balance of pieces. However, the act of physically pulling out every single item also made me realise there are a few things I want to change. So, in no particular order the things I want to change in my wardrobe are:
-          Replace red wine suede shoes
-          Replace salmon suede shoes
-          Get an a-line petticoat
-          Get an ivory short sleeve blouse
-          Replace long sleeved white blouse (I've come to realise I don't like it particularly much)
-          Modify or replace brown short sleeved bolero (I love it, and the fact that it’s an unusual shape for lolita, but I would prefer a more typically lolita one)
-          Get brand lace topped OTKs in white, black, and ivory
-          Get more wristcuffs in black, pink, and ivory
-          Get better lavender headwear
-          Get fawn fur boot-toppers to match my collars and beret
-          Get a classic ivory bolero, most likely short sleeved
-          Get a bonnet (or other statement headwear)
-          Get an OTT blouse, probably in ivory
-          Get a more lolita-specific black long sleeve bolero

You may notice that a lot of these are things that I didn’t complete from my 2016 goals, but hey, I’ll get them all completed sometime! You may also notice that I haven't listed a wishlist because this year I just want to focus, as I say, on refinements. There are certain other items I want to add to my wardrobe as well, and I'm sure I'll also end up buying things that I'm not currently even thinking of, but that goal list is just for items that would round out my current wardrobe.

I may also go through and do another little wardrobe purge and remove items I find I don’t use. For example, my brown long sleeved blouse is nice, but I never go to use it when planning outfits, I always go for layering a brown bolero instead. So is there really much point keeping it? As part of this, I possibly may want to refine my shoe collection a little further and replace my sweeter pairs, but I’m not 100% sure about this yet so it’s not on the list.

Generally, I want to focus on refining what I have, not necessarily on adding too much. My wardrobe is more than sufficient for my needs – it can be casual or dressy as the occasion demands – and besides, I want to also develop my steampunk wardrobe this year as well (will probably post about that at a later point) and I’m going to run out of wardrobe space!

Wearing Lolita

As I said, in 2016 I hardly wore lolita. I still participated in the fashion via this blog, and I really love doing flat-lays and working on developing my wardrobe. However, I also want to wear this fashion more. So, with that in mind, in 2017 I want to aim for the following:
-          Attend at least one lolita meet-up (preferably more but we’ll see how the first one goes!)
-          Do at least four lolita photoshoots in varying styles
-          Wear lolita items casually/non-lolita outfits when possible
-          Wear lolita when going out or around the house

See, one of my things is that I am a real homebody. I don’t go out much to anywhere, and when I do I don’t tend to want to wear lolita because it wouldn’t be the most comfortable or practical option. But I think this year I would like to even engineer situations where lolita is a good choice, like going out for a nice afternoon tea with my boyfriend. Though a lot of activities that are very lolita-appropriate, like going to view art exhibits for example, are things that I am very much not into. However, we will see how we go.

I have learned that unless I make an effort, I don’t really wear my lolita. Therefore, I am going to try and make more of an effort because these lovely clothes deserve to be worn!

So those are my goals, both for wardrobe and wearing, for the coming year. Is there anything in particular you are aiming for, lolita- or other-wise, in 2017?

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Something blue; L571 outfits

I strongly tend towards wearing warm colours (and black) so Bodyline's L571 is a bit of an odd piece in my wardrobe. But I like the range it gives to my lolita collection, and think it's a gorgeous dress, so it stays!

I particularly love all the colours and little details that are part of the print, and this cut (which Bodyline has used on several pieces) is one of my favourites because it's detailed but not fussy.

First, I wanted to really highlight the multiple shades of pink in the print. In the end, this turned out to coordinate rather than fully match, but I'm okay with that. I enjoyed sticking flowers everywhere too. I'd say this coord sits pretty firmly in sweet-classic territory, which I enjoy.

Then I did a more straightforward coord, which I love. Yes, it's very simple but sometimes simple is the best. I also want to point out how perfectly those OTKS match the JSK, it's almost ridiculous what a good combo they make.

Lastly I wanted to take it in a cuter direction, which I have very little to say about, except that this look would also include off-white ankle socks. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of playing down the florals with floral main pieces, I always feel a little unbalanced. But it probably doesn't bug anyone else, and it's good to try something a little new.

Overall, I really enjoy the fact that I have quite a few options for wearing a piece that is an oddball in my wardrobe. It just goes to show that I have succeeded in putting together a collection that is versatile and where even lone pieces are not left out.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Wardrobe Post 2017

Once again it is January, the time to share your lolita wardrobe in full with the world, and as usual I have participated. Also as per usual, I am not cross-posting the entire thing, but you can view it on LiveJournal here.

Overall, I'm really pleased with how my wardrobe has developed in the last year. Sometime soon I'll post up my wardrobe goals for the coming year, and a review of last years', but for now I just wanted to share my wardrobe post ^__^

Oh, and also sharing this picture I took of Panda being belligerent and getting in my way.

Monday, 9 January 2017

A little chocolate doesn't hurt...

Today I emerge triumphant! I have slain the beast! I have journeyed far, and toiled long, and finally have finished the chocolate JSK that I've had in my "to-sew" pile for basically an entire year. This past week I've taken advantage on still being off work for Christmas to really knuckle down and get it done, and it is!

This underbust JSK is patterned off my Lyris Design JSK, and was all in all a thorough pain to sew. The shirring panel in aprticular gave me a lot of grief. But I quelled my impatient urges, and my "it's good enough" feelings, and kept at it until it was done correctly.

I'll be honest; it's still not 100% complete. I have to revise a bit of the zipper seam, top stitch down the centre front since it somehow ended up wonky (and trust me, I checked and triple-checked everything while I was sewing, since any flaws are super obvious in this fabric) and also install a hook-and-eye at the top of the zipper. But by and large it's done and what's best - it fits and looks nice on!

Also, I want to make some matching hair accessories at some point...but not right now...

A quick shot of the back to display the shirring that was struggle and my triumph. I had initially intended to have a line of the braid used on the bodice around the bottom, but after trying about 8 different placements (and listening to James' advice) decided it was better without it.

You may notice about that my side seams...aren't at the side. They are when worn, because I made it do that I stretch the shirring now so it will fit when I lose some weight, but I'm really not sure how that happened. Le sigh.

I also came to a realisation while working on this; I don't hugely enjoy sewing. I find it really challenging and sometimes quite frustrating. I'm not going to stop, but it had always bugged me that I wasn't really happy when sewing and I feel a bit silly that it took me this long to realise that because I don't really like it. I do like having handmade pieces, and feel accomplished with what I've done, but the process is not my favourite thing. Despite that, I'm not going to stop, just stop beating myself up for not being happy about it. I guess it goes to show that not all good things make you happy.

Anyhoo, enough rambling. All in all I'm probably 85% happy with how this turned out - it fits, it looks nice and I really gave it my all. It does have some flaws, which bum me out a bit, but overall it's a job well done, which makes me rather proud. I'm really pleased that I now own a chocolate main piece! And I'm a happy Roli to have finished this off ^__^

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Lolita Trend Predictions for 2017

What better post to be the first one of 2017 than a prediction of what may occur in lolita fashion in the upcoming year? The “in” style of lolita tends to change with the times, though like any alternative fashion personal style and preference is always first and foremost. In recent years we’ve had OTT sweet, OTT classic and the resurgence of old-school. What’s next?

The rise of pastel classic

Personally I feel that a specific sweet-classic hybrid will take centre stage in 2017, something that I am calling pastel classic. More specific than the umbrella term of sweet-classic, pastel classic is distinctly classic lolita but in a more sweet style pastel colour scheme. Rather than the darker, striking classic looks that have been popular recently, pastel classic is softer and very pretty, but doesn’t quite stray into the cute territory so sweet lolita. 

A recent BTSSB release that I think is a good example of pastel classic.

Think of it as the comparison between regency and rococo; pastel classic is like the light colours and simple lines of the gowns in an Austen movie, the current classic trend are more like the opulent gowns seen in Marie Antoinette’s court.

A return to casual

Though I do think pastel classic is going to be the next big thing, I believe we will also see a growth in casual coordinates being posted online. Of course, people wear casual fairly regularly, but it doesn’t get posted around much. However, with lifestyle nostalgia being something I’m seeing a lot of online I feel like people may start sharing more of their daily lolita style.

One of my casual flat-lays - easily wearable but still lolita.

More uncommon cuts

I think the past few years have really seen an expansion to the lolita silhouette. Longer skirt lengths, unusual bodices and straps, and all manner of overlays have come in and stayed it. I believe this trend will firmly continue into 2017 to the extent where we may even have some lolitas lamenting over particular print releases not coming in a standard cut at all!

I would say that each main piece in this release has some unusual details.

Popularity of indie brands

Another trend that I believe has already started and that will continue is a rising popularity of small indie brands. There are already certain indie brands that have distinct following, Mossbadger and Peppermint Fox (I know you could argue Peppermint Fox are otome, not lolita, but there is distinct crossover) being two that pop to mind. 

A recent release from Mulberry Chronicles that I really enjoyed.

I just think that the street cred of wearing indie is rising, and will only continue to do so. The big brands will always be at the top, but wearing indie brand will certainly not be frowned upon or thought of as being a second best in 2017.

Not that indie is frowned upon currently but yeah…

The true birth of sweet ouji

Ouji (or boystyle, or kodona, whatever the correct term is) has been gaining in popularity, and with that popularity has come greater variety. We are seeing more colours, more variation and more individuality. But something that we are not currently seeing much of, but that I believe we will in the coming year, is distinctly sweet ouji. Yes, there have been outfits here and there, but ouji sits distinctly under the gothic or classic umbrellas at the moment in a majority of cases.

One of the few really good examples of sweet (or is it pastel classic?) ouji out there.
If anyone knows who these ladies are please link me so I can credit appropriately.

Those are my five trend predictions for the lolita fashion subculture in 2017. I will be very interested in seeing how right I am, if at all. Do you have any predictions for the upcoming twelve months?