23 Jun 2017

Post-Lolita Self Care

As fabulous as it is and as it makes us feel, wearing Lolita is a pretty tiring thing to do, all the more so if on a daily basis you tend to wear more comfortable clothes and keep everything else very low maintenance.

20 Jun 2017

Angelic Pretty Mook Bag

When Angelic Pretty released their latest mook, I pretty much instantly decided that I wanted it – mostly for the mook itself, but I also quite adore the design of the bag that came with it. As I waited for mine and browsed sales in the meantime, I saw many of these bags being sold on auctions pretty much straight away, but now that I have mine I understand a little bit better why.

16 Jun 2017

5 Things You Hate in Prints

There aren’t many things that I hate in Lolita prints. Even when something isn’t to my taste, I believe in the “live and let live” philosophy, but while I generally struggle to think of things that I feel very strongly negatively about, there are one or two things that grind my gears.

13 Jun 2017

Jane Mai, An Nguyen So Pretty/Very Rotten

I was aware of this book since sometime around November last year when the authors, with mod permission, posted some info on the Lolita Updates Facebook page. I had it bookmarked there for a while, but then, as you do, forgot about it until it floated on some other social media feed that they’re all ready now.

9 Jun 2017

Japanese Auction Haul Unboxing

Good things come to those who wait! I’ve been collecting things for a bigger order for a good month and then waited about another 3-4 weeks for this package to finally reach me. Lots of goodies bought at cheap prices and even if not all are strictly Lolita, they’re all very inspiring for the fashion. Hope you enjoy the haul with some extra moving images of the ILD coord!

6 Jun 2017

Summer ILD

Belated happy International Lolita Day to you all! I hope that however you celebrated, it was frilly and you had a lovely time. I joined the extended Yorkshire comm who came together to celebrate with a tea party in York.

| BtSSB Full of Stars "Bright Starry Night" JSK I |
Infanta blouse | AP Rose Garden Princess headbow |
Antaina heels | Enchantlic Enchantilly Invitation
to Angel's Ball
 tights | Peacockalorum underskirt |
offbrand jewellery |

This look has been on the back burner for almost a year now, in which time it changed slightly and became more refined. Not to be too vain, but I am incredibly pleased with how it came out, there’s not a thing that I would change (maybe except adding gel insoles to the shoes for more comfort), everything was exactly in the right place. It’s not often that a coord comes out this way, perfectionists will always find something to tweak, however minute, so to this is a Lolita milestone.

Although the meet was organised by people who are primarily Leeds Lolitas, as usual, the events are open to everyone in the Yorkshire comms, and beyond. It was incredible to catch up with friends whom I wish I saw more often, get to know better people I’ve only had the chance to speak to once or twice and to make some new friends. With people coming from all kinds of areas – Leeds, Sheffield, York, Hull, Manchester and even Derby – it truly felt like a community coming together. This is the benefit of being part of a larger comm.

The tea was hosted at Gray’s Court hotel in York, which is located just behind York Minster, but is tricky to find if you don’t know where you’re going. While the tea itself was of quite standard quality, lovely and tasty, and it would’ve been better if they left the teapots at the table rather than serve (because there wasn’t a waiter constantly in the room, we ran out of tea very quickly), but the quality of the service was fantastic. At one point we realised that we were short on food, but when we asked the hotel swiftly brought more without charging us extra. We were provided a separate room just to ourselves and one of the staff members was half-enamoured half-awestruck by our 20-strong group of fancily dressed Lolitas – he said that in the 20-odd years of him working there he’s never seen anything like us, in terms of dress and our manners/attitude, and urged us to come back, which was very sweet of him.

The cakes section
And please, a round of applause to our fantastic hosts who did a great job. At the beginning they provided all of us with an activity booklet – brilliant idea, both in terms of breaking the ice (you could talk whilst doing bingo or ask someone for help with find the differences task, difficulty level: Mana-sama) and keeping us occupied during the quieter times (design your own print or do Misako’s makeup). The booklet is also where they stuck everyone’s raffle ticket, so no need to worry over losing it. They also ensured that there were enough raffle prizes so that everyone won something. I was lucky in that I won a brooch from Peacockalorum’s new series of accessories, which I nearly purchased earlier on. The prizes ranged from as little as a set of stickers to as big as a brand dress (it was a floral print by Meta, but I don’t know the name of it – but looked like something very much in style of the Lolita who won it).

Our activity booklet

Raffle prizes

Jewel Feather brooch by Peacockalorum

The rest of the day passed by on socialising, chatting, taking photos and admiring the hotel’s beautiful garden in the sunny, summery weather. We definitely extensively covered the topic of the upcoming Dreamy Masquerade Carnival event in London: how excited we are, what people are going to wear, tips on crafting items (I got some too), even planning some of our meals out already, when will we hear more updates (since two of the attendees are involved with organising the event) and more. It’s casual chatter like this that I miss most when I’m not at events, since meets are the only times when I can talk to people in person about Lolita.

I admit, it was a shame to be going home when I did. I would’ve loved to join people for the casual afterparty that some of them spontaneously created, but I was quite tired and I didn’t want to get home too late since I had a good hour of travelling to do to get home. Now that we’re so close to summer solstice, the days really are longer so 5pm felt closer to midday than evening. Still, when you’re pulling out all the stops for an outfit, taking those stops off (in my case, especially the shoes and false eyelashes) feels amazing. At the same time, I’m now on a summer high and a meet high, so I’m not taking well to being deprived of either (next meet will be in July, unless I manage to make it to another comm’s one, and the weather has cooled down a bit now), I’m having withdrawal symptoms and want the summer holidays to start already.

How was your ILD this year? Did you do anything? More importantly, did you enjoy your day? And please, someone tell me that I’m not alone in planning the winter ILD outfit already, to keep the high going!

2 Jun 2017

Wardrobe Sharing

Very, very few of us are blessed with unlimited funds or storage space. While budgeting, being strict with yourself, selling things off or swapping are all great ways to manage that, there’s another one that I’d like to discuss here: combining wardrobes.

30 May 2017

Casual Lolita for a Barbecue

Last week we actually had summer up here in Yorkshire. True and beautiful, awful to be stuck inside a building while it lasted and incredible when you got to enjoy it outside. Of course, being Yorkshire, even 5 days of summer was way too long so that gorgeous hot and sunny weather is over now, but just at the end of it my family and I managed to go out to our friends for a barbecue.

| Innocent World Strawberry Tart OP | Bodyline shoes | Cutie
Creator hat | offbrand socks and cardigan |

In all honesty, wearing this dress sort of just happened rather than was planned. I needed something that was comfortable but light, able to accommodate excessive eating without making me feel like a pig yet still cute. And then I remembered this dress, which turned out absolutely perfect. When I received it in the lucky pack I was unsure about it, but decided to give it a go – now that I have I absolutely love it, it’s my new summer favourite and I already have further plans for it. Although I still can’t imagine wearing it in a 100% true Lolita way (I’m not sure how this would accommodate a petticoat, even a smaller A-line).

We also had loads of fun at the barbecue. It was nearly 3 years since my last barbecue – which tells you a lot about weather in the North of England and how fickle summers are. As is common with Polish people, there was way too much food which we somehow managed to eat (at least most of it), there was loud talk and people complaining about how hot it had been that week (and that Friday was literally the last hot day, it got chilly and rainy the following day). But we all enjoyed ourselves.

Too much food for one small table

It’s a shame that the weather didn’t last at least a little bit longer. I have a week off now due to school holidays and it would’ve been nice to play around with more summery casual coordinates during that time, but I guess it’ll have to wait. At least I won’t cook in my ILD outfit this Saturday coming though.

26 May 2017

What Made Your Dream Dress Your Dream Dress and Has That Changed?

What makes something one’s dream dress varies from person to person. To me this means that all possible factors – the dress cut, print, colour, details, theme etc. – all come together into one whole that knocks me off my feet and wows me to the point of crying and thinking “Why are you so beautiful?!”. To put it a little dramatically… :P I’m lucky in that the majority of the dresses that I do own are my dream dresses, but if I talk about them all it’ll take too long, so I’ll try to narrow it down somehow.

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!

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