Happy Spooktober! Make-up Inspiration.

Hello Everyone, hope you are all well!
I don’t know about you but I LOVE Halloween so I thought as it’s October and Halloween is getting closer I would share some cute and creepy make-up tutorials that I’ve found online.

This first one is by PrincessMei on youtube. She has created an awesome creepy gothic doll makeup tutorial. This look would also work well in general with gothic lolita though may need to be toned down a bit. It’s so pretty. It forms part of her Monster Girl series so you should totally check out her other videos for more Halloween makeup inspiration.

This video from Kawaii Pateen featuring Mai Aisaki shows how to do makeup that is half creepy and half cute. It’s great for if you don’t want to be too creepy or scary. Keep an eye on Kawaii Pateen’s videos as apparently they have lots more Halloween ideas still to come.

This tutorial from Bebexo shows you how to transform in to a cute bear or cat using your hair as ears and simple minimal make up. Great for if you don’t have the time or money for an elborate costume.

This makeup tutorial by FreshBlush shows you how to be a pretty glittery zombie but with added scare factor. I really like this one, it’s so pretty and yet creepy. Some of these techniques can easily be applied to create a bride of frakenstein look too.

Lingywashere shows you how to transform in to a beautiful shimmering mermaid in this tutorial video. This could easily be adapted to work for an alien look too.

I hope these tutorials have helped to inspire you with your Halloween costumes and outfits. Have a spooky fun time!

Weird Threads – Lolita Fashion Episode

Hello Lovely Readers,
I came across this cute and insightful documentary so I thought I would share it with you. If you don’t know what lolita fashion is or you want to explain it to friends and family this is a good starting point. It’s also from an outsider to the fashion, part of a series called Weird Threads, which makes it more unusual and the fact it’s based on facts and is tastefully done (rather than the whole ‘weird Japan’ angle) makes it even rarer. Also, all the lolitas look super cute!

I particularly like the fact that community was pointed out as being important within lolita as I do feel, especially overseas, that’s a big part of it. I’m tempted to check out the rest of the series and find out why people wear what they do.

Summer is coming…Part Two

The high street shops are getting in lots of colourful and pretty pastel items ready for spring and summer, perfect for Fairy Kei and other cute Japanese street styles. Here is the second part of my post highlighting some.

Jeans from Peacocks.co.uk in pretty pastel shades (images belong to Peacocks):

Pale lilac purple jeans:
peacocks1
Pale pink jeans:
peacocks2
Pale yellow jeans:

peacocks3

Mint jeans:
peacocks4
Mint denim shorts:
peacocks5

Items from Matalan.co.uk (images belong to Matalan):
Pale jeans, available in mint, lilac, white:
matalan1
Lemon slice clutch bag:
matalan2
Other notable items – plenty of plain pastel coloured tops and a few ballet shoes.

Items from TopShop.com (images belong to Topshop):
Fluffy purple bag:
topshop bag

Fluffy blue bag:
topshop bag2

Mini yellow satchel bag:
topshop sat
Pale blue satchel bag:
topshop sat2
Pompom hairband:
topshop pompom

Other items of interest: lots of cute socks, unicorn cookie cutters, pastel ballet shoes and fancy flower crowns.

Items from H&M (images belong to H&M):
H&M have had all sorts of super cute items in, sadly some have already sold out. It was all from the Divided section, may be worth checking your local store to see what’s there.

Little twin stars t-shirt:
hm1
Anime print top:
hm3
Anime print leggings:
hm7
‘Kawaii Cutie’ Jumper:
hm9
Animal face jumper:
hm8
Minnie Mouse jumper:
hm4
Negative Love Heart print jumper:
hm5
‘Tokyo Love’ print jumper:
hm6

Other items from H&M: checkout the kids section in your local H&M for cute bows and accessories in pretty colours as well as mini crowns.

Summer is coming… Part One

Hello Everyone, hope you are well.
So spring is on the way…. well it should be, though it’s hard to tell from the weather currently. The high street shops are getting in lots of colourful and pretty pastel items though all ready for when the weather does eventually pick up. This means lots of lovely items suitable for Fairy Kei, Decora and other cute Japanese street styles so I thought I would do a post highlighting some of these items.

Items from Boohoo.com (all images belong to boohoo.com)

Short mesh tutu skirt, mint, pink:

Boohoo tutu

Box pleat skater skirt, mint:

boohoo pleat

Pleated skirt, lilac, mint:

boohoo box

Woven pleated mini skirt, lilac, mint, yellow:

boohoo tennis

Skinny jeans, mint:

boohoo skinny

Polka dot skinny jeans, blush pink, mint:

boohoo dot jeans

Heart print leggings in red and black:

boohoo hearts

Heart shaped bag, pink, red, cream:

boohoo heart bag1

Heart bag, yellow:

boohoo heart bag2

Other notable Boohoo items: they also have quite a few jumpers, plain tops and longer mid-calf length skirts in pastel shades too, just search lilac, mint, baby pink or blush to see the full selection of items.

Items from Primark:
Primark has a few pretty pastel items in like shoes, plain tops and sunglasses. You can see a few of the items available here in this youtube video by Rachel Pinku. Obviously things vary store to store and unfortunately you can’t buy from them online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfRXs8rP4cs&feature=youtu.be

S-Con Talk Overview – Lolita Fashion

Hey Everyone, sorry for the delay in posting this. I said that I would do a rough overview of the talk I did at S-Con which mostly covered key points and basics so that anyone who missed the talk or who forgot certain things can find the information they need. My talk was about 30mins long so obviously I’m not going to include everything in here, just the important bits 🙂

What is Lolita Fashion?
Lolita is a type of street fashion that originated in Japan around the late 1980’s. Influences for the style originally came from the Victorian and Rococo period but nowadays it is heavily influenced by European fashion, fantasy and fairytales too. Lolita as a fashion is very feminine, elegant and cute. It is characterised by its historical influences, frills, lace and a full poofy skirt.

f4ec08217335d2

Not Lolita:

Lolita fashion is not about being provocative, in fact it’s a very modest fashion. The word lolita here in the west has very negative connotations and I need to stress that it has nothing at all to do with that meaning or the book/movie of the same name. No-one is exactly sure where the name came from but I think when the fashion was developing in Japan it was probably a misinterpretation of what the word meant. It also is a FASHION and not a Cosplay, maid outfit, fancy dress or anything directly related to Anime and Manga. Just because an outfit is lacey and has a poofy skirt does not necessarily make it lolita.

not loli

What makes an outfit lolita?

When researching the fashion you will encounter lots of rules and arguments about what is and isn’t lolita. This isn’t necessarily about elitism or even about putting limits on the style or person’s individuality or creative flair but more a case of being able to define it as a style. The general lolita silhouette is fitted in at the waist and has a full poofy skirt or dress which is knee length. Necklines are usually quite high and at least the top part of the arm is covered. There should also be some form of headwear (for example a headband, bow or fascinator) and the overall appearance will be neat and polished. It will look like a lot of care and effort has been put in to the overall look. Makeup generally is kept minimal looking as the aim is to look like you have fresh, young flawless skin – a bit like a porcelain doll. Co-ordination is a key part to lolita, balancing colours and accessories correctly is what makes a successful outfit. Lolita clothing is all about good quality fabric and lace, well constructed clothing and attention to detail.

Clothing Types:

There are 3 main clothing options within lolita, there’s a One Piece (usually referred to as an op) which is basically a dress that has some sort of sleeve. The sleeves can be either short or long or sometimes are a short sleeve with a detachable part so they can be worn as either long or short sleeves. The sleeve is the key characteristic of an op. The dress itself can come in all sorts of styles and cuts.

baby_2010_op_jeweltree baby_op_nostalgicrosegarden baby_op_rubygloomnotulle

A Jumper Skirt which is usually referred to as a JSK is a dress is that is worn with a blouse under it as it doesn’t have sleeves. Again they come in a range of styles and although most commonly they have two straps and fit more in the natural waist this doesn’t always apply. As you can see from these pictures the first has a much lower neckline and is designed to look more like a skirt and top. The second is more of a halter neck style and the third has broader straps.

ap_jsk_letterregimental ap_2008_jsk_macarons ap_2009_jsk_starnight

Your third option would be a skirt which would most commonly be worn with a blouse but can also be worn with a cutsew which is a bit like a fancy t-shirt. Like with dresses they come in a range of styles too. The most common is like the first two were you have a fitted waist band that would sit in your natural waist. You can also get some that have an elasticated waistband or part elasticated and then like the third some have a high waist band and starts more under the bust.

iw_skirt_crepeweave iw_skirt_lotta iw_skirt_flora

Lolita Styles – Sweet Lolita:

Characterised by its cute prints, pale pastel colours and fancy accessories. Its very sugary sweet and a younger style. It often has a lot more frills, lace and bows than other styles. You can usually get the sweet prints in black too, its doesn’t have to be all pale colours, some people term this as ‘bitter sweet’ but its not a recognised term. Sweet lolita brands include: Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Emily Temple Cute.

Angelic-Pretty-BTSSB-Sweet-Harajuku-2014-01-13-DSC7848-600x900 Angelic-Pretty-Lolita-Harajuku-Station-2012-04-02-G0328-600x900 japanese-girl-tokyo-sweet-lolita-1n TK-2011-06-04-011-001-Harajuku-600x900

Classic Lolita:

Classic lolita is more of an elegant mature style. Its all about keeping things simple and is generally characterised by wearing darker and more natural colours, (red, brown, beige, cream, dusky pinks etc) not too much lace or bows, floral patterns. Hair and makeup is usually kept simple and minimal accessories are worn. Classic brands include: Innocent World, Victorian Maiden, Juliette et Justine, Mary Magdalene.

classic1 classic2 ClassicLolita

Gothic Lolita:

As you would expect gothic lolita involves wearing a lot of black but also dark reds and blues are very popular. You can also wear shades of dark green and purple too. As a style it can be more mature and elegant or you can make it more cute. Gothic brands include: Alice and the Pirates, Atelier-Pierrot, Moi-même-Moitié.

521354_304070533016874_152893129_n 539616_322053187885275_944670310_n style_gothic10 style_gothic20 TK-2013-01-20-019-001-Harajuku

Lolita Fashion for the Boys.

Brolita:

Brolita is a western term (I don’t know if there is one in Japan) and basically means a male that wears lolita fashion. All the same fashion rules apply the only difference is that the wearer is male. There are not many Brolita’s around, I think this is partly because the super feminine style of the fashion is difficult to pull off but also getting clothing to fit correctly is hard. I feel the need to stress again here that lolita is all about fashion and not anything fetish, cosplay or fancy dress, unfortunately some so called Brolitas out there are not really a Brolita at all and they can ruin things for others by giving out the wrong impression and behaving inappropriately. Also to be honest if you have no interest in ladies fashion in general you will really struggle to pull this style off, if you want to pursue it then a lot of practise and studying makeup and style videos is a good idea. As is starting to build a wardrobe of simple things like tights, socks, accessories, handbags, shoes etc otherwise putting together more than one outfit will be a nightmare. The most famous male lolita is Mana who was originally a Visual Kei musician but also launched a Gothic Lolita fashion label.

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Lolita Fashion for the Boys and None Girly Girls : Boystyle

That covers the lolita side of the fashion so I’m now going to look at the male counterpart. If lolita fashion is too frilly for you or you are a guy who wants to attend an event with your lolita girlfriend but don’t know what you can wear then these styles are probably more your thing. These male fashions loosely come under the heading of boystyle. Now these styles aren’t lolita but they share similar aesthetics and influences and are basically the male equivalent of lolita fashion.  They are actually worn more often by girls but I would really like to see more guys take up the fashion as I think it looks lovely on them! (I will do a more indepth post on this subject, this is just basic stuff I used in my talk so it could appeal to everyone at the convention)

Ouji and Kodona

This is your younger cuter style. Ouji means prince in Japanese. I’m sure you are familiar with it as lots of Anime/Manga feature similar clothing style. The difference between these fashions and Cosplay would be that one you weren’t dressing/being a character and the second would be the quality. A few of the lolita Japanese brands like Baby the Stars Shine Bright/their sister brand Alice and the Pirates make clothing in this style too. Mini top hats, puffy shorts/short trousers and over the knee socks are common in this style. Usually paired with a fancy shirt and sometimes a waistcoat or nice jacket/coat.

ouji 1 ouji 2 ouji 3 ouji 4

Aristocrat :

Aristocrat also known as gothic aristocrat is worn by males and females. Some lolitas choose to go to this style when they feel that knee length poofy skirts are no longer right for them. It’s a much more mature style but still incorporates the fine fancy details that is so important in lolita. It clearly also has historical fashion elements but given that fantasy modern twist that is also present in lolita.

b00011_01 Classicloli infanta_rose_embroidery_brass_button_coat 083

Where to start:

So, you’ve decided what fashion style you like and you want to start wearing it, where do you start.
Well firstly I would strongly suggest doing more research first. Finding websites that have more information about the fashion, look for reviews of clothing sites, tips on where to or not to buy. Try sourcing the magazine Gothic and Lolita bible but remember that really old versions of the lolita bibles wont represent the current style trends so look at brand images too on their websites. These will give you a better idea of how to co-ordinate an outfit and how the overall look should be. There are also various groups and pages on facebook that you can join to get more information and advice. Practice with hair, makeup and putting together outfits as that’s the best way to learn. In some groups you can post images of your outfit and ask for feedback or constructive criticism which will help you to improve. At the end of the day the fashion should be fun so wear what you enjoy and don’t let others get you down.

See my ‘Shopping – UK’ page for a list of places you can buy from here.
On my lolita fashion style introduction post I covered non-UK based places to buy from.

 

Lolita Fashion and Me – Part 3

This is the concluding part to my anniversary series and covers miscellaneous tips and advice based on what I discovered and learnt when starting out in the fashion.

 

Misc Handy Tips:

• Trail and error is part of learning. You will buy things that don’t fit, don’t suit you, aren’t as you expected they would be, that’s just how it goes. Don’t let it get you down just sell stuff on and use what you learnt to make a better purchase.

• Don’t buy anything too expensive to start with until you have a good idea about what suits you and what will actually fit.

• Don’t buy a dress that is literally the size of your max measurements, its unlikely to fit, plus if it’s a jsk you need extra room to get a blouse under it.

• Be prepared to buy secondhand, it will save you a fortune in shipping and customs fees.
If something doesn’t work or fit just sell it on and count it as a learning experience.

• Ignore negative comments. If family or friends seem confused about the fashion then show them lots of pretty images and answer any questions they have. If they don’t like certain aspects then there’s not much you can do as everyone has their own taste but try and find things you think they will like, it helps warm them to the idea and break the ice.

• Find local lolita’s and join online groups. You can get all sorts of advice from being able to ask others, plus its nice to be able to share in your interest with others. They are well connected through facebook groups so the best bet is to find your local group on there and start by introducing yourself and talking to the members online. It’s a great way to break the ice before turning up to a meet.

• If attending a local meet is scary then attend a larger convention first that you know other lolitas will be at. Try to get talking to individual lolitas attending, stall holders or sometimes a larger meet up is arranged so you could go to that. If it doesn’t go well you know that most of them won’t remember you and you can try again next time.

• Learning to put together a great co-ordinate takes practise, patience, correct clothing and time. As the name suggests its all about co-ordinating the whole outfit so it works well together. Colour balance is extremely important, getting the right balance can make even a simple outfit striking.

• Have Fun! Fashion should be fun and something that you enjoy so don’t over worry about anything. Yes lolita is quite complex and has a lot of rules but no-one expects you to get everything right on your first few goes.

• Reflecting back on past co-ords is always a good idea as you can see how much you have improved and learnt. Its great for a positive boost if you start to feel like you are getting nowhere or that you haven’t improved anything.

 

I’m still learning, and I personally feel I have a long way to go before I will put together a co-ordinate that I’m really happy with. The thing is that it takes a while to get the hang of things and everyone starts somewhere so don’t let outfit worries put you off getting out there and meeting people. As long as you make an effort and show you know your stuff about the basics of the fashion it will be fine. The more research you do the better. Lolita has really changed my life. I’ve met so many new people and made new friends purely due to the fashion. I’ve also been to some wonderful events and now go to conventions more regularly. It even inspired me to start this blog. I hope that you have enjoyed my blog over the last year and that you stay with me through this next one and beyond. I’m forever learning and my style develops, I’ve also gained more confidence which allows me to be more experimental than I ever would have been with fashion before. Even if lolita isn’t your thing, you should still find a style that you like and that you can express yourself through. I find it really rewarding and fun and wonder why I was ever so scared in the first place.

Lolita Fashion and Me – Part 2

Here is the second part of my anniversary special. This section focuses more on purchase lessons and advice for beginners, hopefully by sharing this I can help new lolitas from making similar mistakes.

 

Purchase Lessons and Advice

A Lace Monster:
My very first lolita purchase was from one of the Japanese fashion units in Camden town, London. It was by the brand ‘Angel Pretty’ who were obviously trying to slightly rip off the name Angelic Pretty and at the time I had no idea just how un-lolita it really was. Looking at it with all the knowledge I have now it’s obvious how un-lolita it really was. The lace was quite scratchy, the fabric was thin and made noises when you moved it – sort of crunchy, not good quality, the bows were just hideous, the finish was simple and quite rough on seams etc. It was your standard black and white monster complete with satin ribbon and long floppy ribbon bows. Awful! My first attempted co-ord with that dress was very bad too. I didn’t add a blouse or any sort of shrug/bolero, I wore with chunky lace up school shoes, un-styled hair and I don’t think I put anything on my head at all. Luckily I didn’t actually ever wear it out like that, I was just excited and wanted to put together a co-ord at home. As I had nowhere to really wear it the dress just sat in my wardrobe until I eventually managed to sell it on ebay.

TIPS: When looking for a dress you want the fabric to feel like its nice quality and preferably to be cotton. It should seem well made and everything should be finished off properly. Lace should be soft and not like the sort you would use on curtains. As for first co-ords, you will make mistakes, hopefully none as big as those that I did, I hadn’t done all my research – bad Cassy! An important part is not to try and rush things, you can’t put together a full outfit without all the parts so time, practise and patience are very important.

Bodyline:
My very first Bodyline purchases were second hand items from a bring and buy lolita stall at Hyper Japan. The quality was so much nicer than my first dress from Camden plus the skirt had a cute poodle print on it. Since then I have ordered a load of stuff from their online website. Unfortunately the first few items I bought didn’t fit, which is very disheartening, especially as you wait for it to arrive and are so excited. I learnt lots of valuable things though like I needed things to be longer, I needed to buy things that would easily fit my measurements, most of their size M would not work on me even if it fitted (to do with my height and build), under bust dresses do not work on me, the elastic in their skirts is nearly always too tight so I often need to adjust it. Some people can be negative about Bodyline but I think for the price you pay the items are lovely. Bear in mind too that most of their items are around the £20 – £50 price mark as supposed to the £180+ for brand.

 

TIPS: Measure yourself properly and write down the measurements in cm and inches, it makes buying online much easier. Don’t buy things that are right on your maximum size, always get things that are a good few cms bigger. If items have shirring and ribbon ties you can make it tighter if needed. Don’t buy their Cosplay items for lolita, they are unsuitable and the quality isn’t there. Also don’t buy from the separates section as the same applies. Pick items carefully, some of their designs are not flattering, attractive or really that lolita. Check out reviews of items/talk to other lolitas about the items you want before buying. Also don’t forget to take in to account customs fees. I like to think of Bodyline as like a lolita equivalent of Primark.

Ebay and Second Hand Sales:
One of my early lolita purchases off ebay was a Vampire Requiem replica print dress by Dol off a personal seller. It fitted just under the bust and then flared out. It didn’t seem to have any shape or room in it, was like wearing a tent. The fabric was also really weird. This didn’t help with my confidence either as it meant yet another dress that didn’t fit or look right. I started to feel like I was the issue and just clearly the wrong shape and size for lolita clothing. I bought something else off ebay too and that also didn’t fit right and I just felt like giving up but luckily I found some other items here and there and they did fit and I started to realise what would and won’t work for me.

 

TIPS: Buying online is difficult as you never know for sure what an item will be like or if it will fit. In terms of ebay you are at least protected and can go to people if you have any problems. With sales on facebook you don’t have quite the same protection so always pay through PayPal and never gift anyone money. Keep an eye on how long you have to open a claim in case things go wrong, some sellers use delay tactics on purpose in the hope you miss the claim date. Also be very careful as items can be fakes, people can get sizes wrong and items are not always in the condition you expect. I’ve found the best thing is to ask lots of questions, for more photos if necessary, always check their feedback and if things seem a bit off or too good to be true they probably are. Also there are a lot of scammer businesses on ebay selling lolita dresses from China, they often have names with lolita in like lolita1234. The picture is usually a stolen image and the dress you get is a cheap costume version. Stick to personal/private/individual sellers (a person that is selling their own items rather than being a business) as overall that should make it safer.

 

Interactions with friends, family and members of the public:
Lolita is, compared to most fashions, very fancy, elaborate and over the top which can attract quite a bit of attention. It’s also very different to your usual fashions here in the west so it can take people a bit of getting used to. My Mum used to give me weird looks when I would try on a co-ord or ask her opinion on certain dresses. Sometimes her comments could be slightly unflattering and would dent my confidence or make me feel silly and self conscious about what I was doing. I don’t think she intended hurting my feelings but it just wasn’t quite to her taste and she didn’t hide her true feelings very well. My Dad has no real opinion on it at all, it just has no impact he’s pretty much cool with whatever I decide to wear. I guess as its fashion/clothes related its totally outside of his interest and knowledge.

 
I’m not too sure what my friends make of the fashion. They tend to be in to Steampunk, arty, alternative, hippie type stuff and are very open minded about most things so I don’t think they really have much of an issue. I haven’t worn lolita around them but it’s all over my facebook so they are aware of it but they haven’t really commented so I honestly have no idea of their true opinion.

 
Members of the public will react to the fashion. Often old ladies come over and say you look nice or the clothes are pretty which always make me happy. Guys can wolf whistle and shout fairly unpleasant remarks but they tend to do that whatever the fashion. Teenagers as well tend to shout not very nice things but again that’s to be expected. Most commonly you get stares, people taking photos, asking what/why you are dressed up, sometimes you get jeers and groups of people making a point of obviously laughing at you to try and make you feel small.

 
TIPS: when it comes to family and friends the best thing is to try and engage with them about the fashion. Explain what it is, why you like it, show them lots of images and just be very positive and enthusiastic. You need to bear in mind that it won’t be everyone’s thing but hopefully they will at least be understanding and supportive of you. My Mum doesn’t like sweet lolita so I ignore trying to engage her with that. If your family seem really taken a back then probably wear more toned down casual co-ords around them or classic lolita. Nothing too out there and hopefully that will calm them and then over time you may be able to turn them around to the idea. As for members of the public that’s more difficult. I usually avoid the word lolita when explain the fashion, I tend to say it’s a street fashion from Japan or it’s an alternative fashion but it depends on who’s asking. I also tend to travel alone a lot so I usually take accessories and sometimes wigs etc with me to put on at the other end so I don’t get as much attention. Large coats can help hide your outfit too and make it less obvious. It all depends on the situation and how safe you feel.