Saturday, March 16, 2019

LBC: Why Do You Think Photoshoots Have Been So Big In Lolita Fashion

Throughout the history of this lolita there is one facet that has been prominent, without many people really thinking about it. It's a strange habit that doesn't usually appear in other fashion styles outside of zines, advertisement, and groups (at least from what I've witnessed).  It's more than just a simple fashion, even if you think it's just clothing to wear, as it has little social trends all through out. So for this week's Lolita Blog Carnival we are sharing why we think photoshoots have been such a large part of the fashion.

<3 Inspired From Mooks <3

Mooks and magazines, even photobooks, have impacted the fashion in many ways. They've shown us what other people like us have done as well as designers and stylists. Each little photo share things that someone thought neat or cute and gave ideas of things to try. Photos similar to street snaps are one style that some people try doing with their coord shots out. Location and studio type shots have pushed those who like to plan or want to have a different effect with their spread. Each style has it's own charm to different people in the fashion, it's not always about the actual garment the model/wearer was donning.

<3 The First Photoshoots On EGL Livejournal <3

This is actually from a meet last year....but you get the picture about impromptu (I actually just said "hey, everyone look at me." and this great pic happened)

Back in the days of EGL there were a smattering of little photoshoots that people would make out, occurring during meets. They were sometimes more candid or activity based, from what I had seen around when I lurked, with not much planning but looked fun. Later people started to step up their game, I feel like it was around when someone did a more coordinated Iron Gate photoshoot and there started to be more single shoots then ones of meet ups. 

<3 They Are Enjoyable <3

There is one thing that is simply true, doing photoshoots are fun for many. They can be small, like going into a craft supply store and posing in front of the fake flowers, or large, where you hire a photographer, but they all tend to be a lot of fun. It allows wearers of the fashion to be creative and put something together that they think would be pretty or interesting. I think that's a good enough reason and there is nothing wrong with any of that.It's true, they can be stressful at times or intense, if you are not accustomed to doing them or are uncertain of what you want and have little time.

In the end I think it's been really good to have going on in the community, they are nice to see. Sometimes you get to see someone be super creative with their surroundings and not just how they coord their clothing. Because of all of these things is why I think the trend of photoshoots have been so big and stuck. 

If you are looking to read about what others' have written on the subject check them out in the links below. You can also join in on the fun with the Lolita Blog Carnival, picking weekly topics or sharing ones you think would be enjoyable to do as a group.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Art Of Taking Tea & Frolicking In Flowers

If you've been paying attention to my blog you will have seen I have a bit of an affinity for tea, and tea related things and prints. Looking at my social media, if you do, you may think it may be more obsession with how often I indulge myself with it. I don't think it's really that crazy as it's feels like something I decide to take an extra step to do when I have a little extra. Plating things and pairing them with a tea in some of your pretty dishes and cups is something I definitely advocate for. It xpleases the palette as well as the eye, making it a slightly more enjoyable experience.

It's not for everyone, certainly, but I find it brings a little bit of something extra to my day. It's not always something that takes time to prepare either; this setting only required me to reheat my scone, soup, and cut the fruit. The cookies, though not an traditional afternoon tea staple, were from things readily available in my cupboards and the truffle was one I was saved from work. It all simply became a matter of plating everything to be pleasing, adding to the enjoyment.

The scones, which were made a week ago, are chocolate chip and oatmeal and have a maple syrup drizzle on the top that was baked on. When reheating them you have to wrap them in aluminum foil in order to keep them from becoming hard and too tough to eat. Everything on this plate though are little odds and ends, some were the last pieces of that were broken or being saved for tea, or given to me just that day (thanks for the prim cookies, Paulina!). 

This is usually how it goes for me with how I put together things for tea time. It's really comes up for what I have and can be a simple as cut up fruit. This time I had leftover soup from the night before and it was really nice to put some in my bouillon cup and enjoy something nice and hot and cozy. My tea times really end up more lunch time for me (as I don't get a chance to have lunch) and so there is usually food and mostly it consists of leftovers from dinner, when hot food is included, or baked goods that I've had left from previous get~togethers.    

There is something that I had never thought to do at this particular store and I feel completely ridiculous for the missed opportunity. I had access to a small mountain of flowers I could take some coord shots in. Granted I had to kneel on the floor, making this kind of funny and my skirts bunch, but it worked all the same. 

I was definitely feeling the vintage vibes when I put the hat and jacket together, my hair was curling just right on it's own and I liked that emphasis it gave. It wasn't what I had planned for the day but it was fun and something I always enjoy doing (I'm seriously questioning my brain after all these years, they were RIGHT THERE!) but I this is another thing that I highly encourage.

Here is the recipe if you are looking to make some:

2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar (you can use a little extra to sprinkle on the top but I used maple syrup instead)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cold butter
5 tbsp milk
4 tbsp of whatever you want to mix in (I used chocolate chips and oatmeal)

<3 Preheat oven to 450.

<3 If using oatmeal, you should crush them before mixing them. This only applies to regular oatmeal clusters and not baking oatmeal, they get soggy if they aren't crushed.

<3 Mix all of the dry ingredients with what you want to add extra (rose petals, chocolate, etc).

<3 Add the butter and then the milk, if too try add a few drops of extra milk till smooth.

<3 Roll into a ball and flatten to about an 1-1/2" and cut or pull into 4 parts.

<3 Optional: Sprinkle extra sugar over tops and then bake for 10-12 minutes.

I did sub in almond milk and gluten~free flour for this (I used a cup for cup flour) as I wanted to see how they turned out and had leftover to use up. They look and taste very similar to what all~purpose and milk versions taste if you are looking to experiment. And I did put my baking pan in the freezer for a bit and the butter had been put in the freezer the previous night (from when I had baked these) to create their little pockets.

Well, I hope you try out the recipe and I hope you decide to put something together for yourself sometime soon. I think it's a treat worth having and enjoying and can brighten a day with cute dishes. It's something to be enjoyed and savored just like the frills we wear. It doesn't have to be fancy foods or traditional afternoon tea menu pieces (I will not judge anyone for adding cupcakes) as long as you enjoy it and have fun putting it together.

<3 Coord Rundown <3

<3 Jsk/Floral pin/Earrings/Necklace: The Bloody Tea Party
<3 Otks: Innocent World
<3 Pins/Hat: Vintage
<3 Blouse: I honestly don't know, I got it in a trade and totally dig it

That's really all for now, I just felt like rambling a bit about something I enjoyed, share a recipe, and some pics I felt good about. It was just me taking a moment to surround myself with beautiful things and I think, when or if people can, that everyone should try to do so. Sometimes you just need to jump into a pile of flowers or throw down some delicious goodness on pretty plates, as often as you can, and enjoy. There is nothing wrong with it and shouldn't be forgotten, because, if you have the ability, why not? You don't have to wait for friends to do it or have a party for these type of things either. Simply allow yourself to and surround yourself with those pretty things.

Now, I'll be making myself a pot when I get in, cheers! XOXO

Friday, March 8, 2019

What Types Of Topics Would You Like Covered In A Lolita Panel

In the world of conventions there are tons and tons of panels that are most definitely interesting to see and learn from or get more up and personal interactions with guests. But the world of cons tend to hold less content geared towards avid Lolita fashion wearers and lifestylers and more for beginners or whatever the main focus of the con is. So this week we are taking a look at what we would like to see more of for Lolita fashion with the Lolita Blog Carnival.

There seems to be a certain disconnect with con organizers and attendees throughout the con circuit, at not really anyone's fault. We are asked for feedback and we give it but there are sometimes many answers, causing the most repetitive to be sought after. This often leaves us with many Lolita 101 type panels which isn't really a draw for many in the community. Even the panel I recently did was very basic for the lifestyle Lolita aspect. I would love to expand on it and share more but that also depends on whether it would be accepted. 

So ignoring everything else and pretending we don't have to jump through hoops, let's get to it. 

<3 Themed Coords <3 

There is a fine line that develops in themed coordinates that I feel is very fun line to toe. There are excellent themed meetups occurring that we all enjoy building a look around as it serves as a great well of inspiration. However, not everyone knows how where to draw the line, some being new to the fashion and not understanding the concept of themed coords; it can be a double edged sword.

With a panel like this it would be nice to show how to navigate these themes, why it's a thing in a fashion, and what origins it has held. It would be a cute little panel but I do think it's something that could be enjoyed if given the chance.

<3 Embellishment <3

I know this isn't really what I'm talking about but let's pretend.

I would LOVE a panel on embellishing garments and other accessory pieces. In many of our pieces we have such lovely pieces but we tend to keep them as they came, untouched and original. This is, of course, wonderful and lovely as these pieces are already original but there are so many possibilities! 

It's true many people are afraid to do anything like this, as it can effect resale value, but there are some who have no desire to. I do not plan to let go of quite a few pieces and I have seen that there have been some lovely additions. I remember a friend wearing an Btssb Garden Alice print skirt she had gotten off of mbok a few years ago which had come with the minor addition of tiny bows and pearls sewn sporadically throughout the piece. It was so cute and I keep wanting to do things like this with other pieces but I just haven't.

And the panel should cover sharing pieces that are embroidered, beaded, and bowed, even adding lace trims. It's really just about being sure to cover embellishing of all types and how to utilize them within the fashion. Having a panel dedicated to this, and run by Lolitas who have done this with excellent examples, would be splendid! It would definitely be geared towards those who have been involved longer and are more sure of their wardrobe but can be nice to view as a newbie too.

<3 Self Defense In Lolita <3

Screenshot from Lolita Fashion Service

I know this started out as a minor joke that became a thing in the panel I did but I am definitely an advocate of self defense. As many of us have been approached and touched, groped, and put into unsafe positions, had our skirts lifted, bustles grabbed at, and the like, I think it's important. This has happened to pretty much every person I have met in the fashion, regardless of gender identity, and it's not okay.

This fashion is also encumbersome and sometimes it can be difficult to move with all of the ruffles, jewelry, corsets (if you wear them). This fact makes some even more uncomfortable when stuck in these situations and I think a panel that is geared for this fashion would be great. Grapples, strikes, how to use parasols as a defense weapon (I guarantee this is very useful), would be very nice to learn for those who wish to have the power to protect themselves.

<3 Lifestyle Lolita <3

Taken from Teacake Time Machine blog (check her out!)

One of the things about Lolita fashion is that there are so many different little things about it, most I find fascinating. Even though I consider myself a lifestyler there isn't much done or written about it and I'd like to see more of that. Different interpretations, lifestyle arrangements, panels on sharing origins, and things like that would be excellent panel opportunities. 

A basic cover of that would be nice, I did mention it in a previous post about things I'd like to see for Lolita fashion at cons, here, but it can definitely be more than just a simple 101. Workshops even for lolifying your living spaces would be a neat little treat to see and do. People could come to the workshop with an item that they'd like to craft towards their style of life and, with funds collected for the workshop, use the trims, bows, and other supplies to figure out how to gear it to them. It may not be so simple but it'd be fun.

And with that I will conclude this weeks edition of Lolita Blog Carnival and hope you've enjoyed it. Check out that link if you are looking to join in on the fun, don't forget to read the description on how. If you wish to read about what other participants have written you can check them out in the links below!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

LBC: What Is One Facet Of the Fashion That You Enjoy & One You Don't

Lolita fashion is such a dynamic and fascinating creation that there are always trends, habits, sub~styles, and separate communities for different aspects of it. It's strangely a very efficient lace monster that the fashion wearers have created, hiccups that occur from time to time are of course expected, from groups that cater to lifestylers to sewing groups for the fashion. All of these things have created little facets that make up this fashion making it appealing and lovable. There are so many things to look at and enjoy and experience, some things may be your cup of tea and some may not. So that is the focus of this week's Lolita Blog Carnival topic, one facet we enjoy and one which we do not.

The Bloody Tea Party Tea Time necklace 

 There are really so many things I enjoy about this fashion but I think one of the main pillars of this fashion and its community is that it's so creative and evolving. Though this can be applied to many things and individuals this particular fashion has many different layers to it that, sometimes, covers other things. We have sewing and crafting that revolve around this fashion, art, media, small gatherings and large events, discussion groups, mountains of brands of the fashion, places to share daily looks, and so much more. They all revolve around the aesthetic of the fashion and yet still encourage growth and change.

Pic taken from Pinterest

Many brands, both indie and original Japanese a~like, have grown this fairytale world around the idea of elegance, cuteness, and ruffles and I think that's one of my favorite facets about this fashion. It's just something that I hadn't seen in the beginnings of my journey but it was learned eventually. People grew with the fashion and picked things they liked and it keeps it moving and in some ways glowing. It's not something that is so mundane in the first place, it was something delicate and soft looking but nothing normal. 

It's a great place for my brand of weird and madness to come through.

It is the perfect place to take fantastical ideas and manifest it into actuality. Whether it's through the theme or a coord or an event or having a print of something that doesn't fit into the regular world it has a place in Lolita. It's definitely allowed me to flourish in a lot of instances, there are so many things that I want to see in this fashion that I've learned how to make and share myself.

There is a flip side to this very thing, it is a fashion, with rules that are strict when you first learn of it and then moldable later, that could potentially delve too far into that world. Certain fun aspects have been deemed costumes in the fashion when taken too far. It's true that Lolita fashion is far removed from everyday outfits for many, unless you wear it daily, and the creative aspect can sever an outfit from the aesthetic. This can happen with a person new to the fashion and someone who has a strong foothold in the rules.

Photo taken from Pinterest again

I do have other things that I don't enjoy about the fashion but they are small, I still can't get into the bunny ear coords. They look pretty adorable on others but I'm just not for it...I'm sorry world! Maybe just not my cup of tea...So that's why I went with the other side of the creativity, sometimes it just doesn't quite fit in with the fashion and does go overboard or isn't as well accepted. 

There are tons of other facets that many others enjoy and don't which you can check out, down below in the links. Of course if you'd like to join in on the fun you can also join the carnival and write with us on each topic. Just be sure to read the description and you can either message the mod or fill out the questionnaire that pops up when you hit that join button.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Madeline & The Case Of The Katsucrunch

So, you are probably all wondering what I've been up to over the past couple of months. Things may have seemed awfully silent on this end of the world from your favorite Hat with the plan, unless you check out my Instagram pages regularly. It's all been percolating in the pot and I've been running rampant in preparation for Katsucon 2019!

My line from this year consisted of Butterflies, and Witches, and Witchy Oujis, OH MY!
Photo credit Jessica Whitehall

I was one of 7 other indie brands, including Ikemen Mode, to grace the stage and show off our lines we prepped for this year. The previous year I had shown my Homunculi print worn by 4 adorable little witchy beings and this was a mix and match of butterflies and witches, all to enchant. It was a drastically different show for me, as I had a very dark palate last year and then everything was butterfly fabric this year. I had very little time between sales and show so I really tried to pace myself.

Pics from my first year at Katsu (2018) 
Photo credit Lavender Bats on IG
It was a departure, certainly, but both years are so special to me and I had a blast putting together every piece. It has also prompted me to really push for the next show to come with another original print I've been working on and my butterfly winged garments. I did do a reveal of a new design of the detachable wings this year that I'm so very happy with. I love my butterfly winged garment designs, I have jackets, one pieces, jsks, and boleros (both with and without sleeves), and have been making them more and more versatile since the first OP back at the end of 2014 and this one takes the cake.

My intent is to make things that are both fantastical and wearable and this new design hides the top of the wings but allows them to be removed from the garment, without disruption to the actual dress. During the show the last model showed of the dress from both the front and back to then be hidden from view by those with Witch's Bonnet and be dressed by the two crimson butterflies. Once they were quickly added, with the other models departing, the last butterfly revealed that the dress now had wings. If you caught my Instagram post about it you saw it with only the first part of wings and mentions of a secret, that was it.

The fashion show was not the only thing I had going on either, I had two other projects going on, with a panel on Lifestyle Lolita and helping with the Katsucon Luncheon, Nocturnal Royal. The hosts worked their butts off and I tried to do my best, finding donators and advertising their wonderful shops on the event page. The event was lovely on the top floor of Grace's restaurant, just outside the con space, and the food was actually pretty decent (though the California rolls were just kind of like....oddly there?)!

This person right here! Just always amazes me with every LOOK!

There were so many wonderfully dressed guests for the luncheon, one of whom totally conjured up Faery Queen Titania vibes. I mean, this person always serves looks but they had me floored with this one. I wish we had more space and time to take photos of guests and their wonderful coords but I did manage to get candids of each table.

Like this one with the wonderful Harriet!

The space was very beautiful with bird cages in the wallpaper and the decorations hanging from the ceiling. Our area actually had a wedding puzzle bed in the corner where we placed our prizes for the raffle, it was all really beautiful.

I almost didn't get any pictures but I managed to snag this from the concert

Then at another point, a little later in the day, we got to attend the Akira/Lantanna concert and rock out. I was still in my coord for most of the show but because Akira's music is just not one you sit still for my bonnet was bouncing off my head, my phone almost flew out of my hands, and I accidentally bumped into my friend Sherri, who I had no clue was standing next to me until I turned to apologize; it was a very crazy and fun experience.

I think the world wasn't ready for us...

The last thing I do want to mention is that Harriet and I did get to host a panel on Lifestyle Lolita. We covered what it was, how we work it around our lives, when it's not compatible, and how to start it. We may or may not have accidentally turned things into a self~defense Lolita talk, but that will start another panel for another time. (Don't let anyone touch you or someone else without consent)

Katsu coord of Friday

I think everyone had fun at the panel, we did, talking about what we find important and how two differently styled individuals live. I would like to redo it again for next year, perhaps Otakon, and add to it with more info we shared during questions asked. I know I mentioned in another post that we did bring teacups and tea to this for ourselves, next time we plan for our own baked goods too, but there may be randomly tossed packaged goodies too. Who knows what the future will bring for that though.

I know I went backwards in days, starting with the fashion show, but it followed the timeline just in reverse. It's just how it all popped out of my head and was put to post. I hope you enjoyed this and if you are thinking of attending a con where The Bloody Tea Party is showing it would be nice to meet you and chat. We'll see what this hatter has in store for the next few months (another announcement is on the way) but until then I'm going to take a VERY short tea break with a much needed baked good.

Cheers! XOXO

Saturday, February 23, 2019

LBC: Create A Coord Based On A Portrait

Ever look at a portrait and think it would be neat to make a coordinate based around it? It's a popular past time from what I've seen, with some extremely well done outfits popping up here and there. I never really can sit down and pick something quick enough and it can take all day. And for this weeks Lolita Blog Carnival

So what I had at first planned was scrapped by Friday, as I'm often found to do, and stumbled back into the land of portraits to find something that really struck me. As fate would have it, what was a maybe earlier to the one scraped I realized I may have had something in Elizabeth Bathory's style. 

The Blood Countess. A woman who was said to be one of history's most brutal serial killers though she was nearly lost to time. Even speaking her name had become outlawed in her home country of Hungary by King Mathias II. The atrocities that she inflicted on many have become the stuff of legends, some saying that they were from paranoid townspeople to even words fished for by the court of her personal servants. Regardless of whether it was fact or fiction she was known as the Tigress of Cachtice despite being renowned for her beauty.   

This coord has been burning at the back of my mind for ages, slowly piecing together, and with particular aatp jsk in mind. I don't have any aprons, like the one seen in one of the more well~known portraits of Elizabeth, so I used one of my Meta underskirts to act as a front panel. I also added another collar to put an emphasis on the neckline and tried to emulate the highly starched collars of the 1540s, when this portrait was done. Long sleeves are pretty much where the main similarities end and the rest becomes more like a vague interpretation.

I did add a few things after the main coord shot, and then some once on the dress form, but It really just snowballed. I played with some light makeup around the eyes but tried to be as smooth on my complexion as possible with powder. The other thing that was drastically different is no hair netting and just a simple pearl and star chained hair piece pinned into my hair. There isn't really much else I could get to be similar in such short a time. 

And since I tend to forget showing the footwear (and don't wear shoes in the house) I added a full coord shot, adding a few more things by the end. It was so late by the time everything formulated that I just ran with it and called it a day. Though I do think it came out nice even if it's very derivative of the portrait, it was fun anyway. 

If you'd like to check out other's who have joined in on this round of the Lolita Blog Carnival, check them out in the links below. You can also join in yourself! All you need is to have a 3 month old blog with 9 posts about Lolita (and be primarily a Lolita fashion blog). 

Friday, February 8, 2019

LBC: Create A Coord Based On A Book

One of my favorite coord challenges is to create something around books and stories, it really gets my brain turning at the possibilities. There are so many good stories that inspire and have fun with that it's sometimes difficult to choose. So for this weeks Lolita Blog Carnival prompt we all take a whack at it. 

The book I choose is one that is dear to my heart and not the one I had initially put together an outfit for yesterday. (I am a day late to the prompt but I had made a totally different one, written out and everything, but my indecisiveness won the day.) I had to rewrite everything and pulled this one together. It was a little off as I had tried to bunch the sides to give it a bustle back drape, deciding against the idea in the end. The gate print was what brought about the whole change in the first place and I just couldn't drape it in a way to not loose the design.

The story that has a gate and death that has such importance, you ask? Why, it is Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost.

The story focuses on the Otis family, from America, who find the idea of a ghost ridiculous and barely take note of him. Throughout the story our poor Sir Simon De Canterville can't go about his own hauntings without this family mocking him or dismissing him, he really tries. Going from the 'simpler' faire that usually does the trick to transforming himself and really throwing down the gauntlet. But this is to no avail, the family is impossible and the youngest twins would make Fred and George Weasley proud with their antics against the ghost.

By the later half, thankfully, the daughter, Virginia Otis, takes pity on our favorite spectre and hears him out. The things that transpire does lead to the discovery of why Sir Simon is haunting his old home of Canterville Chase and the dreadful dealings that cursed him to remain. It all involves his lady wife and a riddle that he believes he has no way of solving for himself.

It's very short, very comical, and a little sad but a very good story. I think it was one of Oscar Wilde's first stories to be published if I remember correctly. I do recommend a read through and even watching all of the movies that were adapted from it, each with a slight spin on the story and timeframe in some cases (and one with Patrick Stewart!).

And that's the end of that for me but if you would like to read more from others you can check them out in the links below. There are so many books to choose from and build coordinates inspired by them and this is only but one.