Saturday, 29 March 2014

Lolita event: Enchanted

Street Fashion Europe is a collaboration of various lolita communities across Europe. They have come together to create a huge convention-like meet-up called 'Enchanted' taking place on April 5th 2014.

Enchanted Logo
Brands such as Juliette et Justine and Grimoire will be exhibiting at this event so it is a great opportunity for European lolitas and street fashion enthusiasts to view the products in person.

Initially I was not planning to go as I haven't been wearing much lolita fashion as of late and the tickets had sold out. Luckily a ticket popped up for sale on Facebook and I decided to take the plunge, so in little over a week I shall be at Enchanted!

Right, now to the outfit. As I don't have very many extravagant pieces left (yes events like these only happen once or twice a year so it calls for something more daring) I decided to update my Juliette et Justine 'Féerie' co-ordinate and here are the results;

I love wearing this dress casually but with the underskirt it certainly adds the touch of pomp I was aiming for. The underskirt was from my recent Taobao order which I shall be reviewing but I am tad overdue on.

Outfit Rundown
Dress: Juliette et Justine 'Féerie'
Silk bolero: Monsoon
Underskirt: Little Dipper (Taobao)
Bag: Zara
Shoes: ASOS
Necklace: Gift
Headress: Fox Cherry (Taobao)
Socks: 小鹿Bambi森林小屋 (Taobao)

I hope Rococo Daze send my Juliette et Justine 'Dessin' tights soon as I would like to wear them with this co-ord instead of the socks ;_;

I hope to meet some of you at Enchanted ^_^

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Brand Focus: Jane Marple (Spring/Summer 14')

Today I wish to talk about a brand that I have much admiration for. The brand is Jane Marple, no not the fictional amateur TV detective but the Japanese Otome brand that go by the same name.

As mentioned in my previous post about my favourite Japanese brands, the pieces produced by Jane Marple never fail to delight me. Recently I posted some photos to my tumblr by Ameri of the blog sweet*candy*pot  showing some of her newest Jane Marple acquisitions and they were an instant hit.

The pictures were of Jane Marple's Spring/Summer collection, this particular print is entitled 'Strawberry Label' series (ストロベリーラベルの) which features a lovely strawberry and jam jar label motif. There is also a nod to the detectives home town of St. Mary Mead in the labels.

© Ameri of sweet*candy*pot

© Ameri of sweet*candy*pot
© Ameri of sweet*candy*pot
I'm particularly fond of the OP version as my love for Peter Pan collars is unabated. The Nordic blue colour feels perfect for summer. I believe this colour is a special edition and quite rare (or sold out very quickly) as most Jane Marple store blogs state the only colours available are ivory and navy. I assume Jane Marple believe this is going to be their most popular print of the season as there seems to be quite a few styles released in this print such as jumperskirt, skirt, jersey dress, as well as a apron (or salopette) type dress. The OP retails at ¥ 37,800 + tax and the Apron dress for ¥ 36,540.

Picture from Interval shop blog
I haven't seen JM release many salopettes so this is quite a refreshing item. It looks great paired with the new strawberry collared blouse (¥ 17,640).

Pictures from Baby Pink Moon shop blog

Pictures from Baby Pink Moon shop blog
JM can sure do a collar, they don't fail to disappoint with their new range of appliqué and embroidered collared shirts. The rest of the shirt is quite plain as not to loose focus of the intricate collar detail.

This moves me swiftly on to the other new release by JM which also features an embroidered collar blouse. The 'Wallpaper Rose Bouquet' Series ( ウォールペーパーローズ ブーケ シリーズ). Florals being a recurring spring theme, JM have not missed out on this trend.

© Ameri of sweet*candy*pot
Ameri sure knows how to pick the best style of dress and colour. I feel like the jumperskirt version of this dress in mint green must have been the most popular. Both mint and blue-gray colour-ways have already sold out on the website. The price of this jumperskirt is ¥ 39,690.

© Ameri of sweet*candy*pot

© Ameri of sweet*candy*pot
The blouse is undeniably gorgeous, the rose embroidered collar just adds the wow factor but is also delicate while remaining tasteful. I'm very glad JM decided to use 3/4 sleeves as I feel this is the most flattening length to remain quite girly without being too childlike. This blouse is currently sold out online but retails at ¥ 22,890. The Wallpaper Rose Bouquet collection also includes a great many items that can be found online,

Pictures from Jane Marple official webshop
The tutu skirt which combines the printed fabric with a sort of chiffon tulle overlay is a fresh nod to the sheer fabrics trend. Paired with the varsity type jacket and wedge trainers it's quite a look.

Pictures from Baby Pink Moon shop blog
Another floral release from Jane Marple's sort of sub-brand Dans le Salon titled 'Spring Garden Cross' series (スプリングガーデンクロス) was the earliest release of all three. If Jane Marple had just released this series for spring I would have been all over it but it seems like the other two series' have overshadowed it slightly.

Pictures from Baby Pink Moon shop blog
The style of the print is reminiscent of some of Innocent World's floral prints but feels less dated. Unfortunately I cannot find much information about this release but I am sure it comes in a jumperskirt version.

I feel like I've covered the major spring/summer releases for Jane Marple and Dans le Salon, some honourable mentions go to the 'British Rose Gobelin Print' series (ブリティッシュローズゴブランプリントの)  which had me weeping internally. I have mentioned over countless times my love of gobelin (tapestry) fabric and this series is no exception. We usually associate this fabric with winter but JM have created a lighter and softer version for spring.

Pictures from Interval shop blog

Picture from Interval shop blog
Not one to neglect outerwear JM have also created a lush coat range. Again the collar is a main focal point, this time utilising overlaid floral lace while maintaining a streamlined silhouette.

Pictures from Baby Pink Moon shop blog
Pictures from Baby Pink Moon shop blog
The 'Lace Collar' (レースカラーが) series also includes a beautiful dress which I mentioned in a previous post. The OP comes in 3 colour ways, mint, navy and black which I believe must be the same for the coat.
Pictures from Jane Marple official webshop
Pictures from Jane Marple official webshop
 I would really love to know who's behind Jane Marple's new lease of life because they can just take all my money now! You can't deny the thought and effort that must go into producing such wonderful pieces, I really hope to see Jane Marple continue in the same vein. Taking into consideration that the autumn/winter collections are always more popular, I can only dream of what wondrous pieces they may produce but for now I shall lust after their current beauties.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Review: Korean Cosmetics haul - Etude House and Tony Moly for medium dark skin

This shall be my first and hopefully not last make up review. I shall try to keep this short and simple (for once). I have been reading other reviews on Korean make up brands but found it quite difficult to find any relating to dark/medium skin tone so I decided to purchase a few items and do my own little review.

I have a medium/dark South Asian skin tone, my skin is also quite dry (understatement!), sensitive and prone to eczema so I was a bit apprehensive about trying new products with dubious ingredients. I bought all my purchases from f2plus1 ebay store after I read Beckii's review. They offer free registered shipping for any item and it took less than 2 weeks for me to receive my purchases.

The items arrived well package in a sturdy small box and individually wrapped in bubble wrap. It's also worth noting that f21plus1 marked the item value as $10 so no hefty customs charges are incurred.

As well as my items, f2plus1 included some samples, including BB cream and various other creams. I shall not try them for fear of upsetting my skin.

Etude House 'Drawing Eye Brow' - Price: $4.34 (£2.61)

The first item I wanted to try was Etude House Drawing Eye Brow, mainly because it was very cheap. I chose the black-brown shade No. 1.

The angled applicator really helps when drawing the shape of the eye brow. I really like the consistency of the formula, it's not too soft or to hard so it doesn't wear off or smudge easily. The colour is not too heavy to be obvious when worn and nicely blends in with the hair. Using the brush on the bottom end of the applicator helps to blend in the product to the rest of the brow. I have been using this product for two days and it has not caused any irritation that I'm aware of. I think this product would be best suited to someone who already has fullish brows and just wants a touch of colour or to fill in any small gaps, if your eyebrows are a bit sparse this probably won't give the desired coverage but it is definitely worth the price.

Etude House 'Play Color Eyes' - Price: $20.59 (£12.39)

When I saw this palette, I knew I had to get it. I chose palette No.2 'So Chic Play' as I felt the colours were more wearable and versatile.

I really love the packaging of this palette, it's reminiscent of a chocolate bar. The long length mirror seems quite handy and it also includes two applicators. I was most worried about these eye shadows not showing up on my skin tone but they turned out to be quite a surprise.

Without Primer
Apologies for the swatches being in the wrong order. I did not use a primer for these swatches just bare skin. As expected the lightest colours do not show up well at all. The darker matte colours show up well and the glitters are not that bad either. I really love the colours 'Clutch Brown', 'Pop Champagne', 'Sparkling Wine' and 'Coco Brown'. They seem to compliment my skin tone well.

With Primer
For this swatch (the correct way this time) I used a simple eye primer underneath. The colours show up much clearer although the lightest pink shade 'French Kiss' still does not show up that well. The blue colour 'Midnight Star' is a strong midnight blue glitter which I quite like. I really quite like this palette and the price is really good considering how much other eye shadow palettes such as Urban Decay retail for. This ones not bad, not bad at all.

Tony Moly 'Crystal Light Highlighter' - Price: $7.99 (£4.81)

I really wanted to try a highlighter so I chose this one is shade No.2 'Gold Beam'

This highlighter comes in two shades, a pink and gold. I chose the gold as my skin is sensitive and prone to redness so the last thing I want to do is highlight it even further. As you can see it doesn't really show up on my skin at all. The first swatch is how the product comes out of the pot and the second swatch (underneath) is it blended in. What I really don't like about this product is the very pinkish undertone which comes out prominently after it is blended in. This product doesn't work for me at all unfortunately but it does produce a nice shimmer. It hasn't caused me any irritation which is a plus and the price is not to bad. Definitely better for fair skin tones.

Etude House 'Princess Etoinette Crystal Shine Lips' - Price: $12.49 (£7.52)

I purchased this product for a friends birthday present so I will not be reviewing it. It is quite expensive considering the price of the other items I bought so I hope she likes it. I will say the packaging is really cute though!
Shipping: Free
Total: $45.41 (£27.53)
Overall: 5/5 Their service was top notch and efficient

So that concludes my first make up review sans any pictures of my actual face wearing the make up, maybe one day! I hope someone finds this moderately useful.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

My favourite (mostly Otome) Japanese brands....

Ok it would be a dream come true if any of these brands opened a shop in the UK but I highly doubt that will happen any time soon. I often think about what Japanese brands I would include if I were to open a hypothetical select shop, well here are a few;

The brands I would definitely put in my shop:

1. Emily Temple Cute

Macaron JSK

Without a doubt possibly my favourite Japanese brand. ETC never fail to produce cute prints in a range of designs. Luckily they have started to ship overseas so people around the world can enjoy the wondrous clothes of Emily Temple Cute. I found it quite hard to pick a few items of ETC that I like, I narrowed it down to the 'Macaron' print which was one of their very popular prints. I love the chiffon fabric and the lovely macaroons. ETC also make some lovely complimentary blouses, cut-sews and cardigans. I personally love the 'Melty' long cardigan.

Melty Cardigan

A melty chocolate cardigan wouldn't be complete without some sort of confectionery dress to match, since I've already mentioned the macaroons how about doughnuts? The lovely 'Cutlery and Doughnut' print looks good enough to eat. Unmistakably ETC, the cut of this jumperskirt is not only flattering but cute.

Cutlery and Doughnut jsk
 And finally one of the ETC I personally own and love, the 'Canned Fruit' print. A little like an Andy Warhol print but much cuter. I love the design of this one piece, the waist-bow and chiffon ruffle hem really add to this dress.

Canned Fruit OP
 2. Jane Marple 
Royal Order Mini OP
Jane Marple never fail to produce beautiful high quality pieces. Rich colours and ornate motifs feature highly on JM pieces. I love JM's use of the peter pan collar hence I picked out the 'Royal Order' OP as one of my favourite pieces, the print is so fantastically regal and I love the written text waist-belt. 

Alice print blouse
For the Alice print blouse JM took their wonderful print and featured it on a chiffon blouse with cute peter pan collar and removable neck-tie. I just love Alice prints and this one does not disappoint, every item in this collection is equally beautiful so I found it hard to choose one.

Flower lace collar OP
Jane Marple's non-printed dresses are equally delectable. I love how they pick out details such as the flower lace collar and buttons to make it a unique JM piece.  The only downside to Jane Marple is that their items are very expensive, a typical dress would be around ¥38,000 (around £220) making JM a higher end Otome/Lolita brand. I do find that JM items are of much higher quality than other brands.

3. Lois Crayon

Gobelin print coat
I love love LOVE this brand oh so much! Much like Jane Marple, Lois Crayon is a higher end brand in price and quality. Slightly shrouded in mystery as they do not have an online shop or sell anywhere online that I am aware of but the few items I have seen are gorgeous. I've picked out the gobelin fabric coat as a stand-out piece, simply because I love the fabric and the design which is not overly fussy. I have seen many gobelin coats which have over complicated designs, fur collars and lace which just clash with the fabric and print. LC manage to find the perfect balance with this piece.

Violet print jsk
Lois Crayon seem to have many 'Violet' print pieces, I believe it might be their most popular print. As I've featured the other Violet print jumperskirt on another post I shall put this version here. I love the cut of this dress and how the purple flowers stand out on the crisp white fabric. The cute wait-bow just brings the dress together perfectly.

A few Lois Crayon's skirts the names of which I do not know, I found them while browsing their shop blog. I love the musical note print skirt, the pleats and length look perfect.

Palace print jumperskirt
Finally, the 'Palace' print dress, it's the only piece I could find a modelled picture from so I had to include it. What's not to love? the lovely autumnal colours and lace v-neck collar are lovely. I really wish Lois Crayon items were more accessible and not just on second hand shops and auction sites

4. F.I.N.T/An Another Angelus

Fruit pattern OP
I'm not sure if F.I.N.T can be classified as a Otome brand or even a Gyaru brand but one things for sure they make beautiful feminine clothes. If I needed a cheaper brand for my hypothetical shop F.I.N.T would definitely be it, not as expensive as the other brands I have mentioned above but still on the pricier side of high street shops. I love the fruit patterned print of this dress and the cute lace collar, it's just perfect for spring. The length is not too long or short and the sleeves are very flattering. 

Rose print square collar blouse
How cute is this blouse? I must admit I thought the square collar was unusual but worn with a skirt or trousers it really stands out well. The rose print on the collar just elaborates on F.I.N.T's feminine aesthetic. Both these items are from F.I.N.T's sub-brand An Another Angelus. The staff always look like they are having a fun time I mean I would too if I could wear those clothes everyday ^_^

A few brands that I might put in my shop:

1. Ank Rogue

Ribbon lace up pumps
Predominantly a brand for Gyaru, I think Ank Rouge still has many items that can be worn into any style. Much like these ribbon lace-up pumps which are similar to rocking horse shoes and wouldn't be out of place in a Lolita outfit.

Antique embroidered blouse
I do like a good blouse, especially ones with a unique collar and pin-tuck detail. Not to mention the airy chiffon material, again perfect for spring.

2. L'est Rose

Gobelin dress

I especially love L'est Rose's gobelin fabric items, right about autumn they always release such lovely gobelin fabric dresses. They are always a hit and rightly so! Much like F.I.N.T, L'est Rose features highly on the feminine designs, a lot of floral and pastel colours here.

3. Juliette et Justine

Rosery Solennel jumperskirt
ロゼリィ ソラネル ローブ
It would be quite an extravagant edition to my shop but I just love everything Juliette et Justine do. The prints are always beautiful and I really like that JetJ are not afraid to experiment with different cuts and style of dress.

I am sure there are plenty more Japanese fashion brands that I could include in my (fake) shop, I think it would make a pretty fantastic shop to be honest, if only I had the money and the connections. If you had to choose any brands for your own shop what would they be? I'd love to know.