tirsdag den 27. maj 2014

Youtube: A Letter from the Northern Star

Just checking in with you guys real quick to let you know that now the "Nortern Star" has a youtube channel, thanks to the inspiration of a friend of mine!

The first video is up already, and I'm pretty excited that it turned out alright, even if my preferred editing program decided to die on me.

Check it out, and please leave a comment to let me know what you think, and what you'd like to see!
As of right now, the channel is just victim to my own wacky thoughts and ideas.

Until next time, folks!

torsdag den 22. maj 2014

LBC: "Mistakes" You've Made in Lolita and What You've Learned

For this week's installment in the Lolita Blog Carnival we're gonna get personal and a little bit embarrassed about our wee beginnings in the fashion, I think. For the most part.

I think most of us had an embarrassing moment or two when we started out in the fashion. Something we look back on with curled toes, and we just "Can't Believe we would do that!" and "Can't believe I thought that looked good!"
Well, because we hadn't really grasped the fashion yet. We still had yet to train our 'Coord Muscles'.
Personally, I'm really, really happy nobody remembers my first steps into the fashion. The first mistake I made was trying to build a few coords out of what I had in my closet, before I purchased actual Lolita clothing. When I finally got a skirt, I went into real experimentation, and I was a mess of styles. I've tried to find a picture or two, but they're long gone. 
And thank goodness for that..

However, what I think my biggest mistakes have been, were not in dressing myself.
I'm a firm believer in Lolita fashion as a learning process, for people who want to learn. You make mistakes, you learn from them, you evolve. There's no shame in that, as such, no matter how stupid you may've looked in your old outfit pictures.

I think the biggest mistake I've made was trying to convince my family to like and respect my clothing choices. I have a feeling that this is the thing that's biting my tailbone now.

When I first got into Lolita I was still very young, and so I insisted on respect and being taken seriously, and I protested every time I was told by my parents that they wouldn't be seen with me in Lolita fashion, and that when they rolled their eyes at me and said "Do you have to wear that around the house!?" I would get into a discussion with them about how much Lolita means to me, how it is part of who I am and how it is none of their business what I put on my body.
While I've since gotten older, they've slowly grown stricter, more openmouthed with their criticism, and a lot more harsh. I have a feeling that might have root in the way I handled the situation, or at least, I could have prevented it. I honestly do not take in what they say. It just gets tiring, getting insulted every time I meet them and am feeling my best, or put up a new photo from a meet-up on Facebook.

I still agree with what my younger self said, back in the day. If I could do it over, I just wouldn't have made such a big deal about it.

Here's a new piece of advice for young Lolitas who experiences trouble with their parents the way I did. Of course you know your parents best, so if you think taking the fight multiple times about whether or not you should wear the fashion that you love, will work, go ahead.
I think that what I should have done, would be to take the discussion once, calmly, and then when they refused to listen, just stop discussing it. Refuse to talk about it. Just wear the fashion, and then when they criticize, stomp the critique into the ground with a "Whatever." or "That's your opinion", and then let it go. Refuse to fight about it.

I think that might have gotten them to just give up at some point. Because I've responded to their criticism to often, it has given them the idea that I care what they think.
I don't, and that's what I'm trying to show them now.
I just pray that they're gonna get it soon!

What's the biggest mistake you've made in Lolita? Was it about fashion, or was it about the way you've communicated the fashion to the world?

To learn more about what not to do in Lolita fashion and how to handle it, click a link or 10 below!

A Heart's Sound
Sleeping Sweets

Teeny Tiny Meet-up at the Women's Museum

The entrance to the old Women's Museum in Aarhus
This saturday I went to a meet-up in Aarhus with just two of my friends. I had hoped for more people to show up, but everybody else were busy with their exams or work! 
(I guess it's that time of the year. I'm busy with university projects and exams myself, but I took some time out for Lolita)

We met up at the local trainstation and then walked in the sun towards the Women's Museum! 

As soon as we got in we were met with female power all around! It was a beautiful old building, with a beautiful old painting of elegant victorian ladies in the hallway. Lolita felt so very appropriate!

Of course the first thing we wanted to do, as fashion forward ladies, were visit the exhibitions of historical women's fashions. I was very impressed with their collection of historical undergarments! So many beautiful slips, bloomers, corsets and nightgowns! It made me want to make some for myself, or at least purchase some more elegant sleepwear. 

They also had actual everyday costumes from important women through time, and they were just stunning, especially placed in this old house. The one above was one of my favorites because of the lace!

Afterwards, we went to the top floor where they had their "Storm P." exhibition. Storm P. was a comic artist, who also drew covers for womens magazines. He had a very interesting and empowering view on women, especially considering that he started working in the 1910's (if I remember correctly)! While most of the women he drew were not designed to be aesthetically pleasing, they often had the upperhand, and the men he drew were tiny and weak in comparison.
The pictures above are not by him. They're a selection of some of the work that inspired his own.
I thought they were just beautiful!
There were some more psychological and emotionally involving parts of the museum as well, but I didn't take any pictures. I was too busy being frightened by women releasing bats out of their mouth when I opened the door to cabinets and such.

Afterwards we went out for tea at AC. Perchs Tea Salon! When I heard that one had opened in Aarhus, I just had to go visit, as the one in Copenhagen is my all time favorite place to get a good cup of tea and scones!
We just managed to squeeze ourselves in, but otherwise, the place had been fully booked for the entire saturday!
People stopped and stared at us from outside the windows. It was hilarious!

All in all, it was an awesome day! The museum was a cultural treat, and the scones a tasty one.
I can't wait until the next one!

torsdag den 15. maj 2014

Review: Loris, Foxcherry, AnTaiNa, Candy Tower and Bodyline!

I received my package a little earlier than I thought I would, so without further ado, here's my review, with a bonus Bodyline review as I received my blouse today too!

I'll start out with the Taobao stuff. I used Yoybuy as my shoppingservice, and DHL for shipping.
As you can see from the picture, everything is individually wrapped. It all arrived in one big box. The AnTaiNa box was a little beat up, and the bags had become a little bend out of shape from being squished down there with the rest of the stuff. It was all squished so tight that there was no way anything could rattle around.

Loris "Star" Bag
As you can see, it was bend a little bit out of shape (I had tried to straighten it up a little bit), but apart from that, the bag is beautiful. It feels nice and sturdy, and it has a cute little star charm as a zipper. 

The bag is lined with what feels like polyester, but it's a strange bourdeau color. Not quite what I'd expected, but nobody's really gonna see that anyway. All in all, it's a very cute bag. It's a little more of a nice light pink than the picture, on which it seemed almost salmon.

All in all, I'd give it a 5 out of 5 spades for quality cuteness!

Foxcherry hairband
I bought a cheap hairband off of Foxcherry as well, as I'd previously bought a bunch of very pretty headdresses from her, and I was not dissapointed! For the price, the quality is pretty superb. The lace is soft, everything is spaced out nicely, the flowers are not flimsy. Everything is glued onto a pretty sad, white headband, though, that's wrapped in soft white ribbon. It's better than just using a dollarstore plastic headband, but still, I'd have liked something a little more sturdy. For the price, I'm not complaining. I got a free pink bow clip too!

I'll give it a 4 out of 5 spades.

Candy Tower "Cupcake" Bag
I purchased this really cute bag from a brand I'd never heard of before, called "The Candy Tower". I've mixed feelings about it, but all in all, I'm pretty fond of the bag. It feels even sturdier than the "Loris" bag. The bag is lined with a pink polyester fabric with the brand's tag sewn into it. The details are adorable and the colors are a lot more vivid than what my camera can project.

I really like the warm copper color that they used for the zipper and the clips. It just looks cuter than a cool metal zipper would. There's a matching heart charm attached to it.

However, the hearts are really, really wonky. They look a bit like pink, chewed gum that's been sewn onto the bag. They look a little wonky in the stock photos too, so I should've just paid a little more attention. There are small chips on the bag here and there, but nothing you'd notice from afar. 

All in all, I give this bag a 3 out of 5, for sturdyness and cute details, but bad craftmanship.

Last but not least from the Taobao order, we've got the
An*Tai*Na shoes!

As soon as I took them out of the bag, it really felt like they were fresh from the factory. Wow, did it smell like nail polish in here! And they felt almost damp, as if the paint hadn't even dried yet! I've no idea what that was about, but it was.. special.
The shoes are really adorable, though. They're very slim and sadly, way too small for me, even though I know I bought them in my size! I'm very sad about it, because they're just beautiful. An*Tai*Na has a "no returns" policy, so I'll probably have to trade or sell them, if I can't get a professional to stretch them out.

The cherry on top has to be the pattern under the soles. Look how cute they are! It's Cinderella and her glass slipper!

All in all, the An*Tai*Na shoes get a 4 out of 5 spades, for being perfect, but unwearable to me.


Bodyline Blouse "L159"
As usual, my blouse arrived in it's own separate Bodyline bag, neatly folded.

And here it is out of the bag! The blouse is a very thin cotton fabric, and nicely fitted. It has darts down the back as well. That's really nice, as it's got no waist ties to keep it from being baggy.
I was afraid the lace would be bad and plastic-y, but it's not. It's actually surprisingly soft to the touch.

The sleeves are long and very full. Even better than I thought they'd be! There's soft lace running along the ruffles all the way around.

And here's the bow. I'd hoped it would be nice, simple neckties with a flower clip, but nope. It's a silly butterfly on an elasticband with a flimsy plastic flower. I'm thinking I'll just remove the flower and try and wear the bow without, if I decide to use the bow at all. I primarily bought the blouse for the sleeves.

All in all, I'd give this Bodyline blouse a rating of 4 out of 5 spades! One detracted for the bad quality flower.

That's it, folks! To sum it up, I'm pretty ecstatic and looking forward to wearing it all out!
I'm staying positive about the shoes and giving the shoemaker a chance. Maybe he can fix them for me. 

onsdag den 14. maj 2014

The Closet Confidential

Recently I became aware of the "Closet Confidential" tag through EGL, and I decided to fill out the Lolita version that was posted on there, to cheer myself up a bit.
(I think I'm falling ill.. *cough*)

Here we go!

1. What is the oldest item in your wardrobe/closet?
The oldest item in my closet is my very first skirt. It's an old one, and I don't know what brand it was from. I just remember I bought it secondhand, because it was the first Lolita item I laid my eyes on, on that forum. I didn't think much about it. I just wanted something Lolita, and it was there. Today, I'm really happy that was the one I bought. It's actually a pretty decent oldschool piece, I think. It has no tag inside or anything. I bought it alongside a matching shirt and square headdress with red ribbon and bad lace. I wear it when I wanna be oldschool and tacky, haha!

2 + 3. What is the newest item? What is the most expensive item?
My newest item is my "Memories of my First Soirée" JSK by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. It's also my most expensive item, as it's the first item I've bought for full price and brand new (pun unintended). Everything else "brand" I own I've either bought on sale or second hand.
It's also one of my favorite pieces, and the most beautiful garment I've ever seen. I swear I don't think my wedding dress is gonna be half as pretty when the day comes!

4. What is the cheapest/most affordable item?
My cheapest/most affordable item is another oldie. I think this was the second or third skirt I ever got, and it was handmade by an old friend of mine. It's the cheapest because I literally got it for free! I think it's pretty cute and simple, actually. It's got a lace up detail in one side that lifts the skirt a little bit to sneak a peak at the petticoat (oooh~ rulebreaker!)
 It's nice for country Lolita. 

5. What was the biggest bargain?
My biggest bargain must definetely be my accessories. I lied a little bit when I said my "Soiree" JSK was my newest item, because I've actually just purchased a bunch of accessories off of ebay, including the socks up there! A little tip from me: Do NOT purchase main pieces off of Ebay. That's bad! You're gonna come across a ton of replicas and Milanoo-style lacemonsters. Ebay is, however, perfect for accessories. You can find adorable necklaces and socks for less than a dollar, sometimes!
My Victoriangirldress petticoat is a bit of an ebay bargain as well. 

6. What was the biggest waste of money?!
The sad, sad mess up there. No competition. It's an Oo Jia replica of "Chess Chocolate" I bought back when I was too big to fit into brand. It's really the worst quality dress I own. The lace is green-ish, the parts of the print that were supposed to be all sparkly looks dirty. I've only still got it because I doubt I'd be able to sell it. I'd feel bad doing it, too. I might put it up somewhere for 10$ or something, and then the buyer can try and fix it up.

7. What are your three favorite items right now?

Apart from my "Soiree" JSK, my favorite pieces are my "Alice's Doll House" and "Alice's Mirage in Paradox" JSKs! Especially the first one was a close competitor for "Best Bargain", too! I can't believe how cheap I got it, and how beautiful it is! They're both beautiful quality, and I feel at the top of my game when I'm wearing them!
I'm gonna wear my "Soiree" out for the first time this weekend for a meet-up at the Women's History Museum in Aarhus this Saturday, and I just can't wait!

That's it, folks! I hope I get a lot better before saturday, but I doubt I won't. 
I'm usually only ill for a day, at most!
I tag everybody reading this to do the "confidential" as well! Post your link in the comments!

Coming up next is a big Taobao review! I'm expecting a big order tomorrow!

søndag den 11. maj 2014

Book Review of "Kamikaze Girls", and the independent Lolita.

"This cabbage shall be your friend!"
This quote has become a staple joke in Lolita fashion ever since the movie "Kamikaze Girls" came out back in 2004. This movie was, of course, based on the book of the same name. If anything can be considered the Lolita Bible (apart from, of course, the actual "Lolita Bibles"), it would be this book.
The main character, Momoko Ryugasaki, is the embodiment of the perfect Lifestyle Lolita.
Both in work, school and life, she is everything most Lolitas dream to be! Even so, she is not a very well-liked character in the Lolita community. Why not?
And how does the movie compare to the book?
(if you do not like spoilers, I suggest you turn back now!)

I tend to watch the movie before I read the book. It gives me the opportunity to form an opinion of the movie as an experience of it's own because, and I know most of you'll agree with me out there, the movie is rarely as good. The movie just doesn't give us the same amount of detail. It doesn't get emotion across quite as well, and it doesn't let us get acquainted with the thoughts and intentions of our characters.
The same goes for Kamikaze Girls.

The movie was quite a strange experience for me, to be honest. It was one of the first things I watched when I was researching Lolita, back in the day, and honestly, it made me doubt whether Lolita was for me at all! Because if you don't like "Kamikaze Girls", how can you be a "True Lolita", Am I right!?
Of course that's a load of nonsense.
But "Kamikaze Girls", the movie, grows on you, with it's random cartoon clips, sound effects and wacky humor.
The book has a bit of the same lighthearted feel to it, and you can see why the movie made the decision to exaggerate the aspects it did (like the Unicorn Guy's hair that's got a bit of a life of it's own!)
However, the book is not quite as silly, in the cartoon-ish way. 

Whereas the movie seems to be of a "Real Life Animé"-genre, I'd say the book is kind of like a long chat over a cup of tea with a good friend. You know, when your best friend spends half an hour telling you this really good anecdote from their life? It resembles the diary or biography genre, but with a faster pace, more surprising twists and turns and little thoughts thrown in at random parts of the book.
 You don't get bored reading "Kamikaze Girls"!

One of the most interesting aspects of the book, is the development in the relationship between Momoko and Ichigo. It grows on a steady pace, and Novala Takemoto does a great job letting it slowly build, and sometimes he throws little notes in there that makes you go "Oh! Look, she gets her!"
In the movie, you don't get to look into Momoko's head and see how she starts comparing aspects of what Ichigo says to what she herself thinks, and how it begins to make sense to her, that they're not quite as different as she thought.
There's major character development going on in the book, on both ends, and you get to know Ichigo a lot more! Not just how she is, and her past, but how she thinks. 
She's actually not just a free spirit, but a woman with strong values that she's willing to take with her to the grave!

The story of Emma and Himiko actually get's some development as well. Just a side-note. 
They suddenly make a lot more sense to me, after reading the book.

So, how does it actually feel, as a Lolita, to listen to Momoko tell her story? 
Do I wanna strangle her or do I wanna hang out with her?
Well, None of the above. But that's not the point.

Momoko has a lot of bad character traits. Just like in the movie, she lies to her dad, she doesn't wanna hang out with anyone and criticizes other people. These are what people seem to dislike her the most for. 
Apart from me just thinking that they're all very creative traits that adds depth to her character, I would actually respect her if she was a real person, too.

The main problem people seem to have with Momoko is that she's a loner. 
(Yes, even though she lies and cheats her dad for money.)
She doesn't want to make friends. Period. 

I think this has to do with  the stigmatizing of introverts in our society. You have to be social. Momoko is not, at all, and that makes her seem un-likable. 
What I think is really cool, however, is that she has plenty of selfconfidence. She's a loner, but she's not lonely. She simply doesn't care what other people think about her. 
She rejects society's norms completely, and does whatever she want. Obviously, she does it to the extreme, so much that it might actually cause her harm at some point (she doesn't care about what she's gonna do when she finishes highschool, for instance), but I think that a healthy amount of this might be really good for most people to learn, including Lolitas.
How is not wanting to be around other people bad? Momoko is comfortable in her own company. 
Too many people these days aren't.

Another good thing Momoko stands for, is persistently pursuing living life the way you want to.
She insists on living what she views as the Rococo lifestyle, because that is what makes her happy, and she goes into great detail in doing so. That kind of devotion is inspiring!
Momoko stands for living life to the fullest. That means fighting for it, and sometimes succumbing to life's little joys. 
When life gives you lemons, or a mouse-eaten bonnet, make beautiful embroidery!

Last but not least, about that "cheating her dad" thing:
Let me play devil's advocate first. Her dad was selling counterfeit goods, which means that his hard earned cash was earned by cheating other people. In this case, karma is coming back to get him. 
Even so, cheating people is wrong.
One of the lessons Momoko teaches Ichigo in the book is that if you want something, make it yours! Momoko lives by this rule, and knows that it applies to herself. She takes good care of her stuff to prevent other people from claiming it, because she cares about it. In real life this should of course not be applied to stealing other people´s stuff or scamming innocent Lolitas, but it could be applied to other things.
Take care of the things you value. Do what you can to claim what you desire.
It means having enough confidence in yourself, and gathering enough spirit, to reaching out and grabbing that thing, because you deserve it! 
You deserve it just because you had the desire and the guts to claim it for your own. 
You earned it by claiming it.

So, to sum it up:
Yes, the book is better than the movie. 
Yes, Momoko has plenty to teach us, even if she isn't a nice person. 
She does, however, get better. 
She opens up to another person, and learns to accept that there are other strong people out there who can add something to her already strong and independent personality, and some spice to her life. 

Introverts like having friends sometimes, too. It just needs to be the right one.

torsdag den 8. maj 2014

LBC: Disney Coordinate

This week's Lolita Blog Carnival challenge got a shot of disney magic, and of course I decided to ride the wave till the end and base it around Elsa from disney's "Frozen".
I decided to give it more of an Elsa "feel", though, to avoid going into cosplay territory. 
Hopefully that'll also make it a little more bearable for the ones of you out there who've long since had enough of the good "Frozen" stuff

As the base, I chose Angelic Pretty's Twins Etoile bustier JSK. I wanted something shiny, with a corset-like effect to emulate the silhouette of Elsa's dress. I also really liked the swans on the dress, and I decided to pull it forth a bit more with a feather corsage in her hair. For those of you who don't know, "The Snow Queen" is a Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, and he also wrote "The Ugly Duckling". I think Elsa's transformation into the strong, confident lady is reminescent of the ducklings transformation into a swan, so I wanted to use that a little bit. To keep the sass and maturity of the older disney princess, I chose a pair of transparent thigh high socks and see-through heels.
Finding the type of shoes I wanted was a nightmare, as I wanted something that had a bit of an icy look. I think the lace on those shoes give me that, but I know I'm tiptoeing the line of what is and isn't OK in Lolita fashion. Bear with me here.
I chose a cute lace capelet to resemble Elsa's cape in the movie, and to make sure we've got our shoulders covered
(As if it makes a difference with this one, haha), and of course some snowflake jewellery, because we cannot conjure real ice magic.
Last but not least, I chose a wig for this one. I chose a white wig with blue highlights, because I wanted to take a sharp turn away from cosplay territory, weird as that may sound. Since the wig matches the outfit but isn't blonde and plaited, I think it works.

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Tired of "Letting it Go"? Let me know in the comments!

Wanna see more disney-fied outfits? Check out the blogs below!

Coming up: A review of "Kamikaze Girls", the book! So stay tuned!

tirsdag den 6. maj 2014

I'm Participating in the Fan+Friend Design Contest!

Picture borrowed from FanplusFriend's Homepage
Hello, girls and guys!
Today I've got a very exciting announcement to make!

As some of you guys might know, Fan+Friend has kicked open the door to their Classic Lolita Design Contest
It's no news to anyone that Bodyline hosts contests like these from time to time, but it's the first time I've heard of Fan+Friend doing one.

Personally, I see Fan+Friend as the "Metamorphose Temps de Fille" of the offbrand world. They're well-known for doing riskier designs, taking chances and daring to be different. This means that Fan+Friend is a bit of a niche "brand". You either love what they do, or it's not your cup'a tea. Personally, I'm very excited, because it means that we, as participants in the design contest, have more free reins to take chances and do something unique! 
If you've got a design you've been dying to see realized, by all means, go ahead and enter! Be a trendsetter!

I took advantage of my job at the local history museum the other day, flipped through a couple of books on daily life in the renaissance, and entered a "Tudor" inspired design the other day in the "B" series, so keep an eye out for that! 
And let me know if you enter!

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