Fashion Show: Acryl agitt with Matenrou Opera bassist yo

My taste swings to the sweet side of things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other J-Fashion styles. Former h.NAOTO chief designer, Daisuke Ichikawa, put on a superb show at AnimeNEXT. Distressed fabrics and tough attitudes along side neko mimi and pearls combined to make what I can only describe as fancy punk. The coordinates for the girls were both pretty and edgy. The guys sported jackets that were tailored perfectly for country club life were it not for the bold spray painted stencil details.

acryl agitt fashion show animenext 2014

acryl agitt matenrou opera yo

Bassist Yo of the visual kei band Matenrou Opera modeled along with many local amateurs. Yo has modeled for Acryl agitt in the past in Japan however this was his first apperance modeling in the US.

acryl agitt runway mens fashion

acryl agitt mens fashion animenext

kitsy acryl agitt fashion show animenext 2014

THE Greatfull Flat Duel Jewel Natsuki

stephanie modeling in acryl agitt fashion show

acryl agitt punk street visual kei fashion

visual kei opera yo bassist acryl agitt

acryl agitt designer daisuke ichikawa

I couldn’t keep count how many coordinates made their way down the catwalk. Truly an impressive number of pieces and models. Not only did the clothing make an impression but the make up was delectable.

Fashion Show: Galaxxxy with Kimura U

AnimeNEXT might be tiny by con standards, but it brings in the talent when it comes to J-Fashion. The convention wasn’t very good at organizing the line to get in or at being prompt about starting on time, but the show was awesome. I debated not going this year but then they announced that Kimura U was going to be the guest model and that sealed the deal.

My beau and I were able to snag not just front row seats, but the two seats right at the end of the catwalk. Couldn’t have been better! So without further ado here are some of the snaps I captured from the show. Hope you enjoy it.

galaxxxy rocks fashion show 2014-summer

kimura u modeling galaxxxy watermelon skirt at animenext

creamy mami papillon rose galaxxxy fashion

galaxxxy star brat see through one piece pastel

Have to pause here. This was my favorite コデ (coordinate.) I love her hair and the pastels. But what I like is that somehow this look is posh, cute, and quirky all at the same time. The silver high heal necklace gives elegance to the look while the high top trainers make it casual. And the Wonder Woman cuff bracelets – awesome!!!

jurassic panic X galaxxxy collaboration 80's pastel

galaxxxy bitchie barbie shorts and sweatshirt

space sick chameleon jacket by galaxxxy

neon duck tank top by galaxxxy tokyo fashion

kimura u kokokim galaxxxy poodle gangs

I love that these shows give local fashion fans the chance to model. At the same time it must be so hard for them. They have little-to-no time to prep and rehearse. I think everyone did a really great job! My only critique is that the amateurs need to take more time in their poses. Its probably just nerves getting the best of them, I did a lot of theater in my youth so know how your heart goes doki-doki on stage. But some of the girls were so fast all I could get was blurs.  Squirel

Mood Board: Garden Party Rabbit Apron

What to do when you fall in love with a fabric but there is only 1 yard left? You apply Gunn’s best advice and “make it work.” That was the challenge a certain Rabbit print fabric has posed to me since last summer. Finally figured it out. Make a lolita apron!

country lolita rabbit apron project

Aprons can be tricky. If you really want it to resonate as a historic fashion staple you have to steer clear of the maid look. The first thing that comes to mind is Holly Hobbie and there is no mistaking her look for a maid. In the 70s she was the darling of my youth. Holly has the perfect country lolita vibe about her. Mix in the sophisticated detailing Baby, the Stars Shine Bright is famous for and I think we are on to something.

baby angelic pretty and meta aprons

I found the most perfect boots from Steve Madden that I think will be a good match and bring in a little extra country vibe. Then there was a wicker purse on Etsy that caught my eye. There might be an entire, head-to-toe, coordinate in the works with this one little yard of fabric. That is how inspiration likes to play.

Sweetie’s Challenge: Kodona & Ouji Style

When your better half says to you, “can you make me a men’s lolita outfit,” you know you have found true love. Well, I already knew that. But was tickled pink that the boy wants to dress up too! Then the panic set in. I have never made anything but women’s fashion. Um, now what do I do?

18th century rococo kodona ouji style

First things first was to hit Google and search everything I could think of: kodona, ouji, 18th century menswear, rococo clothing, and boy lolita (which I should have known would bring up Ouran Host Club.) Then the fear grew even stronger. Are my sewing skills up to this? Sure I can whip up some below the knee breeches; piece of cake. Vest, or waistcoat, yeah I think I can manage that. The coat, that is going to mean some serious tailoring skills. Forget about the blouse maybe just the jabot/cravat…

akira the queen of kodona style

dear celine kodona sewing patterns

This Dear Celine coordinate is going to be my jumping off point. I like that it is a vest that combines the idea of a traditional waistcoat and coat into one. Found a few sewing patterns that might be helpful. I can edit once I have a good foundation to play with. Which means my next stop is the fabric store!

Butterick: Dickens & Colonial  |  Laughing Moon Mercantile  |  Burda

P.S. How is it that after all these years I only realized now that Eddie Munster wore a Little Lord Fauntleroy coordinate?!?!

In Love With: Fashion Rosettes

adorable ribbon rosettes from katie, fint, and angelic prettyrosette accessories from kokokim, milk and emily temple cute

When I was little, every 4th of July there were a sort of mini Olympics held at the country club where my grand parents lived. It was the highlight of the summer. And ribbons were always given out for winning things like the three legged race. While I am not the competitive sort, I adored collecting those ribbons.  They are long gone now, but I am sure they have something to do with my current addiction to rosettes. I also love patches and badges – so adding lace and ribbons to them is a natural jumping off point.

I am finding it hard to believe that I didn’t browse the Katie site more often until now. How have I missed out on all this cuteness?!?! If one had an award for rosettes it has to go to Katie. Second place? Well, I am going to give that to Angelic Pretty. While not in my mood board, third place goes to Nile Perch. Their Its a Girl and Its a Boy rosettes are infamous in Harajuku snaps.

Tokyo Spring Trends: Ruffled Pillow Tote Bag

kokokim, katie, and himitsu by syrup all have these popular tote bags

more cute frill bags from syrup, katie and fint

Ruffle pillow tote or frill tote bag, which ever way you translate it this is the super hot, must have, bag for spring. Its simple, its soft and its a whole lot of cute. I’m not sure which brand dreamed up this boudoir meets street fashion icon. However, the clear winner is Katie followed closely by Himitsu by Syrup for the sweetest and versions. I am torn between Syrup’s “Lolita” bag in pink or KOKOkim‘s satin option. If you are quick, you might still be able to snag a dazzlin frill tote in the March issue of CUTiE magazine.

Tokyo Spring Trends: Cherries

from liz lisa to swimmer, jane marple to swan kiss its all cherries for springemily temple cute, jane marple, milk, ank rouge and himitsu by syrup all offer you cherries this spring

In curating the latest for spring, when it came to cherries there were so many choices it was hard to pick my favorites. While trying to keep only to Japanese brands, couldn’t bring myself to exclude the adorable wedge sandals from Mod Cloth. Look how sweet they are! He he, and when compiling the Gingham mood board, it was clear that these two trends go hand-in-hand. So start picnic season early this year and pull on a cherry print to celebrate the return of spring.

Tokyo Spring Trends: Gingham

min plume, emily temple cute, spinns and poco a poco gingham fashion itemsank rouge, spinns, and dazzlin gingham options for spring

Trends like vacations are points in time. You have to enjoy them while they last. And this Spring I am so enamored by the fashion and brands that surrounded us while in Tokyo. Just had to pay tribute to it here. So so so much gingham. Crisp, refreshing, sweet and playful. Feels like every shop and every brand had something to offer in these playful and punchy checks. Lots and lots of skirts and pants, but accessories too such as Dazzlin’s clutch and Poco a Poco’s tights stand out. Its such a refreshing print that it is sure to last well into summer.  Give me a little more time and I might whip up my own gingham statement piece.

Hello Spring – もしもし春

I'm Back & Inspired

Took the month of March to regroup and to chill. I took a vacation both figuratively and literally. Its been on my mind for awhile about how to better focus my ramblings here. What is this little blog all about? Well, I have some fresh new ideas about that. But before I spill the beans I am going to put my concept through the paces on paper and see if it sticks.

If budget permits, this refresh hopefully will also include a redesign. There is a new WordPress template that has caught my eye but would need a designer’s finishing touches to really make it shine and bring my vision to life. So in the meantime, while those gears continue to turn behind the scenes, makes sense to keep on keeping on.

Inspired in Shibuya

Two glorious weeks in Japan will inspire anyone. However, it only takes one afternoon in Shibuya to get up to speed on what is hot in Tokyo right now. Even just riding the escalator up and down Shibuya 109 will fill you up with more ideas than you can imagine. Saw some perennial spring trends and a few new twists, as well as fresh updates to a few styles popular in recent years.

Zipper’s May edition hit all the highlights I encountered, but to really sink in what piqued my interest sketching seemed the best way to cement things in my memory. I haven’t sketched in years! And to be frank, was never great at it back in Art School {he he he.} Putting pencil to paper takes energy, far more than flipping the pages of a magazine, and so its a great way to capture a moment as well as allow for personal interpretation to sneak in. Regardless, here is what I saw popping on the streets of Tokyo today.

puffy tote bags, petit usagi hairbands, and candy necklaces

Puffy Tote Bags | Cropped Sweatshirts | Sheer Details | Fabric Candy Necklaces

full circle skirts, cherries and floral headbands

Floral Alice Bands | Short Full Circle Skirts | Cherries, Cherries, Cherries

varsity jackets, sailor collars, and gingham everything

Varsity Jackets | Chenille Patches | Sailor Collars | Winged Backpacks |Gingham Everything

floral neko mimi, cardigans with lace, ribbons and cutouts

Cardigans with Lace, Ribbons & Cutouts | Cat Ears Stuffed with Fake Flowers & Lace | Sheer Details

wide suspenders on salopettes and ribbon badges as accessories

Pleated Skirts with Wide Suspenders | Badges Trimmed in Ribbon and Lace

This year’s big surprise was SHORTS! And it is Shibuya, so when I say shorts I mean shorts. Short shorts. The more leg you can show the better. For my own personal taste there was another option.  Shorts that were fuller, that could almost be mistaken for a skirt, and with peak-a-boo lace showing at the hem. OH, and there was lots of denim and overalls too.  Overalls are so much fun. Not the most flattering if you are not a twig, but still so comfy and cute!! Then there are the ski caps. Everywhere and everyone has them. Making them spring worthy the fabric and colors are adapted to give them a lighter feel.

OK, so I didn’t actually see anyone wearing the neko mimi. But there was no way for me to take a picture and I just wish you could have seen it. There was this one shop where the girls deco anything and everything. Hot glue heaven. The mimi were amazing with tulle covering tightly packed roses trimmed out with more flowers and lace. Hu hu. So cute.

The Mission: Lolita Spa Days

I am usually not a huge fan girl. Of course I completely appreciate and admire a lot of models, actors and the likes. The attention they get and the need to always be “on” in the public must be exhausting. In NYC you bump into a lot of famous folks. That’s just how it is. My rule is leave them alone – they are just people too. But Misako Aoki apparently was my kryptonite. I think I lost my mind the week she was here. Well and even the month leading up to her visit.

lolita nails by kayo at hopscotch

For 2 events I ended up at my favorite salon, Hopscotch, 3 times. Once for nails, second for make up for the lecture and fashion show, and then a third time for the tea party reception. The reason for this was only part because I am rubbish at doing hair and make up myself. The other objective was to get some pampering. I fully admit that I have reached the point in my life where its really nice to leverage the services of others. {We finally got a housekeeper last year for example and my word how my life has changed.}

Mai, who I have known for years, helped me with make up for the lecture. I’ve only ever had my make up done by someone else twice in my life. The first was on my 40th B-day at a Roppongi salon that did my hair, make up and dressed me in kimono for the special day. This was my second time. I was just too much of a tomboy in my youth I guess.

lolita make by mai at hopscotch salon

I had Dolly Wink lashes for the occasion, but DOH, forgot to bring them with me to the salon. Oh well. I still like the simplicity of the look. I know, I know, this is boring compared to all the amazing make up videos and images online. But, again, this wasn’t about flash for me, it was about relaxing and letting someone else take charge for a change. Pampering is fun guys!! I highly recommend it. Well and add to it the fact – how do you find a place in Connecticut that understands lolita make up? The answer is, you don’t. So I am happy that Hopscotch was good sports and entertained this “not normal” request of mine.

Hopscotch Salon Logo When it came to hair, I told my stylist I wanted to do something radically different from my norm. I love my simple twin tails and wear them daily. I am not sure if it is because this is how my grandmother styled my hair everyday as a child, but I really like having my hair pulled up and off the back of my neck. On the rare days when I wear my hair down it usually lasts a couple hours and then I end up pulling it up. But this was not a normal day so we tried something wild. And damn, that is some big hair girl!!

thats crazy big hair sheri

Felt like the early 90’s all over again. We decided on clip in hair extensions for the occasion. We could have done a wig but in the end thought this would be fun and different. The look came out more hime than sweet lolita. And wow – all those extension are heavy! However, mission accomplished. Its weird looking at the pics – it so different for me.

hime lolita hair do hopscotch salon

lolita salon transformation complete

In the end I paid more getting ready for the events than on the cost of the events themselves. So this is not something I recommend for lolitas on a budget. But if you’ve made your way in the world, have good savings in the bank, and are financially comfortable – there is nothing like spa days. I enjoyed being able to sit back in the chair, close my eyes and relax. Ahhhhh.

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