Friday, January 21, 2011

Excentrique's Spring 2011 Collection

The Flasco blog has been posting images of Excentrique's upcoming Spring 2011 collection over the past week and I am seriously smitten! Once again, they're presenting a blend of classic tailoring, corset details and military styling; the simplicity of the lines reminds of Atelier Boz, although the stripes give a bit more interest than Boz's usual solid colors.

Love the stripes-on-stripes mix in this coordinate, plus the underbust corset - so yummy!

From their start as a corsetier, Excentrique has always been very detail-focused. This fantastic ascot pin is replicated in matching cufflink buttons on the shirt.

See more here, here and here. I suspect pre-orders have already begun for the collection, since the coat already appears to be marked as "sold-out" - hopefully there will be a few pieces left in the shop to paw over by the time I arrive!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keeping resolutions!

One of the problems I'm having with blogging about clothes right now is that I'm trying very hard not to go looking at new stuff that's coming out right now, lest I break my resolution to stop shopping until my Japan trip in May. Logically, I can keep reminding myself that it's the best idea, especially since I'll save enough on shipping and customs fees to get even more goodies, but temptation is everywhere!

Raegan over at Her Curious Elegance dealt with her temptation by drafting up a wish list, but for me, thinking about what I want makes it even harder to hold back. Instead, I'm trying to revisit what I already own, making sure I take the time to love and appreciate the beautiful things that already fill my closet, instead of pining for what I don't yet have.

That said, Meta has gone and re-released their pin-tuck tiered pinnafore dress again:

Le sigh! I know it might seem plain, but this really is among my wish list dresses. All those details are just what I love about lolita fashion: ruffles and pintucks and buttons and bows, oh my! I'm only spared an impulse purchase by my last shreds of willpower, and my uncertainty about that crepe fabric - they normally make this dress in cotton or gaberdine, and I'm not sure the sheen on this release works with the style.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book purse tutorial

Looking for a funky alternate to Innocent World's sold-out book purse - and for significantly less money? Check out this awesome book purse tutorial!

I have some cute hardcover books left over from my wedding centerpieces which would be just great for this (they were purchased for their cool antique covers, not for their questionable prose!). Clutches aren't really my thing, but maybe I'll luck out on finding some neat purse handles this weekend so I can give this a try.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Welcome 2011!

I hope everyone had a happy holidays! Like most people, I have a few resolutions for the coming year. They're not too exciting, I suppose, but it's always good to have goals to focus on!

1. Stop shopping!
That sounds pretty drastic, especially for a fashion blogger, but it's not quite as terrible as it sounds. My husband and I are going to Japan in May for our belated honeymoon, and I want to have as much spending money as possible for the trip. If I just keep reminding myself how much I'll save on shipping costs by waiting to buy clothing in Japan, I might be able to pull this one off.

2. Redesign my blog
My domain has been dormant for a while now; I'd like to bring my different blogging efforts under a single banner, including the better stuff from this blog. My goal is to accomplish this by February.

3. Lay off the junk food
I've started to notice that many of my favorite dresses don't fit comfortably any more: they zip up just fine, but they're just a tiny bit tight. I've also noticed that I've gotten in the habit of drinking soda and eating junk food a lot more often than I used to. Hopefully cutting back on the later will fix the former!

So what are your resolutions (if any!) for the new year?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

News & Updates

Kelsey of I Do Declare has posted some photos from the Dances of Vice runway presentation last month. Her designs just keep getting better and better! One of my goals for 2011 is definitely adding a piece from her to my collection :)

Metamorphose is launching their winter sale items already. A few of the items I had my eye on, including their Old Rose JSK, have already sold out, but if you dig Meta's sweeter or light-toned items, there's still plenty left to choose from.

Grimoire is offering a 10% discount code for orders from their online shop in this blog post. As I noted yesterday, they buy it here (for non-Japanese readers, anyway) but the store also carries the Dolly accessory line, which is made in Japan.

Baby the Stars Shine Bright's winter lucky packs are almost sold out, but there are still acessory sets and LL shoe sets available.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Indie Brand: Pina Sweet

I'm counting Pina Sweet as an indie brand, although they do get frequent features in the Gothic & Lolita bible, enough exposure that most Western lolitas have at least heard of them a few times before. Even so, they definitely don't have the advertising clout of the big brands, and their limited operations scope puts them in the indie category as far as I'm concerned.

Like most Japanese brands, their "concept" page is a Japanese-text image file, making translation through online tools impossible! Looking at their gallery and collections, their focus becomes clear pretty quickly: classic-sweet designs with an emphasis on self-fabric frills and small amounts of lace. They tend to work with a palette of white, black, rose pink, wine and soft florals, although they do put out the occassional lilac or tartan piece as well.

Unlike many indie brands, which focus mostly on signature pieces like dresses, jumperskirts and skirts, Pina Sweet offers a full design range, including blouses and bloomers.

Pina Sweet doesn't do overseas shipping at present, so a shopping service is required to purchase from them. If you're in Japan, they are also carried in four shops, including the Atelier Perriot Laforet shop in Tokyo (which you were going to visit anyway, RIGHT?). Their sizing is a little on the small side, but many of their items include shirring to allow for a more flexible fit.

To be honest, Pina Sweet has always felt a bit like a hyrbid brand to me: there are elements of all the major classic brands in their designs, and they don't have quite as fixed a style as some other indie labels. In a way, that's nice, since it gives them a fair bit of flexibility. At the same time, though, I really don't have a clear idea of the brand in my head: most of the time, when I look at their stuff, I'm thinking "wow, that reminds me of Victorian Maiden/Mary Magdalene/Innocent World", rather than standing out on their own.

Grimoire: They buy it here

One of the most memorable lines from the Japanese Fashion panel run by Martha (of Moss Garden) last Otakon was her comment while explaining the main source of Dolly Fashion items in Japan:

They buy it here.

It struck me as true then - Dolly Fashion pulls many elements from vintage European style, especially from the Gunne Sax/Little House on the Prairie era, which is more common in vintage stock in Europe & North America than in Japan. It strikes me as even more true, though, looking at the Grimoire store blog over the last few days, where Hitomi (? I think) documents her recent shopping trip to Toronto, Canada.

You see the second photo of a Tim Horton's store in this blog post? The one with the Starbucks next to it? I GO THERE ALL THE TIME. Not even kidding. The Grimoire staff were buying stock in my city, probably even at the thrift stores I haunt regularly. Too funny!

Really, honest to goodness: They buy it here. Which means you can too.

(they also post images from "The Brand Upon The Brain!", a film by my favorite Canadian art house cinema director, Guy Maddin, in this blog post, which makes me very happy!)