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.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say that Pina Sweet is perhaps one of the few brands that knows exclusively how to work with chiffon and georgette on a capable level (and Juliette et Justine). They seem to make complete pieces out of the said materials every few seasons. You know that pink georgette JSK I have?

    That's Pina Sweet - when I found out I went to look at their site like a couple years ago they had some pretty gorgeous georgette dresses. While IW, VM, and MM just add it on the hems of their skirts and dresses.