Hello again

There was a picnic this past weekend, but I had to go see family at the last minute instead. It’s awful, because the weather was PERFECT for a picnic! Maybe the weather will stay nice too. Seeing family was pretty nice though, so it’s not all bad. I hope next weekend is nice, so perhaps I can dress up and run my errands.

While hanging out with family, I worked on some embroidery.

I think this looks really good! I drew the pattern out and then tried to use a variety of stitches to make it look cute.

I spent the night at my Aunt’s house, and this is her little dog. She’s a cutie.

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Summer Taobaoring Order

My last outstanding Taobao has arrived! I ordered July 2nd, and with EMS shipping and a delay with the shoes, everything arrived today.

I got shoes from Sosic Shop, hair clips and wristcuffs from Haruhiclover, and headbands from Red Maria. Also, two petticoats from Aurora&Ariel. Finally have blue shoes! I already own some of these same wristcuffs in different colors, and they are great.

The three headbands from Red Maria are identical, except pink, light blue and lavender. The little chain and gem are not removable, but I can squish the “bow” down a bit so it sits flat on my head. Also, the bows are a lie! They are not really looped bows but just sewn to look like bows.

Hair clips from Haruhi Clover. My SS wanted to make sure I only wanted 1 of each bow clip, because they are modeled as clips for pigtails (so you’d have to buy two). Maybe I will buy more later, but these look nice and seem to be pretty good quality for cheap hair bow clips. Also, Haruhi Clover included another shiny star hair clip, so now I have two. The little rose hairpin actually came with my shoes, which is kind of off, but okay, I love free gifts.

Not exactly sure on how to take a good picture of the petticoats. Not even sure which is which, but I think the Ultra Violence one is the poofier one (as it should be).

I tried on both petticoats and am disappointed, but mostly in myself. The waistband is less stretchy than expected, so I have to pull them over my head and while they technically fit, they do not fit comfortably.  Of course, I am watching my food, but life has been stressful (let me rephrase that, my FAMILY is stressful) so I have been overeating still. u__u It may be easier to replace the elastic in these instead. I will have to think about it.

There is a meet this weekend, a picnic that isn’t far from my house, and this would have been the perfect opportunity to test out these petticoats and shoes a bit more. Alas, my family is causing problems so I will have to go out of town.

Angelic Pretty Laforet Grand Bazaar MELTDOWN

Guess how many special sets are going to be released. FUCKING ALL OF THEM.

Am I exaggerating? ONLY A LITTLE.

Luminous Sanctuary OP Special Sets in new colors.

Re-release of Freshly Picked Strawberries from 2013. CRAP I really like this. Will this come to US or the Japanese online store??? The Tiered JSK (upper right) and Normal Waist JSK (bottom left) are super damn cute and I want them both. This is the kind of strawberry print I have been looking for. ;_; I want pink and white.

Hallowee Treats Special OP is up. HEY I did not think red would be a color. They only previewed white, purple and black thus far. However, sack dress so I don’t care. But still, this print hasn’t been released yet.

LOOK AT ALL THESE DAMN SPECIAL SETS. On 7/27, we have Salon de Rose, Sweet Cream Princess and Chocolate Rosette. 7/28 will have Sweet Bakery. 7/29 will have and Milky Pony Carnival and Fancy Hospital (oh, Fancy Hospital is being re-released also but I don’t care). 7/30 has Cream Cookie Parade (THAT WAS RELEASED LAST WEEK DAMN AP). Finally, 7/31 ill have those Eternal Carnival Special sets again, Baked Sweets Parade and Creamy Cherry (but in RED so you can barely see the cherries ahaha what).

And NOW my FURY.

Rose Museum Lavender and True Rose Story Mint Special Sets, for HELLA CHEAP. Because they were UNPOPULAR. FUCK. I WANT THEM. I would have paid full Special Set price for them.

18 Special sets. EIGHTEEN. AP what the hell. And it is all In-Store only, and I am 1000% sure that Tenshi is going to be FLOODED so there is no hope. Not unless the Unpopular sets remain unpopular and things go online on their shop. In the case, I will spend money on things. ;__;

Summer Crafts

I visited some friends this weekend, and one of them complimented the blue strawberry tote bag I made a few months ago. This inspired me to make the one with pink fabric today.

It is pretty much the same as the other bag, except I used pink strawberry fabric, a different lace trim, and the fusible interfacing is medium weight instead of heavy duty. Therefore the bag itself is less stiff.

Last time, it took me 2 days to make a bag, but I got this one completely done today. Yay! I never used the strawberry felt plushes I made before, so maybe I will attach some of those onto here for decoration.

Now that I have used up all the nice lace from those bloomers that didn’t fit, I will need to actually go buy some nice lace. ;+; All the lace I currently own is the awful scratchy lace that I got from a craft store before I could tell the difference between nice lace and crappy lace.  Or maybe the next tote bag will just not have lace on it. OR I could embroider it for decoration.

Speaking of embroidery…

I hand-sewed the hems of two random pieces of cloth to then embroider with flowers and practice stitches.  They are totally uneven and look kind of funky, but it is just for practice.

I really need to buy one of those pens for drawing the design on the fabric instead of just free hand embroidering.

On the other piece of fabric, I just made a random flowery design. I don’t know why it is flowers and antlers (or is it a weird tree?).

 

What should we call this fashion?

I am not entirely sure why lolita fashion is called lolita. This article from the F Yeah Lolita blog kind of explains the origins. In short, in the 1970s, there was a trend towards clothes nostalgic of Victorian era and earlier (think 1860s on the prairie) referred to as ‘natural kei’.  In the early 90s, this branched off into various styles, such as what we call ‘otome’ and the style we currently call ‘lolita’.  ‘Otome’ just means ‘maiden’ so that name is pretty obvious (even though the style that the west considers to be ‘otome’ is different from what the east considers to be ‘otome’).  In the 90s, mainstream culture seemed to romanticize the book and movies Lolita, and found parallels within Alice in Wonderland, specifically Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell (whom the story was based on).  Japanese lolitas ended up accepting the label by spelling it ‘ロリィタ’ (ro-ri-i-ta) instead of ‘ロリータ’ (ro-ri-ta with a long i), but online shops ended up using the second spelling anyway. So it was people outside of the fashion who named it, and it stuck.

Personally, I hate the connection between Nabakov’s book and the fashion.  I don’t want to be associated with it.  I don’t want to have to explain to curious people that no, we aren’t a bunch of perverts and it’s unrelated to the book but cannot quite put into words why it is called such, and then have them figure I am lying and we are all gross.  The blog post I cited says “If they cared that much about what sort of misconceptions strangers might have about them, they probably would have never ventured into the fashion in the first place. ”  To some extent, yes, I don’t care what strangers think of me when I am dressed up, but having to actually interact with them when they are asking questions and (silently?) judging me to my face is another story.  I just want to wear cute dresses and be left alone while shopping or hanging out with my friends.

Occasionally people will suggest alternative names, but it does not seem like any of them stick.  Some of the names are better than others.

Some people try to distinguish the fashion by calling it ‘Rorita’, which is just literally translating it from katakana.  Not a fan of this because it brings to mind people mocking the L/R pronunciation in Japanese language. Calling it ‘Gosu Rori’ and ‘Ama Rori” (literally Goth Loli and Sweet Loli) has the same issue.

‘EGL’ stands for “Elegant Gothic Lolita”, and was coined by Mana. When telling curious people the acronym, they probably won’t ask more questions. However, since it specifically refers to gothic (and some may even say it only would refer to Mana’s brand, Moi-Meme-Moite), I probably shouldn’t use it to describe sweet or classic styles.

A ‘Quaintrelle’  is a refined person who leads a life of passion, expressed through hobbies, personal style and charming past times.  Quaintrelle fashion seems to encompass various historical fashions, from Victorian inspired to 1920s flapper to pin-up style.  I suppose lolita fashion could fall under that umbrella, but all the vintage styles that also fall under the umbrella should not

‘Alice Kei’, or Alice Style, could work, except a lot of dresses are not specifically Alice in Wonderland inspired.  When I think of this term, I immediately think of old school style in pastel colors.

‘Alice Deco’ has the same issue of not necessarily being AiW themed, but this name makes me think of the extra cute sweet, pastel styles.

‘Otona Alice’ translates to “Grown-Up Alice”, and the (hopefully not dead) fashion magazine Eternita defines it as “women that always have an Alice living in their heart, or women that never want to forget their pure maiden heart.” I can envision this to be used for describing classic and mature-sweet styles.  This is not to be confused with ‘Otona’ fashion, which is the grown up mature variant of gyaru. I’ve read that they are using this term in Japan also, so maybe this will catch on…or not. But I like this one the most out of the different ones listed.

‘Otome Kei’ (in the west) is a toned down, less matchy and more casual variety of lolita fashion, but still not considered to be ‘casual Lolita’ (which is still matchy). It is more quirky and unlike lolita, it does not have set rules, and is more 50s and 60s inspired (but not as sexy as rockabilly or pinup).  However, in the East, they also have a fashion they call ‘Soft Lolita’ (thanks Misako, you are not helping with getting away from the word ‘lolita’) which is a vague approach to lolita, so it can incorporate otome kei and even larme. Misako claims that soft lolita is what you wear when you can’t wear full on lolita but still want to wear something to feel cute. So, even though there are claims that otome is dead (it’s not), there are still too many distinctions between it and standard lolita to be able to steal the name.

In summary, if I was in charge of renaming things:

  • Alice Kei – Old school Sweet Lolita
  • Alice Deco – Pastel Vomit Sweet Lolita
  • Otona Alice – Classic Lolita and Mature-Classic Lolita
  • EGL – what we currently call Gothic Lolita

I have no unique suggestions for old school Gothic Lolita or old school Classic Lolita (maybe that is just Natural Kei? But that might be a style of it’s own now…). And none of these names solve the problem of people assuming you are dressing up as Alice in Wonderland. ヽ(´ー`)┌ I guess I will go update tags now.

Angelic Pretty Mid-July Releases

tl;dr: Nothing I feel like spending money on but want to comment on anyway.

AP USA is releasing Cream Cookie Parade tomorrow. Actually, the more I look at it, the more I like it. Especially the pink colorway. Who am I kidding, I really only like the pink colorway. However, not enough to actually spend money on it.  It also seems like this print is something that would fit in otome fashion also. I think my favorite part of this print is the tea cups. I think I would buy a pastel print with tea cups and stuff on it.

AP Japan will release Milky Pony Carnival at noon, 7/21/17 Japan time, so actually just about an hour from now.  I like the JSK cut.  I like how it seems to be a throwback to older prints (which I missed out on because it was before I started seriously paying attention to lolita fashion), however others seem to think it’s AP making crappier versions of their old prints. ヽ(´ー`)┌ I don’t particularly like the print, but I don’t like any toys/carnival/etc theme anyway.  But more cuts like this with a print I do like would be worth spending money on.

I am always amused when AP USA and AP Japan have new releases on the same day (technically). It seems so exciting, even if I am not buying any of it.

 

Life worth Living

This might get kind of deep and is not the regularly scheduled cute fluff.

A family member accused me of having the same existential crisis that they are having, and I said that was wrong. What the heck is an existential crisis anyway? Apparently, a moment where you question if your life is worth living and if anything you do in life really matters.

According to Zapffe (and Wikipedia!), humans have 4 ways of dealing with this;

  • anchoring (being attached to the first bit of information offered, an idea they can use to focus their attention consistently, like society, God, etc.)
  • isolation (“fully arbitrary dismissal from consciousness of all disturbing and destructive thought and feeling” according to Wikipedia)
  • distraction (focus on an action or something else so you don’t think about it)
  • sublimation (re-focus the worry onto positive things, like creating art or other useful endeavors)

In this case, if I am having an existential crisis, then I think I am handling it quite well.  But sometimes it does sneak into my brain, does any of this really matter?

In the big picture of the universe and existence and all that, no, it doesn’t matter. I am a blip on the radar of the universe. But that does not mean I should not enjoy my small existence, or that I should not use my life, however insignificant, to do something good.

I want to have a good life! I want to eat tasty things and visit neat places and have a cozy and safe place to live and be around the people I love and who make me happy. I want to buy cute things and wear pretty clothes.  I want to provide a good life to the cats I take care of, and maybe even have a family someday, and provide them with a good, happy life too.

I want to help further human knowledge about science, and even if I graduate this year and end up in a soul sucking job as a medical writer, then at least the past 6 years of my life doing research were not a waste. And even a job as a medical writer (note: I am not seriously considering this as a career, but it is something I know is available, but I don’t really want to do it. At least not at this moment in my life) would not be fruitless either, because it would involve translating data and results into a form that other people can more easily understand. That isn’t really something fun, but I think it would be helpful and the idea of furthering human knowledge makes me happy.

Even when things look gloomy, and my family is being awful, and it feels like I will never graduate and I worry that everyone is disappointed in me for being unpublished while the new kids already are published and I worry I can’t find a job because I am still unpublished and I just want to cry…I have to remind myself that it will be okay. Not everyone’s life is going to have a huge impact, and I am probably always going to be a “nobody” whose existence will not matter very much in the grand scheme of things.

But surely I matter to my friends and loved ones, and maybe even my co-workers.  Pretty sure I matter to my cat, who kept bugging me this morning to feed her. I like to think that when I interact with strangers and am generally polite and considerate, I am able to make their day a little bit better (or at least not make it any worse).

Anyway, time is limited for everyone, and that scares me sometimes because I will be 30 in a few years. That seems so old and I feel like I haven’t done enough with my life yet.  I mean, graduate school is kind of a big deal, but I though I would have traveled more by now.  I was reading something yesterday about planning trips to Japan (ah yes the weaboo inside breaks free!) and budgeting for it. I want to do that! I’ve wanted to go visit Japan at LEAST for a decade! But I kept making excuses. I can’t afford it cause I would want a few grand so I could do some hard core shopping, I am scared to go alone, I don’t speak/read the language, I can’t take time off work/school/lab etc etc etc.  Ah this kind of got off topic, but the point is, life doesn’t matter so may as well do something fun.

(Of course, the doing something fun has caveats. Murder sprees are not okay and if you think that is fun, please see a therapist. Drinking yourself to death may seem fun to you but it is not fun for your loved ones so please don’t. Please take care of your health so you can get the most fun out of life.)

Do something that makes you happy, but don’t hurt other people in the process. I think to me, that is the meaning of life.

I am not precisely sure which of the 4 coping mechanisms I fall under, or perhaps if I fall under all 4.  But I do think I am dealing with this existential crisis better than my family member, and we are most definitely 100% NOT the same.

And damnit, I am going to go on a shopping trip to Japan one of these days. At least once in my life.