Apr 19, 2012

Chess Story Dress Review

At the very start of the year I reserved a dress from Chess Story. I admit that I was a bit nervous doing so, while I know the quality of their bows is fairly high, I'd never seen any review on anything more complex. This morning I finally received my package.

I reserved the dress through Loli Loli Paradise on facebook. I'd never used that service before, but I was pleased. Despite the long wait for the dress, I was kept informed and any questions I had were answered fairly quickly. The dress arrived pretty swiftly after I was given a tracking number for it, and was well wrapped for protection. There was also a little extra cutie in the package when I opened it.

I love you too, tiny Rilakkuma.

The dress fits well, better than expected even, and it's well made. The material is soft and thick enough to feel nice but not so much that it will be too warm to wear. The print it beautiful.

While not as detailed as some brand prints, it's clear and I couldn't find any bleeding. The art itself is precious and I love that it manages to be so colorful without feeling overwhelming.

There's a slight stripe to the main part of the fabric, and I think it's an interesting effect. I also love the little crown along the top of the print and the little roses.

The same crown shows up as a charm on the bow up top. I like that the chain is removable. While it's a great detail, having the option to take it off means there are more options for coordinating. The bow itself is stitched on, however. Not that I think I would ever have removed it. The material on the bow has and interesting checker board pattern to it as well if you look closely. You can also see in this picture that the lace is rather nice, and it's very soft.

These buttons are the last thing I wanted to comment on. Because I love these buttons and I'm not even sure why. They're on both the waist ties and the shoulder straps (which are adjustable in the back) and they took me by surprise. I just adore them. The flash on my camera made them look black and white but in reality they are the same blue as the dress.

I'm more than pleased with this dress and it was certainly worth the wait. For anyone that's been looking for a lovely print without the brand price tag and doesn't want to buy/is unsure about the quality of replicas Chess Story may be a great option.

Mar 22, 2012

Pretty of the Week: Art Nouveau Lolita

Art Nouveau is such a lovely, intricate style that it seems it really should have seen a handful of mixes with lolita fashion before now. Surface Spell came out with this darling dress a while back with art nouveau prints along the skirt, and personally, I think it's perfect.

The prints remind me slightly of Juliette et Justine's classic art prints, though they are confined only to portions of the skirt rather than covering the entirety of the fabric. Even so, they have such elegance to them. The frames, the flowers, the drape of fabric.

I managed to order one of these lovely pieces in the green colorway a few days ago. While it will take a bit of effort to find or make the right accessories to put a coordinate together, I've very excited to be getting this dress.


Mar 20, 2012

TV Shows for Lolitas: Once Upon A Time

Let's talk about Disney does live action in a modern town for a moment.

I'll start off by saying that I have some very mixed feelings about this show. I was very excited when I first saw the promotions. Years ago I fell in love with a mini series called 10th Kingdom - an earlier modern world meets fairy tale show with great writing and special effects that were less so. The Once Upon A Time promos promised a brand new, shiny and special effect-y soul twin to this older show. Oh, I recognized the plot would be different, but the spirit would be the same.

That promise was broken in the pilot by the very Disney versions of the tales. Don't get me wrong, I love Disney in quite ridiculous amounts. However, when you're expecting something based on the original tales it's similar to strawberry sauce when you expected marinara. It's not that it's bad, but you were set for something altogether different. I realize now I had very little call for this expectation and had I done any research about the channel airing the show I would never have them in the first place. But that is not what happened, and I left off after the pilot.

Now, sometime last month I began to see fan art from some of the artists I keep up with. It happened to be interesting enough for a second chance to be given. I still disliked the pilot, though a good deal less once I knew what to expect. Something in the way it was done made the characters seem flat, which I felt lasted for a couple episodes. However, the fan art had given me a clue - Skin Deep. So I would watch at least so far as to see this episode. Gradually the show built and I began to enjoy parts of it.

I've never found the addition of cheating into a romance to add anything positive to any story, even less so when it seems to be done to add edginess. However, that was the only aspect of the story I disliked. What I very much enjoyed were the creative takes on the different back stories - Cricket, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella - and the little cameos like Pongo.

But lets really be honest here. I'm considering that I like the show for only one reason.

Sorry, but it's my favorite Disney movie and it's Chip.

I actually would recommend the show even to those not prone to watching something just for the adorable shipping, especially those that enjoy the happier tales and stories the reshape and play with those tales. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then this is something you may want to give a try.

Mar 15, 2012

Pretty of the week: Steam Loli Goodness

This is muppet flail worthy.

It's not a big secret that I adore Infanta. Their designs make up for just over a quarter of my wardrobe. Lately they've released several adorable pieces from their standard florals to a precious red riding hood print that matches a hoodie they sold during the winter. This one stood out over the others, though.

Infanta has released other steam-worthy designs in the past, but they've not blown me away the way this dress has. The design is fairly simple, especially once the cape is removed. For me it's the dark gold detailing and cross embroidery that makes it special. Add the cape to that and it conjures up images of exciting vampire hunts in steampunk worlds. Or perhaps I read too much.

You can never read to much.

Mar 6, 2012

Pretty of the Week: Fragrant Rose Memories

I try and look to the smaller brands when finding items to highlight each week, but every so often I can't help but needlessly point out...

...that this is insane levels of pretty. I love, well, everything. The skirt that's higher in the front, the exposed frills, the side lacing, the little gathers around the top. It's all so very detailed in so many little ways. It might be that I have a new dream dress.

If only I had a new, fuller wallet to go with it.

Feb 28, 2012

Books for Lolitas: Grimm Fairy Tales

I've done quite a large number of reviews for books that retell some of these, and other fairy tales so it's only fair that I point out that they're an interesting read without being re-imagined.  While some of the stories are silly (The Golden Key) and some are a tiny bit horrifying, many are very good. Of these some are well known and other should be. I would love to see more Grimm inspired prints, perhaps from stories Disney has yet to touch and don't center around girls in red hoods or candy houses. Dancing Princesses would make such a lovely print. Can't you just imagine all the girls in swishing dresses dancing across the skirt? Or any of the many stories with bird themes could be oh so lovely.

Some of my favorite Grimm stories include The Goose Girl (both versions are splendid, though I prefer Goose Girl at the Well) Snow White and Rose Red, The Six Swans, and Bearskin. what are your favorite tales and which would you love to see in a lolita print?

Feb 24, 2012

Coconuts Review

My taobao package arrived at last! I'll do a review of the Infanta dress later, as it did not fit and I'm trying to decide if I want to sell it and buy a smaller size (NOW they have smalls, they only offered medium when I ordered) or if I want to find a seamstress. Still, it's the same quality as other dresses I have ordered. The unknown in this package were the items from Coconuts.

They aren't really a lolita shop, but I found a lot of there items adorable. I mentioned the shoes before, but I also think a lot of their items work for a loli-inspired look when it's just not practical to wear all out frills. In the end I purchased the tribble shoes and a set that seemed somewhat holmes inspired.

Oh my gosh I'm so in love!

Starting with the shoes. They're actually more or less the right size, though I'll need to get a bit of padding as it seems they were made for people with better, higher arches than mine. Even with the tiny bit of wiggle room, however, they're surprisingly comfortable. And I say this as someone who can only wear heel very rarely and for short periods. They're also well constructed and look exactly as advertized, minus a need for some slightly minor fussing with the ends of the bows. All in all, I give them a 5/5.

Onto the sherlock holmes set! I really need a magnifying glass necklace.

I really wanted this as a summer wear. I've got a few trips planned this year and it gets rather hot wearing all those layers. This seemed like a cute mid way point and a good starting place for building an almost-loli summer wardrobe for trips and the like.

I'm pretty happy with this over all. It's a bit shorter than expected, but not so short that I'd feel uncomfortable after throwing on a pair of bloomers under it. It also looks decent with and without a blouse, which is exactly what I hoped for. The material is really thin, though it doesn't feel cheap and that isn't necessarily a mark against it. As I said, this is for when full frills would be to hot to wear. As a nice, unexpected bonus it actually has pockets!

It's also pretty cute without the cape, though that kinda voids the holmes feel.

I have only two issues with this. The first is that it will need quite a bit of ironing as it wrinkles easily. Since I was planning on packing it for trips this is disappointing but not something I can't work with. The other is that one seam in the cape is stitched down in two different directions so that it has to fold twice.

It's not something that effects the way it looks on the outside or the way it falls when worn, but if was an issue when I was trying to press it flat and I know there are those who are a bit pickier than I am. All in all I give this a 4/5.

Over all I had a pleasant experience with this order from coconuts and wouldn't hesitate to order from them again. Not only was I happy with the items I purchased, but the prices were low and they sent my order out so swiftly that when I decided to add the second item not even two days after the first I had to pay shipping a second time as the first had already shipped.