Lolita Blog Carnival : 5 Underused Print Ideas

This week’s topic for the Lolita Blog Carnival is 5 underused print ideas. A lot of the motifs in lolita are pretty common, and it’s actually rather hard to come up with anything fairly universal that hasn’t already been done. However, here are five things I think are really under-done!

dragon

1. Dragons

Unicorns and mermaids pop up now and then, and even faeries pop up sometimes, but dragons are almost unheard of in lolita prints. Pumpkin Cat, a Chinese indie brand released a print with cartoon styled dragons that look inspired by the dragons of “How to Train Your Dragon”. Beyond that, Infanta, Strawberry Witch and R-series put out prints with traditional Chinese dragon imagery, but the only Japanese brand print that I know of with any sort of dragon is Juliette et Justine’s le premier cri de prophete, and that’s a screen print. For how popular fantasy is and has been the last decade or so, it’s astounding to me that we haven’t had a single print that features a full color, fantasy book cover style, western dragon. Granted, dragons are difficult to draw, and there are definitely people who specialize in drawing them for things like book covers and trading cards (in fact the rarity of dragon images that aren’t directly from a handful of artists on deviant art is why I’m using a very old image from Marco Polo’s the book of wonders) but I would think some one out there would have paid someone to draw some dragons for a print by now!

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2. Sailor Moon (And Other Classic Magical Girls)

There is a huge overlap between girls who like OTT sweet lolita and girls who like magical girl anime. Sailor Moon has been partnering with all sorts of companies to make sailor moon themed and printed clothing, but not a single lolita brand has partnered with sailor moon. Baby made a card captor sakura collaboration OP, but it was literally just a replica of a dress from the series, not a print. I’d love to see something like a clow card print, or a sailor moon print that showed things like the cats, magical objects, and roses etc in the style of one of the sweet brand’s normal art style. There have been some unlicensed fan things from indie brands, but nothing really good and solid that was done through the correct legal channels.

Oranges

3. Oranges (And Other Non-lemon Citrus Fruits)

Lemons aren’t super common, but they at least show up periodically. However, how many prints can you think of that feature oranges, limes or grapefruits? Granted, the orange / yellow / green / pink pallet of citrus fruits does limit what colors you can make a base dress, and they aren’t overly popular colors, but they are super fun for summer!

Penguin

4. Penguins (And Other Snowy Creatures)

The only print I can think off of hand with penguins is this one by Haenuli. If you ask one hundred 3rd grade girls their favorite animal, you are going to get a fair number answering penguins, polar bears, arctic foxes and/or seals. Sanrio has Tuxedo Sam, and lisa frank has a handful of colorful polar bear, seal and penguin characters. Making these fluffy, snow dwelling animals look cute isn’t hard, and they would make for great winter prints!

old map of europe

5. Motifs Of European Countries that aren’t France or England

French and English royal motifs, french tri-color motifs, and french food show up all the time, and Russia shows up from time to time but other countries from Europe rarely make an appearance. There are all sorts of interesting historic motifs that could be pulled from many other countries in Europe.


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♥ TBA ♥

Lolita Blog Carnival : My Favorite Indie Brand(s)

This weeks lolita blog carnival topic is “Your favorite Indie Brand”, but I’m going to be honest here; I know so many indie artist that I really can’t just pick one, so I’m going to feature a handful of my favorite indie brands (and this is not at all an exhaustive list!) and what I like about each one. Ready? Ok, let’s go!

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Belladonna

Belladonna is owned by my significant other, Michelle, and her best friend Rachel. Michelle does the print designs and dyes the lace, and they both do dress designing, sewing, etc. I help them out sometimes with convention booths, stock photography, etc.

Best points: Their wrist cuffs are made nicer than the brand ones I’ve bought. The bows look really nice, the elastic is cased and the lace is soft. I’m more likely to wear a bunch of deco bracelets than wristcuffs personally, but when I do wear wristcuffs, I go for belladonna ones. I’ve been disappointed with every brand pair I’ve bought since I got my first pair from them. Their custom print dresses have great themes as well, and they make a point to offer colorways that work for a variety of people. They are sticklers when it comes to lace and material quality as well (I’ve watched Michelle take a fabric sample and try to destroy it to test if a fabric is going to hold up well to wear, including trying to tempt our cats into scratching it).

Black Friday Specials: Free shipping for the first 15 orders + discounts on a bunch of items

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Sweet Mildred

Sweet Mildred is another local designer, and she’s probably the indie brand that I have purchased the most from over the years; mostly headdresses, and the occasional piece of Jewelry. I have a whole book shelf that is just headdresses I’ve bought from her, and it’s full now so they are spilling onto other shelves and any place safe I can tuck them.

Best points: Her headpieces are wonderful, and she makes things that will match pretty much anything from sweet to classic to Gothic. They are versatile, well made and make quite an impact. Her accessories often include delightfully quirky things (I’m in love with these angry conversational heart rings I got from her that say things like “not sorry”), that make great conversational or statement pieces for any coordinate. She also makes a lot of dresses in all sorts of interesting fabric prints. If you want something to make a coordinate pop, or you want a piece with a lot of visual interest, check out Sweet Mildred.

Small Business Saturday Specials: 30% off all items + lucky packs

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Haenuli Haenuli Haenuli

Haenuli

Haenuli is a brand from Korea. They primarily produce custom print garments, though they also make some accessories (usually to coordinate with a specific piece). The main designer who goes by the nickname NuNu also draws a really cute slice of life as a designer comic strip which is posted to their facebook page.

Best points: Haenuli’s dresses often come in a lot of colors, and they offer a lot of sizing options. They also offer print tights in multiple sizes. The pieces I own and have handles are really solidly constructed, and the material choices are good. Their prints are intricate and interesting, and even when the motifs are popular motifs, the overall look and tone of the artwork is unique. They also have a lot of creative and interesting dress designs.

Black Friday Specials: 10% discount with code: HNL10persale 

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Moss Marchen Moss Marchen Moss Marchen

Moss Marchen

Moss Marchen is another local brand. The designer Martha creates accessories which trend towards gothic lolita and mori styles.

Best points: Moss Marchen has really great ribbon embroidery pieces, which are surprisingly cheap considering the time commitment required for making them.  The long-style necklaces she makes are also very nice and visually well balanced. The designer has a good eye and a skilled hand. They are made of good materials, and very reasonable in price for the high level of quality. As a bonus, her floral corsages are really nice and a great alternative to buying a corsage from a major Japanese brand like Pink House where they will cost you significantly more if you can even find one.

Unfortunately, this brand frequently sells out and is often not available for sale online. At the time of writing, the online shop is currently closed. It’s best to try to catch Moss Marchen at an event.

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Peppermint Fox Peppermint Fox Peppermint Fox

Peppermint Fox

Peppermint Fox is based out of Australia and is a team of two. Their brand trends towards otome style, and features lots of beautiful water-color-styled artwork. If you were a fan of beatrix potter as a child (or even now) you are sure to find Peppermint Fox delightful.

Best points: Their tiny companion series of pins. Each pin features an animal illustration, and each one has a name and a short back story. The stories are touching, and the expressions and clothing choices of each little animal backs up their story and personality. They make great gifts too, because you can easily match up a person you know with a sweet little personality.

Black Friday Specials: N/A, but there is a general sale going on at the moment.

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I Do Declare I Do Declare I Do Declare

I Do Declare

I Do Declare is a US based brand run by designer Kelsey. While most lolita has a strong Victorian influence, I Do Declare goes back farther in time and draws influence from the European middle ages, and older.

Best points: Technical sewing craftsmanship and detail work. The pieces made by the designer directly have intricate, high level technical details like lace inserts, traditional applique, bead work, etc. In the image spread above the white lace is a close up of a lace and bead work insert the designer put inside of the back of a white gown that gave the illusion of being able to see the wearer’s spine. The manufactured garments produced from her work also have a high level of technical detail, which show off the designer’s skill and vision. It’s a pleasure to look at her work, and the quality is absolutely stellar.

Black Friday Specials: Pre-orders for the wool witch hat shown above open at 8:00PM EST.

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voodooodolly VooDooDolly VooDoooDolly

VooDoooDolly

VooDoooDolly sells mostly jewelry and hats. The designer Mallory sculpts, molds and hand casts her jewelry, going as far as to use vintage metal sources in some of the pieces to add additional meaning. While fashion in general is an art-form, I would argue that many of her pieces are really more of tiny pieces of wearable sculpture. If you wear Gothic Lolita, and you don’t own some of her work, you are really missing out. I don’t know how to put it into words properly, but looking at her work feeds a starving part of the soul that longs to live lost in an art gallery full of masterworks. It eats at me that I can’t do her work justice, because it is so beautiful.

Best points:  The hand cast jewelry and elaborate hats. The jewelry which is interesting and powerful is really, really high quality and a steal at the prices she sells it for. Her hats are all unique, elaborate and detailed.

Black Friday Specials: I don’t know of any, but she doesn’t need one; she’s already selling things terribly cheap for what you are actually getting.

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Art du noirCupcake Kamisama’s Lolita World

Lolita Blog Carnival: Changes That I Will Make For My Wardrobe In The New Year

So, I’m actually a bit late on this one, but it’s a great Lolita Blog Carnival topic and so I thought I’d go back and write something even though I missed the deadline.

Pink HouseMy wardrobe has changed a bit over the past year, and I forsee it changing more over the next year. For starters, I’ve become more and more enchanted by Pink House, and I’ve started collecting some pieces from them. I’ve been collecting things that are red x white, and with bears or berries as the theme, as well as a little blue x red, and some florals. And one olive skirt that works with the greens in some of my pieces. It’s very light weight and comfortable, but I can still layer a lot up in the winter and not be cold. Pretty win-win.

I’m turning 30 this year, and while I still love lolita and don’t plan on leaving any time soon, I’ve found that I just don’t have the stamina for wearing it that I used to. Maybe it’s how OTT everything has gotten, or maybe it’s just that I’ve been attracted to heavier, more constricting pieces. Either way, I get tired, and I’m looking forward to wearing Pink House and more simple lolita pieces at events when lolita is just too much.

154802-s-03-dlAs for my lolita wardrobe, I’ve continued to sell off a lot of my pink and sax stuff, and I see myself continuing to do that over the next year. Also, I think I likely will let go of a lot of stuff that I don’t wear as frequently, and really start to pare things down to pieces I absolutely love. I’d also like to spend more money on “super basics”, and less on new pieces. “Super Basics”, to me, are basics that are very nice, and would take an outfit from “ok” to “really good”. They are those basics that cost a little more and often get overlooked because there is a cheaper option, that is almost as good. For example, I have a black x off white bolero I got from an IW lucky pack. Perfectly good, servicable bolero. But what I really need is a black x black lace fancy one. I have some offbrand navy heels, but I’d rather upgrade them to brand of VW. Little things like that. Blouses, brand underskirts, better shoes.

I also am going to continue to avoid buying lucky packs and oddment packs from IW and other “great deals”, because I tend to sell pretty much everything. It’s not a great deal when I have to do a lot of work.

Not so much a wardrobe goal, as a closet goal, but I’d like to get organized this next year. I have materials bought to make a giant frame to turn into a jewelry organizer and stuff to make paper-towel headbow organizers, and lots of decorative boxes. I want to get my closet into a tidy, organized state, so I can find thing easily.

I’d like to also get back into downsizing my closet. I want to get back to a point where I’m selling 2-3 things for each thing I buy. I simply don’t need to own as much as I do, especially as many things in my closet do not get worn frequently.

And of course, I want to finish my EGL Wardrobe post this year! Thankfully, I did most of my main pieces very nicely last year, and can re-use a lot of my photos, but I still have to take pictures of everything new this year… and all of my accessories and shoes and non main pieces that I left out last year! Yikes!

While it’s not a personal wardrobe goal, I would also like to get back into digitizing my collection of lolita publications and getting things entered into lolibrary.


545430_945698161629_573562109_nOther blogs participating in this theme:
Grey Velvet The Bloody Teaparty ♥ Alice in Lolita Land  ♥ Gosu-Rori
Pastel Jelly Beans ♥ Vanilla Bear ♥ Dollhouse Diaries ♥ It’s Witchcraft ♥