Reviews: Flores Astorum & Lapin Labyrinthe (Positive!)
Before we go any farther, I need to disclose something. Though this was not a sponsored post, my partner is doing business with Flores Astrorum. That’s not why I selected this service, it was because they specifically were working with the magazine publishers, but, wanted to mention this for transparency.
Flores Astrorum is a new online select shop located in Tokyo, Japan. Run by Sunflower Seed Shopping Services, Flores Astorum partners with small indie brands in Japan to offer their items to international customers.
One of the partnerships they have is with the lolita fashion media project Poche de Lapin. Poche de Lapin just launched a new lolita magazine called Lapin Labyrinthe. However, because it’s a smaller indie publication, it’s not currently available via Amazon Japan which is my normal go-to for Japanese fashion magazines.
I placed an order for the first volume of Lapin Labyrinthe via the Florest Astorum webshop on April 6th. The shop was easy to navigate with everything being in English (and a good bit of care has clearly been put into writing all the item descriptions). The one downside (to me) was that they only take card, so I had to go get my wallet (but AP is also in the card-only club so…).
Based on my invoice email, it was $20 + $8 for airmail shipping and $1.99 for handling, so $29.99. Which actually came out to cheaper than some of the other options that have since popped up for this magazine.
The magazine was a preorder and the listing said “※ Orders placed between April 1st ~ April 8th will take 2~3 weeks to ship out.”
On April 14th, I got a confirmation notice that my package had shipped.
The package arrived around April 20th, which is sooner than expected!
Initially, I was nervous when I saw the package, but, it was actually OK! The packaging was larger than the magazine!
Because of the aforementioned business relationship between her and my partner, she sent snacks for me, my partner and my partner’s business partner along with my order. The snacks were well sealed in plastic, and very cutely packaged.
Moving on to the actual package, the magazine was wrapped in paper, which is really good because I find magazines can get messed up in the corners otherwise. She also included a postcard for her shop and the invoice.
Inside the paper, the magazine was wrapped in plastic. The magazine came with a postcard with a little anime style illustration on it.
At A5 size, the magazine is a smaller profile magazine, it’s more of a catalog sort of size than a full magazine size. (It’s about 8″x6″ in inches, so about the size of half a sheet of printer paper, very roughly)
It’s square bound, which, honestly is not my favorite for smaller magazines because it makes it harder to hold open to read / look at. That said, it does come across as more professional. So, it really is more of a personal preference kind of thing.
It’s not terribly short, it is 120 pages long, however, when it comes to new brand info, it’s mostly about Royal Princess Alice because it was their 7th anniversary, which is does say in the description.
But, Royal Princess Alice isn’t really my favorite brand, I don’t really buy much from them? So, it wasn’t as exciting for me personally as some other magazines might be.
The photography and overall layout are good and it’s a solid little magazine for what it is. I think it’s really well done and I would recommend it to others if they enjoy the featured brand and don’t have such weird format preferences as me.
All in all, if I was going to buy more issues of the magazine, I would go with the Flores Astorum shop again.
Volume 2 of Lapin Labyrinthe has already been announced, by the way. It’s scheduled to come out September 1st at the Gothic and Lolita Market.
Volume 2 is actually A4 size (about the size of a sheet of printer paper), and it’s planned to be longer at 180 pages.
Volume 2 will feature Hollow Mellow, the artist Tama and Royal Princess Alice.
For the latest updates, you can follow the magazine on twitter at: @laplaby_friends.
In addition to carrying the Lapin Labyrinthe magazine, Flores Astorum also now carries quite a few small Japanese brands including ciel étoilé, Brand: Conpeitou., ichiya, Jingai Soushokusho, Luxmira, Morun x Munna Stoik, MYK WORK, Orishian, Pastel Parade, Royal Princess Alice, Silver Star, Tenshi no Shippo☆, and Vierge Vampur.
Their sister shop Hoshi Hanazono goes the opposite direction and brings western indie brands to the Japanese market, carrying stock from brands like Belladonna, The Black Ribbon and Puvithel.
p.s. Sorry, I know this review is talking about stuff from April, but I’ve been really tired lately and I’ve been struggling to finish writing things…