Saturday, 29 March 2014

The regimental Lolita! Frills and stripes! :)

Regimental in Japanese ^^

Regimental Lolita Style became widely popular in 2010 with Metamorphose temps de fille release of the print Regimental Stripe.

Before 2010, Regimental stripes had popped up from time to time in different brand designs. 

Btssb released the Regimental Swallow tail jacket in 2006.

 Excentrique had made a smaller collection of regimental blouses in 2008 and a larger collection with various items in 2009 named "Regimental", but before that, these broad big stripes in Lolita was really hard to come by. 

But, the source of inspiration for the Regimental Stripes in Lolita is very clear:
Vivienne Westwood.
Vivienne Westwood Deep Sky Blazer (1985)
Vivienne Westwood is by far the most influential British designer on J-fashion, either Lolita or other styles, ever. Vivienne Westwood is the leading punk-queen of the world. She put the chicken bones she had eaten for lunch in the 70s, sewed them on t-shirts and sold them... 'nough said ^^

So, taking an over-class school- or sports blazer and re-designing it, is really punk.

Regimental ties and their regiment
Of course, Vivienne Westwood was in her turn, inspired to make these punk striped blazers...

So what was her source inspiration and why is regimental-style (レジメンタル) called regimental?

Well, in Britain, gentlemen had a certain snag for showing which formal group they belonged to. Since the gentleman wardrobe was rather limited (e.g. a suit), they could only play with colours and accessories. So an odd jacket in the teams colours, became a nice sports outfit, or as in the case of HMS Blazer - a sailors elegant way to dress regimental :).

HMS Blazer from Vanity Fair 1878
Blazers, and far right a blazer suit (Which is rather uncommon)
Early 20th century
And the stripes of the tie became an eye-catching way to tell others which military regiment, school or rugby team that you belonged to. 

So wearing regimental ties today, bought from fashion stores, can - just like wearing Scottish tartan - thus be somewhat of a pickle if you accidentally sport a specific stripe that belongs to a certain group... 
But as a Lolita, the regimental stripe has of course gone maximalistic - from a small clash of colour to taking over the entire outfit.

I believe, since Metamorphose broke through to the mainstream-Lolitas',
regimental stripes have become a Classic theme that is here to stay!

Here are a few brand examples!

Btssb Regimental Stripe JSK 2013

Victorian Maiden Regimental Stripe Dress 2010

Innocent World Lily Emblem Regimental Stripe 2011

Metamorphose Regimental Stripes OTK 2014

Awsome Rergimental Lolitas!

*Dreaming of a Regimental Coord*

Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Mermaid Skirt - a Classic Lolitas Everyday Fashion Alternative

The Mermaid skirt is a wonderful pencil skirt with a frilly hem.
The skirt is most often knee-length, but can be longer. I have never seen anything longer than ankle-length,  floor-length means you are in ball-gown territory.

The mermaid name is because of it's shape - hip hugging at first, to gently "fan" out at the hem, just like a Mermaids' fish-tail.

It is a mature choice for those days when a poofy Lolita skirt feels to over-dressed and this skirt is great for work or school.

From Fanny Rosies wardrobe: Victorian Maiden Rococo Bouquet

It is definitely not considered to be Lolita, but is sold by many Japanese Lolita brands and worn by many Classic Lolitas.

Coordinated in the right way, it may be considered Aristocrat (more dark and gothic) or Otome (more "girly" and light).

Some of the big Lolita brands that have released Mermaid Skirts are Victorian Maiden, Juliette et Justine, Metamorphose Temps de Fille and Atelier Boz.

Atelier Boz - Long Mermaid Skirts

Victorian Maiden "Elegant Check Skirt"

Comfort update - so how are those shoes holding up? Bodyline 251 and An*Tai*Na 9988b

^^ This is a 4/6 months update on the comfort and durability of the shoes I bought in the autumn 2013 ^^
An*Tai*Na 9988B
Bodyline 251

An*Tai*Na 9988B
Original Review post <<Click link :)
Received: November 2013
Review date: March 2014
Frequency of wear: (Approx.) I've used these shoes every other weekend (alternating) so, perhaps 8 times per shoe-pair during the past 4 months.
Storage: Original carton shoe box in my wardrobe. I handle them gently, and they are stored in separate plastic bags, as not to touch each other.

Total wear after approx 4 months:

Cherry coord :)

Classic Velveteen

There is an optical illusion on the picture to the right! XD
The inside of the shoes is white, and paired up with the white lace stockings - this makes my feet look weird XD
May be good to think about, if you take photos with these shoes- white socks may create this illusion.

So what is my final verdict? :D

An*Tai*Na 9988B shoes

4 months update: Still 5/5 Hazelbelle nuts! :D
These shoes are amazing! It is so easy to make beautiful coords with them and they really make my outfits :)
I can't believe how comfortable they are, even with the heel. I wear them for hours all day long and I have NEVER had sore feet! :D And that says a lot, usually I get sore feet immediately when wearing high heel shoes. The shoes do get a little bit warm, as they are not made in leather. But I actually do not mind because the design is so aaammmaaazing :3


Bodyline 251
Original Review post <<Click link :)
Received: August 2013
Review date: March 2014
Frequency of wear: (Approx.) I've used these shoes twice a month, perhaps 12 times during the past 6 months.
Storage: IKEA polyester shoe box (SKUBB) in my wardrobe.

Total wear after approx. 6 months:

A few coords...
Wine, grey and brown :)

Brown x White

So what is my final verdict? :D
Bodyline 251 shoes
6 months update: Raising the grade to 5/5 (from 4/5) Hazelbelle nuts! :D
I must say, these shoes are very comfortable. I have actually walked at least 100 km in them in total (often 8 km in a day!) (In Sweden we rely on walking and on public transportation to get around ;)

The PU is of very high quality and is also durable. They are also very water resistant and can tolerate the harsh weather of the Swedish winter

I do, however, find them more difficult to coord than the 9988B. Design-wise, they are not really super low sweet tea parties, and the lack of heel can make the longer classical skirts look a bit off. But, as I mentioned, they are amazingly comfortable and it's really simple to walk 10 km in them without sore feet.

I rated these shoes 4/5 in august, but I simply must raise the grade to 5/5 :)

The only set-back is the design. When I bought these shoes, I was very new to Lolita and knew little about how much slight details can alter the complex "feeling" of an entire coord. These BL shoes have a more chunky and "upward" round toe, compared to Sweet Tea Parties, which might make your legs look a bit off under a classic skirt with less poof. So I'm rather careful what kind of skirts that I can coord with these shoes. I do believe the design is a bit more "clumsy" and "chunky". I might actually put these up for sales and buy more An*Tai*Na 9988B models in various colours instead!


Coming up! My next coord :D
My next coord with the An*Tai*Na 9988B gold shoes will be with +Krad Lanrete+ Lost in Sea Aqua OP themed up with my gold vintage leather handbag. ^^

<3 Hope this post is helpful for you! <3


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Redefining the Country Lolita - Beyond Straw Hats and Basket Hand Bags!

As spring is near and the birds start to sing...

I am having such a struggle between Sweet and Classic
- between the girly girl and the elegant lady
- between floral, pink, strawberries and muted colours, velvet and cameos...

So I always seem to end up somewhere in-between:
Country Lolita

Impossible Woman Blog
-Pics from White Moon, Tumblr and Dynamite Blog
What is Country Lolita?
Is it a theme of Sweet Lolita? Is it even a "true" Lolita sub-style?

The debate will continue, some do truly consider Country Lolita to be a sub-style of it's own, and some just consider it to be a theme-variation of Sweet Lolita.

So what is Country Lolita?
Country Lolita defines itself as a more mature, "natural" Sweet Lolita (thereby the reflection that it might be a fuse between Classic and Sweet).

According to Caro of FYeahLolita (who btw has an excellent post upon Country Lolita, and I've borrowed some pics from her!), in the beginning of Lolita (00s something), there were only two Lolita substyles: Country Lolita and Gothic Lolita.

I especially remember this Old School photo from Fruits!
One Lolita is more Classic, and the other Lolita is more Goth by today's standards.
The Country Lolita coords of the Old Days could range from anywhere between what we today would consider "Sweet" and "Classic" - the definition of "Country" was simply what it wasn't; aka a black (Gothic) Lolita outfit.

Then, "Country Lolita" was named as the style where you wear straw accessories, aka a straw bag and a straw hat. Preferably you'd match 'em up with lace gloves and Rocking Horse Shoes...

Classic Lolita of today is described to wear fabrics with floral prints (small prints), fruits or gingham (think kitchen curtains for fabrics ;)  

The feel of a Country Lolita isn't as snobby as the Elegant Classic Lolita, and it isn't as playful as Girly-Girl Sweet Lolita. Country Lolita is more a rural, hard-working girl in her Sunday Best.
It's a simple style, leaning heavily upon Old School-Basics.

Braid-Crown Hair-Do as a political power statement...
Yulia, former president of Ukraine rocks the Braid-Crown Hair-do.
Braids are great for Country Lolitas'! You can simply have two, or make braid-loops or the Ukrainian peasant crown :)

But apart from straw hats and bags, how could you really define Country Lolita as a sub-style of it's own?
Julie at Northern Star made a post that put my head spinning :) Maybe Country Lolita isn't just a seasonal theme of Sweet Lolita, maybe it could be something more!

You could do an Apple Jack - American Country Lolita, a.k.a. Cow-Girl Lolita, but I'm not pursuing this look :) This feels more like a clearly theme-based outfit.

But still - what if there could be more to Country Lolita than just the straw hat and basket?
What if we used our European heritage to update the Japanese Country Lolita style?

The whole idea of the Country Lolita is to create an outdoorsy pic-nic feel.
When looking at Swedish mainstream that are inspired by the countryside, I instantly come to think of the Lifestyle Magazine "Lantliv" and the fashion designers Nygårdsanna and Odd Molly.

Odd Molly

Looking at Nygårdsanna and Odd Molly makes me discern two things with "Country-style":
1) A rugged, wistful feel
2) The clothes are more practical, hair and make-up is natural and simple.

It's the art of looking as if you didn't dress up at all. You just stepped into your wellies and started to pick blueberries for your breakfast pancakes in a 4000 SEK/ 610 USD coat ;) LOL Totally "casual"! ;)

Another Country Classic is the Understated British Gentleman/ Gentlewoman style.
British Country style
I get the feeling that Odd Molly and Nygårdsanna lean J-fashion-wise more towards Dolly Kei and that the British Country Style has a more Classic Lolita (elegant upper-class) feel to it.

All muddled up the country style ends up in crochet, wool, tweed, wellies, oil waxed twill cotton, quilt, embroideries, sweet darling words, flannel, ribbons, chunky knits, braids, rosy cheeks, effortless style...

Bringing these elements into Lolita would be fun!
It's a true challenge to make Country Lolita work for winter as well.

It shouldn't just be to add a wicker bag to your ordinaire Classic outfit,
to be Country Lolita the winter coord should feel like you are truly outdoors,
doing something like skiing or maybe choppin' wood? :)

Maybe I'll give it a try :)
I would love to prance around in Lolita + Wellies!
Shoedaydreams Joules Posh Wellies
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