Classical Mermaid

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Sometimes being a classic lolita can get a little repetitive. Most classic brands haven’t really changed their designs much over the years, and it can be a little sad seeing fun trends pop up and go by without getting to participate. Mermaid and underwater motifs are really trendy this year, both in regular Japanese fashion and in lolita, but it always seems like you need to buy a print dress to be able to wear them.

Recently Victorian Maiden actually tried to make a classic mermaid dress but uhh it’s pretty hideous T_T

I do supplement my classic wardrobe with some quirkier items like patterned tights and old school lolita, just so I can have a little more fun when I get bored with standard classic.

I decided to do a classic + mermaid outfit actually because I was thinking of selling the dress – it’s Victorian Maiden’s Fairy Check Doll JSK in Peacock.

I also had an off-white bolero from VM that reminded me of frilly undersea creatures so I thought I might be able to wear them together.

Summer ILD was coming up so I thought it would be fun to go all out and hand make some items. Also June seemed like a pretty good month for mermaids!

I really wanted to find some undersea or mermaidy tights I could wear with it, but I just couldn’t find the right combination of colors and motifs so I went with plain-ish striped white tights.

I was able to get a relatively cheap seashell pochette in Harajuku so I picked that up. My phone barely even fits in it but it is kawaii.

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I went to the craft store to pick out some kelp-like ribbon to make a headdress with, and I also got some shells from the 100 yen store. Unfortunately I didn’t have the dress with me at the time, only the stock photo, so the ribbon I chose is not quite the right color, but I think it blended in ok in the end.

I took the main kelp-ribbon and wrapped it around my hand, then tied it, and fanned it out. I think it looks like an undersea creature carapace type thing! Or the weird creatures from Nausicaa? I added different types of kelpy ribbons dangling down, then I sewed on the shell and an alligator clip thing in the back so I could clip it on my hair.

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The next thing I worked on was my necklace. I like making my own jewelry sometimes but I’m really slow at it and by the time I buy all the parts I want it ends up being really expensive. But this time I was able to do it really cheaply! I went to Paris Kids first – its a 300 yen accessories shop in Harajuku – and found a starfish necklace and shell earrings that I could use as pieces for the necklace. I got the gold jump rings and wire rods from Daiso, and I was super excited to stumble upon a huge and cheap jewelry making store in LaForet where I bought the chain, pearls, little white shells and everything else for just around 1000 yen. I’m so going back there, it was amazing!

For me, this is a rather simple necklace because I really like them crazy and ornate, but I was working on it the night before the meet and had to wrap up. I also wore some vintage earrings (from a friend), a seashell clip (from Spinns on sale) and a vintage pearl bracelet.

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After! (click for better quality)

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Mermaids always make me think of the 80s, so I went with a side ponytail! It’s a little stark looking for lolita so maybe next time I should incorporate bangs or more hair in general.

I don’t usually take or post selfies since I can’t seem to make them look nice and my makeup skills aren’t very good, but this one actually came out ok~

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And here is the final outfit! I wore some aqua Emily Temple Cute heels I recently got at Closet Child hopefully to tie in the headdress and make it look more mermaidy than the tan shoes I was considering. I realize the shades of blue are different, but I think it’s ok in like a ~fanciful mermaid~ kind of way.

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The meetup itself was very fun! I had a really nice ILD with everyone ❤

Thank you for reading!

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Double Rose Garden Fantasy~

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I haven’t posted in a long time because I’ve been trying really hard to work on job applications and staying away from other activities. Still no job luck yet, though 😦

Back in May I went to two rose gardens! I love rose everything – rose flavored food, drinks, perfume, gardens – I’ll take it all! Rose gardens are also one of those temperate climate things that don’t exist in Florida so I really enjoy them.

The first garden I went to was Kyu Furukawa Gardens near Komagome station. I really love going there because there’s a picturesque Western style house and garden with roses and then a huge Japanese garden too so you get two gardens for the price of one!

The sign reads “the roses are in peak bloom”

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The rose garden there isn’t very large but it’s really neatly manicured and each rose bush has a placard telling you the variety and other info. The location is also fairly easily accessible.

They were selling rose ice cream of course, among other rosy things, so I had to buy some! I love this stuff!

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The next rose garden outing was a lolita outing to Jindai Botanical Garden in Western Tokyo. The location was a bit inconvenient since we had to take a train then a bus to get out there, but being outside of the city meant the park was very large and not as crowded as some others. The rose garden was really massive with hundreds of rose bushes!

We were all hungry so we decided to have our picnic first. It was nice in the shade but ants found us eventually like a typical picnic! I made a lolita version of Cards Against Humanity which we played with somewhat funny results but it needs some tweaking.

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We walked around for a while but eventually we all were feeling really hot and sweaty and all the roses started to look the same so we went towards the greenhouse. It was hot in there too but at least it was shady. There was a begonia area with a cute table for posing.

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Here was the day’s outfit! I’ve always liked this Victorian Maiden OP since it reminds me of rococo pajamas so when I saw it in Closet Child one day I had to pick it up! It has roses in the print but that’s hard to see. Everything else is offbrand.

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This next one could’ve been a really nice pic if I would’ve stepped out into the sunlight, blarg!

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Thank you for reading! I’ll try to post more often. How do you like rose viewing/eating?
 

Party at Laduree

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I haven’t been able to post much because I’ve been very busy lately trying to get a job and also preparing for my friend who is visiting! I can’t wait to do fun Tokyo stuff with her!

For another friend’s birthday we went to Laduree in Ginza. Tokyo is lucky to have many Laduree shop locations, including two with restaurants. The Ginza location is in Mitsukoshi department store and is decorated in ornate, Rococo style ❤ Here is a link – the Ginza location is first on the page.

Everyone was dressed impeccably! I really loved everyone’s outfits that day. We were able to get a whole section of the restaurant to ourselves which was nice. The meal was a set and consisted of~

So elegant nuts!

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Cute rolls and butter!

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Sauteed pork! It was really salty and yummy! It kind of reminded me of ginger pork that’s really popular in Japan. The green stuff is mushy peas – I haven’t eaten that since I lived in England! It always seems weird to me to have pre-mashed peas but I guess you could say the same thing about mashed potatoes.

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Then for dessert you had a choice of tea and two macarons! They had like 30 teas so it was really hard to pick one! I eventually went with the Laduree blend since I liked the description. It was very nice! I chose a strawberry guimauve macaron – it had a different kind of crispy texture with sugar on the outside and tasted a little too strongly like American candy, but I still enjoyed it. The inside was marshmallow – I guess that’s the guimauve part. The other macaron was chocolate bergamot – the bergamot was super strong and citrusy – I loved it! None of us at the table were sure if bergamot was an herb or a fruit so we googled it. It’s a citrus fruit but it’s pretty inedible as a fruit so it’s just used as a flavoring.

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I don’t usually do selfies because I’m kind of shy about having a close up of my face, but I liked the way this came out and the wall behind. The Rococo lyf!!

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Now it’s bragging time – I was quite proud of the accessory I made for the birthday girl! She likes mermaids and has several undersea themed dresses so I made this to go with them.

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We then went outside to take some photos but Ginza isn’t all that cute, so we did outfit shots on the street. BIG MISTAKE. It was a feeding frenzy of tourists and locals snapping photos, yikes!

I really like the colors of this dress but I’m on the fence about keeping it since I don’t have much to match it. We’ll see. JSK is Victorian Maiden, bolero is Innocent World, and the accessories are from indie brand markets. The rest is from generic stores in Japan. I love the grapes so much!

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Thanks for reading! I felt so elegant having tea at Laduree that day, it was nice to relive it!

Pining for the Sakura (Part 2)

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In the week following the meetup from Part 1, the weather was kind of unstable but I was able to get a few nice pictures of the cherry trees in full bloom. These were all taken in my neighborhood.

I call these droopy sakura – they bloom earlier than the others and are more pink. The official name is “weeping cherry” (shidarezakura/しだれ桜).

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Here are some nice views around the area

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There’s a park on top where I sat on a bench and ate an onigiri for a little while as the blossoms fell.

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This is at Tokyo Midtown. It got really cold as the sun went down!

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So… then we attempted hanami meetup #2 and it rained again! Stupid troll weather! All the rain succeeded in melting the remaining blossoms and kind of ruined any more hanami from then on out, grrr.

Everyone planned to meet at Marui Annex for the KERA snap so I went as well. I kind of don’t want to do KERA snaps anymore, just because I’ve been in many already and I don’t really want to be rejected! And now there are a lot more foreign lolitas competing for the precious few spaces that they give for us and everyone is bringing their A-game. Well anyway, I figured that since everyone else was doing it, I’d do the snap too, if only for the photo they give you afterwards.

There were so many foreign lolitas there! I think because it was cherry blossom season there were lots of people on vacation. I’d say there were about 20 of us there.

After the snap we just kind of did the regular Tokyo bumming around activities – went to get food, took some pics, went to closet child, took purikura, ate some more… yep.

Here’s my outfit! My fashion theme was “Rose Garden Outing”. I’m wearing that wig again! The dress is Millefleurs, cape from Excentrique, bonnet from Victorian Maiden, bolero you can’t see is Innocent World and the rest is offbrand.

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We did purikura and I was in such a rush to choose a background (it counts down about 10 seconds) that I picked a gross clashing one, durr. And then because I had my glasses off I couldn’t really see what my pose looked like so this is kind of a puri fail. So I covered it with cats!

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Look Me!

So I did not really get a nice hanami session in this year which was pretty sad, but at least I got to see some trees in bloom. I also had lots of fun at the hanami alternative meets so there’s that! Thank you for reading!

Old School Love

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The theme on EGL in March was old school lolita, but I didn’t really have time to participate until now. I really love old school – it reminds me of creepy dolls and the whole reason I got into the fashion in the first place! But not all old school is created equal. There are some really ugly things that should never be resurrected today!

I recently saw this dress in closet child. I normally like couch-like gobelin prints, but this one was literally an eyesore! Sometimes the colors are a little too 70s and gross even for my taste!

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One thing I could live without are black x white lace mini hats with lolita. I just think they look ridiculous and overplayed. I have seen cute mini hat/canotiers work though so I suppose I don’t hate all mini hats (pic from here).

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And some old school is just too reminiscent of what is considered cosplay or cheap lolita today. The material looks thin and the lace is old fashioned so it’s just boring. As an example, this dress is not terrible – I’m sure someone could turn it into a very cool old school coord – but it’s not very interesting to me personally.

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A lot of old school is silly and borders on being costumey. I’m split on these kinds of items. Sometimes I love them as in the case of Meta’s Nurse Series, and sometimes they are too ridiculous and I can’t see myself ever wearing them.

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One of my first lolita items, and one in the costumey category, was a Meta maid outfit. I thought maid outfits were really cute but they were often made of cheap materials so a Meta maid outfit was perfect in my mind! Since then, maid lolita has definitely died but I still have the outfit since I still find it very cute and you never know when you may suddenly be called to work at a maid cafe.

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Another somewhat silly old school dress I own is Meta’s Nun dress! I thought I wouldn’t have many chances to wear this one, but actually since the collar and sleeves are detachable, it’s more versatile than I expected.

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A nice thing about old school items is that since they are mostly simple and solid colored, they are easy to modify. I have this black MAM dress that is the most comfortable lolita dress I own, and it was very cheap!

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I can wear it casually, like this~

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Or add thematic elements – this was for a meet at a planetarium and science museum.

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Here I wore it with the bib that goes on AatP’s St. Mephisto OP.

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Another old school item I like wearing is this long velvet OP from Victorian Maiden. The empire waist is great for eating big meals!

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Here I used the nun collar from my other dress with it.

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And here I doubled up on the old school flavor with an old Triple Fortune headdress and nurse series Meta bag.

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The final old school items I’ll talk about (although I have a few more) is my Baby Tartan Suit set. I bought the jacket back in 2007 and only got the skirt this year! It was very exciting to finally wear them together. I love the prep school lolita look, especially when the jackets have embroidered crests on them. I never wore a school uniform – maybe if I had I wouldn’t like it so much?

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Thank you for reading! How do you feel about old school lolita? What old school items do you feel should stay in the past?

 

Tea at the Mandarin Oriental

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Last Saturday I went for fancy afternoon tea at the Oriental Lounge in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in central Tokyo (link here). A lolita friend was visiting from overseas and wanted to go have tea there which was perfect since it had been on my list of places to try.

The lounge website had a PDF menu of the tea snacks, but they didn’t match what we got so we were slightly disappointed there. The menu has changed again – now it’s very cherry and sakura (cherry blossom) heavy. I wonder if it’s accurate now? Another odd thing was the price – online it said ¥‎4200 but the actual price was ¥4500, plus a service charge which made it ¥‎5085 :s

Another thing that was slightly disappointing was that I had always seen images of the afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental being served in a cool Asianesque display like this (pic not mine):

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This is a pic of the same lounge we went to, but I guess they got broken too often or took up too much space? I’m not sure but our tea was served on normal tea trays.

Anyway, let me not get ahead of myself. We arrived at the lounge and were seated. We were all wearing very gothy outfits that day so we were an interesting sight in a fancy hotel like that! The Oriental Lounge is on the 38th floor, so there were really great views out the windows. When I made the reservation I asked for window seats but they had already been taken, too bad! So we sat at a couch-table (two couches with a table in the middle). While that is supposed to be luxurious, it just kind of hurts my back after a while because I have to sit up to eat anyway!

When we arrived, they took our coats and gave us the tea menu. They had a nice selection of teas. I was a little warm in all the velvet I was wearing so I started with the iced muscat tea. It was really refreshing with a nice mellow white grape flavor.

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More tea! The nice thing was that the teas were given by the cup and you could change them after each one. They also had some coffee drinks as well. A lot of places give you a whole pot so you’re kind of stuck drinking it all until you finish and then can ask for a new tea. I think we might’ve asked for too many teas because the staff seemed a little annoyed by the end! They also didn’t have bowls of sugar, just rock candy swizzle sticks which are cute but aren’t that practical and tend to melt and plop into your teacup at random.

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So the theme of the Mandarin Oriental is obviously ~Asia~, but I found the decor to be kind of silly. Here are some highlights. Hairy lamp:

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Ornamental ceiling thing

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And some sakura

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After a bit, the food came! This was a two person portion.

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In more detail, I’ll go over the savory section. Clockwise from the right are: lobster pieces on a cookie-like thing with saffron(?) gel on top, onion-anchovy-olive topping on bread, roasted veggies on a egg frittata, little tuna open faced sandwiches with egg and veggies, couscous stuffed red peppers and cucumbers with a creamy topping. I thought the food was all really good and liked all the vegetables!

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Now for the middle plate. We got clotted cream, strawberry jam and apricot marmalade which I forgot to picture, but only one mini scone to put it on! I was sad to see the extra jam and clotted cream go to waste so I was temped to just eat it with a spoon anyway, haha. The scones had dates in them – yummy but I wish there was more! There was also an amusingly-shaped cookie and a little herb roll too. Again, everything was really tasty.

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Then finally to the dessert plate! They did a great job with these. None of them were grossly sweet which is often a problem at afternoon tea. After I’ve had a bunch of sugar in my tea and in the jam and stuff, I really want the dessert section to be light and airy so I don’t hit sugar overload and feel like going straight home to nap and/or brush my teeth. We all laughed about Fred there – he was actually one of the best desserts on the plate! I will never doubt you again, Fred. It was like a mini lemon meringue pie on a biscuit, mmm ❤ Clockwise from Fred was a pear flavored confectionery with some gel inside, the texture was very spongy, like a soft marshmallow. Next were some macarons – they were purple so we thought they’d be blueberry or grape flavor but they actually tasted like nothing and were one of my least favorite things on the dessert plate. The pyramids had some slightly bitter caramel on the outside and chocolate mousse inside, the candy in the middle of the plate was a very soft gummy, and the basket type things were little tarts with gelled fruit on top. Everything was so good! I want to eat it again!

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We lingered for a while until we felt like we had been there long enough. It was nice that we didn’t have a time limit like some other afternoon tea services I’ve been to. The bathrooms were really amazing because they had some of the best views on that floor! Izzy stole this shot of the men’s room.

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You could see a nice view of Tokyo Skytree!

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We took some silly shot of our outfits in the lobby~ I wore a wig for the first time! I wanted to wear an old Triple Fortune headdress to complete my old school look but I think they look best with heavy bangs, plus I wanted to be a mysterious gothic lady with long hair so I went with a wig. My dress is Victorian Maiden, the jacket and necklace Excentrique, and the bag is Meta (nurse series).

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I had a really good time with everyone! Despite the food, price and presentation not being exactly what I expected, I was still happy with the quality of everything. Unusually though, I felt like I could still eat more at the end. Most of the time when I have afternoon tea I’m stuffed but I think because the scone was just one mini one and not two full sized ones like I’m used to, I felt less full than usual. The price was pretty high but I felt like the attention to detail in the food and the many tea options made it worth the price. The service was very good but they did make me feel a little guilty about ordering more cups of tea. I’m not sure if everyone who goes there orders that much or if we were being super demanding? I guess I’ll never know!

Thank you for reading! I would love to hear more afternoon tea recommendations from you if you have any! One of my goals is to find the “perfect” afternoon tea in Tokyo. I have a favorite place in Japan but it’s in Kyoto at Chorakukan. It’s a place that I think is a great combination of atmosphere, food quality, and value for the price – I wish it was closer!