Monday, May 30, 2011


Hello darlings! I regret to inform you I shall be on a hiatus for at least a week, because I am moving apartments. Once I get settled in, get internet installed, and all that, I will be sure to return and spam you with lots of "before and afters pictures of decorating my studio :)
In the meantime, here's a hollow book I made for my boyfriend for our anniversary. It's a used copy of Dracula I attacked with a box cutter, glue, tea, and markers (unfortunately I attacked my poor fingers too).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Review: Maxicimam Royal Rose JSK

So, a few weeks ago, I decided to order from the Japanese brand Maxicimam. Their MAM Maxicimam line has lately received some buzz for their "lovely size" (ie plus size) line of clothing. I came across several coords with their Royal Rose JSK online, and eventually decided it had to be mine! Lately, I've been adding more color to my wardrobe, but I'm still a sucker for a nice black JSK. I also figured that if I was going to be paying the hefty prices of brand, it would be nice to have something with more wiggle room. Since Tokyo Rebel had sold out, I ordered from CD Japan here.
With shipping, I paid about $240 USD.

It arrived within about 2 weeks. Inside the box, it was neatly wrapped in plastic and on a hanger.


Overall, I was thrilled with it's outer appearance. The fabric is sturdy and thick, and has a faint sheen with a flash photo. The details of the lace and rose applique are lovely. The lace is thick and cottony, very high quality.

Unfortunately, the inside is unlined and there were quite a few loose threads. Not exactly the quality I had hoped for, but not a deal breaker either.

It is fairly long, I am 5'6 and it goes just past my knees. The skirt is also very, very full. 

The shirring is quite stiff. If a person who was more towards the maximum measurements tried it on, they might have some difficulty. The stiffness might work itself out in time, though.

To be honest, it is less flattering to my figure than my other brand "straight sized" JSKs (BtSSB's Babydoll JSK, for instance). It is rather bulky on top. Without the waist ties tied tightly, it hangs off me at the waist. The bodice is pretty much cut straight, without princess seams or a similar shaped cut. I would not recommend it to anyone a US size 12 or smaller (unless you are very busty, is which case it can accommodate quite well).
That said, I still like it. It is a beautiful dress, with great details. It's just a bit too big and has some inside imperfections. Overall, I give it a 3.5/5.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inspiration: Ophelia

For more than a thousand years sad Ophelia
Has passed, a white phantom, down the long black river.
For more than a thousand years her sweet madness
Has murmured its ballad to the evening breeze.

-Arthur Rimbaud

Driven mad by the sudden loss of her family, the maiden wanders the halls of the castle, bereft, carrying flowers and singing fragments of songs. She meets her own untimely end when she falls into the river and drowns, letting herself be carried away by the current rather than swim.
The tragic tale of Lady Ophelia, from Shakespeare's Hamlet, has captured the imaginations of millions since her first soliloquy. She has been especially beloved in the spookier cultural circles- from Morticia Addams' sister Ophelia Frump, to Emilie Autumn's Opheliac, to alternative model Ophelia Overdose.

I fell in love with the iconic Ophelia myself when I read Anne of Green Gables as a young girl. In the book, strange Anne, with her newly regrown auburn hair, is elected by her friends to play the part of equally dreamy and odd Lady Ophelia. Though Anne's venture ends in mishap, the idea of playing Ophelia floating down the river in her bower of wildflowers stuck with me. As a head-in-the-clouds, out of place little girl myself, pretending to be woebegone Lady Ophelia helped me get through my various daily struggles. As I grew up, I began reading Shakespeare and the part became even more dear to me. So much so that even one of my cats is named for her! (though I must say that my lumpy, clingy cat lacks a certain theatrical grace). Even my favorite author, Anne Rice, had the witch Mona Mayfair- a wild, red haired young woman obsessed with Ophelia.

As Ophelia has developed as a literary and cultural icon, her visual representation has also developed certain cliches. There is a certain whimsical, otherworldly appearance that has become a part of her identity. 
Here are a few ways to channel the ill-fated Danish princess into your look.

1. Long, wavy hair. This is perhaps her most consistent feature- long, wild, unbound hair. Try crimping it or letting it dry in braids. Red or strawberry blonde are the most common colors for her hair if you're in the market for wigs.
If the above is too plain for your tastes, try a simple medieval-inspired braided hairstyle. Something half braided, half down would be lovely and romantic.

2. Flowers. Whether fake or real, weave them into your hair, make a flowered headband, or pin them on in a corsage. Also look for flower inspired jewelry and prints.

3. Looser, more flowing dresses. Cast aside your structured bodices and OPs this time, and look for somethings softer and more draped (although, the effect of pairing a loose dress with a tight corset is quite nice). This might be a great opportunity to incorporate some Mori-Kei as well. 

4. Wear white. Ophelia's innocence is often portrayed by her being shown in white. In my opinion, wearing white or cream has a certain ghost-like quality when paired with long hair.

5. Jewel tones, if white doesn't suit you. Rich greens, blues, and burgundies will compliment the look and reference the time period Hamlet is set in. 

I think a concept to keep in mind whilst channeling our darling Lady Ophelia is "tragic beauty". Something beautiful that is ruined or tarnished in some way, so that it's beauty is even more apparent but at the same time terribly sad. The contrast of loveliness with darkness heightens the allure. Cracked porcelain dolls, wilting roses, old statues, crumbling castles...a beautiful maiden whose young life was snuffed out by madness and death.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Art Post: Darling Deer

This is my final assignment for one of my illustration classes. I have a thing for deer girls, and I've been dying to draw some creepy girls in pretty dresses. I originally planned to illustrate The White Doe, a delightful fairytale that I highly recommend, but as I began to work on it, I sort of made up a vague narrative based on basic fairytale cliches. I really enjoyed working on these, even though some of my classmates complained they were too vague and predictable. Oh well! On the plus side, when I receive criticism it makes me want to work even harder to prove people wrong.

The story begins with two enchanted girls, who can switch between human-esque or fully animal form. They lead magical, simple lives away from humanity and bothersome princes.

But then, oh no! One of the magical deer ladies is shot by a hunter. Her friend can't do anything to help her, and watches in the form of a fawn.

The hunter captures her, and in doing so, disenchants her, so that she is trapped in a fully human form. Her poor friend is left alone in the forest. What happens next? I don't know!

In addition to The White Doe, I was inspired by The Selkie and similar shape-shifting maiden stories.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sew Loli: Part Two

Since my last "Sew Loli" post, I've had the chance to make a few more things. Nothing too fancy, but I'm trying to add more color and texture to my oh-so black wardrobe. Soon, I'll be making quite a few new OPs for summer, since classes are ending and I'll finally have time.
Also, all of these are very basic patterns I drafted myself.

Firstly, spiderweb fabric! I love this fabric. It's black taffeta with flocked velvet spiderwebs.
I made a JSK and an OP with it.

Here they are worn:

And then I made a plain black JSK, added blue bows, and hand-painted a cameo-thingy on it.

Here it is worn:

Lastly, I ordered some awesome black and white striped fabric from Shabby Fabrics. Like many a goth and fan of Beetlejuice, vertical stripes rock my world. I also made a matching headbow, but I'm not sure how I feel about wearing headbows yet.

Sorry about the mess, I'm moving in a few weeks.
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