RuffleCon 2017 Part 1

Hello! This past weekend, I was at RuffleCon!

I’ve decided to break this event up into two separate parts. Part 1 will be on Friday and Part 2 will be on Saturday and Sunday!

RuffleCon is an alternative fashion convention hosted in Stamford, CT. It’s run for a few years but as this is my first year officially in Lolita fashion, this was my first year attending the con. The trip was a joint trip between the Rochester and Buffalo Lolita communities. Lauren, Cristina, and I traveled down to Stamford from Rochester by car. It was around a 7 hour trip! We made a joint hotel stay with some of the people from the Buffalo Lolita comm. Our hotel room was pretty nice and my Weekend Plus ticket came with food at the hotel buffet!

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Lunch!

On Friday morning, we waited in line for registration and consignment intake. They have a consignment room, in which people bring in Lolita items to sell. RuffleCon takes a 20% cut of whatever sells and people can browse a large room filled with clothes!

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I made a few purchases in the consignment room! I bought a pretty blue headband. I also found Angelic Pretty’s Marionette Girl Skirt in the pink colorway! I have been looking at Marionette Girl sporadically over the last few months so it was exciting to find it here for only $30! Instant buy!

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Angelic Pretty Marionette Girl Skirt

Throughout the day, I went to a few interesting panels. I went to a panel about resin crafting and another one about pattern sewing!

At night, I entered the annual Coordinate Contest. For a few months, I spent a lot of time planning a coordinate to match perfectly with the Alice and the Pirates Jesters of the Moon Hat I purchased earlier this year.

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The coordinate went through many changes and iterations, including two main dress changes. Once I got the main part of the coordinate planned out, I made a handmade scepter as well to match the hat! The scepter is made out of wood, ribbon, and glue. I hope to make a tutorial post about how I planned and constructed it soon!

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Ultimately, I didn’t end up placing in the contest but the reception to my coordinate was so overwhelmingly positive! It really made me feel like my hard work paid off in some regard at least ;v;

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On stage!

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Coordinate

JSK : Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Sorcerer’s Horoscope JSK

Blouse: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Étoile Filante Chiffon Blouse

OTKs: Alice and the Pirates Circus Stripe OTKs and Diamond Lame OTKs

Shoes: John Fluevog

Bag: Putumayo

Accessories : Fanplusfriend (gloves)

 

After a long day of travelling, talking, and photo taking, my friends and I spent some time just hanging out and talking. We wrapped up the night with two more panels, including a hilarious improvised performance competition of reciting “Lolita Secrets,” and turned in for the night! It was definitely hard to want to take off my makeup, I liked it so much!

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That’s it for Part 1! Stay tuned next week for Part 2! Thanks for reading!

 

*I’m a little backlogged on translating due to travelling! I hope to have those back up and regularly scheduled soon, thank you for your patience!*

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Spooky Saturday Hangout

Happy Monday! This past weekend, I did a little shopping and grabbed sushi with my friend, Cristina! We decided to dress up and it was a great opportunity for me to break in these cool bat shoes I got recently in a trade!

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Spooky!

Cristina & I regularly go and get bubble tea & sushi together but this time we went to a different sushi place because our other friend, Tempest, was having a sale at her shop. Tempest sells lots of cute j-fashion clothing & accessories, as well as her own handmade stuff! I ended up buying quite a few things including new eyelashes, large pom-pom clips (that I think will be great for circus coords), an eyelash holder, bat tights, and one of Tempest’s handmade deco boxes!

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Tempest took a pic of me & Cristina before we left for food!

Tempest’s shop and the sushi place are located in this indoor shopping plaza. It seems on this exact day, there was a handmade craft fair going on at the same time. We kept getting compliments as we walked through as well as a lot of “nice costumes” ….. xD We stopped at a few various shops including this antique toy shop! I bought matching Care Bear cups for me & Cristina ^^ And then finally sushi!

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I’ve eaten here once before so I order a type of sushi roll with soft shell crab. It’s so good, Cristina kept swapping pieces with me xD

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After sushi, we went to a cupcake shop also located in the plaza! I got a raspberry lemonade cupcake for myself an a caramel apple one for Bobby back home! ^_^

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It was such a fun day! I really enjoyed going to different shops dressed in Lolita. I don’t really shop at major retailers so whenever I go to the mall, I don’t really buy anything outside of Hot Topic. Because of this, wearing Lolita at a mall isn’t really as much fun. It was nice to actually wear Lolita and look for nice interesting things from a variety of unique shops rather than franchises. I hope I can do something like this again soon!

That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading!

 

SWIMMER vs FLAPPER: Biscuit Bag Battle

Happy Monday! Thank you for joining me this week! This week I will be comparing & contrasting Biscuit bags by SWIMMER & FLAPPER.

For some more context, SWIMMER is a popular affordable accessories brand in Japan. They actually announced this year that they would be closing their business due to their production costs increasing beyond what they’re able to handle. This has made a lot of people very distressed including members of the lolita community as SWIMMER is known as a great affordable brand for well-made lolita purses & bags. In fact, in comparison to most brands such as Angelic Pretty, whose bags are often $100+ for typical quality, SWIMMER’s bags are anywhere from $10-$45+ with often durable designs & materials.The SWIMMER biscuit bag has been a lolita favorite ever since its release due to it cute design, space, accessories, and pairing with some popular chocolate, cookie, or tea based lolita dresses. Because tea & cookies are a staple in lifestyle lolita, it’s no surprise why this bag is still popular & often hard to find for a reasonable price & without damages.

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SWIMMER Biscuit Bags in Strawberry, Bitter, and Plain / Source: SWIMMER

In contrast, FLAPPER is a brand I have yet to find out a lot of information on. What’s known about them is that they sell their bags & accessories through Tokyo Otaku Mode, a company whose mission is to share Japanese goods & pop culture on a global scale.
I pulled this description from Tokyo Otaku Mode’s website:

“FLAPPER is a Japanese fashion brand known for its unique accessories ranging from all kinds of bags and pouches through wallets, umbrellas, shoes, and functional pieces with unusual and super cute designs. They also have several character series, the most well-known being Buburin, the French bulldog, whose surprised expression can bring a smile to your face anytime, and there’s also Popo-chan, the owl, and the Mofu Neko series. Whether it is biscuits, ribbons, candies, cats, dogs, or other cute animals you are looking for, there’s a chance you will find it here!”

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FLAPPER Biscuit 2-Way Duffle Bags in Beige, Camel, & Brown / Source: Tokyo Otaku Mode

In my Tokyo Otaku Mode Haul post I talked about initially desiring the SWIMMER biscuit bag but having a hard time finding it secondhand. I found it in Strawberry (pink) and thus looking at the FLAPPER biscuit bag as a possible alternative for the “plain” (light brown) and “bitter” (darker brown) versions of the SWIMMER bag. Since the time of that post, I actually have found the SWIMMER biscuit bag in the “plain” color as well but for the sake of this review, decided to compare the pink SWIMMER biscuit bag and the beige FLAPPER biscuit bag.

Let’s begin!

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Front

At first glance, you can already see a lot of their similarities. My FLAPPER bag has a fold where the bag’s seams are unlike the SWIMMER bag. When I stuff the bag with items, the fold straightens itself out. The SWIMMER front of the bag is all one flat piece so this folding doesn’t happen. The FLAPPER bag also has a set of side hooks for an additional strap for over-the-shoulder looks.

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Back

The FLAPPER bag has a gold badge with FLAPPER’s name sewn onto the back of the bag.

Here’s the bottom view of both bags. The SWIMMER bag is both taller & wider than the FLAPPER bag.

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Here’s more size comparison side-by-side. The SWIMMER bag clearly wider & more spacious.

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The SWIMMER’s bag material is shinier, almost more of a thin pleather. The handles are very lightweight in comparison to the FLAPPER bag. The FLAPPER bag has much noticeably stronger & thicker handles.

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FLAPPER Close up

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SWIMMER Close up

The SWIMMER bag has the text & biscuit “holes” sewn into the bag. The FLAPPER bag has the text indented into it with actual biscuit “holes” thus giving the bag more depth.

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Biscuit “holes”

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Additional gem

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Spoon & Fork Accessory

THE SWIMMER bag also has the bonus of a super cute additional spoon & fork accessory attached to it. It really helps pull the bag together!

Final Thoughts:
Both bags have an internal pocket for carrying smaller things. For size & carrying capacity, the SWIMMER bag definitely is the winner here. But for durability & flexibility, the FLAPPER bag is very well stitched with a thick pleather with additional over-the-shoulder strap. In regards to cuteness, that’s a toss up! Both are solid awesome bags ^_^ So if you’re having a hard time finding the SWIMMER biscuit bag secondhand, I hand’s down think the FLAPPER biscuit bag is a great alternative while it’s still available through Tokyo Otaku Mode’s website. I haven’t been able to use the SWIMMER bag yet but I did wear the FLAPPER one to a causal movie meet-up recently!

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Bag folding not noticeable at all!

I hope you liked this comparison post! Of the two, which bag would you prefer? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

 

Edit: 11/19/17

I also got to wear the SWIMMER bag!

 

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Carousel! Tights & OTKs for Days

Happy Monday! Time for another edition of Carousel!
In this edition of Carousel, I’ll talk about my most recent cheap or rare purchases!

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Alice and the Pirates Twilight Circus OTKs – $11

I had been watching this pair of OTKs for a short time on lacemarket but was on the fence about it. To my surprise, the seller lowered the price once more and I immediately had to get them. No staining and in overall good condition, I can’t wait to wear them!

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Afternoon Nap Gymnasium OTKs – $27

These tights are brand new! Generally retailing for around $30, it’s not a massive steal but considering this is a special pair of OTKs with guest artist Mitsukazu Mihara, it was very hard to pass up such a beautiful design for less than $30. The print is gorgeous in person!

 

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Source: wunderwelt on lacemarket

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Close-Up

Banana Fish Trump JSK – $20

Full velvet JSK! There’s a few loose threads here and there but it’s absolutely beautiful in person! Wunderwelt sometimes sells unpopular or heavily damaged items separately on Lacemarket, away from its main website. The items are usually severely discounted much like this JSK!

 

It matches my Alice and the Pirates cardigans so perfectly! I’m really excited to plan a coordinate with them all!

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Source: Tokyo Otaku Mode

Oyasumi Pooh-Chan Denim Bag – $15

Normally retails for around $32 on Tokyo Otaku Mode so this is essentially half off! My friend recently bought herself one of these bags in the pleather version and I’m very interested in twinning with her! Likewise, I’m planning a Lolita panel for Tora Con 2018 in the future where I’ll give out Lolita items during a giveaway and this might just make the cut. Either way, regardless of whether or not I keep it or give it away, the price was more than reasonable!

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Astro Regimen Tights – $15

Now this, I am absolutely proud of! Astro Regimen is a print that comes in and out of popularity but the tights are very hard to find. Most of them selling have re-sold for around $40-$45 so when I saw these brand new in the packaging for only$15, it was an instant buy. I have to say though that these are my absolute favorite pair of lolita tights now. I’m not too tall for them and the wine color with the navy print makes for a great silhouette. ;v;

That’s it for this week’s Carousel! entry. What do you think of the stuff I found? Do any of them not seem worth it? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading! Until next week!

 

Coordinate Planning

Happy Sunday!

This past week I haven’t been up to much so I thought I would spend this week talking about coordinate planning!

Essentially when I plan out lolita coordinates, I make a rough picture of all the pieces involved so I can preview what my coordinates will look like before I make them. You can see previous examples of me doing this in the entry where I talk about the lolita fashion show I participated in.

Why is coordinate planning important?

In my opinion, coordinate planning is very important because ultimately in the end, it saves time and money. Lolita is easily an expensive luxury hobby and even with being thrifty, it’s near impossible to avoid spending a lot of money on a dress by one of the major brands. As new, the dresses are often $200-$400 and they mostly retain their value over time. For this reason, planning helps me avoid spending additional money on things that might match a dress versus spending money on items that will match.

Here are some coordinates I’m presently planning!

Coordinate 1: Alice and the Pirates Twilight Circus OP in Black

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Alice and the Pirates Twilight Circus is a dream print of mine and I was lucky enough to get this print in OP version in black. The diamonds stick out the most in the print to me and in the spirit of continuing to be a circus-themed lolita, I thought diamonds would be a good piece to continue throughout the outfit.

I have two bags I’m considering using and I’d really like to lean more towards the drum bag. The bag is the Marching Drum bag also from Alice and the Pirates but it’s presently sold out on their website. Until I can find it secondhand, I believe the Innocent World black Carousel bag will make a decent placeholder.

Coordinate 2: Surface Spell’s Freak Show JSK in Red

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I saw Surface Spell’s Freak Show JSK and immediately fell in love! I’m not sure if this is the exact bunny hat I will pursue but I think something similar would be good! Like in the brooch, this print has bunnies as it’s main symbol so I think the mini hat is very appropriate! The continuing theme of white & black stripes as well in the hat, stockings, and parasol I think provide unity to the white blouse with black jabot!

Coordinate 3: Angelic Pretty’s Horror Garden JSK in Ivory

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This one is definitely a challenge for me because I’m not completely convinced yet of the blouse or stockings. I think everything else is moving in the right direction. The bat cuffs & boots are really great as continuing the bat wings seen in the vest of the JSK. And I love this SWIMMER bag, I think it’ll go great with the coffin motifs of the print!

As for the bat on the vest, I had a badge custom made for me actually!

The glitter of the bat and the shiny gold thread look wonderful when paired with the dress and Enchantlic Enchantilly bat necklace!

Coordinate 4: Angelic Pretty’s Fantasy Theater OP in Ivory

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My favorite type of cake is funfetti and that’s exactly what this dress reminds me of!

This one I have the most amount of work to do on!

I’m almost done with the payment plan for this dress and I couldn’t be more excited to receive it. Ivory is the only colorway I can see myself wearing of this print but it also seemed to be the least common, especially in OP form. I immediately had to get it as soon as I saw it posted on lacemarket!

I’m still working on figuring out a hat of some sort and possibly wrist cuffs and other neck accessories. For an unconventional lolita bag, I actually found a children’s bag from Target! It matches the circus tents in the dress perfectly and was only $9.99! ^^

What do you think of these coordinates? What do you think could be added or removed? Let me know!

Until next week!