Saturday, December 29, 2012

V&A Lolita Exhibit

Last month on my trip to London with my sister, we popped by the Victoria & Albert Museum to check out the Hollywood Costume exhibit. My sister had been waiting two years for this exhibit and some of the costumes we saw were really amazing and it's so different seeing them in life rather than on the movie screen. (My favourite has to be the Dolly Levi gold dress from Hello, Dolly!)

There was a 45 min to an hour wait to get into the exhibit, so my sister and I walked around the gift shop and planned to head into the gem room, because we love sparkly things~! However, on our way there my sister got side tracked for some reason while walking by the Japanese antiquities room. I knew that the V&A had a small exhibit dedicated to lolita fashion and how British culture has influenced it, but from what I knew, it was on display from March until August. However, the museum has extended the exhibit until February 2013! So, if you visit the V&A museum before then, you'll see the lolita exhibit in the Japanese section on the main floor! You can't miss it because the displays have pink windows!

Kitty and the Bulldog: Lolita fashion and the influence of Britain
Kitty and the Bulldog explores the way in which British fashion – notably Victoriana, Punk and Gothic – has influenced the development of Japan’s ‘Lolita’ style, a cult fashion movement whose defining feature has been its preoccupation with cuteness, or ‘kawaii’. The display features nine outfits recently bought in Tokyo for the V&A's permanent collections. -

My camera couldn't make due to the dim lighting in the room and the contrast between my coat at the displays was too great, so the lighting was off! So, I must apologize for the quality of the photos (>_<;)

Left: Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Alice and the Pirates    Right: Innocent World

Examples of Sweet lolita, that venture into classic and a bit of gothic for the AatP dress.
I really love the styling they used for all the mannequins. I also noticed that all the wigs used were from Priscilla. Good to know they didn't cap the budget on wigs since Priscilla wigs are quite expensive. I really like that bag on the BtSSB display. . . Oddly it was on the outlet page on Baby's online site, but it was sold out. (-__-;)

Left: Moi-Meme-Moitie     Right: Putumayo

I'll have to admit I'm not expert on Gothic lolita, but I love looking at Moi Meme Moitie's clothing. There are minute details that you have to see up close that I couldn't capture on film, but the custom lace is gorgeous and the simplicity makes the overall outfit very elegant. 
Putumayo! I don't own anything from the brand, but I always like looking at their ads in my Kera magazines. Their branding is geared towards punk lolita. I also like the Hangry & Angry stuffed doll that's part of the styling!

Left: H.Naoto's Sixh. and MINT Neko    Right: Mamechiyo

H.Naoto has so many lines, I can't remember most of them. Apparently the outfit is inspired by Vivienne Westwood and falls into the punk and visual kei category. 
Mamechiyo has some lovely contemporary works that modernize the kimono. I've known of the designer for awhile since Magic Pony exhibited some of her work many years ago here in Toronto! The description for this display categorized the style as "Japanese Lolita" and is more demure and explores Japanese traditional dress.

I'm really happy that I got to see this exhibit before it went away. It was purely by accident since I didn't know it was extended. It's just interesting and fun to see a fashion/hobby that you're devoted to in a display at one of the best Art & Design museums in the world. 
Also, it also brings lolita to a broader audience and hopefully more people see it as a fashion rather than a costume. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

It's been a busy week filled with lots of good times with friends, family and with work squashed into the mix! I hope everyone has been having a lovely day and a safe holiday!

*Merry Christmas and Happy New Year*!!

Sora shall share some festive spirit with you all!
I hope 2013 will be a great year for everyone, and I hope that I complete some of my goals and resolutions this year too. Here we come, 2013!

To another year filled with lots of good food, lolita fashion, dorkiness, friends, BJD, yellow birds and  whatever I missed! Hehe! @(*o*@)!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Club Nintendo Gift 2012

I woke up today and found a small package waiting for me. I wasn't sure what it was since I haven't ordered anything lately. It wasn't until I opened it, I realized what it was! It was my Club Nintendo gift for being a PLatinum member!

The nice thing about Nintendo is that if you join their club and buy their products, almost all of them come with registration codes which earn you points. You can redeem those points for online download games or for some other rewards such as pencil cases, cards, etc. You can get something using 10 points, up until 1200. (On average, a game will probably get you only 30 points).
To reach Gold member status, you need 300 points and to reach Platinum you need 600. @(*o*@)''

Club Nintendo Platinum Playing Cards 2012
At first, my reaction to the initial gifts did not appeal to me since there were better gifts in previous years. The options were posters or calenders, or you could get some classic games for your DS/3DS/Wii. I just opted to get the playing cards since it was practical (the calendar was also practical, but was a Gold member award, the cards were Platinum only.) From the prototype picture and description it was Super Mario themed playing cards on clear plastic and it looked fancy. However, I have to be honest, I didn't have too much expectation for it. Plus, I submitted my choice in July/August and it didn't arrive until today. The fine print on the site did say that it would arrive before Christmas though. . .

After I opened my package and took out the cards, I was really surprised! The metallic print on the plastic is very sharp and has a great sheen to it. The cards are done on clear plastic and the designs have void spaces in the design to accent that fact. My camera had a hard time trying to capture the designs on the back of the cards!

Mario, Peach and Luigi
Mario, Princess Peach, and Luigi are the King, Queen and Jack, and Bowser is the Joker! I am really amused with these cards and I'm not sure when and if I will use them because I really like them. It kind of defeats the purpose of it being practical, right? >3<;

All in all, Nintendo, you've impressed me! This gift exceeded my expectations and although it took almost 4 months for it to arrive to my house, it served as an unexpected Christmas gift. It's nice that Nintendo awards it's members for their loyalty though. They don't have to but it is a nice gesture. 

Anyone want to play cards with me?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Macaron Journey - Ladurée in London

What is a trip to London, England without a trip to a Ladurée location? It seems to have become a little tradition between my sister and I to visit one of their tea rooms to have our version of high tea or to pick up a box of macarons because I collect their limited edition boxes. 

A couple years ago, my sister and I went on a macaron pilgrimage while we were in Paris to taste the confections from the "holy trinity of macaron goodness". 
(If you must know, they are Ladurée, Jean Paul Hevin, and Pierre Hermé.) 

Ladurée at Harrods, London
 Since I have not done a macaron post in awhile, let's start with my favourite! My sister and I always rave about Ladurée and their macarons. Nothing in Toronto seems to compare to them and some of our friends had been slightly skeptical of their greatness, but they have all been converted by us!
I initially stumbled upon them a few years back when my best friend mentioned she wanted to try really good macarons. I asked my cousin, while I was visiting her in England, where I could find some since I did not know where to get them. She directed me to Ladurée and I've never looked back! (I also brought home a box for my friend, who enjoyed them immensely. (*o*)~

My sister and I have tried pretty much every flavour of macaron they make and we make an effort to try out all their new seasonal flavors when we visit a Ladurée shop, be it in Tokyo, London or Paris. Their macarons are flown in from Paris to all over the world. The flavours that my sister and I like are Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Pistachio.

Laduree, Covent Garden
I'll make multiple blog posts about the different experiences I've had at Ladurée locations, so we'll just stick to London for this one! There are 4 locations in London that can be visited, each has their own little charm to it. The one located at Harrods and Covent Garden have tea rooms where you can dine and enjoy a cup of tea. I wouldn't recommend sitting at the Burlington Arcade location to drink tea or macarons since they have limited seating outside the store and the overall experience we had was a bit fussy. On this trip, I discovered they opened another location in Cornhill (near Bank station). It is a patisserie and only sells macarons and some of their desserts, but also carries an extensive amount of their souvenir items and official merchandise. 

Le Saint Honoré Rose-Frambois
Ladurée - Lanvin collaboration
Hands down, my favourite dessert they serve is the Le Saint Honoré Rose-Frambois, or as my sister and I call it, the "Rose Puff". I missed out on having this desert while I was in Tokyo, so I had to have two rounds this time in London to make up for the loss! Everything about it is infused with hints of rose and raspberries. Even if you're not a fan of rose flavored things, after eating this, you'll be converted. I converted my sister who never enjoyed anything Rose flavoured and it seems to be the only thing we order now. (^__^;)

I ♥ Lanvin . . . and macarons!
Macarons for me!
The fun thing about Ladurée is that they always have fun collaborations with well known designers for a limited time. If there was a designer macaron, Ladurée would be the one to make it! Their latest collaboration is with French designer, Lanvin. When I saw the promotion pictures for it, I knew I had to collect the box and try the new flavour, bubblegum! I love Lanvin artwork, and the cute illustrations on this box were adorable. My sister and I tried the bubblegum macaron while we were at the Harrods location and unfortunately, it was not one of our favourites. It was very sweet and tasted very similar to Double Bubble bubblegum. 
Some previous collections limited the amount of limited flavors you could get for a special box or you could only get the special macaron by purchasing the box. Since I was not ready to indulge myself with another bubblegum macaron, I filled up my box with Vanilla, Pistachio, Raspberry and Cassis (Black-current) macarons. 

Cashmere & Lanvin boxes
The day I purchased the Lanvin set, the sales associate told me that they were launching new packaging the next day for the holiday season. Since I like collecting the packaging I groaned about, because if it was pretty I would have to get it. I opened their seasonal news letter that was at the cash register and gasped at the pictures of the box and showed my sister. It was horrible because we knew there would be damage to someone's wallet. /(>_<;;)\

I have never seen a Ladurée box like this one. Officially the collection name for this release is called "Cashmere". The print was inspired by French textiles of the 16th century and features calico patterns. 

Cashmere, box of 12 macarons
The macarons had a plastic casing to prevent them from jostling around in the box and also has the calico design on it. My sister bought this box set and filled it up with her favourite flavored macarons. Lots of Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Pistachio, Pure Origin Chocolate and Raspberry. She gave me the box to store and to keep (*o*)!! Thank you!! ♥

I'm glad that I only get to visit Ladurée in specific places because I think a lot of my money would be spent on their confections. They have a new special edition box for each month of the year and I'm sure my wallet would cry! You might be thinking, "What does she do with those boxes?" I actually use them to store small trinkets and things, and one set I use to store sets of shoes for my dolls. I'll document all the boxes I have in a future post!

I think if there was a Ladurée in Toronto, it would loose some of it's luster for me. Part of the charm and excitement of Ladurée is that I only get to experience it once a year (maybe..if I'm lucky!) and I enjoy every moment of it because I don't know when the next time I will visit another location. I savour every bite of a macaron, dessert and drop of tea because it's special to me. 
However, at the same time, it would be much more convenient to have a location here!
I just can't win in the end.. (^__^)*

Until next time Ladurée!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy International Lolita Day!

Just came back from my trip to London with my sister earlier in the I have more things to blog about. All in due time! 

There are 2 International Lolita Days every year. One in the spring/summer and the other for autumn/winter. They fall on the first Saturdays of June and December. To commemorate this day, I'll post the coordinate I wore for Hyper Japan Christmas 2012 last weekend! I'm sad that I missed all the lolita fashion events that were on the Sunday, as I went only on Saturday. 
I got stopped a lot for pictures since some people thought my sister and I were in costumes. I made it a point when people asked "What costume are you wearing?" to state I was wearing fashion, and not a costume. (^__~)*

Pic credit: Archangeli
I decided to bring Alice and the Pirates' The End of Immortal Eden with me on our trip. I haven't worn it during any occasion at home, so I figured, why not wear it for Hyper Japan?
Since we were staying with my cousin (who owns many shoes and handbags), a sudden revelation hit me to ask me to borrow her handbag because it was a similar color to my dress. She was kind enough to say yes when I asked *o*!

Dress: Alice and the Pirates
Headband: Alice and the Pirates
Blouse: Bodyline
Shoes: Bodyline
Jewelry: Betsey Johnson, Off-brand, mix of lot of my personal collection
Handbag: Louis Vuitton

Until my next post! 
See you! ♥