Sunday, July 20, 2014

Anime Midwest 2014: A Lolita's Review


Hello everyone!
So about two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a great little convention, Anime Midwest, in Chicago, Illinois. I'm used to attending the larger anime convention a few months before, Anime Central. This convention was a blast though! Plus they had a very important guest to me... Baby, the Stars Shine Bright!

Baby's CEO/president, Akinori Isobe, and designer Masumi Kano were in attendance, along with having a pop up shop in the dealer's room at the convention. There were three events planned by Baby for the convention, the tea party on Friday, the Q & A session on Saturday, and the fashion show on Sunday (I got to model for Baby! More details later in the post!)

Besides getting to attend all of the Baby events, I visited the Lolita Collective booth at Midwest. The Lolita Collective is a grouping of indie and sometimes brand lolita designers. They attend events like Midwest, bringing lots of awesome lolita items including dresses, petticoats, blouses, accessories, and more! I work for them as a web designer and I provide my brand's items (Sugared Tea), to be sold by them. Be sure to follow the Lolita Collective on Facebook for more details as to brands they will be carrying and what events they will be attending!

Browsing through the dresses at the Lolita Collective booth with my friend, Isabella!

There were a bunch of other lolita panels including a swap meet panel, it was a lot of fun! So many lolita-related events at a smaller con, yay!

I also got to see some friends and meet new ones at Midwest! I stayed with Kate and Alexa during the con~! Kate is my penpal of about a year now, and it was nice to meet her in person! Here is a photo of us together during the tea:


And me and Alexa!
I also got to meet Beck at the con, she's so super sweet and we even ended up wearing the same dress in a different cut and color for the Baby fashion show, and we twinned in Misty Sky on Saturday. I commissioned her for this super cute drawing of me in Misty Sky!
Beck and I twinning on Saturday!

Anyway, time to talk about the Baby events!

Day 1: Tea Party

On the first day, Baby held their tea party. This is the first brand tea party I've been too, I've missed past ones sadly. I was super psyched! Before the tea party, we added pictures and signatures to the scrapbook gift that Nina and some others had been working on. It contained pictures of the Chicago and Milwaukee girls, drawings, thank you notes, and photos of Kuma Kumya visiting important landmarks in Chicago~ Some girls brought their instax cameras (I want one now! <3) to take instant photos of our tea party coords. We also signed a large banner made by PinkSpiderHime, it was so beautiful! We planned to present it before Isobe and Masumi left on Sunday. I also submitted some art! It's of me wearing the dress I wore to the tea party:


And my coord rundown! Photo by Kim~
Dress is My Sweet Mate Kuma Kumya's Honey Hut Judy
Headbow, JSK, OTKs, bag, key necklace: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Rose and pearl hairclip, scepter shoe clips, : My brand, Sugared Tea
Shoes: Bodyline
Blouse, necklace: Offbrand

I made the scepter to match the bottle on my dress, and I even made matching nails~



At the tea party we were served finger sandwiches, mini pastries, chocolate-covered strawberries, and tea. Masumi and Isobe walked around to each table and gave us each a beautiful Baby key necklace and a post card, and they talked to use. Masumi liked my flower hair clip I made!


My awesome table mates! Ina, Kate, me, and Alexa~


And us with Masumi and Isobe!
At the end of the tea party, one person was chosen for the best coord. Jeanette was chosen, Masumi liked that she wore a rare dress that she designed. She was given a prize pack containing various accessories and novelty items by Baby.

We also presented Masumi and Isobe the scrapbook at the end of the tea party. Isobe was so moved that he started tearing up. It was so wonderful! They both really liked it and later posted some pics of it to the official Baby twitter: Group shot of us (I'm in the middle wearing a sax colored coord), and some thank you notes!


Day 2: Fashion Show Fitting and Baby Q&A:
The next day I had to wake up a little early to arrive for fitting around 9:30am. A week before the convention, I was notified via e-mail that I was chosen as a backup model for Baby or AatP if someone dropped out. As it turned out, two models, one from Baby and one from AatP dropped out. I was chosen for Baby and the other alternate model got chosen for AatP. I was really surprised that I got picked to begin with, and now I was going to get to model for Baby! What a dream come true!

I only knew a few of the models there, but everyone was so nice! Masumi placed the coords we would be wearing out on chairs with our name and the picture of us that we submitted in our application on them. The dress chosen for me was Baby's "Wonder Story comes in the rose blooming night ~ Alice’s Halloween through the Looking-Glass" print in pink. I was super excited! I also got to wear an old school-styled flat headdress, I've always wanted to try one~ Beck was my twin in the show, she wore the same print in sax, and a different cut.


After the fitting, I went to the Baby Q&A. A lot of good questions were asked, like if they would open more stores in the US (possibly, depending on the success of their brand, and how much the surrounding community wants it and tries to help), how they choose to re-release an item (most popular items that people demand), but perhaps the funniest was a day in the life of Isobe (wake up at 12pm, eat, go to work at 4pm, play with his dog Popo at work, go home, eat sashimi, drink sake and watch TV, and  go to sleep) haha!

My Saturday coordinate was AP's (gasp the shame with Baby as a guest, but I don't actually own a lot of clothing by them!) Misty Sky. I tried coordinating it with black, which most people seemed to like. The bonnet wouldn't stay up right, but it was my first time wearing one!


I was just holding onto the scepter made by PinkSpiderHime for a minute, but looks good, doesn't it?
JSK, OTKs, purse, hair clip, necklace: Angelic Pretty
Bonnet: Ribbons
Shoes: Secret Shop
Underskirt, blouse: Offbrand

After the Q&A, I mostly hung out with friends. I chatted for a bit with some Chicago comm members, ate delicious lunch with Alexa, then I went with a bunch of Milwaukee comm members (all so friendly!), a couple Chicago comm members, and Kate to a nearby mall for some food/snacks. Funs were had! :D
Lovely Chicago ladies + Kate~!

Abby, Shannon, Vanessa, Nina, Kate, Jordana, Amanda, me, and Alexa!

Day 3: Fashion ShowThe next day was the big day! I had to arrive to the fitting area at 8am this time to get ready. After getting ready, the models chatted for a bit, snapped photos, until rehearsal time.

 Me and Sylvia! She is so sweet!
Me and Danielle! She's newer to lolita but she already knows so much about it! Also such a sweetie!

We rehearsed a few times, and the show started a little late due to some audio/video issues. The show was amazing to be in! I had a very minor wardrobe malfunction during the show, as I bowed lightly for one of my poses, the head dress slipped forward, but I quickly slipped it back on and kind of went with it as a pose, haha. I was a bit embarassed about it, but people said I handled it well and it was cute so yay I guess?

Anyway, below are some photos of me from the show! Sorry, I don't know who took them all, as I saved them off of Facebook a few weeks back. If any of them are yours and you want credit or for them to be removed, please let me know!

All of the models! I'm third in line from the left! Masumi Kano is in front.


Video by Abby (I'm at 2:34!):



After the Baby Fashion Show, we got to watch the Indie Fashion Show while wearing the coordinates we modeled in which was amazing. We had first row seats and I didn't expect that I'd be sitting right next to Isobe and Masumi during the show! '///' 

A photo of fellow AM Baby model Sylvia, with Masumi, me, and Beck after the shows~

As a token of appreciation for modeling, Masumi gave each of us adorable Baby letter sets!! I had her sign a piece of the paper that came with it and it's now framed 

And this is the amazing banner PinkSpiderHime made, everyone signed it with thankful messages for Baby!



The next day I wore the key necklace from the tea party to work... it's just so beautiful! And my Kyary Pamyu Pamyu shirt from the concert I went to in March...I still need to blog about that haha~
Other Baby and AatP freebies I got!

Overall I had a great time at this con! I hope in the future Baby comes back to Chicago!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lolita Blog Carnival: "What's on your lolita playlist?"

Today I'm doing my first Lolita Blog Carnival post. What is LBC? It's a group that provides ideas and inspiration to lolita bloggers on topics to blog about, and promotes the posts of those that have participated. A new topic comes out each week.

I'm not officially a member yet, as one of the requirements to be a part of the LBC is to have at least 9 posts focused on lolita, but I was told that I could use past topics as inspiration to build up to that number.

Anyway, today's post is about my lolita playlist. What do I listen to when I feel like being frilly? I don't particularly think that there is a specific genre to be considered lolita, but I will provide some artists that fit my personal idea of "lolita music" or "lolita inspired" music as well as why!

Here is my list!

Kalafina


Kalafina is a band made up of a trio of girls, Hikaru, Keiko, Wakana, and their composer, Yuki Kajira. Yuki Kajira herself has composed many songs prior to the Kalafina project with other singers too, but the 3 girls she chose for Kalafina really makes her work stand out. Wikipedia classifies their genre as "baroque pop" and "ethereal wave". I would definitely say that their style is very whimsical and ethereal, listening to them always takes me to a place of fairytales.

Two of my favorite songs by them are fairytale and Oblivious, though I think all their songs are great!
I also feel very lucky as I got to see them live in concert last May! ACen, a Japanese Pop culture convention in Chicago invited them as a guest to perform. It was the best concert I've been to, Kalafina sounds just as great live as on their albums. There is no autotune, just pure talent! autotune, just pure talent!


Kyary Pamyu Pamyu


Ahhh... who hasn't heard of Kyary yet? Made famous by her crazy fashion and her bubblegum pop songs with silly lyrics (PONPONPON and Tsukematsukeru being her most popular songs), she is a common addition to most lolitas playlist.

Kyary is a leader when it comes to promoting kawaii subculture to other parts of the world. Infact, she will be coming to the US and other countries this year on tour! I will be seeing her perform in Chicago in March. I can't wait!


Kanon Wakeshima


Kanon Wakeshima is a cellist and vocalist made popular by her songs Still Doll and Suna no Oshiro that appeared in the anime Vampire Knight. Her music has a very classical and sometimes dark sound to it, and her cello skills are great!

Like the other two artists, Wakeshima has traveled outside of Japan, playing in the United States, France, and South Korea. I haven't seen her in concert yet, but that would be great if someday that could change!

Tommy February6



I have already discussed Tommy February6 in a past post, but she is so adorable I'll bring her up again! Some lolitas already know her as she sang Lonely in Gorgeous, the opening to the Paradise Kiss anime (which has some lolita-related themes in it). I also like Candy Pop in Love, Can't Take My Eyes Off of You, and SwEEt dREAM.

Her music is poppy, and has some old school 80s sounds and a dreamy vibe to it.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy some of the artists that I posted. Please share some lolita inspired musicians with me in the comments!



Love and frills,


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year


Hello everyone! It looks like this will be my last post of this year.

Here is my year in review plus some goals:
2013 in review:
-Aquired my first brand lolita dresses 
-Made some pretty cool friends!
-Saw one of my favorite bands, Kalafina, live! It was amazing!!
-Shopped AT Angelic Pretty. Even if it was just a pop up shop at Acen haha. Does that even count??
-Got tickets to see Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!
-Moved out of my dad's house.
-Started eating healthier... less dairy (gives me ill effects), more veggies, more water
-Saw my grandpa in Florida!
-Played too much Animal Crossing. . . haha
-Had year anniversary with my boif  He's da bestest
-Discovered some of the coolest vintage places to shop *__*
-Went out a lot more than normal. I dislike sitting around at home all the time.
-Went to Mitsuwa. A lot. lol~
-Advanced my cooking skills! They're pretty poor but now I'm less afraid of cooking meat. heheh...
-Became more comfortable with myself and less self conscious, even if I'm wearing silly, poofy, frilly dresses.
-Survived another year in retail... oh my gawd...
-Sold a lot of my old junk I didn't need. Yay!
-Finally got insurance and started investing in stock.

I know, my year prooobably doesn't sound that exciting.
Overall though, it was a pretty good year, even though it had it's ups and downs.
Also, RIP Nana Lorna, my wonderful grandmother that passed this year. She will forever be in my heart. 

And... here are some goals for 2014! (including some lofty ones... lol)
-Get a car and get dat license, you slowpoke, Caitlin. Slooowpoke... I know where my tax return and bonus is going.
-Go back to school and get that degree! SO CLOOOSEEE...
-...Advance to a career I hope. Haa...
-Travel more? I'd love to get a passport and go to Japan and Europe! I'd even like to visit New York or California.
-Move somewhere nicer.
-Lose some of that belly/thigh chub.
-Save money! Save, save, saaave!
-Craft more and open a store selling my goods! I have so many craft supplies begging to be used.
-Wear more classic lolita!
-Use mbok or taobao more.
-Practice my Japanese skills. I am so rusty, I was so good at speaking and writing it after 4 years of learning it in highschool.
-Hang out with all my friends more.
-Just for Jacob (boyfriend): learn how to play Magic the Gathering properly. >_> Ugh. haha.
-Continue to try to eat healthily.
-Blog and write letters more
-Go to Rufflecon *__*
-Enjoy a proper afternoon tea at a Victorian-themed tea house!
-Dress up even more often. It's so fun!

How about you? How was your 2013, and what are your goals for 2014?

Anyway, I'll also post an update for my lolita wardrobe. 

I got a lot of wonderful offbrand blouses that were amazing finds this year, as well as some cardigans and blouses, some AP jewelry, jewelry from friends, OTKs and lots of tights... but it's too much to post here! So I will just stick to my main pieces that I've gotten recently. 
 I obtained the 2013 Lucky Pack for Angelic Pretty. I bought it secondhand and it didn't come with the blouse or bag, but everything else is in great condition! It's such a cute dress.
 I also got an Angelic Pretty cutsew. It features ribbons all over it. I haven't worn it yet but it's very cute.


I also got Misty Sky's rereleased JSK in sax. Unfortunately, I couldn't get Day Dream Carnival due to stock issues, so AP offered Misty Sky to me instead.
I got this Bodyline skirt in cream, which is very ivory-like. I love this skirt, I have a feeling I will be wearing it a lot. It can be worn as both a classic look and as sweet, depending on what you wear it with.
 And last but not least I got Angelic Pretty's 2014 Lucky Pack in lavender! I couldn't resist the carousel bunnies, how cute! I can't wait to get the heart bag as well.

 dat print

And finally, this year's lolita coordinates in review!








 Last coord of 2013! ^ I dressed up in lolita a lot this year! I'll definitely try to dress up even more next year and I'll try to improve my coords.

Anyway...

Frills and happiness to all, 




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