Tag Archives: sweets jewelry

Aldila: Lolita Exhibition

parfaitOn October 5th I visited the 10th Lolita Exhibition by Aldila in Osaka.  Aldila also holds indies brand events in Tokyo and even in Nagoya occasionally (though I missed the only Nagoya one that has happened since I moved here). It was the perfect opportunity to “twin” with a friend of mine who has the same print by Baby, only in skirt form, so we took our Twin Foreigner Cuteness Attack to the masses. We were a bit late for the event, but when we got there it was still in full swing. There were a lot of really creatively dressed people in attendance as well as selling their wares– perhaps my favourite were the man in the monocle and tophat and the girl who was working an AP-style decololi outfit with her Meta biscuit print JSK.
Though the brands present covered the range from Gothic to Country and were all mixed together, and attendees were decked out in their finest Classic to their most cavity-inducing sweet, there was a sort of obvious divide between the different styles. The staff of gothic brands were a little wary of girls bedecked in ice cream, and likewise the tables selling charms with various foodstuffs attached seemed to not know what to say to the Victorian ladies among them. It was a divide I haven’t ever noticed before, and was kind of disconcerting– especially once my friend suggest that other lolitas might be “thinking of sweet lolitas as the himegyaru of lolita now”. Considering the tension between lolitas and gyaru, that is NOT a good thing!

Anyway. There were a lot of brands in attendance– somewhere around 40 are listed on Aldila’s website, and though I don’t think there were really that many when we arrived (I’m sure some left early), there were quite a few.  It was set up much in the same fashion as any small sales exhibition (maybe a lot of people can conjure up an image of the sales room at an anime convention), with each brand purchasing a table or two to display their wares.  Most of the sellers stocked accessories, quite a few had racks of clothing, and there was even some artwork for sale– all of it handmade.  You could really feel the sense of pride that most sellers had in their work, as well.

One of the standout brands in my mind were キラキラスタァ (KirakiraStar), who have a blog and webshop listed, though nothing is currently for sale there. At first glance they appeared to be peddling just the usual sweets jewelry, though I thought it was especially attractive because of the pearlized, colored creams they used for decorating. But when I picked up a piece and looked at it, I knew I was in love!
apple seeds
An apple-shaped macaron brooch– what more could any girl ever want? Especially when it comes complete with little gems for seeds. At 1200yen (~US12), it wasn’t a bad price, either.

headdress As for other purchases, I also picked up a new headdress from armeria maritima, who also make cute jumperskirts for affordable prices. Their site is located here, and there are a few items in the shop for you to peruse. For the prices (around 8000yen for a jsk on the site, though they were 500-1500 yen cheaper at the event), I would say that the quality is not bad. The katyusha I purchased is to the right. It’s simple, but it matches an IW dress I have really well, so I can’t wait to wear it (I hate to admit also that I’m starting to lean more and more toward smaller and more adult head accessories… no!!!), and for only 1000yen (~US10), a good deal. Also, the girl who was working the table was SO adorable and talkative– and her English was pretty good– I just had to support her brand!

Other brands worth mentioning were Chantilly, mentioned in a previous post. I love their use of so-huge-its-crazy rose lace! Unfortunately they didn’t have the JSK I’ve been pining for (actually, Chantilly was presented by Atelier Pierrot, and most of the actual clothing on display was by the latter; Chantilly was providing their usual assortment of amazing bonnets and headwear, plus a few darling blouses). Lyra’s Cute Tone was there to provide options for adorable false nails (Oh how I would love to try those!!). YUki provided cute, ETC-style cutsews, which unfortunately had ETC-style prices as well.
butterflyQuiet Darkness featured gothic and aristocrat style jewelry and small items, like the butterfly corsages on the left. Their headdresses are also to die for, but are also as expensive as established brand prices (in my opinion, though, they are quite worth it– if you’re a gothic lolita, which I’m not!).

One disappointment of the event was that my friend and I found the ultimate in ridiculous lolita accessories– cupcake scepters! And for only 800yen, of course we wanted them. Actually, the entire table they were at was stocked with cheap but adorable sweet-deco goods. Why was this disappointing? Because the entire time we were there, there was never a single person working at the table to sell us anything! How annoying. That scepter will haunt my dreams. Or maybe I’ll just email them and see if they can ship them… Anyway, the brand was Barahime, and you can see the scepters in question on their blog.

Anyway! I have rambled on long enough. The event was fun, if brief for me, and it was great to see some of the up-and-comers in the lolita world. I’m a fan of indies brands, and I think we should all support the good ones. All of the major brands in lolita fashion today started as small independant labels, and with the support of fans have managed to keep going. Good luck, little brands!

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Too much candy gonna rot your soul

Wow… it’s been a really really long time! Sorry!

candy
Anyway. The recent trend in lolita fashion has been sweets. I tried to resist for the longest time, but the sweets bug finally bit me as well. This is pretty logical though, since I AM a sweet lolita!

I also apparently enjoy arranging them for photos…
Anyway, the major brands for sweets jewelry in Japan are Ribbon Holic (which the necklace and hair clip pictured above are from, I just love them), Ribbon x Ribbon, Melonwhip, etc. Some of these brands are actually still pretty hard to find in Nagoya, and even in Osaka. I don’t really know about Tokyo. You have to look at select shops; in Nagoya, I’ve only found a modicum of items at select shops Bellino and Kick Out (which also carries the only Swimmer items that I’ve found here). You can also find a lot of these brands online; for example chocomint delivers, as usual.

These brands are kind of overpriced in my opinion. Their products are ridiculously cute of course, and high quality for what they are, but I actually think some of the artists who make their own are just as good, and much much cheaper.
Personally I am a fan of Ashlee, who is getting to be quite well-known as the go-to girl for reasonably priced adorable sweets goods. I recently commissioned her for a headband similar to the ones Melonwhip did for Kera magazine, because I couldn’t find them in any stores, and the result is just lovely:
headband
(photo credit goes to Ashlee)

I decided to try my hand at making sweets because I wanted to deco my DS lite, but all the cases you find are really expensive. I thought, NO WAY am I paying $40 for that! And so I went out and got some supplies to make my own sweets.
kits
There are actually a million options for kits, parts, and other things for making sweets in Japan because it’s quite the trend– not just for lolitas, but for everyone! Gyaru, junior high school girls, even some boys are going the deco route. As for the kits, I’m really happy with the “accessory wo tsukurou!” kit. I immediately made several cute little things. It was so easy!
cute
The “icing” made by the same brand leaves something to be desired. I got the standard caulk-type icing as well, but not a proper tip for it, and as a result made several huge messes and ended up wasting half of my resources!! In the end it might have been cheaper to just buy a premade one, but I’m not going to give up! I have all these little paper-clay cookies and stuff, I have to do something with them… hahahaha….
I guess the moral of this story is that these things are harder to make than you might think xD