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Posts Tagged ‘lolita’

Hey guys, had a little break for some real life stuff, but now I’m ready to show you my latest Lolita endeavor. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

Hard Rock Rococo

hand-gathered/elastic-gathered neckline

If Marie Antionette lived today and had a penchant for the macabre...

Hand-gathered ruffled hem

...she would wear this.

full shot of the dress front

Funny enough, most people notice the amazing *print* first (Alexander Henry, fyi)

full back of the dress

... and then they're surprised I made it myself! (Hopefully that doesn't mean the print is more interesting than my design! ^^; )

another shot of the dress front

I designed the dress, drafted all the patterns, and sewed and pleated the entire thing.

torso detail

I did some crazy cutting to make the pleats exactly how I wanted! I even made piping to go between the bodice and skirt.

I started Hard Rock Rococo in October – this gorgeous skulls/roses/card suit/fleur de lis/baroque/crowns/butterflies fabric was love at first sight for me. I actually designed the dress *for* the print. x3

I like to think of this dress as a study in contradictions. Sweet lolita but also Gothic, pink but macabre, tailored but tacky, artistic but absurd.

If you look closely at the white ruffling at the neckline and hem (remember, you can always click on a photo see it full size), you’ll see that it’s not pure white – rather, it’s white-on-white printed fabric. I love the delicate, subtle detail this stuff adds to a project – I don’t think I’ll use plain white fabric ever again! <3

I will make or commission a feather fascinator to go with this, possibly involving a bird skull (found or replica). But for now, I have my Scala top hat and my vintage pearl choker to come along for the ride. ^^ I officially debuted this dress at the Marquis of Vaudeville promo appearance at the Steampunk Evening event in Irving last month!

So, what do you think? Awful or Awesome? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

Naomi

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So, yesterday, Ashley and I headed over to Lulu B’s Antique/Consignment store in Dallas. I wore this:

me wearing the Alice Cards dress

I designed, drafted, and sewed the entire thing. It was finished before I went to Japan last summer. :3 Photo by Kuragiman!

I also wore my black bowler hat for that extra bit of English whimsy. -w-

After finding the PERFECT jacket for an upcoming project, Ashley took me home, and my Uncle and I visited the DPS (which, oddly enough, looks exactly like I’d imagine a fallout-proof army bunker). But even the crowded Drivers License Office can be interesting when you’re wearing an interesting dress!

I knew that the more general “audience” at the DPS might react to my attire strangely, so it didn’t surprise me when a young black man smoking outside the building muttered a “what… the hell? O_o; ” as I passed by in my puffy glory. But what followed *did* surprise me a lot!

A couple minutes later, the same young man came in from his smoke break. He saw me sitting and, for one reason or another, decided to sit next to me. He continued to stare at the dress. “In case you’re wondering, I made it,” I said. Even though it was a bit difficult to understand his urban accent, the rest of our conversation was really cool. It turned out that he *loved* the dress, especially the card suite/crowns theme. He showed me that he had the outline of an Ace of Spades tattoo on his arm, with a crown resting on the corner. Since the tattoo was unfinished, he was looking at my dress for inspiration for the details! :D In fact, the conversation inspired me to design a card-themed men’s shirt…

The moral of that story is: be friendly to everyone! Even the people who initially respond negatively to your work, or even just respond with confusion, are AT SOME LEVEL interested in it. Treat every questioning party like their interested, and you will find that they are!!

After that inspiring conversation, I began to take note of the small, but deliberate style choices in the sea of jeans-and-tee-shirt-wearers. Crew socks pulled tight above basketball shoes, showing off a logo. A tee shirt tucked in at the front to show off a special belt buckle. A particularly cute print on a set of nurse scrubs. Cowboy boots under jeans. Even those terrible, too-loose short worn low on the hips are a declaration, a glimmer, of personal style. I might not agree with the style, but I acknowledge it. Actually, it’s somewhat of a relief. I was beginning to be under the impression that we lazy Americans didn’t want to be bothered with any kind of self-expression.

Or perhaps I am being too optimistic. I speculate that the socks, low shorts, and belt buckles are just more imports from the L.A. ghettoes, popularized through rap music videos. >_>; It’s another way of following the herd… but at least it’s a somewhat special herd – one that is united by a form of music, a lifestyle, a political view.  I’m sure that some of my friends could speak at length about the bovine mentality of American youth, but I choose to find the positive in this case (a big step for me… I used be a total pessimist).

Either way, I might have been wearing a bowler hat and an Alice dress yesterday, but I don’t think that means that I have any more desire to express myself sartorially than the average person. My Act of Dressing simply means that I have more will.

It’s also interesting how different occupations’ advances in clothing and sewing tools might help me in my own endeavors. EMTs use “Trauma Shears” that can quickly cut through any fabric – super-useful for leather, I imagine. Nurses wear ultra-comfy shoes for long hours of standing. And denim fades beautifully when worn from the wrong side of the fabric… :D

Always write down every idea, even if it doesn’t seem like a good one now. Sometimes today’s “crappy idea” will come in useful in a month or two. That’s why I always keep paper and pencil (or at least a phone that can save draft text messages) with me. I even keep my sketchbook next to me when I sleep, since so many of my best ideas come to me when I’m nodding off.

Anyway, I leave you for today with these things in mind. Keep on creating!!

Love,

Naomi

P.S. I just finished another TeeWrex, only this one isn’t made from a tee-shirt! I can’t wait to show you, but until then, mum’s the word. ;D

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It’s what I was made to do. When I was 7, I was obsessed with Sailor Moon and I acquired a Sailor Moon-themed shoebox (not the shoes). I would stare at it for hours, imagining how I would put together my very own sailor costume and fight crime… and in 2003, I made my first Cosplay for my first Anime convention. I made one for my sister, too. For a long time, that was all I sewed – costumes from anime and video games. And I got pretty good…

Me modeling my Fairy Paine cosplay

Fairy Paine from Kingdom Hearts 2. Photo by Eternal Serenity

But eventually, I made this:

Me wearing my first lolita dress

Modified from a commercial pattern. Gored skirt with ruffles galore! Photo by RabidFanBoy.com

This is Lolita fashion, my number-one muse for the past 3 or four years. Lolita is a Japanese street fashion that takes its cues from Victorian girl’s fashion, antique dolls, and Versailles-era Rococo. It can be Gothic, Sweet, Classic,  or Casual, but it is always modest and always has a knee-length skirt with a fluffy pannier/petticoat underneath. I have since progressed from simple dresses and blouses from modified patterns, to making my own patterns and using wild fabrics:

Me posing in my Alice dress

This fabric features Alice in Wonderland characters inside gold-trimmed playing cards. Definitely my best work 'til now. Photo by Kuragiman

I also do t-shirt reconstructions, which I like to call Tee-Wrex. I “wreck” otherwise boring or ill-fitting tee-shirts into one-of-a-kind creations! (I take commissions, too. ;) )

Apocalyptica tour tee reconstruction

"Wrecked" Apocalyptica tour tee. I corseted the sides! Photo by Kuragiman.

I still cosplay from time-to-time, though. My latest effort got Best in Show at the All-Con 2010 Cosplay contest!

Me wearing my Myoubi cosplay

Myoubi from the manga Alichino. I had to "get pale" for this one. xD Photo by PhongoPhotography

So, right now I’ve got some really awesome projects. I’m working on another original Lolita design (it’s an incredible one…), and I’m working on the costumes for the local band Marquis of Vaudeville! They’ve got this amazing turn-of-the-century, psychedelic rock vibe… I highly recommend them. :D As a treat, here’s the designs and fabric swatches for each member of the band!!

Fashion designs for Marquis of Vaudeville costumes

From top to bottom: Toby the vocalist, Bryan the guitarist, Tyrel the (South African) bassist, and Phil the (Mohawk'd) drummer

With that introduction, this blog will mostly be about my progress on these and other projects. Stay tuned for more Tee-Wrex, band costumes, and Lolita! :D

With Love,

Naomi, a.k.a. Kagitsune

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