Poppy Noir ♥ Kathleen

Pastel raindrops on a sunny day

donderdag 10 mei 2018

In memoriam of the amazing time we had // 10 day Lolita Challenge

While being in the fashion for over a decade I can say I had my fair share in attending meetings, tea parties and events. It is really difficult to pick only two from all the special memories I have with the amazing people I've met along the way. Living in Belgium, Europe sure is a big advantage. I can travel to different countries in a heart beat which is something that I love to do. I've been to France, Germany, England and of course The Netherlands for events and meetings. 

Traveling for an event is just half the part of the fun especially when you can do it with a lot of your friends. When I went to London for Dream Masquerade Carnival I traveled together with my Husband and my dear friend Liv who is a true angel. I also traveled together with Saltje a fellow Belgian Lolita to Frankfurt for a tea party a couple of times and with Lise an other Belgian Lolita to Amsterdam for a tea party and the Dutch Under the Sea, Street Fashion Europe event as well. 

But even with these special memories of traveling it is the magic of the event, meeting or tea party itself that add that extra special touch to the memories of that time. 

Enough rambling about traveling let's see which event is in my top 2 of moments to remember. 

Lolita Kawaii Weekend, The Netherlands July 2013

I still remember this event like it was yesterday, it was my first real big event that I was going to attend in a different country. I lived in the Netherlands for about 5 years before I moved back to Belgium in 2012. While I was living in the Netherlands I was also a part of the Dutch lolita community but I never many meetings from the Dutch community back then. Though I wasn't that active in the lolita community back then I did knew a few of the lolita girls in person through a similar hobby which are BJD dolls. Back in the days it was very common to bring your dolls to a lolita meeting. So a lot of girls collected these gorgeous dolls and joined BJD meetings as well. 

It was really nice that the organisers had an option to book an hotel together when ordering your tickets. This way it was really easy for us to get to the event without any extra headaches of finding a hotelroom since it was a two day event in the middle of summer. And that's what we did, we went for the ticket + hotel option for the event. 
Since I had good contact with the girl that was organising this event we decided to have breakfast together. Soon after that the two special guests for the event joined us to at our breakfast table. I was sleeping and eating in the same hotel as Misako Aoki and RinRin Doll how amazing is that. 

We had a chat with them and I learned them some dutch words and an easy sentence which they later on used to say hello to everyone at the event. I was so surprised on how well RinRin was able to pick up the dutch words. But Misako did great too! 
At the event itself we received little gifts from Japan en both Misako and RinRin did a lecture on their favourite places in Japan which was so interesting and unique too. 

In the evening after the tea party we had a lolita dance party and fashion competition. We had a singing performance from Misako with her single マエパツヒマカ(Maepatsu Himeka) and RinRin had three songs to perform that evening, her original song Kira Kira Dreaming and two covers Ram no love song and Oyasumi kiss me. We danced along with both performances and danced till late that evening. It was such a great time!

At this event I also met a lot of the German lolita community which I still see at events these days. Though some of them are retiring from lolita but I still speak them sometimes when I see them in Germany or at the past events. 
On the second day of the event we went to a castle with a gorgeous garden where we had a picknick. This is when I learned about the fact that all the clothes from both RinRin and Misako are rented and need to stay as neatly as possible. Their suitcases where filled with clothes wrapped in clear plastic bags, the ones your receive when you order a new dress. And it got me thinking of why this was so I kindly asked about it. At the hotel we had some breakfast chats again on this day to before it was time to leave for the second day. 

I look back at this event with a big smile on my face, this is the day where I met the German lolita community, two Japanese models (which was a big deal) at that time and I went to my first big event. So this needed to be in my top 2. 

Want to read the full blogpost about this event?

Grand Lolita Tea Party, Germany June 2015

So I'm not sure why I include this event in my top 2 of most favourite events but when I look back at it there where some magical moments for me to remember. And that is because I was able to meet Aya Nimura from Victorian Maiden. Oh boy I was in heaven when I saw her for the first time at the tea party. Like I mentions many times before my love for Victorian Maiden is out of this world. If it wasn't for the sizing issues I would have a closet full of VM dresses and accessories. 

On the day before the event I traveled together with my dear friend Josine and my Husband to Hamburg Germany. It was a long ride but we had lots of fun along the way. Our journey started out amazing, we had a great hotel room and sushi for dinner on the first night in Hamburg. 
The first day of the event was amazing as well, we went early to the event cause there where some difficulties with the Anime Matsuri team. But overall it didn't ruin the fun we had in the time before the guests arrived. I met a lot of new people thanks to Josine who knew a lot girls from the UK while I introduced Josine to some of the people I already knew. 

But everything was pretty normal and a great event until we had the opportunity to ask the guests some questions. I really wanted to ask Aya Nimura about the sizing problems we western girls run into but where I mostly run into when looking at their collections. Though the only problem is I get super stressed out from being in the spotlight and speak to someone while everyone is listening. So I started to panic when I raised my hand and the microphone was coming my way. I was shaking on my legs, my voice was going up and down, I lost my words and I stuttered like crazy while I was asking the questions. After I asked my question I sat down again, tried to control my tears with no succes and listened to her answer. The people around me started to praise me for my question and tried to calm me down again after this shock. 

The event went on like nothing happened with me and I took photo's with the guests and some of my friends. After the tea party we where guided to a different room where we where able to take photo's with the guests and get an autograph if we wanted or by the books from Misako. This moment I was walking around with Liese, a fellow Belgian Lolita who also joined us in Hamburg at the event and after a big yes no discussion she convinced me to ask Aya Nimura for an autograph. As shaky as I was while asking the question at the tea party I was yet again super stressed out about the fact I was able to talk to her again and ask for an autograph. The moment I asked my question and she said yes after some hesitation I started to tear up again as she was writing her name on my card. She told me this was her first autograph for someone else which made it even more special for me. While I was trying to keep my teary eyes to myself she saw that I was in tears and started to hug me and offerend me a tissue. This moment is one of those embarrassing yet emotional moments that you will look back on with the biggest smile on your face. 

Meeting Aya Nimura is definitely my highlight of this event. And I don't regret a single moment of that day. 

Want to ready the full report of this event? 

woensdag 9 mei 2018

Lolita fashion and coping with a chronic illness

This was not the best start of getting back into the habit of blogging like I planned in my last post. But today I have a bit of energy left to pick it up again. 
My health has been going up and down in the past months which had a big influence on my mood and motivation to do anything lolita related besides wearing it in a casual way with a messy bun and no make up. Being in such a slump is always a wake up call for me. I tend to rethink the things I've done in the past months, if I should sell my dresses in order to make up for not wearing it to meetings and events. Or just quit with the whole thing and focus on self care and the things that bring me joy at that time. Which isn't being on facebook or instagram or even looking up new releases in online stores. 

I love lolita fashion a lot and wear it almost every week, in some weeks even everyday. It is my fashion of choice and it is me. But feeling like crap and not having the positive energy to spread my passion on social media with new coords really does something with me. My coords don't feel good enough, they look boring and just out of place. I feel like a pig in my coords even when I know that I am at my lightest at the moment and it is still slowly moving down if I put my mind to it. It just doesn't feel right in these times, like I don't deserve the kindness or the gorgeous dresses in my wardrobe. 

Luckily in the past weeks my health and motivation got a little bit better. From January till mid April I went to a neuropathist to rule out if I had any kind of nerve damage or disease and to a cardiologist to see if my heart was still doing ok cause I had some issues with fainting out of the blue. I went from hospital visit to hospital visit for all kinds of body scans, heart tests and physical tests. I was also send to a physiotherapist to help me with my chronic headaches. My symptoms got a bit better thanks to my physiotherapist and I found some energy back. Which resulted in me going back to work after being home for almost 3 months. Currently I'm also going to an osteopath so see why I'm not making enough progress with the physiotherapy. It is a long way to get back to a healthier life but I'm getting there slowly even though it is a bumpy ride with many big holes in it. 

As for lolita fashion, my love for it will never die that's for sure. But I do have some down moments from time to time. It is those moments where I feel like giving up on everything regarding the fashion just because I can't handle the daily battles of my health at that moment. Having to deal with an unstable health sure brings a lot of troubles along the way. You never know how tomorrow is going to be or even a couple of hours from now. 

I am thankful for everything even my terrible health at some points. This made me who I am today, most of the time a positive spirit bursting from energy when I'm meeting up with friends or go to events. Even when I feel like giving up, have no energy left in me or have lots of pain, it doesn't matter as long as I can be surrounded by the people I care about the most and the fashion I love. 

This blogpost turned out a bit heavier than I was planning to in the beginning. But somehow I feel like I wanted to share this part of my life to with my readers of this blog. Most of my health updates are shared on my facebook which isn't open to people I don't know in person. So sharing it on here is a bit of a gamble, but you don't live your life to the fullest if you don't try to change yourself for a better version of you and if you don't chase your dreams. 

Please let me know if you would like to read more about how I deal with my limitations while going to events, meetings or while traveling. 
I know I find it helpful to learn more about these topics so maybe you do to. 

vrijdag 16 maart 2018

Why is Angelic Pretty one my favourite brands? // 10 day Lolita Challenge

On day one there was a lolita brand that caught my eye. Yes as some of you might already know deep inside Victorian Maiden is my treasure and got me into the fashion with their classic designs and rococo feeling. But is was Angelic Pretty that truly pushed me into the style that I love the most, sweet lolita. Angelic Pretty is a dream brand for every sweet lolita lover out there. But also if you have a classic style, Angelic Pretty can still be your thing.  

I still remember the day I received my first Angelic Pretty set in 2012 I believe, it was a second hand Memorial Cake OP set with the matching headbow and socks. I've lost enough weight to finally fit into shirred Angelic Pretty pieces and this was such a magical feeling to me. Since I was dreaming of that day since the very start of my lolita journey back in 2006. 

Until this day Angelic Pretty is the brand I own the most items from, follow every single release and get butterflies from it every time I wear my dresses from this amazing brand. Though I must say they do tend to re-use their design ideas a lot like the generic cherry release every single year but I still think they have unique designs and cater to a lot of different themes within their fashion brand. 
Going from sea themed pieces to royal crown, to pastries and back to religious themes or just a plain sky print. And not to forget to mention their solid color items, they are to dye for! Have you seen their latest piece with the long tule overskirt that has a larme feel to it, it is called Otome no Tutu Doll It is such a stunning piece. 

Angelic Pretty be as amazing as you are! I keep falling in love with your designs over and over again. Just like I did with your last release, Sugar Candy Shop! Too bad I don't have any room to spend my money on a new release this year. So maybe one day I'll get my hands on a sax or white JSK with the matching accessories! 

vrijdag 16 februari 2018

Solid or Prints, what is my favourite?

When you first start out with lolita fashion you need to make the most important choice of the day. Are you going to go for the non printed dress with lots of detail or are you more of a novelty themed person and go for the fun and bright prints with berries, cakes, castles or other cute items on your dress.

It all depends on the fact what your purpose is going to be for that specific piece and of course what style you want to wear in the future. Most lolita girls like to use non printed simple dresses for work like the ones Innocent World offers. They have a minimal amount of ribbons but still look really put together. While if you are more of an event person you can choose to go for the printed dresses that fit the theme for example. 

As I look at my wardrobe the majority are printed dresses, which I also use as casual dresses since my own solid dresses are no wear near suitable for every day coords. 
When I first started out with lolita I bought a pink non printed gingham dress with minimal details on it while my second dress was going to be Memorial Cake by Angelic Pretty which futures cakes and flowers. I was super happy with my first dress but my second dress was the one that got me the most. All those details in the print and there was so much to see. 

That is why I love printed pieces so much, you have so much details in the print and discover something new every single time you look at it. Cause you don't remember every single thing that is on there. I've made a video from one of my newest dresses "Welcome to the Sweets Hexenhaus" to show all the lovely details in the print. If you have time please check it out. 

With solid pieces you have the amazing ruffles, bows and other details that make the dress pop but to be honest I like the princess type of solid dresses over the clean and simple solid pieces especially for events and meetings. 

In the end it is a question of preference and what you are going for. As an OTT sweet lolita I absolutely adore the versatility of a good printed dress where I can use different pieces and colors from the print into my coord. While when I make coords with my solid pieces I tend to stick with the same simple coords over and over again.
Though there are some amazing girls out there who do magical things with solid pieces but it just doesn't fit my own style that well or maybe I should look into that style a bit more... Who knows what happens in 2018!

This post is in collaboration with the lolita blog carnival
More posts about this topic:

vrijdag 9 februari 2018

How to make the perfect wardrobe post // 5 easy steps

Wardrobe posts, you either love making them or hate the fact that you want to make one but don't feel like putting up with the effort that goes into making one. As for myself I'm definitely on the last group!

But unlike every other year I've made the effort into making a wardrobe post this year. My first wardrobe post was one that I am not proud of at all when I look back at it. It is lacking in quality, details and especially it doesn't represent me. It feels empty and plain. Nothing wrong with plain wardrobe posts don't get me wrong here but pairing that with the other missing factors it isn't something that I'm proud of.

Now I don't going to tell you to buy the newest camera on the market or to invest in something that makes your wardrobe post stand out a bit more. But I am going to share 5 tips on how you can make your own version of a perfect wardrobe.

Daylight is your best light source

We all know that you need some light in order to make a photo. All light sources have different colors going from a more blue tone to a more yellow tone. This shade will reflect on your actual photo. With daylight you sit right in between the blue and yellow tones which gives you the perfect representation of your actual dress without the need of adjusting your photo's through a photo editing app. 
Also this light source is free and available all day, the only thing you need is a window in front of your photo spot. 

Other than having daylight in your room is the placement of your photo corner also an important factor to keep in your mind. The best placement of your camera is going to be in between the window and the things you want to make photo's off. This gives the best overall lightning and no harsh shadows. 

Left = facing my window
Middle = window on the side
Right = window behind me

As you can see the lighting differs in all the three photo's and they where made in the same moment with my phone.  

Don't rush your photo making progress

This one is so easily to forget but please take your time when making the photo's. Make sure your dresses lay correctly, no weird folds or ribbons left untied. All these small details pay for themselves in the end. When you take your time to properly display your pieces in every photo you will enjoy working your way through it when making the actual wardrobe post. You find yourself in awe over your dresses and see all the little details just like the stock photo's of brands like Angelic Pretty or Baby, the stars shine bright. 

With my own wardrobe post this year I started rushing through things when I was getting tired after multiple hours of shooting my items. And it really shows, at least I see the flaws in the photo's. Blouses that where a bit wonky, dresses not hanging straight on my dressing doll or even weird pleats in the skirts where the lining of my dress was all scrunched up underneath.  I needed to redo some of these photo and still some slipped through! 

It was better for me to spread the process over multiple days instead of one evening. But I wanted to finish it that night before I wanted to go to bed. This was the worst idea ever and it shows in my eyes. 

Small items are even smaller on photo

Dresses show up really when on photo cause they are big and you can fill up the frame really well without skipping out on the details of a print. When it comes to smaller items like jewellery you need to take a different approach. The moment you put all your necklaces in one shot you loose a lot of detail. In my first wardrobe post I places all the same type of items in the same shot, so all headbows together, same for socks and necklaces for example. This ended in one giant mess and a wow effect on how much stuff I had instead of showing off the details of the items. For my wardrobe post this year I took the time to place for example my necklaces in pairs of 4 together for a close up shot. Same for my headbows, placed by brand or color palet with a max of 5 if I'm correct. This was aesthetically pleasing and a lot easier on the eye. 

Top: Old wardrobe post on LJ
Bottom: New wardrobe post on my blog

You don't need to post in Januari

Back in the day when the lolita community was mostly active on Livejournal Januari was the month where you could post your wardrobe. This was the theme of the month! Though times changed and we aren't active on Livejournal that much, people post their wardrobes on Facebook, personal blogs, instagram or make youtube videos about their wardrobe. Some still use livejournal to show off their wardrobe but the amount is a lot less than it used to be. 
With this change comes the time frame when people post their wardrobes. I wanted to add this point after seeing a video on youtube where a girl talked about the fact that she wasn't going to make a wardrobe video yet. She explained that she used the wardrobe posts to look back on the past year and to reflect on how her wardrobe has evolved over the year and what dresses she is going to let go. But this was something she does at the end of the year instead the beginning of a new one. 

This made me think about the whole wardrobe month and the deadline we all put on ourselves. You don't need to finish all your photo's in January, you can start in the middle of the year if you want. You also don't need to post your wardrobe in January, there is still February of even December like the girl in the video so you can look back on the past year. Don't focus on just one month, if you can't finish it in time no one gets killed for it. Yes it is nice to expect all the wardrobe posts of your friends or the people you follow online in Januari but I also think it would be way better to have one wardrobe post in a year instead of none.

Not everything needs to go on the photo

A wardrobe post is a representation of your wardrobe but this doesn't mean that you need to put everything on the photo for the sake of making a wardrobe post. This is a rookie mistake I think and definitely something I learned along the way. Sure you can make photo's of every single item you own but do you want to show off those simple cardigans you wear on a daily base or all the non printed tights you wear with your dresses? I know I don't want to show that to other people. When I look at myself, I love looking at wardrobe posts where there are pretty items on display. Dresses, Brand socks, unique cardigans, jewellery or even special shoe designs. I'm not really interested to see a collection of forever21 blouses or plain white tights with dirty spots at the soles. I made this mistake myself with my first wardrobe post as I thought that I needed to make photo's of everything that I owned or used while wearing lolita. Going from plain tights to thrift store blouse that I didn't wear or older items that looked pretty dead in the picture. If an items doesn't look good on the photo rethink for a second if it adds something to your post or not. 

This year I picked only my dresses and combined them with the blouses I wear the most, accessories, headpieces, brand socks and handbags. This selection filled up both my time as well as my wardrobe post pretty well. And I feel that I'm not missing anything this time. I look back at my photo's with a smile on my face and see how well everything is showing without showing off some older items or items that I don't really use in coords like tote bags or hats. 

You have to deal with a big mess

So a little bonus tip from yours truly, be prepared for a giant mess if you are like me! 
I knew I had a lot of stuff but when I pulled everything out after making the photo's I realised how much stuff I actually gathered over the years. 
As I wasn't putting my items away after each photo I ended up standing in the middle of a giant pile of lolita items. Spreaded over my bed, into the corners of my room and everything was one big mess. Though putting everything away while making the photo's wasn't an option either cause it would mean that it would only take a lot longer. And if you remember I said that I was doing this in the evening a couple of hours before going to bed. Not so smart Poppy, not so smart! 
Luckily my dear friend Josine would come the day after and we decluttered my room together in the afternoon. Putting everything back in place and organising my closet again. While she enjoyed taking a closer look at all the pieces in my wardrobe I enjoyed the reorganisation of my wardrobe. It was a lovely afternoon! 

The battle zone of my 2018 wardrobe post

I hope to see you next time for a new post! 

This post is in collaboration with the Lolita Blog Carnival
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