March 23, 2009

One Last Post

Petit Four Press began as a month-long experiment for me in blogging and keeping my Japanese up, and when I hit the end of that first month your support and my schedule allowed me to continue it as a trial for another couple of months. Thank you all for your emails and support during that time.

Unfortunately, my schedule at my new job has more or less killed most of my free time, and along with it my chance to really keep this blog up and do it well, so this will be my last post here. I wish you all lots of frills and fun and will continue to see you around on LJ and Lolita-related events in NYC.

Thank you again and take care.

March 19, 2009

Meta Spring Fair Goodies

Metamorphose has updated with English information about its upcoming Spring Fair, where you can get a free Meta teddy bear and mug if you spend over 20,000 yen. The Fair begins on the 28th of this month.

March 18, 2009

Meta Deals and a Sneak Peek

For beginner or budget Lolitas, Metamorphose temps de fille now has several of their more basic dresses on sale for around $110 USD on their English site. These would be great to accessorize as they're a cleaner, simpler cut than most and you could have a lot of fun playing around with different looks. :)

Meta's also got a sneak peek at their latest upcoming collection, including shoes (cute buckle!), but they're just for looks as you can't reserve anything yet.

March 17, 2009

Back to School with Baby

In many Japanese schools, the year ends in March and begins again in April, which could be why Baby is rolling out their "School Cardigans" now. You can check out the Baby version or their two Alice and the Pirates cardigans on their shopping page.

They're also having a "Maiden's Secret Poisoned Apple" Fair, where if you spend more than 10,000 yen in-store starting the 20th of this month, or the 23rd for online orders, you can get a free hair barrette: you choose one or the other. Personally, I think this is the ugliest novelty I've seen in a while, but to each their own!

March 16, 2009

Fruity Cafe JSK Up Today...

Ok, that's enough rhyming: Angelic Pretty has five new things up today on their Japanese site, including the Sweet and somewhat subdued (for AP) Fruity Cafe JSK.

March 15, 2009

Cheap and Fun

For the Innocent World fans out there: They're now offering a cute and original 5-postcard set for under 1000 yen, a fun way to "collect" brand without having to fork over a kidney or two.

March 14, 2009

VM Ready For Spring

Victorian Maiden put up several new pieces today, including the very feminine and soft Petal of Chiffon Ribbon Dress. I'm a fan of the black version, but that's just the Goth in me. :D

(Does anyone else find their site slower than most, or is it just me?)

AP's Fruity Animal

Having apparently run out of adjectives for describing heavenly wonder, Angelic Pretty has now moved on to animals and fruit: witness their upcoming and super-Sweet Cherry Berry Bunny series available for reservation until March 22nd on their Japanese site.

If you're not the type to wait but want an injection of pure Sweet fruity goodness, check out their Fruity Cafe skirt, one of 8 new items put up today in the regular shopping section.

March 13, 2009

Alice's Name of the Rose

Baby the Stars Shine Bright's Alice and the Pirates has just put up a ton of new stuff, including the darker-feeling Name of the Rose JSK as well as a beautiful vest, skirt and headbow in the same print.

Baby also has a lighter, more casual Lawn Gingham JSK.

You can see all the new things and offer your wallet up for general sacrifice here.

March 12, 2009

Alice Gets Medieval

Declare your love for Alice and the Pirates with their new Castle Print T-shirt or parka, or pick up some Baby and AatP tableware on their freshly-updated shopping page.

March 11, 2009

AP Bringing Us Blouses

Angelic Pretty has put up a few more blouses on their Japanese site, including a Dream Doll Blouse, plus a "Merry Go Round Print Umbrella" available in several colors.

My personal favorites are the black/black version of the umbrella, which I feel looks better than the pale pink of some of the others paired with the bright pink printed design, and the Victorian Blouse with its large front bow.

March 10, 2009

Come to the Dark Side

8 new pieces from Atelier Boz are up, including a lovely and long "vest jacket" (available in both men's and women's versions) for those who favor Gothic or Aristocrat looks, as well as a simple and clean blouse that could work with a variety of styles. A shopping service is needed if you live overseas.

March 9, 2009

Caped Lolita!

Angelic Pretty seems to be updating their English site more lately, with a cute blouse-capelet combo going up today. Want more? Their Japanese site has new blouses, socks and hair accessories.

March 8, 2009

Community Feature: Photographer Nandi

This week Petit Four sits down to talk with Nandi, a popular female photographer based in Canterbury, UK.

Her influences include a number of things, mainly colour, alternative fashion and culture, and Japanese fashion. Nandi enjoys photographing alternative styles of Gothic & Lolita and especially likes mixing punk with Sweet Lolita.

How did you become interested in Lolita fashion, and what was your very first Lolita outfit?
I became interested in Lolita fashion through manga: original, I know. I loved CLAMP's artwork and just researched more into stuff like Chobits, which then lead me on to Lolita. This was about 4-5 years ago now.

My first Lolita outfit? An awful off-brand combo from Camden in London.

You photographed singer and Lolita model Kana back in 2008. What was it like working with her?
Great! She's really cute as well as a princess. She was easy to direct and fun to work with, at times it was hard to get things done as she was so busy - but I did get to spend a full day with her, even go to her hotel room! Not as glamerous as you may think, ha ha.

You mention alternative fashion as one of your big influences: What styles or designers do you like and why?
I love Vivienne Westwood. She's been an inspiration of mine for years. I love any fashion that catches my eye, Japanese street fashion, candy rave, punk... If I see a person who has dressed in a style really well, I will stop and take it in. I think fashion is a beautiful thing, it's great to see those who really put the effort in! This is why I never stick to photographing one style.

What is the most important thing for you to capture in your photographs?
Colour, depth and angles. Recently I have gotten into showing more emotion and facial expressions. When it comes to photographing Lolita I like to make sure it has shape - the bell of the dress and the fluffyness of the socks...anything to give the image something aesthetically nice to look at.

A shot from the "Wonderland" series

Which is your favorite Lolita shoot of your own, and which is your favorite out of others’ work?
My favourite is possibly Wonderland with Floz. It had been my most successful so far and has boosted my confidence massively as it was published in Bizarre magazine. As for my favourite from others? Probably every shoot that cake_injection does, I am in awe!

Do you have any tips for amateurs with point-and-click cameras who want to take better fashion photos?
Just try to keep it simple. Rules of thirds is something that can be done with any camera and can look great. I recomend looking it up. Also flash isn't always the answer - if the light is good enough try and avoid using direct flash as it is unflattering for the model and makes them look flat. Also, play with angles! You'd be surprised by how changing the angle can instantly change an image.

How about advice for those that want to become a pro like you?
I recomend saving up for a DSLR and look into working with semi-pro models on a TFP basis. From this you can slowly build your portfolio up and then start accepting paid shoots. I also recommend a good photographic class if you're serious about knowing your gear. It's a good feeling when you produce images you know you have worked hard to achieve.

A big thank you to Nandi for her time, and if you'd like to see more of her work, you can check it out in a few places:

March 7, 2009

Angelic Pretty Japanese Update

Purveyors of super-Sweet and occasionally over-the-top Angelic Pretty have put up 12 new items on their Japanese site today.

My personal favorite is the lovely Princess Ribbon Skirt, which could work with either Sweet or Hime.

March 6, 2009

Meta Gets Super Sweet

Metamorphose temps de fille brings us the truly Sweet Princess Crown Bouquet series skirts, socks and headdresses, now available in their English online shop and requiring no shopping service or knowledge of Japanese.

In Japan? Want to Sew With Baby?

Baby the Stars Shine Bright is teaming up with Vantan Design to offer a special "short course seminar" for 36,000 yen, where you get to, over a total of three days, choose what item you'd like to make out of a skirt, bonnet, or headdress, and actually make and produce your "original Baby" item using their lace, pattern paper, etc. and your own fabric you bring in.

The trick is that they updated today, the 6th, and the first day of the seminar is the 7th. Baby is a cruel, cruel mistress.

But good luck to anyone who can make it! :) (You need to call Vantan Design at the number listed to learn more).

March 4, 2009

Baby's Blooming for Spring

Baby the Stars Shine Bright put their Blooming Snow White JSK up for sale today, which includes wiring to "keep the lines looking nice" and comes in white, pink, light blue and black.

Other new stuff includes a gingham-check bolero, bracelet, socks, and pretty off-white dress, nice for a more Classic look (or Guro if you're a big spender ;) ). You can check them all out on their shopping page.

March 3, 2009

Angelic Pretty English Site Update!

Angelic Pretty has updated their English site with two new items, the Prim Girl Dress and Ribbon Tartan Dress.

Getting something off their English site can be like winning the lottery, considering the small amount of stock they reserve for it, so get your order in soon if you're interested!

March 2, 2009

Pirates Ahead!

Just in case your wallet isn't light enough from Baby's updating madness last week, Alice and the Pirates brings us a JSK and three pairs of long black shorts for your more Prince-ly days:

"Gather Frill JSK"
"Alex Pants"
"Rudolph Pants"
"Lamvers Pants"

March 1, 2009

Sucrerie's Second Issue

Sucrerie Magazine, a free Lolita e-magazine and grassroots effort from within the Western Lolita community, came out with their second issue today, 48 pages available for your reading pleasure here on their site.

I also penned an article for this issue on tips for better meet-ups (if anyone's curious, I'm the one in the top hat on the contributors' page in the back... but I am a woman, I promise. ;) ).

Sucrerie's got great energy and a mix of articles, photos and more, so if you have a chance I recommend checking them out.