February 28, 2009

February 27, 2009

Sneak Peek at Meta's Surprise Party

Metamorphose temps de fille updated today with details and pictures of their new Surprise Party series, which will be available for reservation beginning March 14th at midnight, Japan time (when it changes over from the 13th to 14th).

February 26, 2009

Jolie Chose Spring Lucky Packs

Western brand Jolie Chose is running a lucky pack sale from now until the 28th, with four packs focusing on accessories available in a variety of colors. Prices start at $30, and there is a custom pack available as well, which allows the customer to mix and match what they'd like in their set.

Jolie Chose designer Cryssy, best known as talia_speaks on Livejournal, told Petit Four that these packs are "new designs, and are sure to make a statement with any coordinte. The Ultimate Pick and Save is the best value, with more bang for your buck, since you get to pick everything."

Accessorize with Angelic Pretty

Angelic Pretty brings glitter to the party with eight sparkly new accessories put up for sale today, including a "Dot Love Heart" bracelet, ring and headbow.

February 25, 2009

New Pieces From Atelier Boz

Atelier Boz just updated today with new pieces for the darker at heart, including an interesting long skirt and shorts combination for both men and women. Overseas customers will need a shopping service, as they don't process international orders.

February 23, 2009

Get Creative With Angelic Pretty

Who doesn't like to color? From now until March 1st, as part of their Sugary Sugary Fair, if you purchase 15,750 yen or more in-store, Angelic Pretty will give you a free novelty coloring book and a set of crayons.

February 22, 2009

Marui's Revamped International Web Store

If you haven't already, check out Marui's newly redone English shopping page, featuring more goodies and a new name: "Marui Web Channel International." You can shop in English and get select items shipped internationally from such brands as Moi-même-Moitié, Angelic Pretty, Emily Temple Cute, Metamorphose temps de fille, h. Naoto, Black Peace Now and Victorian Maiden.

February 21, 2009

Baby's Black Rose

A black version of the Versailles Rose JSK is now available from Baby the Stars Shine Bright, along with a blouse, bonnet, vest and pants. Each item is listed under the 2/20 entry on their shopping page here.

Baby customers who spend more than 12,000 yen in-store can now also get their Spring/Summer '09 catalog, which you can also buy for 525 yen separately.

February 20, 2009

New York's FIT Exhibit - Gothic: Dark Glamour

Those of you in the New York area may have already heard of the Fashion Institute of Technology's Gothic: Dark Glamour exhibit, but I wanted to give my own review.

In short, I highly recommend it to Lolitas who may be curious about their own fashion's cousin and chronological forebear, Goth, and are looking for a fun and free thing to do this weekend, the exhibit's final days. (Lolita itself, specifically the misnomered "Elegant Gothic Lolita", appears as a footnote in the exhibit, but is definitely not the central focus.) There are a ton of darkly beautiful dresses, a neat set-up for the different areas of the exhibit, and a chance to see h. Naoto displayed in FIT alongside designers like Balenciaga and Lagerfeld. ;)

For those of you outside of New York, you can experience an online version here.

Last night, through the kind gift of a family friend, I had the pleasure of being part of a guided tour, led by the wonderful Dr. Valerie Steele, curator of not only the exhibit but the entire FIT museum.

As a Goth since the mid-1990's, I was curious to see how an "outsider" would approach a subculture and fashion I have loved and participated in for so long, and Dr. Steele led us on an educated, objective look at the evolution of the idea of "Gothic" from the first classic novels written hundreds of years ago all the way through the UK's famous Batcave nightclub, working in fashion from the original Victorian cult of mourning through the runway looks of high-end designers like Galliano and Gaultier to dresses from Lip Service and shoes from Fluevog. Themes I had always seen and known to be "Goth" from my own experiences were explained and displayed in scholarly terms: the Haunted House, the Laboratory, the Ruined Castle, all hearkening back to the first novels, paintings and works that explored the themes of terror, decay and decadence.

I really liked a particular quote of Dr. Steele, as she discussed the Dandy style (of hundreds of years ago, not just the Lolita version): there were dark Dandies, fastidious ones, and "sweet" ones, ones that bordered on looking too effeminate for the society of the day. But what they all had in common, she said, was that "to be seen was to be". The look you created for yourself made you what you were, so why not be beautiful?

This also led into a discussion of how Goth is a completely artificial fashion. Most fashions and styles try to fool the eye or pretend that they're natural beauty, but Goth is purposefully artificial. It's a world created by the wearer, a conscious decision to project an image. I thought that idea of boldly and beautifully creating perfection in the eyes of the wearer was a sentiment many Lolitas would understand. :)

So if you have a minute online or time in the city this weekend, check Gothic: Dark Glamour out. It's a fun and free experience and chance to get an unbiased, objective look at the dark and lovely world of Goth.

Saluting Meta's Regimental Stripes

Metamorphose temps de fille just updated today with a bunch of new items featuring their "Regimental Striped" pattern, which could be worked into military-inspired Lolita, Gothic, Aristocrat or even Steampunk looks. The online English shop is offering the skirts only, while those with access to Japanese ordering can find matching blouses as well.

February 19, 2009

Marui One - Final Store Details and Grand Opening Offers!

The Marui brand of department stores likes to shift things around every few years regarding their Shinjuku branches, and Friday the 20th will reopen the former Marui City 2 as Marui One, featuring many of the Lolita and Goth brands you know and love. The former Marui One is now Marui Curren, as a side note.

Here's the full shop list in the new Marui One. You can click on different floors to see the exact layout.

What you'll find on each floor:

1. Funky Street Star, Kaijuu Buruu, Kasuu Studio, Space One and One Labo (event spaces), Quolomo

2. Code Headwear, Crisp, FRUiTS MiX,Yellow 96

3. Cantwo, Emily Temple Cute, Nanea, Peach Club

4. Jesus Diamante, LeLe Junie Moon, Kanzashi-ya Wargo, Mamechiyo Modern, Rou Rou

5. Two shoe sections, Alice Auaa, Artherapie, Excentrique, Jane Marple

6. Alice and the Pirates, Black Peace Now, h. Naoto (with their sub-brand sixh now inside the Naoto store rather than on its own), Peace Now, Sexy Dynamite London

7. Angelic Pretty, Atelier Boz, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Girls’ Room (event space), Kera Shop Angel (with Moi Meme Moitie inside it rather than on its own), Metamorphose

8. Kera Shop Arena, Zealink

3-1-20 Shinjuku
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo


How to get there:
It’s a short-ish walk from Shinjuku Station. On this older English map, you’re heading for the spot marked 01 (Marui) City 2 (which has since been renamed to 01 (Marui) One).

Who has special Grand Opening offers?

All of the brands offering special items or deals for the opening day can be seen and clicked on here.

Lolita/Lolita-friendly brands with offers include:

Atelier Boz
Angelic Pretty
Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Emily Temple Cute
h. Naoto

February 18, 2009

Atelier Boz Coming to Shinjuku's New Marui One

Gothic and Aristocrat-friendly brand Atelier Boz is opening a Shinjuku branch in the Marui One department store, joining a host of other alternative brands in the newly remodeled and relocated space. Doors open this Friday!

February 17, 2009

Baby Gift for Paris Shoppers

To celebrate the 2-year anniversary of their Paris shop on February 22, Baby the Stars Shine Bright will give a free limited edition "Bunny Bear-chan Heart Cushion" to Paris customers who spend over 200 euros, beginning on February 21st.

In a rare twist of fate, this item is not available to Baby's customers in Japan: only Paris customers. ;)

February 16, 2009

Have Tea With Innocent World in Nagoya

As posted about back in January, to celebrate their second-year anniversary, the Nagoya store of Innocent World will be having a tea party in March.

The details are now in! From March 1 to March 15, if you spend more than 15,750 yen, you can receive a free ticket to the party, which will be on March 15, with doors opening at 2:30pm and the event starting at 3pm. (Tickets required for entry.)

The location is: 名古屋栄ノバ8階 仏蘭西館 (Nagoya Hae Nova, 8th Floor, Furansu Kan? Apologies, but I'm not familiar with Nagoya.)

Their most popular models will be at the party, and they'll have a display of the wedding dress looks featured in their fashion show last year, as well as a collection of photos of previous models.

February 15, 2009

Jane Marple Spring/Summer Collection

Today Jane Marple brought us a ton of updates to their website, including looks at their spring/summer collections (Collection 1 and 2). (Despite the tantalizing presence of real English in their online flip books for the collection, you'll need a shopping service if you live overseas as they don't handle international orders.)

February 14, 2009

Peace Now's Free Gift For Your Dinner Table

If you're in Tokyo on the 20th of this month, and can make it to Peace Now/Black Peace Now's renewal opening in the new Marui City location (renewal site of many other Japanese Lolita and Goth brands as well), customers on the 20th will get either a free butterfly tote bag (for PN purchases) or your very own set of brand chopsticks (for BPN purchases).

February 13, 2009

Huge Sale and Pirate Pack from Baby!

Baby the Stars Shine Bright's Alice and the Pirates is currently offering lucky packs for 12,600 yen. While most have already sold out, you can still get a cute pink one here. From Baby about the packs:

"We started to sell the Alice and the Pirates lucky pack. Don't miss it!! We're sorry but we cannot accept the order for the lucky pack by e-mail. Please use the shopping cart system."

If you're not in a mood to join Alice and her crew, how about checking out their new sale instead? They have an OP, skirts, a blouse, knits, accessories and more, with, for example, the sale coats are going for as low as 16,800 yen and JSKs as low as 11,970 yen.

"We started the sale. Don't miss it!! We're sorry but we cannot accept the order for the sale products by e-mail. Please use the shopping cart system."

February 12, 2009

New Pleated Blouse From Meta

Metamorphose temps de fille updated today with a brand new "Pleated Blouse" (Puri-tsu Burausu) available in both white, off-white and black for 12,390 yen (tax included). You can take a look at their new arrivals page for more info and photos.

February 11, 2009

Blasphemina's Closet, Megan Maude and More Coming to NYC

If you're near the New York area, circle March 21st on your calendar if you haven't already.

Organizers for the decadent Dances of Vice events will hold a formal spring ball on March 21st in New York City called "Le Sacre du Printemps". Lolita designers Blasphemina's Closet and Megan Maude will be there, among others, to show their lines.

Admission is $25 and the event is all ages. As a note, it's just about impossible to be overdressed at a DoV event. So if you've been waiting for your chance to wear or make your frilliest, nicest outfits, this is it!

February 10, 2009

Baby's Blooming Snow White Series and Merry Sweet Cake Freebie!

Baby the Stars Shine Bright updated today with two new JSKs and novelty news:

Blooming Snow White print JSKs are now available for reservation, and will come in around late February/early March.

And beginning February 16th (Monday), if you place an order of 25,000 yen or more, you'll receive a free cell phone strap as part of their Merry Sweet Cake Fair, for as long as supplies last. (Sales items are not included.)

If you need help hitting that 25,000 yen total, check out their shopping page as they've added five new items in the last two days, including a Sweet Heart Heart Mirror and a more Classic and simple off-white JSK.

February 9, 2009

Angelic Pretty Jewelry Ribbon Boston Bag

Today Angelic Pretty's international English shop updated with their Jewelry Ribbon Boston Bag, available in white, sweet pink/white, and black/white for 10,290 yen.

If Miracle Candy is more your style, they still have light blue and red versions of the Miracle Candy Boston Bag available, and also the black/white/deep pink version of the Sweet Cake-Shaped Pocket Dress.

February 8, 2009

Community Feature: Valentine's Day Decor Finds

Much like Halloween for Goths, if you're in a country that celebrates Valentine's Day it can be a great chance for Lolitas, particularly the Sweet variety, to pick up some fun home decor and decorating touches. A few tips for adding a little love to your home this week:

1. Don't wait until the 15th: Start looking around now. Lots of stores are currently discounting their Valentine's merchandise to make room for Easter.

2. Look for more subtle things. "Red plus hearts" usually equals Valentine's Day, but if you look around, you can find more general items that can work year-round. One example is this pink bon-bon handtowel from Target, just over $3.00.

3. Don't think Sweet is your only option: if you look around online, you can find things like this Classic-friendly lavender heart wreath, $9.99, for your wall or door.

4. Check out "normal" stores you wouldn't otherwise look in: while not technically a Valentine's Day item, this JC Penney's 20-piece "Classic Lace" dish set, for $49.99 in their clearance section, would make a cute addition to a Lolita table.

February 7, 2009

Set Your Clocks for Meta's Spring Line

Metamorphose temps de fille has put up their new spring line, but just for looks until Valentine's Day. On the evening of the 13th at midnight (Japan time), all nine pieces will go up for reservation, so set your clocks accordingly, and good luck!

February 6, 2009

In The Starlight's 24 New Pieces

Western brand In the Starlight has just made their weekly update, this time with 12 new skirts (including their classic Wonderland Skirt), 3 new JSKs, 1 new dress, 2 new blouses, and 6 hairbows.

From the ITS blog: "We have some mix and match bustle back skirt sets this week -- we hope to have more in the coming weeks including ivory and black ruffled underskirts. We have a new pink gingham jumperskirt this week, and we may be offering that style in black/white gingham and/or lavender/white gingham soon -- let us know if you might be interested in that :) We are hoping to get some new Japanese import fabrics in soon - we are expecting an Alice print and a Red Riding Hood print!"

As a note, they tend to sell out quickly, so if you're interested you might want to visit their shop before going out tonight. Have fun!

Juliette et Justine New Bolero

Juliette et Justine has updated with a very frilly and feminine bolero, great for Hime looks.

The Pétale de belle rose boléro is "an elegant bolero made from sheer, soft chiffon with frills around the neckline and along the bodice. It has three satin ribbons on the front" and comes in ecru, black and pink.

February 5, 2009

One-Month Anniversary

Today marks the end of my original one-month experiment in running this blog. Thank you so much for over 3,700 hits in just this one month, and all the positive response and feedback!

I've decided to continue with Petit Four Press for at least several more months, and welcome your ideas and thoughts on how to make the blog more useful and interesting to international Lolitas. :) Please feel free to comment with them here or email me at petit.four.blog@gmail.com.

Thanks again for your support!

Baby The Stars Shine Bright New Items and Mail Server Problems

Attention, Baby shoppers! Three new items have gone up as of today: the Polka Dot School Bag, Polka Dot Heart Ribbon Pouchet, and Jewlia Head Bow.

And, if you placed an order after 2/2:

"The mail after February 2nd is not received because the mail server has broken down. Please send the mail to us again if you sent the order mail or inquiry mail after February 2nd. We’re sorry for inconvenience and bothering you."

February 4, 2009

Mary Magdalene New Pre-Order: Dresses and More

Mary Magdalene is accepting preorders until 11am (Japan time) on February 9 for its "White Leaf One Piece Mini", "White Leaf One Piece", "White Leaf Canotier", "Rosette Headdress", "Morgane One Piece" and "Puff Sleeve Yoke Blouse". All of these pieces will be produced and ready by late April. Payment is due by February 20. (If you're in Japan and ordering through the Japanese site, your initial payment is due by then with the rest due by March 27). Also, due to a sudden and unexpected rise in material cost, the Rosette Headdress will be 4,200 yen instead of 3,990.

(Please note all English names are my unofficial translation from the original katakana.)

For international Lolitas, they have a reservation instruction page in English for preorders (click "For Oversea"), and they also, of course, accept overseas orders!

February 3, 2009

Algonquins New Shinjuku Store and Invite Give-Away

Punky brand Algonquins, which officially left the Marui group of department stores back in January, has announced its new Shinjuku location, which will be across the street from Marui City 1 and 2.

It'll open officially on February 20th at 11am, and there will be a pre-opening the day before, the 19th, from 5pm to 9pm. If you're in town and would like to go, you'll need a ticket to get in. You can put your name in for a ticket (good for 2 people), by sending an email to info@algonquins.co.jp by February 12th, with the title as 招待券希望, and your name, address and phone number. There are a limited number of tickets available.

February 2, 2009

Peace Now/Black Peace Now Spring Items and Free Tote

Peace Now/Black Peace Now has opened up for online orders for their new spring items, which include jackets, skirts, men's wear, accessories and more. (Shopping service needed if you live overseas.)

As a bonus for ordering, they'll include the tote bag shown on the home page as a free gift, for as long as supplies last.

February 1, 2009

Community Feature: Designer Megan Amo

I recently had a chance to interview Lolita designer and artist Megan Amo, better known as Megwa online, about her designs, work and original prints!

As a designer, artist and seamstress, you've sold your work at Pacific Media Expo (PMX), shown it on the runway at Anime L.A., and sell your pieces online. How did you get into Lolita and making Lolita clothing?

Birdcage Reverie Print, photo ⓒ John Maidment

Honestly, I can't even remember how I got into Lolita! I think my general interest in Japanese culture somehow led me to to it. As for making Lolita clothing, I have to say that I was initially quite intimidated by the style. I learned a lot through the EGL community and by talking with different vendors at anime conventions. I also got a lot of encouragement from Rene Twaite of The White Peacock, who just opened the first Lolita fashion physical store location in the U.S. last September - she told me not to be intimidated and just do everything with my whole heart.

Do you have any funny or unusual stories to share from your first sewing days or conventions?

Not everyone may know this, but two of my models from the Anime L.A. fashion show were actually male. I was very fortunate to have found them, because they carried the looks perfectly. No one really realized it until they spoke! When someone asked for a photo and heard the deep voice in response, he nervously said, "Uhh...I forgot something...I'll be right back...." After that, we never did see him again.

Who are your favorite designers, Lolita or otherwise?

I really like the designs of Alice and the Pirates and h.NAOTO.

You're one of the few Western Lolita designers out there to make your own prints. Where did you learn to do this and what got you started?

I don't know that I necessarily "learned" it, I just took my artwork to a professional screen printer to do it for me. (laughs) In the beginning, I simply decided that I wanted to make something completely my own, so I went out and had my own fabric printed. Then, my sister who is a lawyer, insisted that she help me get my prints legally protected because they came out so well. In time, my desire to be unique grew into my goal to make garments that would be comparable to brand clothing.

Which is your favorite print out of the ones you've made?

Definitely Clockwork Enchantment, because it's completely different from anything that has been done before.

Clockwork Enchantment Print, photo ⓒ John Maidment

What inspires you as an artist or designer?

I find inspiration in many things...I can't say anything in particular inspires me because sometimes I'll be minding my own business and then "BAM!" it hits me.

What advice would you give to any beginning Lolita seamstress?

Sewing is a gradual learning process, so don't feel bad if your first attempts aren't up to your expectations. Also, don't be afraid to try new techniques! If you ever make a mistake, then you can learn from it for the next time.

Thank you, Megan! To see more of her work and learn more about her, check out her journal here.

Photos ⓒ John Maidment and used with permission.