Friday, 19 July 2013

Austen and the Abbey (Day Two)

Hello dear readers, how are you? Thank you for your lovely birthday messages, I had a nice day picnicking in the country :)

Now it's time for the second installment of Austen and the Abbey!

The beautiful location for this day of the event was Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire, the home of Jane Austen's ancestors.

The West Wing, which is the main facade of the house.

The picturesque gatehouse, which dates back to the 12th and 14th centuries. 

The bed in Queen Victoria's bedroom (she stayed here too!)

A wood-panelled room with fancy red velvet chairs.

Lolis taking a tour!

The lady in regency costume who gave us the tour.

Me and my friend Bree!

The saloon, where the fashion show was held. Today's show featured Fairy wish, Atelier Pierrot, Juliette et Justine (I got to wear an amazing Red Riding Hood coordinate!) and Baroque.

The library.

Fairy wish tights! They are amazing and have cockatiels on them!

Books in the library.

Tapestry-work chairs.

Some rather nice tassels.

I feel really lucky to be from a country that has so many wonderful and well-preserved buildings like this. It was a great location for a lolita event and I think it was especially good for the Japanese guests, who got to do a little sightseeing along with their work.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures! See you next time,


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Austen and the Abbey (Day One)

Hello dear readers! How are you?

I ahve had a tiring weekend, but I'm recovered now. Tomorrow is my birthday! I'm going for a picnic with my family, I'm really looking forward to it.

Well, I must tell you about Austen and the Abbey! I'll split the posts into two days.

This was the location for the first day, the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa. Leamington is a very pretty Georgian town and of course the pump rooms are to do with the famous baths there.

As I mentioned before, I wore boystyle on this day!

It was a very hot day so I discarded my waiscoat quite quickly....

I did get one picture with it! On the left is my lovely friend Violette Noir, looking perfect as usual. This picture was taken in the tea room. The tea parties with the guests (Alice Kobayashi, Yuko Ashizawa and Coco) took place here and the staff from Tea Prince were serving.

Lizzie's Tasty Teas were providing delicious tea in these amazing antique tea cups.

One of the guests was Coco from lolita unit Die Milch. She has a very friendly, sunny personality and I had a lot of fun chatting with her. I was sad because I had to be backstage getting ready for the fashion show during her live. However I will definitely go to see her and Jasmine perform when I go back to Japan!

Pretty stained glass window in the tea room.

The other room contained the stalls and the stage. The exhibitors included Rococo Daze,  Baroque, and Another Girl's Treasure. The designers of Japanese brands Atelier Pierrot and Fairy wish were there in person to sell their products!

Me with Alice Kobayashi of Fairy wish! I'm so happy I could meet her. I loved her street snaps and her brand for a long time, and now I know she is even cuter and even kinder than I could have imagined. I hope to meet her again soon! 

Cute accessories by 8th Sin Creations.

Amazing jumperskirt by Lusty'n Wonderland- the bodice looks like a chest of drawers!

Lovely dresses from Rocking Horse.

After chatting with lots of people and checking out the stalls, it was time to get ready for the fashion shows. It was pretty hectic!

I was in two shows- the Mori Girl show and the Fairy wish show. I was supposed to model for Victorian Maiden too but the outfits got stuck in customs.... It was disappointing but what can you do? 

Anyway, I really enjoyed both shows! My friend Shani asked me to fill in for one girl who could no longer model winter mori. I was very happy to oblige, and so Shani decked me out in her clothes and got togther this really cute outfit for me!

I really liked the fuzzy beret and the woolly shawl!

Two of the other mori models. I loved their outfits too!

Next up was the Fairy wish show! Lyci and Chelsea were modelling too- they look so cute! Everyone got really nice outfits and the tights were adorable- I'll show you some close-up photos in the next post.

This was my outfit for Fairy wish- a broiderie anglaise blouse and matching katyusha and a black pleated skirt with a white lace trim, along with the wonderful tights! I didn't want to take it off to be honest, haha. I got to wear it again for the show and photoshoot the following day though!

Although it was rather tiring and stressful with things running late and going wrong, I really did enjoy myself that day. I went alone which was a bit daunting but it was also good because I spent a lot of time talking to different people and getting to know them better, instead of sticking mostly with one friend. I think it was the fellow attendees and the wonderful guests that made it an especially good day for me. Some of what was planned was a bit ambitious considering that there was such a small team of organisers, but I think they all did their very best and worked very hard. I have to say thank you to them and everyone who I met there for making it such a nice and memorable occasion!

I hope you enjoyed this post and please look out for the next one, coming soon.


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Junichi Nakahara exhibition

Hello dear readers! How are you?

The good weather is continuing! I hope it is nice where you are too.

Today I'll show you a couple of pictures from the Junichi Nakahara exhibition I went to last month in Yokohama.

I love Mr Nakahara's work and I have written about him before. Though best known for his illustration, he was talented in many areas and this exhibition commemorating 100 years since his birth showed that in abundance.

It was held in the Sogo Museum of Art (where I went to the Marie Antoinette exhibition last year) and there were displays throughout the department store. This one featured two dresses made to his designs.

The exhibition hall itself was packed with his work- from his magazines (such as Himawari), to his fashion designs for women and children, also his dolls, storybook illustrations, and even his interior design work. This cute and airy model room looks like it is straight out of one of his pictures. 

This was one of the best exhibitions I have ever seen. Although the scope of his work was huge it didn't feel tiring to see it all. Although his work is stylised it is possible to see the changing fashions as they would have really been worn throughout the decades. I feel that he had a real sympathy for women and a sensitive observation for everything that made up their lifestyle. He had a vision of beauty that was clean and stylish and yet sweet and nostalgic too. 

I enjoyed the visit even more because I went with a dear friend who loves him just as much as me! We finished the day with tea and cake, a lovely finish to a lovely day.

If you would like to see this exhibition you still have four days, so hurry hurry!
More details here.

Now then, I'd better get back to packing for this weekend. I am attending Austen and the Abbey, a lolita event in Warwickshire. If you are coming, please look out for me and say hello! I'm very excited, because I'll be modelling for Victorian Maiden and fairy wish and also in the Mori Girl fashion show. When I'm not doing that, I'll be wearing boystyle for the first time in years!

Thanks for reading and hope to see you there!


Monday, 8 July 2013

Okinawa trip

Hello dear readers, how are you? Did you have a nice weekend?

Here in the south of England the weather has been very nice, warm and sunny and very summery! I went shopping in Brighton on Saturday and had a drive in the country on Sunday. My friends in Tokyo tell me it was 33 degrees yesterday. I guess I came home at just the right time. I hope it will cool down a bit there by the time I return! Take care in the heat, everyone.

Just before I left Japan, I had a very short trip to Okinawa. It was a work-related trip, but as we arrived the afternoon before the shooting I had a little free time. I decided to go for a walk and see what I could find. I was staying in Naha, the capital.

I had never been to Okinawa before so I was really excited. I had heard that the culture is very different from mainland Japan so I was curious to see how it would compare to Tokyo. I was also excited to see shiisaa!

They are statues representing guardian creatures that look something like a cross between lions and dogs. They usually come in pairs and are very similar to the lion statues you see elsewhere in Asia.

I was able to see lots and lots of them even in the small area around my hotel. There were big ones, small ones, scary ones and cute ones.

Does this one count as scary or cute?

He or she was guarding the souvenir shopping street.

The shops were full of shiisaa and goya (bitter gourd) related souvenirs. Piggy souvenirs were also popular! They eat a lot of pork in Okinawa. Poor little piggies!

This lipstick-wearing shiisaa was pretty fabulous.

There were also loads of One Piece souvenirs! I was tempted by a phonestrap of Zoro riding a shiisaa and brandishing a goya but it was almost 600yen so I didn't bother. 

I saw some other creatures too- cats! This one was so small and pretty but she was a bit timid.

There was also a big giant one of the roof of one of the souvenir shops! 

Of course I wanted to try some Okinawan food. I spotted this spam and egg onigiri in the airport:

It was... kind of bad. Another feature of Okinawan cuisine is sweet potatoes, and the hotel brochure recommended Beniimo Tarts as a souvenir. Here is a giant one outside the shop:

I bought some to take home, and they were really good! 

The colour is so pretty and they are not overly sweet.

I had dinner at a nearby restaurant and it was very nice. The starter was sea grapes:

I guess it looks a bit strange but it was nice! For the main dish I had goya chanpuru, which is one of the best-known Okinawan specialities.

It's pork and egg and goya. The taste of the pork went well with the bitterness of the goya, but maybe the goya was a bit overpowering. It's supposed to be really good for your skin so I ate all of it anyway.

I enjoyed the little time that I spent in Okinawa, and I hope I'll be able to go back there again for a longer time. I have heard of some amazing castle ruins, museums and beaches which I would like to visit, and I want to try some more foods!

Have you ever been to Okinawa? Do you have any experiences or recommendations to share? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading and see you next time,

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