Sunday, 30 September 2012

Anime North 2012 Lolita Cosplay Costume

Wanted to share this costume because I made it myself and feel pretty proud. I took some pictures inside the Toronto Congress Center - one of the 4 buildings in which Anime North was held. 

Photo creds to Calvin :)

Work in progress
My Singer sewing machine :)

Parasol and the top hat both bought at the convention for $15 each.

I made this costume for the 2012 Anime North convention - one of the biggest in Canada. I've been going there for 4 years and it's a lot of fun. I am not that into anime or manga, but many of my friends are, so I just go to hang out with them. 
But my favourite part about Anime North is watching all the Japanese Lolita cosplayers. I really like the Sweet Lolita style because it's very girly and colourful. The dresses are always embellished with ruffles, frills, and bows. And I am all for embellishments! 

So this year, I really wanted to cosplay as a Lolita myself. I was inspired by Chii's style from the anime Chobits. I didn't like the show that much, but I love various artwork that came from it. Chobits artwok by fans or by CLAMP are always so beautifully done with Chii wearing gorgeous dresses. And Chii's style is pretty Lolita-like. Anyways, I bought the pink satin fabric from Fabricland - a chain fabric store in Canada. Its right side was satin and its back side was like a fuzzy cotton texture. I ended up using the back side because I read on a website that authentic Lolita dresses are made of cotton. And shiny dresses are looked down upon because they resemble cheap Halloween costumes. I agree that shiny clothes do look cheap. :P It was many hours of hard labour to make this dress including the arm bands, but it was worth it. I felt more emerged in the atmosphere when I am among the dressed up cosplayers. Can't wait for next year's convention!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Thrill Vintage Finds, and I love Black Market Toronto!

Since I love vintage clothes and thrift shopping so much, I hardly shop at normal stores anymore...

Just wanted to share my recent finds ;)

Tweed jacket from Value Village - $10

The label says it's from Anne Carson, however I don't think that brand exists anymore since this is probably made a long time ago. This is very similar to the boxy tweed jackets made by renowned designers, especially cough* Chanel cough*. A girl can hope can't she? However, apparently 70% of the shell of the jacket is made from silk according to the label. Not too shabby for $10!

Also, I recently visited Black Market on Queen Street for the first time with my friend. I love the store so much. They have such a big selection of vintage clothes and everything was $10!

Oxblood leather jacket from Black Market - $10

I was so happy when I found this treasure. Its brand is Wilson's Suede and Leather and its material is 100% leather. I Googled this brand, and their leather jackets are anywhere between $200 to $500! I am in love with the colour of this jacket; oxblood were seen on many f/w 2012 runways! Even if oxblood leather wasn't the hottest thing right now, I would still love it! 

This jacket had shoulder pads which made it look very 80s on me, so I removed them. If you want to know how to do it, just let me know. :) Also, I am smaller than a size 8, so it fits a little baggy on me. But I think that's perfectly okay for fall weather since I will be wearing layers of shirts or sweaters underneath.

Oversize Sweater from Black Market - $10

Cute sweater with fuzzy parts made of rabbit hair. It also had shoulder pads which I removed. :)

I will be wearing these in my outfits, stay tuned ;)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Lusting Over: Nishe Mint Lace Dress with Candy Buttons

I love the mint colour. I love lace. I love sweetheart necklines.  I love a fitted bodice and a swing skirt. What more can I say?

The dress is available at ASOS, which is also where the picture is from. I normally don't spend over $25 for clothes since I am a very frugal and picky shopper. And I find most of my clothes at thrift stores, eBay, and at sales. But I would make an exception for this!

I am so sad they only have UK size 14 left. I am a UK size 8 :( I could buy a size 14 and try to tailor it since I have a sewing machine, but unfortunately I don't think my skills are up to that level yet...

I love the clothes made by Nishe though! Especially the tea dresses, their silhouettes and prints are amazing! I bought a cherry and strawberry print tea dress with cherry buttons for a bargain on eBay. I will show a picture later and do a review of most clothes I bought from eBay, so stay tuned... ;)

What is the Value of Fashion and Style as an Asset?

Many things inspired me to start this blog.... I decided to start with this one.

Obviously, my nerdy business brain is the driving force behind this question.

I made this rubber band dress in art class a while ago (beginning of 2011). I was inspired by fashion designer Hiroshige Maki’s rubber band dress (1993) This is the actual page of the book I read.

This is my dress. 

Audrey's Rubber band dress

Rubber band dress -  Cone bras

Rubber band dress - Bustle

My friend wearing the dress (without the bra and bustle) at a fashion show

It took me maybe around 10 hours to weave rubber bands together to make the dress. Maybe you can see from the picture how the weaving/looping is done. My art teacher said it resembles some knitting or crocheting techniques. :P I reused party ribbons, tissue paper, and gift wrap that were randomly lying around to make the outside bustle and cone bras.

Now for the ideas behind this… The close-fitting and bonding effects of the rubber bands reminds me of how clothes are restricting yet expressive at the same time. Sometimes we are forced to cover up our bodies, wear certain clothes due to weather and social pressure. However, most often, we express who we are by our clothes, and in turn, receive (good or bad) judgement on that. The world says that everyone is unique. We are all different. We are individuals. That is rubbish…unless you are special or have assets that make you special. We all have a basic skeletal structure, a neural system, limps… That’s why I displayed my dress on a skeleton – it’s what we all look like deep inside. The skeleton suggests that whoever’s wearing my dress is an ordinary person.

When other students saw my dress display, they asked: “Oh, is that Lady Gaga?” or “Is that Katy Perry?” They knew nothing about my project, and yet they expected that the dress was for a famous person who had an unconventional taste in fashion! You see how my dress made a used-for-science-class skeletal structure special! Therefore, clothes are invaluable assets that increase your net worth as a person, whatever that net worth may mean to you. Invest some time in what clothes you buy and what you wear! Don’t try to fit in, stand out! Your style and clothes are assets that continually generate revenue! Monetary revenue if you are good. But if you are ordinary like me, you will at least profit from revenue in self-confidence, lasting impressions, a fashionable reputation within your non-fashion friends, and friendships with fashionable people! ;) That’s why I love Edith Head’s saying: “You can have anything you want in life…if you dress for it.”