Thursday, January 22, 2015

Saying good-bye...

This is Nazomi. 

He's a Dream of Doll Kirill, and I purchased him in 2007. I am devoting this post to him because I am selling him.

Ordinarily I try not to dwell on the selling of a doll as I try to come to complete terms with it by the time I sell them and I'm more than ready for them to move on. At this point I've already sold two full dolls and two floating heads. It's not the most fantastic feeling in the world to realize a doll would probably be more suitable for a different home, but it's sometimes a necessary evil. But Nazomi is a little bit different. Nazomi is special.

He was, after all, my first doll.

I know there's a lot of differing opinions about selling one's first dolls. Some owners simply can't dream of it. Some owners hold onto their first even after they no longer like the sculpt. For some owners the sentimentality makes it worth it to keep first dolls around even long after they've been outgrown.

And other owners are different. Some sell their first doll within the first year. Some owners don't have a strong emotional bond to their dolls. Some owners never felt attached to their first at all and viewed them as a starter doll.

Neither type of owner is correct or incorrect. There are all sorts of reasons after all as to why someone may or may not choose to sell their first doll. And up until recently I was always in the camp of never being able to let him go. He is, still, quite special. He was the first doll I was truly smitten with and saved vigorously for. I purchased him as a graduation/birthday gift to myself. He arrived to me in my very first apartment on my own, and his arrival date just happened to fall on the birth of my cousin's very first son. He represented an original character who meant a lot to me and I had created in my final years of high school during a very difficult time in my life. Needless to say, he was quite precious to me.

But a lot changes in 7 years.

My tastes have changed. Even this little picture of him shows just a fraction of the amount of work that has been put into him in order to hopefully get him to look the way I want. He's been through more face-ups, wigs and outfits than any of my other dolls in a desperate attempt to get him to look how I envisioned. But there was always an underlying structural issue. His nose and lips were too thin. His chin was too pointy. Something, anything that could not be changed.

His importance to me as a character changed a lot as well. Although I still immerse myself in the fictional world that fuels my creative juices, the character of Nazomi had changed drastically, and is no longer as an important influence on me as he once was. He's no longer even a he!

I admit, it was a long process to accept the fact that he needed to be let go. Every time I looked up and saw him on the shelf, I was stung was annoyance over the money I poured into him and no matter how hard I tried, he just didn't aesthetically appeal to me anymore. Sometimes I would imagine what I would do if I could start over, would I get the same dolls? The answer was always yes...except for Nazomi. But I couldn't get over the guilt. He was my first doll!

Eventually, I caved. It wasn't easy. But after a lot of thought, I realized this doll had served his purpose to me. He helped me into an amazing hobby. He brought to life a character that was precious to me and encouraged me to continue chasing after my writing and artistic pursuits. He was an amazing inspiration to me that will continue on even after the doll is gone.

So this sweet Kirill is going to a new home. He is no longer Nazomi, and that's okay. Getting rid of the physical form does not diminish the spirit of his character, nor does it erase the wonderful memories he's brought me. I'll carry them with me and hope he can bring just as much joy and imagination to his new owner.

Good by Kirill.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Dress Pt. 2

David's Bridal (1)

Although I had been intending to wait awhile between posts pertaining to me wedding dress shopping escapades, I have to admit the whole ordeal is still so fresh and exciting in my mind that it only makes sense to get it all out in the open now. While it may deviate slightly from my original Lolita-related intent, I find this is just such an important milestone in my life that it's difficult to really ignore it.

So while this little collection of posts might be a bit different than what I usually write about, perhaps that in turn is a good thing as it urges me to take that step forward in broadening my horizons and leaving reviews and examining other fashion outlets outside of strict Lolita.

Now, without further ado, I'd like to start with the first leg of my dress-shopping journey. The one, the only:

David's Bridal.

Yes. Just about every (American) bride knows of them, heard of them and perhaps even has an opinion on them. I've heard it all-from the amazing $99 deals on gorgeous gowns, to the shudder-inducing label as the 'Wal-Mart' of bridal stores. So I admit, this wasn't exactly my number one place to go shopping.

Still, fate has a funny way of turning our plans on our heads. While David's might not have been my top choice to go gown hunting, I was still chomping at the bit to go slip in some floofy white dresses. I had read numerous times online that the best time to go shopping was during the week instead of the weekend. Unfortunately, given how difficult it is for me to take time off work, that didn't seem entirely feasible, especially as I definitely wanted my mother, who also works, with me.

As it so turned out, my office closed down for about two weeks over Christmas and the new year, and I suddenly found myself with quite a few open workdays! I broached the topic to my mother about perhaps finding a day after the new year to make a dress shopping visit and she agreed. Lo' and behold, my little sister wanted to attend, and suggested we bring my cousin, whom we rarely see and would be down for the holiday, with us. Suddenly I found myself with an appointment at David's Bridal the day after Christmas!

Even though it wasn't top on my list of places to visit, I assumed it was a safe place to start. I could try on a few gowns, get an idea of what looked good on me, see some details up close, understand what was within my budget and most importantly, have a totally amazing day with my family. In the end, it turned out to be so much more.

Image from Google-but accurate!
The last time I stepped foot inside of a David's Bridal was almost ten years ago when my cousin was searching for her dress. It was a quick appointment and I remember very little from it. So stepping inside the store was pretty awe-inspiring. I had booked the first appointment of the day and once the doors opened I was floored at how beautiful everything was. Wal-Mart this was most definitely not!

VW351213 in gold/champagne
The second we walked inside I instantly saw this beauty. I admit, I had already been stalking this gown on the David's Bridal website for some time and it was the one dress I absolutely knew I needed to try on that day. It was gorgeous! A Vera Wang design, it had the perfect touch of whimsy with the bow on the front (a design element I have yet to find on ANY other dress), an empire waist that nipped in at the tiniest part of my figure and layers upon layers of gorgeous soft tulle! It was everything I had ever wanted in a wedding gown!

Except it wasn't white.

Yes, for some reason, this dress is not available in white. I had seen this dress in a few photos before and had thought that with the right lighting the gold and champagne might not be very noticeable, and it's true. I certainly don't think the gold is too obvious in this photo, but did I really want to wear something that I would have be trying to disguise all day? Especially as I don't even like gold all that much?

It was pretty heart-breaking. But I refused to give it up. Even when my entire entourage agreed for one reason or another that it wasn't the dress for me, I ignored them. Despite the color, I felt like a pretty princess and I didn't want to take it off. Still, the appointment was just beginning and there were more dresses to be had. So up next, a beautiful gown in stark white...

Ah, this dress was so lovely! A David's Bridal design, it too encompassed everything I had wanted-a ballgown, tulle, simple-and it was white! I have to admit, the second they put that veil on you it's almost impossible not to want to get married right then and there.

But something was missing. I couldn't quite place my finger on it, but there was a quality, there The dress just didn't have it.

But not to fear! That's what a huge selection of sparkly belt, flowers and bows are for! My consultant (and four year old cousin) were quick to rush off and find me a multitude of options that could possible spruce it up a bit. That could hopefully add that touch of dazzle and give that dress it. And I have to admit, there were some very beautiful options.

It was beautiful! It was gorgeous! It had some sparkle now! Some personality! And gosh darn it, did this dress make my waist look good!

You know, from the front.

The side left something to be desired.

It was disappointing. My entire family adored this dress, and I couldn't understand why I didn't. It was everything I had described that I wanted, and yet when it just came down to was boring. I felt like, if a random person was asked to describe a generic wedding dress, this would be it, and no amount of blingy belts could fix it.

But I admit I didn't want to give up on it all at once. After all, it was what I said I wanted. Still, this was only the second dress I had tried on, there were still plenty more to go!

Sadly, this post has already grown quite long, so I will be breaking up the second half of my David's Bridal trip into a second post. I hope so far my review and experience were enlightening!

Part One: Introduction
Part Three: David's Bridal (2)
Part Four: Mafalda's Bridal
Part Five: Bay Area Bridal

Friday, January 16, 2015

Late to the trend

 I will fully admit, when I used to think of deer in Lolita, my mind usually went to something like this:

So cute! So adorable! So something I would never be confident enough to use in public without feeling like I raided my 4 year old cousin's toy chest.

It was sad, but true. Deer were very cute and lovely, but somehow I had warped them in my mind into something that was almost strictly associated with sweet Lolita. Huge eyes, pink fur and often associated with other baby animals, they were so sugary they made both my teeth and heart ache at the same time. I loved them, but I already knew through my trials in sweet Lolita that they would just not be for me. And somehow, through all of this, I was missing out on just how versatile they had truly grown to be within the Lolita community.

But then all of that changed when one day I was browsing through My Lolita Dress and stumbled across this beauty.

It was like something had flipped a switch in my brain. Those soft, muted colors. That A-line, flattering cut. Such beautiful, elegant embroidery. It was all!

I know. I missed out on a lot.

But I think that's what happens sometimes when we get into our heads that trends are an inherently bad thing.  We read about the lack of originality and the boredom, and it can sometimes urge us to back off from exploring something we might truly love. After all, who wants to a bandwagon jumper?

But I ordered that dress. And I learned something.

I didn't care.

I didn't care if I was joining a trend that many had long since considered tired and drawn out. 

I didn't care if I was joining the masses with a dull, unimaginative coord that had been done a thousand times before.

I didn't care if my dress looked matronly or my accessories didn't perfectly match.

And most importantly?

I still don't care!

I'm not a very confident person, and as much as I loathe to admit it, I often put too much stock in what other people think of me. But allowing myself to love and adore deer and wade as deep into this trend as I want has taught me something I should have realized a long time ago. That is to say, I would never be able to cultivate and accept my own personal style as a reflection of who I am if I continued to shape that perception based off of what other people wanted. 

 I know this is something most people realize by their late teens. But for me, this is a huge revelation. I know it's still going to be a struggle. I'm still going to feel that pressure and that doubt. But I hope that every time I look into a sweet little doe eyed face, I'll be reminded that I am my own person, that trends might come and go and that's okay to get swept up in them, and that my only goal should be to wear and express myself however makes me happy.

Innocent World
My Lolita Dress
Yay deer!

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Dress Pt. 1

Dress shopping.

Every Lolita on the planet has, or will, more than likely, do this at some point in their life. It's a scary step, taking the leap to buy that first staple of the gorgeous alternative fashion we've been pining after for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. But then we take that leap and it's done. We made it. Then there comes another dress. And another. And maybe a skirt thrown in here and there.We learn what work for our body shape, what colors look great on our skin tone and inevitably, through the passage of time, we'll be drawn to that one gorgeous dress in our closet and over again. It makes us feel powerful. Beautiful. It's the epitome of everything we've wanted in a dress.

But what if things were different? What if we could only buy one dress, and that was it? What if we had to know we were making the right decision, out of the thousands of options? What if we only had one chance?

It's pretty scary, but that's exactly what I had to do. Only it wasn't a Lolita dress I had to choose.

It was my wedding dress.

Alfred Angelo Disney Collection "Belle"
 I'm not going to lie. After I got engaged, I got bit by the dress-shopping bug HARD. Even though my wedding isn't for another year, I had to go shopping, and I mean right now. Honestly, can any Lolita really blame me? For years I have already been blissfully obsessing over poofy skirts and dresses dripping with lace and crystal jewelry. I knew what looked good on me, how I wanted to feel walking down that aisle and I was ready to go. Just grab my mom, sisters and bestie and we'd be off to drool over all the gorgeous gowns before I'd inevitably become struck by 'The One'. Psh. I'd have my dress in less than a day. It was that easy, right?


So young. So naive.

Don't get me wrong, I loved getting dressed up and seeing myself in the mirror for the first time in a huge, poofy white ballgown was a pretty enchanting moment. But I should have realized, for someone like me, who obsesses and agonizes and nit-picks every minute detail, this was not going to be a smooth ride.

So I'd like to share my journey. I know it all might seem a little self-indulgent (and I readily admit it), but not only do I love sharing into the wealth of information to other brides, I also feel like this dress-shopping excursion has also taught me a lot of lessons that can be applied to my daily wear wardrobe as well. After wearing on a dress literally worth thousands (and forever out of budget), I feel as though I've achieved a new perspective on clothing and what exactly goes into their creation. Additionally, I've also learned what exactly is and isn't  important to me when it comes to how I wish to present myself, even on one of the most important days of my life. 

I know there isn't any real comparison to all of the attention and detail that goes into a wedding day look, especially for the bride, but I like to think it's an experience worth learning from. It was a pretty anxiety-inducing couple of weeks, but absolutely well worth it all in the end! Next up, let's see those dresses!!

Part Two: David's Bridal (1)
Part Three: David's Bridal (2)
Part Four: Mafalda's Bridal
Part Five: Bay Area Bridal

Friday, January 2, 2015

My first OOTD!

Happy first official post of 2015 everybody! I'm unsure why, but I'm feeling all sorts of nervous and giddy about this post. I know I've posted outfit shots before, but perhaps I'm so jittery because this isn't a strictly Lolita outfit, even if it is Lolita inspired.

My fiance and I really wanted to dress up and go out for the first day of the year, and I found this gorgeous skirt on sale New Year's eve. It was so exciting to find as there were only two left and one was in my size! It's a lovely knee length with a gorgeous print of Paris on the hem! It instantly reminded me of a beautiful Lolita print and I love the idea of using it to ease my way into possibly wearing more true Lolita prints in the office. Here is how I ended up coordinating it.

Outfit Rundown
Coat: Target
Skirt and blouse: Kohl's
Shoes: Modcloth
Hairbow: Daiso Japan

And a quick shot without the coat. Unfortunately this picture doesn't capture all the detail, but the blouse actually has an adorable bow near the neckline that is so sweet and feminine.

I realize now I probably should have taken a better close up photo of the print as I didn't how difficult it was to see in these photos. I'll be sure to try to stay more mindful of such details in the future. I also tried something a little different with my hair as well (you can even see the bow) and I'm pretty happy with it. It's nothing fancy but I feel like it adds a little more cuteness to the overall look and keeps my hair from completely falling in my face. I'll take more photos next time!

I'm honestly really excited about how this outfit turned out. It's soft and girly, but still gives me a nice feel of Lolita with the printed skirt, delicate hair bow and soft pastels. 2015 is off to a great start!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A renewed beginning

Hello everyone. It's a new year and I would like to reintroduce myself.

This is me.

I often go by the internet handle of Boss, I'm in mid 20s and I'm still finding out who I am. It's the new year, and even though this blog isn't even a full year old yet, I feel like it needs a fresh start.

I started this blog for a lot of reasons. Because I love Lolita fashion and adore reading blogs by other Lolitas. To reach out and connect with others who shared my interests. To stretch my writing skills and give myself a challenge. None of these things have changed. But over the past few months, I've realized that it's grown into more than that.

I've followed the blog, A Slob Comes Clean for awhile now, and recently the author published a free e-book titled Giving God the Worst of Me, a personal biography about her unexpected journey which led her to online blogging. While I read, I couldn't help but compare myself to her words, my own struggles, desires and goals to her unique journey. It was absolutely eye opening.

And then it hit me.

I realized I want this blog to be more. More than a simple writing challenge. More than what it has become since I began writing back in March.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want or expect fame. But I do want to connect to people on a deeper level. To share more than the pretty, put-together, easy sides of me. I find that my favorite blogs are those belonging to people who I relate to, who are also struggling and learning through a particular new phase in their life, whether that be house cleaning, getting married or even starting a family. On some level, even if I'm not yet in their stage of life, I understand these people. I know what they're going through, and I love to read about how they overcome their problems while piecing together how I can apply these lessons to my own life. These aren't documentaries or written my doctors or magazine articles. They're just blogs written by real people, figuring out their real lives.

These are people just like me, and I want to blog just like them.

There will always be a heavy dosage of Lolita in this blog, because Lolita is such an integral part of who I am. But it's not all of who I am, and that is exactly what I hope to find. More and more I've been exploring the best way to express myself through fashion and I've already been through some bumps in the road while likewise making some interesting discoveries. Fashion is a fluid thing, and it's a personal choice we all make every single day in expressing who we are.

2015 is going to be a huge year for me. I'll be planning a wedding. I'll  be on the hunt to move out into my own home with my fiance. I'll be moving departments at work while my company switches locations to a facility three times as big in the next town over. It's a lot to take in, and ultimately, as excited as I am, I don't want to lose myself in it.

Fashion gives me a great joy. It keeps me grounded and the opportunity to truly understand who I am. So while I'm always going to dabble and adore niche fashions like Lolita, I can't box myself into it. It's an important part of who I am and I have no intention of leaving it behind, but it's not all of me, and I'm finally learning to accept that.

I hope to use this blog to reach out and maybe even inspire others in my same boat. Fashion is so flexible, and there's a myriad of options. My body isn't perfect and I'm not fabulously wealthy. I have to work within these confines as a real person, learning real things. If what I'm learning can connect with others also searching to find their passion through fashion and understanding their own unique style, then that will be amazing. But even if not, simply having this blog here to help get me through my own  journey will be enough.

Happy 2015 everybody, let's be off to a fantastic new year!
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