Tea Party!

A friend hosted a home tea party on Sunday, and was good enough to invite me! How wonderful! I love tea parties, and miss the monthly Osaka tea parties immensely, so I was delighted. Hats were required, so of course I pulled out my favorite hat ever, a handmade one of a kind masterpiece from Luciferrot (an indies gothic brand based out of Osaka who was once known for doing many of the outfits worn by Blood). It is truly a piece of magic.

I can't wear this hat often because it doesn't sit securely enough to dance or move around a lot in, but it's great for tea parties - sitting and talking, walking around a bit, this much it can handle! Anyway, it's quite the definition of fabulous. It actually plays music and MOVES! Amazing. I actually won first place in a Best Dressed contest at the Osaka tea party in January of 2008 with this hat! XD I can't claim any credit for that one - it's all the hat! :D

I also had a "traveling hat" - hats being required, I didn't want to walk in without one on my head XDXD, but I couldn't drive in the pierrot one (couldn't even get in my car XD) so I wore this one on the way there and home:

Outfit breakdown:
Pierrot hat: Luciferrot
bowler hat: Innocent World
blouse, socks: Bodyline
jsk: Kinki Kitty
socks: Angelic Pretty

I made this as a hostess gift for my lovely friend who had the party:

She is a big fan of vinyl, so I made the bow out of vinyl instead of ribbon like usual! Her favorite color is red so of course I went with red roses.

We were asked to bring some tea party food to share, so I made shrimp wasabi tea sandwiches.

I was planning to cut them all into little hat shapes, to keep to the hat theme, but I simply didn't have time - I underestimated how long it would take to cut them! But I was able to cut 3 hat shapes for on top, and so that my Angelic Pretty plate girl would also have a hat!

The presentation does leave something to be desired, but they were tasty at least! Not too spicy, the wasabi gave them a lovely flavor. Looking at these pictures now I want to eat some more!

I think I want to have a tea party myself now! ♥

Let’s Talk About Hello Kitty

Below is an English translation of the sixth of 31 essays/short articles in Takemoto Novala's recently published 乙女のトリビア, or Trivia for Maidens, originally published in Zipper magazine.

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Let’s Talk About Hello Kitty.
That Kitty Always Around You

Do you remember the news story of a Hello Kitty pendant, its face made of 9 carat diamonds, its nose a sapphire, its eyes onyx, and its bow made of rubies, worn by Britney Spears in her music video for Do Something, which was released in Japan as a one of a kind item, and actually sold, despite having a price tag of 5.5 million yen?

It’s true that Britney Spears is a big Kitty fan, and Mariah Carey and the famous Hilton sisters are also in love with this character. Kitty is beloved not only in America, but all over the world. In Japan, there have been tons of collaborations lately between clothing brands and Kitty-chan. At first it was most common amongst 109-style brands like Material Girl, Liz Lisa, and Rose Fan Fan, but now even the lolita brand Baby the Stars Shine Bright joined hands with the character. And even I, Novala, have started producing a Kitty series, Hello Kitty Pour Lolita…

Takemoto Novala Hello Kitty Pour Lolita Gothic Edition - 1st Edition

Takemoto Novala Hello Kitty Pour Lolita White Edition - 1st Edition

Takemoto Novala Hello Kitty Pour Lolita Punk Edition - 1st Edition

Takemoto Novala Hello Kitty Pour Lolita White & Gothic Editions - 3rd Edition

How much information do you know about Hello Kitty? Her full name is Kitty White. She was born on November 1, 1974. There are 4 members in her family and her hobby is baking cookies. Her height is the height of 5 apples. Her weight is the weight of 3 apples (please don’t think it’s strange!). She has type A blood, and for some reason, she is from London!

The person who decided all of this is Kitty-chan’s mother, her designer, Shimizu Yuko. Shimizu believed that characters created just for decorating various items should still have a history the same as characters from myths and cartoons. Shimizu only dealt with Kitty-chan from her creation in 1974 until 1975. The second designer to work with Kitty was Yonekubo Setsuko. She was in charge of Hello Kitty from 1975 until 1980. She looked at the many images Shimizu had drawn of Kitty, and decided that the image with her face looking straight forward and her body sitting to the side was the cutest best image of Kitty, the pose we all know today. That is, the Kitty we know today was brought into this world by these two designers, Shimizu and Yonekubo.

In 1980, Yamaguchi Yuko became the 3rd designer of Hello Kitty. The Kitty we know today has a rounder face than she did in the 70s. This change was made in 1982 by Yamaguchi-san. In 1994, rather than a ribbon in her hair, Kitty wore a hibiscus flower, and in 1995, she wore a nurse’s uniform – that is, there have been many incarnations of Kitty over the years, but even now most are based on Yamaguchi’s version.

Of course I’m sure you are know that Hello Kitty is created by the Sanrio company. But until shortly before Kitty’s birth, Sanrio was known as the Yamanashi Silk Center. Yamanashi Silk Center was founded in 1960. At first it was a small company selling things like wine. But even though they tried various things, they did not find financial success. One day, the president, Tsuji Shintarou, said “Let’s buy some beach sandals, add a floral pattern, and sell them.” All the employees thought this would never work, but they sold incredibly well. Then the president said, “rather than just a floral pattern, how about printing a cute illustration?” They hired a girl who could draw illustrations, and these illustrated beach sandals were also a huge hit.

And now, a question to my readers. That illustrator they hired later went on to become a famous young genius illustrator. Who was it? …The answer? Mizumori Ado-san. Don’t you think this is incredible?

In this way, Sanrio grew larger and larger, but increasingly there were complaints that they were a worthless company, putting images on cups and pencil cases and selling things for a higher price just because of this. However, Sanrio answered thusly: “Why do we wear makeup? Why do we decorate our room with flowers? We want to make everyday beautiful and fun. The reason we put characters on our goods is the same reason.”

We want to be beautiful all the time. We want to be dazzled. This is the basis of style. Kitty-chan holds this way of thinking. After all, she was born in London! Don’t you feel like you can understand the reason she is an ageless idol?

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Are you a Hello Kitty fan? I think she’s cute, but I’m not a huge fan. However, I absolutely adore Novala’s Pour Lolita line! I have a great many items from these collections...mugs, plush dolls, straps, pens, stationery…I wish I had everything!

One other thing I love about Hello Kitty is that no matter where you go in Japan, you can find Special Edition Hello Kitty phone straps limited for that location. This is mostly a tourist thing, of course, but they are so cute! In Kyoto, you can get a Kitty dressed in kimono, in Harajuku, dressed as a gothic lolita (this is a separate design from Novala’s lolita designs!), in Osaka, dressed as a takoyaki chef – or even as takoyaki itself! These themed Kitties are so fun to collect. I used to have no fewer than 24 hanging off my phone, until they got to be just too much to carry around, and I simplified to having only the Osaka one. Currently I have the Novala White Edition and a Gloomy on my phone…until recently I had the Gothic Edition as well but the strap broke! I need to get that fixed and reattach it…

Harajuku Theme Hello Kitty

Osaka Takoyaki Kitty phone strap

Making Lolita Brands More Accessible - A Response

Quite probably my favorite lolita blog (because who wouldn't love a blog with a name like F*** Yeah Lolita) was updated today with a post titled Making Lolita Brands More Accessible, an inquiry into why lolita brands do business the way they do and what they could do to improve. I was typing my reply in a comment, but realized midway through that I'd already written 2 full pages. This is clearly not an acceptable way to leave a comment (though I certainly wouldn't mind one like this on my own blog!), so I've decided to post it here instead, and link there.

I do not intend to write many opinion pieces on this blog, but perhaps once in a while I shall adventure into that territory. For now, here are some of my thoughts on lolita brands.

Please go and read Caro-chan's original post, "Making Lolita Brands More Accessible," before reading any further here!

Caro-chan writes of 4 main proposals she would have to improve brands, opening them up from a niche market and making them more accessible for "the typical Lolita". I quote from her original post and offer my own thoughts below.

Expand to the West.

First off, I believe they have done this remarkably well in the last few years. Most brands do ship overseas, and many have fluent, even native, English speakers working on this side of their business. It's still a new market that is in testing, so it's risky business for them, but they are doing very well. Keep in mind that the idea of not shipping abroad is not a lolita thing, but a Japanese thing in general - that's why things like J-List exist. Most shops will not ship overseas. It is very different from the way things are done in the US and Europe, etc, where most companies will ship anywhere provided you are willing to pay shipping. On this front, lolita brands are actually quite pioneering.

To respond further to this bullet point, Caro says:

It's no secret that Lolita isn't as big as it used to be in the early 2000's in Japan, the whole fashion seems to have migrated West. There are literally thousands of customers outside of Japan that many brands are cutting themselves off from by not, at the very least, offering overseas shipping.

I adamantly disagree with this statement. Lolita is not dying in Japan - on the contrary, it is increasingly popular. It has never been, nor will it ever be, mainstream. But it is not less prevalent than it has ever been. I cannot figure out where people keep getting this idea!

I agree that not offering overseas shipping does cut off international customers, but as I've already said, most do this.

Multiple sizes.

It is true that by offering larger sizes, they would probably get more customers. There is also, however, some worry by brands that offering larger sizes would alienate their main customer base, who would be afraid to be seen in something a "fatty-chan" could also buy, and it would lose exclusivity. Personally, I don't put too much stock in this concern, and I don't think it would actually be a problem, but it is true nonetheless that it is a prevalent worry in the minds of designers.

By the way, as an aside, I remember when I was taking an intro level economics class back in college, my professor telling us a story of a famous, highly-exclusive, highly-successful exercise clothing brand who offered only one size. It was an American brand, if I remember correctly. Despite offering only one size, in America no less, where sizes range much more than in Japan, it became one of the most sought after brands for exercise clothing. Why? Because if you could wear it, it meant you had the Perfect Figure. Girls would squeeze themselves in just to show off that logo that proclaimed "this is the ideal female figure". Now, is that ridiculous, silly, discriminatory? Sure! But it worked, and they had great economic success! Is this what the lolita brands are aiming for? I don't believe so. But I'm sure there's a tiny tinge of this kind of thinking somewhere in the back of someone's mind, and I can't blame them, particularly in the Japanese culture, which is quite different than ours on how they think of weight issues.

So it's not as simple as "more people who can wear the clothes == more people who will buy the clothes". They are concerned about losing current customers by reaching for these new customers.

But nonetheless, I do not believe this is the main reason why they do not offer larger sizes.

Why then? Because the customer base is simply Not There. Or at least they do not see that it is there. Perhaps it is, but they have not noticed yet. But in general, this again goes back to Caro's assumption that lolita is dying in Japan, and that only people abroad wear it anymore. (Okay, Caro never said only, of course, I am exaggerating. But nonetheless, she is coming at this from a viewpoint that lolita is growing abroad and shrinking in Japan, the latter of which I disagree with.) Most of the people who buy from the brands are still Japanese. When I say “most”, I mean a very very large “most”. It is still a Japanese fashion, and the brands cannot be blamed for targeting their Japanese customers as their main customers. And in this group, there are few who require anything larger than a size L. Do they exist? Sure! But they are rare…and while a Japanese girl may be willing to “forgive” a gaijin for being, well, “more to love”, she’s more likely to look down upon another Japanese girl for the same thing. And even the standard size 9, the standard M size, is rather larger than most average clothing you’ll find in a more mainstream boutique in Japan. It may seem small to us, but I could fit into lolita brand clothing easily while I could not walk into any mall and find clothing for work. On average, Japanese lolita brand clothing already runs larger than mainstream boutique clothing.

There is a sideline image (among all the negative images of cutting, self-mutilation, NEET, craziness, otakudom, social anxiety, social incompetence, and just plain bad fashion sense) that exists in mainstream Japan about lolitas, and it is that they are, well, pudgy. Your average lolita in Japan already may have a few pounds on her schoolmates. Not necessarily, to be sure! Lolitas do not like this image (unsurprisingly), so the idea of offering special larger sizes can be quite distasteful to many. So not only do brands not want the risk of making the larger (in their eyes, huge) sizes for the untested international market, but it’s also a risk they are taking domestically as well.

Those are just my thoughts on her "mystery". ;)

Friendlier customer service.

I agree with this one whole-heartedly. But I also would say they are working on improving. There can be horror stories told about any store, and in general the lolita brands do have amazing service, but they still do have room to improve. In their defense, I would say that stories like the one Caro linked (which is truly disturbing) are rare, but they should be nonexistent. I hope they will continue to improve. In IW’s defense in particular, they currently have a very lovely girl who is a native speaker (an American, and a friend) working on their international orders, so I am sure that this case would not happen again while she is there. I hope we do not see cases like this again in the future.

Lower priced items.

This one confuses me. They do offer inexpensive items. Maybe I haven’t looked recently, but if it is true that most don’t have totes, etc, I bet it’s just at the moment. Or maybe they’ve stopped offering them on the site, and just have them in stores lately? I’m not sure on this one. But you can buy hairbows, accessories, etc for $30 or so, so it’s not like there aren’t inexpensive items to be found. There are pouches, pen cases, and even Bunny Bear straps available on the Baby site for $20-30. And a pair of socks is always affordable and useful and so cute!

I think that the niche for cheapo items is taken up by lucky packs, which are being offered more and more frequently lately. Isn’t a full outfit, with a jumperskirt, blouse, bag, socks, and hairbow for $200 (or $250 or whatever) better than a tote bag for $20 or a tshirt for $40? I’m not sure people would be willing to pay the $15 shipping for a $20 tote bag anyway (at least I wouldn’t!).

Though I suppose it certainly wouldn’t hurt to offer these things, and perhaps people would buy them, and they are fun to have and also fun to give as gifts, so I won’t really disagree with you here. It’s just not a problem I’ve noticed.

I have now explained my thoughts on each of the four main points, but I have not touched the remainder of the post at all yet. I will leave much of it unsaid, as I think my thoughts are explained clearly enough with the above. But there is 1 more line I would like to address. I think the statement I take the most issue with is this one:
Someone really needs to send Mana a note letting him no that he's not actually Christian Dior, no matter how high he prices his clothes.

Why? He doesn’t have to be Christian Dior to have some personal values. There are not only 2 kinds of stores, Dior and Walmart. There are allowed to be, there should be, some in the middle. Some cute little boutiques that do things the way they want to, decide their own business plan, and follow their own hearts. Make their own unique designs and sell them in whatever sizes they want, regardless of whether they will be trendy or not. Regardless of whether someone wants to call them “elitist” or not. Maybe they are! Maybe we like them this way. ;) These are our lolita brands, and I wouldn’t change them for the world. ♥

Alice in Wonderland Japan Premiere, through the eyes of Yuka and Sachi

And now for something different! Today I bring you a translation of 6 blog entries from the blogs of Yuka and Sachi, our beloved Kokusyoku Sumire! The Japan Premiere showing of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland was Monday, March 22 (official road show opens 4/17, for all my Japan readers...if there are any of you out there!), at the Ebisu Garden Place in Tokyo. For the special premiere, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp made the trip to Tokyo, and of course spent time with the adorable duo!

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Yuka's Blog (Tenmado Mother) #1 - Tim Festival
March 23 [Tue], 2010, 12:24 (Tokyo Time)

Director Tim Burton came to Tenmado again this year.

He brought us his recently published artbook (it's so big and heavy!) as a present!
Tim was so sweet and kind to us, since he knew we were tired from recording.

And my English was very useful.
I was so glad that I had studied English!

We played our brand new song and "All Grown Up Alice"
When he found out we were making an Alice album for him, he was very happy.

It will be out in May, so we promised we'd send him a copy, and then watched him walk away and disappear into Golden Town!

Yuka's Blog (Tenmado Mother) #2 - "Alice in Wonderland" Japan Premiere
March 23 [Tue], 2010, 12:36 (Tokyo Time)

We went~~!
Oh, how we've waited for this day..

Kokusyoku Sumire wore "Queen Alice" dresses made for us by dolce piu amabile so that Tim and Johnny Depp could see us from where they were giving greetings on stage.☆

He said, "Every time I come to Japan it is special, and you always greet me so warmly. Thank you."☆
We waved our arms a lot, but I don't know if he saw us?

We don't really even have to say it, but Alice in Wonderland was great!

The 3D effects were amazing. ☆
We could enter into the screen, and the colors were beautiful. ☆

It was really a Wonderland. ☆

Danny Elfman's music was also wonderful~~♥

Yuka's Blog (Tenmado Mother) #3 - Tim & Johnny Depp Festival!!!
March 23 [Tue], 2010, 12:50 (Tokyo Time)

I've finally met him...!
Johnny Depp-sama!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel like I'm still dreaming...........

And that's not all........
Tim introduced Johnny, and he said "I want to hear your music." "Aren't you going to play today?".....

So we did!!!!!!!!
Johnny-sama was enchanted (probably..)

But you know, we were in a place without any piano, and Sachi didn't have her violin with her!
So there's no way we could do it, so we said "We'll go get our instruments, so could you wait?" and they replied "Of course we will wait!", and they actually waiting for us!

How kind they are!!!
Johnny was so very nice and such a gentleman.
It's no wonder he is beloved all over the world.

After all, Tim is also so nice and a true gentleman, and of course we become friends with those like us~.
Everyone around Tim is so nice and they are all good people.

And not only that, but after Kokusyoku Sumire's performance, Tim and Johnny had some DJ time!

It's too much of a Wonderland..........

Yuka's Blog (Tenmado Mother) #4 - Tim & Johnny Depp Festival #2!!!
March 23 [Tue], 2010, 13:05 (Tokyo Time)

They also looked at the CD jacket for our brand new Kokusyoku Sumire Alice album (by Adachi Kakoujyo)!!
Tim was very excited and said "my beloved mushrooms and Cheshire Cat!" ♥
I'm so glad we could show him~~~~☆

When we showed Johnny, he said, "How wonderful!!! When will it be out? Please send one to me as well!" !!!!!

Aaah, Wonderland........

Tim's friend and manager Derek!!
Thank you so much for everything always. What a sweet and lively nice guy! I love you!

The other day in Tenmado, Tim said "It's been 5 years since we've met now, hasn't it? It's incredible." I felt such happiness in my heart!

In those 5 years, so much has happened...he showed us the filming of Alice in Wonderland in Hollywood, and we hung out when he came to Japan...

Thank you Tim♥

I just can't say any more!~~

Im still dizzy, as if still in Wonderland. (Also perhaps I'm hungover..)
Okay, now Kokusyoku Sumire will work on completing our own Alice in Wonderland!

This is my last for today!
See you later!

Sachi's Blog (Sacchan's Candy Strange Magic) #1 - Tim at Tenmado
March 23 [Tue], 2010, 17:57 (Tokyo Time)

Director Tim Burton, who was in Japan for the promotion of his new film Alice in Wonderland that will be out in April, came to Tenmado again. ♥

It's been a while since we've seen him, since we saw him in the New York studio. Whenever we meet him we get a nice warm hug ♥
We talked about the recording of Sumire's new album and about Alice (my English was all messed up, but Yuka's English conversation classes have been paying off and she could speak so well! ☆It was amazing Yuka-chin!) We drew pictures together and had a great time.♪

And...and...he listened to the new song we made for him.♪
How happy!♥
It seems Tim liked it too!♥

And Tim brought us his artbook that was sold in America!
It is very thick and we will keep it as our treasure.☆

Tim left and we promised to meet again on Monday...

Right now, Nafuu is quite popular, so Tim drew Nafuu on a Nafuu notebook we had at Tenmado! ☆ (The creator Harutamu was so happy!)

Manager Derek also likes it♥

Sachi's Blog (Sacchan's Candy Strange Magic) #2 - To Wonderland
March 23 [Tue], 2010, 19:18 (Tokyo Time)

We went to the Alice in Wonderland Premiere Screening☆

The two Sumires were in full formal gear. We wore Queen Alice dresses made by dolce piu amabile.
(We took off the crowns before the movie started so we wouldn't be in the way of the people behind us...)

This was my first time to watch a 3D movie!!!
How incredible!!!!
Yuka-chin and I couldn't help squealing!

Everything was wonderful, the images, the colors, the music...it really was Wonderland
And all the characters were so mischievous!
And you know, we made our album without having seen the movie, but there are so many little places where it's linked that our hearts pounded!

I definitely want to go see it again when it comes out publicly.

The scene we watched them shooting in Hollywood took many hours to shoot, but was over in a minute!
I knew it took a lot of work to make something so marvelous, but I was still surprised. Tim really is amazing!

Happily Tim invited us to the party that night, so we went off in our horse and carriage...
And we were able to tell Tim how amazing it was while the enchantment was still fresh in our hearts.

And that person whom we had heard had already left!!!

Johnny Depp
This isn't a photo we took in a wax museum!
But he is as handsome as a doll
We were able to say "Nice to meet you"

And...and...Mr. Depp said he wanted to hear our performance!
In that case, we've no choice but to go get our instruments!
We made them promise not to leave until we returned, and we ran home to get our instruments.

We were able to perform in front of our beloved Tim and Depp.
There was no piano, so we performed our version of Pachelbel's Canon and "Love is a Wild Bird".
They called for an encore, so we played "Yoimachigusa"♪

It was a very happy moment.

After that, Tim and Depp started DJ-ing together and everyone danced!♪

It was the first time I've danced in so long! We did a dance in a circle and hopped about!
All the tension built up from recording went away like whoosh!

The world was starting to wake up and I was at the peak of my sleep deprivation, so I said good-bye to Tim and left behind a quite tipsy Yuka-chin and went home in my horse and carriage.

Whenever Tim came to Tenmado or to a party, he'd always ask "How much do you still have left to record? Are you tired? Make sure you eat enough." He is so kind.

Today is the final day of recording! The Engineer GO Kondo-san is putting it together wonderfully for us.
We've been working with Kondo-san for 4 albums now, and he understands our style well and works hard for us, so we trust him and are watching him finish up without any worries.
As we've been completing the songs one by one, we've been talking about what a good album it is becoming.

Look forward to it!!!

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Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on stage at the Japan Premiere

I had such a good time translating this one! I'm so jealous...of everyone involved! I'm jealous of Yuka and Sachi for being able to meet Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, of course - who isn't? But I'm also jealous of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp for being able to hang out with Yuka and Sacchan, who I miss badly! I wonder if they even remember me...probably not! But I remember them. I wish I'd been able to visit Tokyo on my last trip to Japan to go to Tenmado!

Regardless, I'm totally looking forward to the new CD!

Request: If anyone knows any information about "Nafuu" (ナフゥ) or "Harutamu" (はるたむ), please let me know! I don't know what Sachi is talking about here, and I can't see the picture clearly!

Yuka's blog: http://yaplog.jp/tenmadomother/

Sachi's blog: http://yaplog.jp/ryuryusachi/

Let's Talk About Milk

Below is an English translation of the fifth of 31 essays/short articles in Takemoto Novala's recently published 乙女のトリビア, or Trivia for Maidens, originally published in Zipper magazine.

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Let’s Talk About Milk.
Things About Milk That You Don’t Know About

Do you like Milk? I bet you do. Even if you’ve never worn it yourself, Milk’s clothing can make you dizzy just looking at it.

It’s extremely cute, but at the same time rock and roll, and very street even as it’s classy. It’s always cutting edge. So I’ve always loved Milk. My characters often wear Milk. After all, my debut novel Mishin was about a punk rocker who wore Milk. I don’t believe I would have ever made it as a novelist if Milk didn’t exist.

Missin' by Takemoto Novala

How much do you know about Milk? This time, let’s learn about Milk’s history.

From the beginning, Milk’s director has been Hitomi. The shop was started all the way back in the 70s. Milk’s been around longer than you have. Currently, the head shop is in Harajuku on Meiji-doori Street, but originally it was in a building called "Central Apartments" in Omotesando, in a tiny room that would be full to the brim if there were even 5 customers in it at one time. Milk’s clothing at that time had a similar design as now, and it was carefully constructed, so the price was quite high and most girls couldn’t afford it. The sizing was also a bit smaller than average.

Minami Saori

Because of this, the people who wore Milk the most tended to be famous idols and models. Most famous of those who loved Milk was Minami Saori. But then, have you even heard of her? She was at the top of the idol world in the 70s, with a sincere image. She wore Milk outside of work as well. As for someone who you’ve actually heard of who wore Milk, how about Candies? Ishino Mako as well. If I keep going on about idols who wore Milk, I’ll never be done!


Ishino Mako

Milk was therefore the brand that started the practice of providing a lot of clothing for stars in Japan, a practice that is considered obvious today.

In the late 70s, it became more possible for normal people to be able to buy brand. Matsuda Seiko loved Milk when she was in high school, and it seems she would save up to buy it. In the 80s there was the DC Boom, and it was no longer the privilege of famous talents and models alone to wear Milk, but even still, Milk was special. Milk was different. Different from other shops…

I have many friends who are designers, but for the most part, designers are quite mean-spirited, and won’t express admiration for any other brand, even if the target customer base is completely different. But everyone admires Milk. Milk is incredible. Usually, a brand will change its image and direction based on trends and the needs of their customers, but Milk has always kept the same policy, and continues to grab the hearts of new girls. When I went to Paris for the first time, I was wearing Milk. And all the stylists and models there asked me what brand it was from. They loved it, and became very interested in it. Milk has never been featured in a Paris Collection, but they still continue to make clothing that can be beloved around the world.

To digress a bit, the designer for Jane Marple used to work at Milk. The head of Shirley Temple, the foundation brand of Emily Temple cute, started Shirley Temple because of her involvement with Milk. It may be surprising, but there are even many people at Under Cover and Comme des Garçons who have connections with Milk. So in a way, Milk stands at the base of the Japanese fashion world.

So you see, Milk truly is special! Several years ago, I was introduced to Hitomi-san, and at that time, I apologized to her for wearing Milk rather than Milk Boy despite being a guy. She told me, "Gender and age are irrelevant. I want my clothes worn by those who understand their spirit." These words gave me confidence, and I ended up reserving a lot of new reservation items.

If there’s something with a heart motif, I can’t help but buy it... Oh dear, I was supposed to be writing about Milk’s history, and ended up just writing a love letter to Milk! You’ll forgive me, right? After all, I can’t help it. I really love Milk.

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I’ll finally be able to keep my own thoughts on this one brief, as I really don’t have a lot to say about Milk. They are adorable, but not my own style, which is lucky, considering they’re a bit too small for me! I absolutely love their accessories though. I mean, come on, how cute is this?

Yep, I thought so!

This time, instead of my own comments, I’ll leave you with this magazine feature on Minami Saori, who Novala writes about above. An English translation follows the original Japanese.

From PuchiPuchi magazine, September 1973.

I should probably also include an apology. Despite promising at least 1 new translation every week, I fell off the horse last week and it's been 2 weeks since my last translation! I will work on being better! Please don't lose faith in me! ♥

Coordinate Snap! Wednesday, March 17 - St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday night I went to Ann Arbor for a VNV Nation show! It was an excellent concert. Thank you so much to Ronan, Mark, Mike, and Jeff for flying out from Cali just for this one show! It was great. It was very last minute, and was not part of the original tour plan, and there was therefore no opening act. It was a very different kind of show, held in a smallish club rather than a more traditional concert venue - in fact it was the first time there's been a concert at the Necto in 20 years! Jinx, the DJ and promoter for Necto Factory Mondays, did an amazing job putting the show together - mad props! What a great time!

hat: Spirit Halloween
bolero, socks: offbrand
blouse: Angelic Pretty
skirt, cage skirt, hairbows: Kinki Kitty
shoes: Demonia

I've also been very lax about posting my coordinates here, so here are four more from last weekend!

From Thursday, March 11, a D:Konstruct show in Hamtramck!

hairbow: Heart E
blouse: Metamorphose
skirt: Innocent World
socks: Angelic Pretty
shoes: Demonia
necklace: my mother

From Friday, March 12

blouse, jsk: Angelic Pretty
socks: Alice and the Pirates
boots: Antenna
hairbow: Metamorphose

From Saturday, March 13 - Detroit lolita Alice in Wonderland meetup! I want to make a post with all the lovely outfits from this night, but I don't have photos yet, so that will come later!

bunny cape & skirt, hairbow: Kinki Kitty/handmade
cutsew: Baby
socks: offbrand
shoes: Antenna

From Sunday, March 14, Irish dinner with my family.

dress, necklace, bracelet, socks: Innocent World
shoes: Antenna
headdress: handmade crocheted by the talented and lovely livejournal user apika ♥♥