Sunday, 17 April 2011

Things I Love: Strawberries

Spring is here, the wisteria is flowering outside my window, the fruit garden is blossoming, and I am once again reminded of something I love: strawberries! As a Spring baby, it’s always my favourite time of the year, and I’ve been longing to wear a strawberry-filled Country Lolita coordinate!

Strawberries are such wonderful little things, don’t you think? From the tiny, bittersweet ones that grow alongside wild country paths to the big, sweet imported ones—with ice-cream, with soya yoghurt, in sorbets or in smoothies, they’re just too cute. No wonder Sweet Lolita thrives on strawberries!

Vintage Strawberry Shortcake merchandise is just the thing for this year’s Spring and Summer. With the rise of floral prints and what seems like a return to old-school Sweet on its way, who knows: maybe there will be lots of strawberry prints to coordinate it with! Or why not even take cues from the lovable character herself in a red, white and sage coordinate? A plain red onepiece with a pretty white apron would be gorgeous for a warm April day, paired with a straw hat decorated with lace and fake strawberries.

I’ve been offered the wonderful chance of a Lolita birthday present from my family, and I’ve been eyeing up the chance to ask for Angelic Pretty’s Ichigo Millefleur onepiece. I really hope I get it!

What are your favourite motifs for the Spring?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Saturday Daily Outfit: Viskei Cute Casual

Today I went out shopping for some fabric for the Visdoll Loli Sewing Project! Since I was just trotting around town I didn't really want to get all dolled up, but thought I'd share what I wore anyway. It's just a simple, casual-cute outfit, faintly Visual-kei fashion inspired. I do love my collection of oversized glasses!

Accessories and top: Offbrand
Skirt: Ba-Tsu
Boots: Innocent World
Tote: Metamorphose

Take care!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Angelic Pretty's Statement Blouses

I admit: up until fairly recently, I never really understood why anyone would love blouses.

Obviously, it wasn’t as though I’d skip them. It was just that to me, a blouse was a thing on your top half, not a beautiful piece in its own right. I would browse through the blouse section of Baby and the then-limited stock on the English-language Angelic Pretty website (I didn’t know where to find the Japanese one!), not quite understanding why anyone liked them. White or black blouses with some lace on—well, I thought to myself, see one and you’ve seen them all.

This, though, all changed: one day, browsing through the list of blogs I follow, I came across a girl in an absolutely fantastic blouse. I was amazed; did blouses that cute really exist after all? Searching desperately, I found that this was by Angelic Pretty: the Jewellery Beads blouse in pink. I was in love!

Since then, I have always felt that when it comes to blouses, Angelic Pretty just does them best! I think I would credit it, personally, to their being the forefront brand during the OTT Sweet craze. When everything else was a signature piece, why could you stop at your blouse? Up until then, blouses had all been fairly similar, maybe this one had a high collar and this one had detachable sleeves, but I think Angelic Pretty was the one to pioneer the idea of interesting, amazing signature piece blouses.

In particular, I love the detail and thought that Angelic Pretty’s designers put into them. From little tulle lace jabots to giant pussy-bows to designs that look like they’re just spawning random bows, even faux-bustiers and sheer blouses made entirely of chiffon, in every colour you could imagine to coordinate with your outfit—in my mind, nothing beats them!

Here's a few of my favourites! All images are courtesy of

It’s my dream to own a pastel rainbow of these! Admittedly I have magnificent dreams, but I’m hoping I will have some pocket-money soon to be able to buy my first ever Angelic Pretty blouse. ♥

Do you also have some dream blouses?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Music Spotlight: Lacroix Despheres

Lacroix Despheres (which, although my French is limited, apparently means ‘the cross of spheres’) is a Japanese band that I’ve been loving of late! According to’s description:

“Formed in 2006 in Tokyo, Japan, the band had it’s first debut with the single「古の刻より舞い降りし者たち」(Inishie No Toki Yori Maiorishi Monotachi). Lacroix Despheres means “The Cross of the Sphere”. Their concerts are similar to those of a musical or a rock opera, since every song is put together to form a story, and it involves acting and dialogue parts.”

How exciting!

Their music ranges from beautiful, haunting gothic opera sounds to what I can only describe as operatic hard rock. Particularly I’m in love with La Vérite Fermée, the first song on their album Dernier Paradis: Act I. It sounds like the perfect music to listen to on a cloudy, moonlit night while swathed in beautiful Gothic clothes and drinking red wine in a crumbling library... or maybe that’s just in my imagination.

However, take a look at this! The band members dress in gorgeous Gothic Aristocrat clothes—except for the flautist, who’s an enchantingly lovely Gothic Lolita!

I’m feeling inspired to wear an inverted black and white coordinate now. I think that’s beautiful!

Here’s La Vérite Fermée courtesy of Youtube; don’t forget to listen to the other songs from this album, which are all equally enchanting, and if you like it then do support the band and buy their music!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

It's time for a new hairstyle!

For the last few days, pretty much all my time (besides reading Hime-kei blogs; those frilly gals are amazing!) has been taken up with hairstyles!

In my defence though, it’s for a good reason! A while ago, I had my hair dyed bright bright cerise pink. I absolutely loved it… until I realised that it didn’t match anything I owned! It was a tragedy, but I decided it had to go. Of course, after having my already bleached hair lightened to white, I really couldn’t risk trying to bleach out the pink, so I decided to fade it instead. Now, several weeks on and a few soap caps later, my hair is… wait for it… creamsicle orange. Oh dear! However, it does look like it’s light enough and settled enough to dye again now, thank goodness.

My hair is also suffering from a grown-out hime cut and a V-fringe that looked absolutely glamorous for a few weeks before my cowlick parting decided it was having none of it. So in light of this, it is definitely time to get a restyle and a new colour!

Here’s some of the pictures I was particularly loving!

All via Tumblr

So many of them are Gal hairstyles, but my hair is naturally wavy and I’m a bit, shall we say carefree? with it— so I love how low-maintenance they’d be on my hair for those days when I couldn’t be bothered to break out the curling tongs. ♥ And as you can see, I'm seriously considering a light toffee brown! Very scary for me, a natural blonde!

I'll be posting the results of my hairdresser's appointment in a few weeks' time, along with before and after photos of my hair! Watch out for it!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

How to Start Being Someone You Love

Sometimes, it’s difficult to be somebody that you like. Don’t we all aspire to be that girl at some point, even if only for a moment—the girl with all the It Prints, or the tearoom-themed bedroom, or that something that we’re oh-so jealous of?

It can be so easy to end up feeling unhappy with yourself in the face of all the you're-not-good-enough messages from the media. I’m sure everyone wants to change something about themselves, even if it’s only a little thing. It’s important to be somebody you like, and it’s absolutely not a bad thing to try to improve yourself! However, sometimes we can find that our envy isn’t a positive thing that drives us to do better—instead, it can bring out our ugly side.

When we find ourselves turning into somebody we dislike, we might not be able to give ourselves a full personality overhaul overnight, but there are some things we can do for ourselves…

  • Find the things that are making your thoughts unpleasant, and then cut your losses.
    It’s easy to turn into somebody you hate; I’m sure anyone participating in an online community knows that. Hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, not to mention that you don’t have to face the people you hurt, can make it tempting to get embroiled in drama or participate in a hate community.

    When you find yourself getting into this, take a step back and stop it. Leave the community; get rid of those gossiping friends who encourage you to talk about others behind their backs. It can be hard, but you will feel better in the long run.

  • Open yourself up to positive input!
    Why not join a love community or follow a sweet blog? Even just looking around and enjoying the pretty things you see is a lovely thing to do! Look for cute things to enjoy (I recommend Icing and the Imai Kira artwork on Tumblr!).

    Look up keywords like ‘stars’ or ‘unicorns’ or ‘roses’ on an image-sharing website, listen to beautiful music, or even watch 80s cartoons or shoujo anime if you like that. (I recommend the Aria series and Kiki’s Delivery Service!)

    Don’t forget to spread positive things as well as find them, though. Not only does it make other people feel good to get a Loli Valentine or a nice comment on their outfit, it also makes you feel good to give it. Nothing beats finding out you’ve brightened someone’s day, or even motivated them out of a bad spell, just by giving them some kind words!

  • Don’t try to be somebody you’re not.
    Don’t keep yourself from enjoying things you love because they’re not what you think that the person you dream of being would like. Just because you’re a Sweeter-than-Sweet Lolita doesn’t mean you can’t listen to metal, and being a lifestyle Gothic Lolita shouldn’t stop you from enjoying adorable kitten videos on Youtube.

    Accept that there are some things you can’t change about yourself. Maybe it’s just because giving it up makes you unhappy, or simply because it’s a part of you that won’t go away. Whatever it is—the shape of your nose, perhaps, or your hair that won’t do a thing—learn how to work around it and live with it, and maybe even eventually learn to love it?

Is there any more advice you’d give? Have you had any experiences with this that you can share?

Monday, 11 April 2011

Baby’s Chocolate Fascinate Fairytale

I’d lost a bit of love for Baby, the Stars Shine Bright over the last few months in the face of what seemed like a bit of a style rut for them— endless samey-samey prints and reused details, anyone?— but I am just in love with their newest print up for reservation, Chocolate Fascinate Fairytale!

It comes in two JSK styles:

Here’s some close-ups of the print.

Isn’t that adorable? Little European chocolate houses as a border print! It almost seems a little Dolly-kei inspired to me with the apparent western fairytale theme. Can you just imagine an entire village of houses straight out of Hansel and Gretel? (I wouldn’t like to meet the occupants, however!)

My dream would be to get the front-laced JSK in the ivory colour and replace the bows and ribbons with a matching sugary-pink. (I’m consumed by this need to make everything sweeter!) I think that’d be gorgeous with a fanciful pink long-sleeved blouse, like the kind Angelic Pretty regularly create.

Even if I can’t buy the JSK, though, these accessories are adorable! I am just longing for the socks in particular. I can imagine putting them with so many different coordinates!

What do you think? Is this new print chocolatey-sweet or not to your taste at all?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Loli Sewing Project: The Series Begins!

By Futurowoman on Flickr

Lately, I’ve been finding myself thinking more and more about something I find really quite daunting…

I’m talking about sewing!

Of course, I have no idea what’s got into me. I'm terrified of my sewing machine! However, as much as I’d love to be able to, my financial situation at the moment keeps me from casually dropping £300 on beautiful brand dresses whenever I feel like it. So instead, I decided to start the Lolita Sewing Project!

I will be working through a variety of crafts and sewing projects, starting at first with small, easy things like headdresses, alice bows and wrist-cuffs, and working up to skirts, dresses and blouses. I would love to encourage you to join me along the way, whether you’re a self-making fashionista or a sewing novice like me!

To encourage myself to face up to my sewing fears, I decided to cute-ify my old sewing machine with the contents of a GLB sticker sheet and some Little Twin Stars notepaper:

Sorry for my bad quality photo! Be assured, a proper camera is high on the Hello Visdoll wishlist!

So I think it’s time to begin!

Setting up!
  • Make sure you’ve got somewhere you can sew in! A nice wide area or a sturdy table in a place where you can fit an ironing board nearby is perfect.
  • It’s important to make it look pretty! Decorate the area, keep it tidy, and have plenty of spaces to put your supplies neatly at hand. Why not put an old lace tablecloth under your sewing machine to protect the surface and make it look extra cute, or even deco your tools so you have something pretty to look at while you’re sewing?
  • Be sure that you’ve got the things you need! At the very least you should have thread, extra needles, a couple of spare bobbins and a pair of scissors.

Getting started!
  • Don’t start too big! It’s so tempting to run before you can walk—after all, how hard can it be?—but if you’ve had no experience, you may well find yourself with nothing more than a mess when you’re done. Set yourself small, easy projects to practise on before you push yourself.
  • If you’re unsure about something, make a mockup first! Ideally this should be in a really cheap fabric, the kind it won’t matter much if you ruin. Then you can practise new things without the hazard of wrecking your precious project!

Now, I’m off to take a look at buying some of those perplexing Gosu Rori mooks and ransacking my grandmother’s 80s blouse pattern drawer. It’s time to get sewing!

I hope you’ll come along with me for the series!

(PS: How cute is this sewing machine? I wonder if it comes in a Cinnamoroll theme? Either way, do want!)

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Lolita vs. the Rock 'n' Roll Chick World

by hćtr on Flickr

We live in a world where alternative can become mainstream as quick as winking and nothing seems to surprise people these days. So why is Lolita still so shocking?

I was reading an article the other day about the modern ‘rebellious girl’. That is, the girl who acts against society, who isn’t afraid to get drunk on a weekend night, who smokes and maybe even dabbles in drugs. You can see it everywhere: the Taylor Momsen attitude, photoshoots in nothing but panties—just see how popular the ‘one unnaturally dyed streak’ look is!

Its point? The Rock ‘n’ Roll Chick is, the article said, no longer outrageous. Far from it: it’s practically expected of this generation’s young women. Having gone to an all-girls’ school and college, where gossip was the food of the social network, this struck a chord with me. There seems to be almost a kind of exhibitionism in a young woman getting so drunk that she does things that, when she is later told about them, have her cringing into her hands and laughing helplessly at her antics. It’s like a show: who can smoke first? Who can tell the most tales about their sex lives?

There is, of course, nothing particularly wrong with this in my book. Indeed, I think it shows just how the times have changed; what is absolutely normal these days would have been absolutely shocking fifty, thirty, even twenty years ago. But on the other hand, it had me considering just where Lolita fits into this modern world. Why is it so shocking? Could it be, quite simply, just because it doesn’t conform one bit to our society’s good-girl-bad-girl dichotomy?

Alright, maybe that was rather trite. After all, you could say that the whole point of Lolita is that it doesn’t conform. But then again, you could wear a jumper on your legs and tape bananas to your head and that wouldn’t be conforming either: non-conformity isn’t that hard to manage.

What makes Lolita so special? Personally, I think that the reason why is far from just being stand-out because Lolita, well, stands out. I think that maybe the reason that it’s so shocking in a nothing-shocks-us world is because Lolitas look like bad girls— simply by not looking like bad girls at all. It’s a cryptic mixture of modesty and brashness, stand-out, extreme aesthetics combined with old-world sweetness. It’s the maiden of the past, twisted into something new and in a context where she’s so out of place that she becomes a singularity.

It’s so simple and yet so subversive, to take femininity to a level at which it almost doesn’t come across as feminine. Demure? Quiet? Hardly. Seeing the familiar in a way that makes it unfamiliar is always a little unsettling, and I think that could be what makes Lolita so special in western society.

Maybe we’re the new bad girls after all? What do you think?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Hello, Visual Doll!

This is the story of the girl who sets out on her personal quest to be her own dream, the vision in her imagination that she wants to live. She might never get there, but she will always be aiming to become her own perfect Visual Doll.

Visual Doll doesn't just refer to me. It refers to everyone who visits this blog and all its readers; anyone who aims to be visually shocking and as beautiful as a doll. Visual Doll will always believe in the concept of absolute beauty, that there is magnificence in everything if you look at it the right way-- and whether you choose to be mainstream or alternative, conventionally lovely or differently beautiful, Visual Doll will always celebrate that.

With love,

Amelie May