Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dream Dress: AP Star Night Theatre Dress

This is Angelic Pretty's marketing for their Star Night Theatre fashions. It comes in a dress, JSK and skirt with a complete assortment of accessories. It features a night-time circus theme! The dress is decorated in items you might find at a circus, and the border print shows a fun scene under the big top tent. It’s finished off with tulle lace and a rich gold torchon lace.

This marketing piece only shows the fashion in pink and red. There is also a black version. As you can see in the photo above.

Of course, I love the dress in all three colors. There are all extremely "sweet" (as are all AP fashions). I adore the pink. But then I am so partial to anything (be it fashions or anything else) in pink. The first reaction is that the AP fashions are very girly (good) and extremely juvenile (bad).

I am considering accessorizing the dress much differently that in the marketing photo. Something to make it look much more sophisticated. I'd like to be able to wear it to work (and other places) and not just to Lolita meet-ups. I mean it's hard to be taken seriously dressed as a little girl! So I'm thinking I could do that with the black dress (not so much the pink or the red).

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

Andrea Nicole Baker

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Everything you wanted to know about Gothic and Lolita

I decided to put the links to my favorite Lolita Blogs, Lolita Shopping and other Lolita Sites so that they would be easy for me (and my followers) to find. Of course, this is NOT the definitive list of Gothic and Lolita information. But I think it is very comprehensive. I'll be adding more as I encounter them.
I will also share my thoughts about my favorites.

My favorite Blogs are Lolita Charm and Fyeah Lolita. The girls are amazingly knowledgeable and creative. I love the their insights into the EGL Community and Lolita Lifestyle.

In my "Miscellaneous Lolita" list are sites that tell you all about Gothic Lolita fashion and Liftstyle. The Lolita Handbook is a great source of information.

I'm still working through the shopping sites. More on that in another posting. I will share my experiences with ordering new outfits and my satisfaction with the gorgeous fashions.

Andrea Nicole Baker (Loli Andrea)

Friday, November 27, 2009

What's wrong with Cuteness?

I was reading this interesting article "Addicted to Cute" in the December 2009 Vanity Fair. The Author's (Jim Windolf) premise is that: "America has been flooded by a tsunami of cute–we’re drowning in puppies and kittens and bunnies and cupcakes–that is transforming marketing (the geico Gecko), automobiles (the Smart car), and movies (Up). But is the world bound to sour on all this sweetness?"

Being a Lolita this hits pretty close to home. Especially being a Sweet Lolita. I think that every Lolita style (with the possible exception of Guro/Gore Lolita). has it's cute features. He even snubs his nose at cupcakes! OMG!

He states that this is "All part of a broader cultural movement defined by a special fascination with all things cute—a movement that has sprung to life against a backdrop of war, economic breakdown, and more Wi-Fi.". He also mentions the web site, Cute Overload, which gets over 100,00 hits a day. It is full of videos and photographs of cute puppies, kittens, babies, etc. I will almost admit that it is a bit over the top. But some of the photos are toooooooo cute!

Honestly, this is just human nature. To be attracted to the cute and adorable. Whether they be babies, puppies, kittens, bunnies (or especially) adorable Lolitas! The Author admits that "To some degree, we can’t help ourselves. In the 1940s, ethologist Konrad Lorenz proposed—correctly, as it turns out—that we instinctively want to nurture any creature that has a cute appearance."

I most certainly agree with him about the Geico Gekko. The nasty giant insurance company attempts to market it's image of cute thru a cute fully animated reptile. "The little guy is now fully anthropomorphized, with a more rounded head, big eyes, and other characteristics we unconsciously associate with infants who need our care. The gecko’s cuteness tricks you into forgetting that it represents something that’s not cute in the slightest—a giant insurance company, which must deal in matters most uncuddly, such as injury, death, and arguments over claim payments."

But it was when the author made disparaging remarks about my cute cupcakes that I decided to take most of this "tongue in cheek". "Cuteness has also insinuated its way into our lives by way of our taste buds and stomachs. The nationwide hunger for what may be the cutest food item in culinary history, the cupcake, seems to have kicked in around 2005. A studied childishness is a big part of the cute movement, and the cupcake’s surge in popularity is a reversion to the gustatory pleasures of that time in our lives when sweet plus soft plus damp equaled yummy."

As I read more I wondered if us Lolita's were safe from his sharp attacks. The closest he came was his diatribe on Japan.

Social misery and cuteness seem to be linked. The precedent we have in this area is Japan. A cuteness craze got started there, influenced strongly by the Disney films Bambi and Fantasia, in the defeated nation’s bleak postwar culture of the 1940s and 1950s. It has continued to the present, under the name kawaii.
Japan is the cute capital of the world—it’ll drive you nuts,” says a man who lives there part of each year, but who must remain anonymous because his wife is a Hello Kitty saleswoman. (The cute industry is hard on dissidents.) “When you get the cuteness here, it has usually been pets. But now that America is starting to get into the animation from Japan, it’s starting to seep in. It’s like a 10-year time lag. When I was in Japan 10 years ago, the cuteness wasn’t quite as bad as it is now. And now I see a lot of the same things in America that you saw in Japan back then.”

You can read the detail he goes into about Japanese Society and it's need for attention by being ultra cute. Maybe. But having visited and worked in Japan (but I'm certainly not an expert) I'm not sure I buy into that.

In closing he postulates that "Maybe the cuteness has come for us because of the huge change we’ve gone through in the last decade in terms of our relationships with our machines. Those born in the 1960s or earlier remember a time when (even as full-fledged adults) they did not have something beeping in their pocket, a time when they were not tethered to the Web, a time when they could be truly alone. It’s not a new thing to note that machines have become an integral part of middle-class life in our increasingly digital age. But maybe this is another reason for the cuteness craze.".
Hello! The industrial revolution happened a long time ago! I don't think people have changed a bit. What has changed in that the internet, cell phones and the media have put all of this out there (for you to enjoy or ignore).

In Summary, I adore cuteness. Judging from the reaction I get when I'm out in my frills, bows and lace so do others!
There is just too much evil, hate and bad things in this world! Maybe this is escapism but I'd rather focus on the good rather than the bad. Jim, the Angelic Pretty images in this post are there to make my own personal statement.

Yours in Cuteness
Andrea Nicole Baker

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My favorite Candy Store

My favorite "candy store" is Sephora. Well, not exactly candy, but when I go to the mall and shop at Sephora I feel like I'm in a candy store. So many fab makeup items to choose from in gorgeous girly packages. Plus the sales girls are always so friendly and willing to help. I always find something new to try.

At this time of year it is all about glitter and sparkles. I found this wonderful ultimate glitter guide online. It has a guide for eyes, lashes, lips, nails, hair and body. Looking forward to trying out some of these glam looks during the holiday season.

I'm a Beauty Insider. It's more than worth joining for free rewards.

Andrea Nicole Baker

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

To all my family and friends (and a special greeting to all my new Lolita girlfriends) a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
Let us remember all the things we truly have to be grateful for.

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving.

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Andrea Nicole Baker

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Those who love Gothic & Lolita

Some random thoughts and perspectives about Gothic and Lolita. It starts with some Coco Chanel Quotes that I adore:

1. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

2. Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.

3. In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.

4. The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

The girls who are into Gothic and Lolita fashion are willing to take the steps to be all of the above. They don't go with the crowd but rather are willing to show their own unique self expression. This is not easy because it sets oneself up to be questioned and ridiculed at times. But it is an important step towards self confidence knowing that a girl is being true to herself. There are too many moments in life where one is challenged to follow her own path or just compromise to "get along". I almost equate that to giving up one's individuality. One compromise at a time.

G&L girls are also creative. Loving the feminine nature of the fashion and making a unique fashion statement because Gothic and Lolita offers so much room for individualism. Every Sweet Lolita, Gothic Lolita, Hime Lolita, Classic Lolita, etc has her own unique and individual style. But it is much more than just the way she dresses. It is her attitude and her openness to new ideas and being willing to discover who she really is.

I also feel this helps each one of us become more accepting of the differences and diversity we find out there. America has changed so much. It has become a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country. Diversity is a wonderful thing if we are willing to be open and accepting. There is so much we can learn from each other. The "real america" is not the America of the 1950s any more. Anyone care to live in the society and culture of "Mad Men"? How about that for being totally devoid of values where conformity was the rule. But even then some women were trying to break out of the norm.

It is very challenging to be out there and show proper manners when there are still ignorant and rude people who laugh and ridicule those of us who care to be different. My approach is to "Consider the Source" and not stoop to their level. Ignorant and stupid people never prosper. Love who you are and revel in it.

Andrea Nicole Baker

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lolita meet-up Nov 2009

The Loli meetup last Wednesday was fab. Was wonderful to see some of the girls I met in october and also make some new girlfriends! There were about 15 Lolita girls who met at a local restaurant for dinner and socializing.

I can hardly express what a fun and enjoyable evening it was. A truly amazing group of talented, creative, beautiful and intelligent young ladies. Of course everyone at the restaurant wondered who the "Pouf" girls were.

I was wearing my new Gothic Lolita dress. It is a JSK - Back Tiered Pintuck Frills Dress worn with a black frilly blouse. There are tiered pleated pintucks & frills and small bow-ties with a line of buttons in the front and shirring back. Plus a small petticoat underneath to give it the "pouf" look. I'll have some better photos of it soon!

I had about 2 hours to shop and browse at the mall before the meet-up. I got lots of compliments (and questions) about my outfit. One of the best reactions was when I walked into Sephora. The salesgirl greeting customers said "What a lovely Lolita!" That was a great start to a marvelous evening.

Andrea Nicole

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mascara - The search for long and full lashes

I have been experimenting with different mascaras for years just to get the perfect combination of long and full volume eyelashes. I have not found the perfect mascara yet but enjoying the opportunity to experiment. I just love the look of long gorgeous lashes.

This article on "Best Mascaras" actually comes closest to my experiences with top mascaras listed.

5. Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara (Short review) - Based on the price and the beautifully fanned out panoramic effect – the Givenchy Phenom’ Eyes Mascara is a superbly good buy. I personally think that no other mascara in the market, no matter how odd-shaped the sphere is – can produce the unique and dazzling effect that will just bring out the beauty of your eyes, whatever its shape and size. It’s definitely one of the best among all the mascaras out there!
(Andrea - On my short list to try next!)

4. Lancome Fatale Mascara (Short Review) - What you should know is that it will take you some time to get used to this 3D comb, but after you do – there is nothing like Fatale! :) It’s been called the best mascara for years now. If you never tried it, you definitely should! Every word in the description of this top mascara is true.
(Andrea - I have used this. it does take time to get used to the comb. The results are amazing. I use on my upper lashes only.)

3. Lancome Hypnose Mascara (Short Review) - The mascara is perfect for creating the volume AND the length, it also separates lashes greatly. Being another classic from Lancome, Hypnose is one of the best mascaras I’ve ever tried! No wonder it’s always on Beauty Best Sellers Lists!
(Andrea - Completely agree. I used it for about a year. Not sure why I stopped. Probably just the thought that there might be a mascara even better!)

2. Dior Diorshow Mascara (Short Review) - Dior Diorshow is an excellent mascara, but it does not work for everyone (for me personally it came as a challenge at first, as the wand seemed too big for my little eyelashes, but it gave amazing results once I got a hand of it). The girls with longer lashes don’t face a problem like that, usually they fall in love with this mascara at first try. They say although the brush is huge, it makes their lashes look incredible, long, well separated, with a lot of volume and curl… It’s true. I’ve seen it on my eyelashes and on the eyelashes of my friends – amazing results from a top Dior mascara!
(Andrea - This is what I am using now! I adore it! Great Results. Goes on very easily. Long and full lashes!

1. Chanel Inimitable (Short review) - Being a make-up junkie I tried it all from Maybelline for $2.99 to DiorShow for $40 (that’s what they charge for it in Moscow, can you believe it!?). But Chanel Inimitable beats them all! Just like the ad says, with the first stroke you get the lashes you’ve always wanted! But of course you will need an eye lash curler before you apply the mascara. Your lashes will be spectacular, if you always thought that you had thin and not pretty eyelashes, this is the mascara to prove you wrong, it will make them look gorgeous! The best mascara ever!
(Andrea - On my short list to try next!)

Andrea Nicole Baker

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Evening gown choices

There are a number of events and parties that are coming up for the Holidays and into the new year (2010) for which I need to wear an evening gown. You know the type. A long floor length dress with a low-cut neckline, flowing skirt and evening sandals. These photos are just an example of what I might be looking for. The gowns are exquisite. I could spend weeks searching for just the perfect gown. So many choices of colors and styles.

But, I'd really rather wear an elegant Lolita Princess Gown and make a unique fashion statement. Really stand out from all the other women. I just love this Victorian Lolita Princess Baby Dolly Promenade Dress and Choker. I can have it made in many colors. Here are the examples in Pink and black (which are my first choices).

The dress is made from cotton broadcloth and chiffon with cotton trimmings and cotton laces. An adjustable waist by bust lacing up corset in front. The dress is ankle length. The color options are cream, Black, Pink, Yellow, Blue, Red and a few more. Lace trim is white or black depending on the primary dress color chosen.

So what do you think? Traditional evening gown or the Lolita Princess Gown? (and what color for the Lolita Princess Gown)?

Andrea Nicole Baker

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009 - Sweet and Fun

Another Halloween has come and gone. I went to a few parties over two weekends, made some new friends and baked some lovely cupcakes that everyone enjoyed.

Victoria Suzanne at Lolita Charm wrote a special Halloween Edition of her blog on Oct 31st. If you haven't seen it please check it out. I adore her blog. She is creative, talented, intelligent and very pretty also. She has a wonderful sense of design, fashion and the things that appeal to all of us girls.

Andrea Nicole Baker.