Friday, 26 June 2015

Lolita reads: The little white horse

Welcome to my new series where I review books which I feel are inspiring or otherwise interesting  to lolitas. Today's topic is the the Little white horse by  Elizabetha Goudgen which has been filmed under the name Secret of Moonacre (though there are quite drastic changes from the book).

The little white horse was first published in 1946 in London, England. It has whimsical fairy tale like style which makes it nice reading for lolitas of any style. I would compare it to Harry Potter which is no wonder as J.K Rowling has said she was inspired by the Little white horse. 

The story opens at 1842 when Maria Merryweather's father dies and she has to move to her second cousin's manor in Moonacre, where she has many whimsical adventures. The book has a pinch of romance and a lot of fun. The characters are intriguing and have clear personalities. My personal favorite is Maria's King Charles spaniel, Wiggins, who is both quite selfish and greedy but also a welcomed comedic side kick whose exploits always manage to make me laugh.

"Wrolf and Zachariah treated her now as an esteemed colleague, and Wiggins, though his expression in her presence was by no means agreeable, had sufficient self control not to give verbal expression to the sentiments within in his breast. For one he as not quite sure what Wrolf might do to him if he did and another, he was not unaffected by the charming sweetness of Serena's manner toward him."  

As the story progresses Maria begins to realize that not everything in Moonacre is as nice as it seems and it falls to her young shoulders to try and fix the discord that has ailed the valley and her family  since ancient times. 

The writing style is whimsical and easy to read pulling the reader in to the story excellently. There are even a few songs included in the book, which I have always found rather charming.   
A more fashionably inclined reader will enjoy the descriptions of Maria's clothes and most particularly her boots, which are lively and will surely give some outfit ideas as well. 

"And the boots she had on today were calculated to raise the lowest spirits, for they were made of the softest grey leater, sewn with crystal beads round the tops and were lined with snow white lamb's-wool. The crystal beads, as it happened, could not be see, because Maria's grey silk dress and warm grey wool pelisse, also trimmed with white lambs wool reached to her ankles, but she herself knew they were there and thought of them gave her a moral strength that can scarcely be over estimated."

The edition I read sadly has no illustrations but a quick googling has made it quite clear that there are absolutely charmingly illustrated ones out there. To me it's a bit sad that I couldn't find an illustrated version because all the styles of illustration I've looked at are charming and quite inspiring.

All and all The Little white horse is a charming story of girls just at the cusp of adult hood, akin the likes of Alice in Wonderland, Little Princess or Kamikaze girls which all feel like classic reading for lolitas to me. It has a bit of fashion, tad of tea parties and a lot of whimsy that most lolitas will enjoy. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to any lolita. 

Madame Parapluie

Friday, 19 June 2015

Auntie Mims on: Tricks of the trade or what I said in Hellocon

The Auntie Mims Icon was commisioned from Lemontree11

Hello dears!

Here is a the short version of what was discussed in my Hellocon program "Tricks of the trade or how to care for your Lolita garments."  
This will be more of a resource-type post and has a lot of general information.

Clothing care symbols

Here I will go through the basic western clothing care symbols. Here is where I got the pictures for this blog post and the program. In the links section you will find a more detailed guide for the western symbols and a guide for Japanese symbols as well. 

First up is the washing symbol. This is fairly straight forward. If this is in your care label you can wash the garment at home. It usually will show which temperature to use. If the garment should be hand washed the symbol will have a hand  in it.

If any symbols has a cross over it it means you cannot do this to your garment. In this case you can't wet wash it home. 

This is the ironing symbol which will tell you on which setting to Iron you things. In this case it's the medium setting. Again if it's crossed over you can't iron the garment. 

This is the tumble drying symbol which naturally means that you can tumble dry the garment. As with the others the symbol should tell you which setting to use or if the tumble drying is not allowed. Other drying symbols will also be square in shape.  

This is the symbol for professional laundry. It will usually indicate which sort of program to use with a letter and have lines under it to indicate which setting the dry cleaners should use. In Japanese clothes dry cleaning is often recommended even when it's not needed. More on that when we tackle the typical lolita materials in the next topic. 

And finally we have the bleaching symbol. This symbol tells if you can bleach the garment and which sort of bleach is good for it. 

Typical lolita materials

Lolita has many forms and uses many materials but to my experience these are the most typical.

Cotton: If it's not printed or two tone (white lace on dark material or vice-versa) you should be able to just chuck it in to the machine and wash in the typical setting for a cotton garment. Blouses, bloomers and unprinted cutsews can be machine washed always. If it's printed you can hand wash it but check first if the print is known to run. 

Chiffon: Lolita often uses polyester chiffon which can be machine washed in the appropriate setting. 

Polyester: Unprinted polyester is machine washable. If it's printed I'd hand wash it or use a really gentle setting on my machine. 

Velvet: I am sorry ladies but this you will have to drag to the dry cleaners. 

Wool: If it's knit wash it at home in the wool setting of your machine and flat dry to prevent stretching. If it's a coat take it to the dry cleaners.

Always wash the garment according to the requirements of the most sensitive material used. For example if you have a dress with a velvet bodice and a chiffon hem, take it to the dry cleaners. 

General tips 

~ Wet thin socks before using them even once. This will increase the elasticity and prevent runs. Wash all socks after every use.

~ If your garment is slightly wrinkled hang it on a hanger and take it to the bath room with you next time you take a hot shower. The steam from the shower will take care of any small wrinkles. 

~ After washing your lolita garments straighten the lace when the garment is still wet. This will save you time and nerves when ironing. 

~ Always test stain removal products on a unseen place on your garment. Seam allowances are a good option. 

~ Wool cardigans that are not stained but have a musty smell can be just aired out to remove smells. Wool is self cleaning fibre which is also why you should dry clean your winter coat only once a year unless some rude person splashes mud all over it. 

~ Do not wash your head bows by sinking them in water as this may cause rusting. If your head bow has a stain dip a corner of soft towel to water and in a drop of soap and then vigorously rub the stain to remove it. This technique will also work on make up stained collars and other stains. 


Garrment care tag on my blog: Here
Clothing care in EGL: Here
What prints can be washed: Here
Japanese washing symbols: Here
Western washing symbols: Here
How to fix print bleeding Here

 And as this post is already super long I will leave the shoe care, ironing and mending techniques for another time. 

If you have any questions or topics for Auntie Mims to write about leave the in the comments and I will try to answer them. 

Thank you for reading this kilometre of a post. 

Auntie Mims

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

What are teaparties made of?

A little bit of cake...

A splash of sparkling wine...

Touch of scandal...

A good amount of dignity...

And plenty of fun!

Thank all of you lovely ladies for being my guests! I hope we can do this again.

Madame Parapluie

Ps. Photos by Sanni Siira so no using without permission. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Scenes from Hellocon.

This year Hellocon was like falling through a rabbit hole to whole new world of magic and circus. Gloria was decorated with gold and red and white and everything felt like we had actually stepped into a circus. 

Myrre was our official master of ceremonies. Here she is presenting the guests of honour, Maki and Asuka from Angelic Pretty.

Adorable table of Sweet and tiny. Everything looked absolutely gorgeous.

The owner of Miss Danger shop.

Table of Lorina Liddel

And the personnel of the same brand.

The lovely Maki from Angelic pretty. She looked really cute.

A swedish lolita who's outfit was mind blowingly pretty. 

Carmilla looked amazing on stage.

And so did Lydia.

Mandatory backstage selfie.

Mari did a post about our fashion show right here and I will try to get the Tricks of the trade post up as soon as possible. 

Madame Parapluie

Monday, 15 June 2015

Details make the dress: printed edition

As promised to my friend here are some details from my favourite printed dresses. I've tried to pick a wide array of different brands, handmade and different printing techniques. I hope you enjoy.

Let's start with a handmade piece. 

I freely admit that I have thing for books. I am after all a librarian (now with a fancy diploma to proof it), so naturally I love book prints. Currently own two, the Biblitheque one piece and this jumperskirt I made myself. 

The details in this dress are quite simple to let the print truly shine through. I just used this chanel-ribbon in the bodice and hem and pleated the shoulder straps to give them volume. 

And yes I have worn this to go visit the library. 

This dress from Alica and the piurates was an instant must have dream dress for me. I got lucky and found it at EGL community sales and it has recided in m y wardrobe ever since. The print combines two of my favorite things, royalty and tea (though I have yet to understand how tea shows in the print..). It is lovely regardless. 

I chose this version of the two jumperskirts because I loved the bodice detail. It makes the dress a tad difficult to coordinate but I've worked around it. 

And now for the crowning glory my holy grail dress, first love, the moment the old me was slain and so on. The Juliette & Justine cross print which I have coveted since the first velvet version was on their site. Robe de l'agnleau. Where do I even start with this one...? The simple yet elegant cut Juliette & Justine is known for, the plush velvet, the opulent print... I love everything about this dress.

Just look at it. It's the most epic thing in my wardrobe and I love it. 

So what's next? I quite like these Details make the thing-posts so I'd like to continue. Maybe blouses? Coats? Shoes? Or would you my dear readers prefer to see on concentrating on a particular piece of clothing in more depth and detail? Do post your thoughts in the comments.

Madame Parapluie