Happy New Year! 2014 Wardrobe Post

Happy New Year, Bonne année et bonne santé, and 明けましておめでとう, Darlings!

Thank you for all of your support in 2014, with my first two fashion shows at the Hawaii Horror Ball and RAW: natural born artists Honolulu! I hope to improve very much this year, make very many commissions, work on my time management and have many more creative shows for you!


There is one Lolita meme I enjoy doing every year, and that is to post my wardrobe. It has changed very much over the past few years I've done it. The first year I did it, I kept my photos on Photobucket, but they are all gone now. That year was the year I studied abroad in Japan, and I had quite a few bright Angelic Pretty prints, leopard print accessories and bright pink motorcycle jackets.

The year after became a bit more muted and slightly mature, with still a few sweet elements. (Check it out here, Wardrobe Post 2013!)

This past year, 2014 was really when I started forming my personal style, and collecting pieces that truly reflect my personality and taste. As you'll see, I definitely became fond of Atelier Pierrot, and there's barely a trace of sweet Lolita to be found. I am very happy with my collection, which reflects classic themes, military and uniform influences, and lots of jewel tones!

Without further ado, and with firecrackers popping overhead as I write, my main wardrobe pieces of 2014.

Alice and the Pirates

St. Helena Jsk
(Pin: Miho Matsuda; Blouse: offbrand)

In comparison to last year, my collection of Alice and the Pirates has really thinned out. Still, I kept this Jsk, because it is one of my absolute favourites.

Firstly, navy blue is my favourite colour. It is so versatile, with the ability to compliment many different colour schemes and skin tones. I especially like wearing it with cream and gold accessories. I also adore uniform styles, so it is my go-to piece when I have no idea what to wear. I love it, because it can be styled classically, gothicly, or as a school uniform. I hope one day, to track down the matching capelet!

Cock Robin Jsk

I'll be honest. Though the design of this dress is very elegant, I mostly bought it because one of my favourite bands is called cocklobin, lol. I had the pleasure of watching them perform at Takadanobaba AREA just before they disbanded last year. Check them out, if you're into Nagoya-kei!

But back to the dress! As an avid collector of jewel tones, I appreciated the unique burgundy colour. I am also a fan of the ruffle on top of the bodice.

My latest purchase, still waiting for this one to come in from Closet Child.

Angelic Pretty

Wrapping Ribbon Jsk

I have long been skeptical of Angelic Pretty, because pastels just don't suit me. But I've wanted this particular print for a while, especially with the dark purple colour combination. On top of that, the chiffon is lovely, and the cut of the dress is quite comfortable. 

Atelier Pierrot

Halter Vest Jsk

I always wanted an all-black Atelier Pierrot Jsk. When my friend happened to be selling hers, I couldn't resist! I got it for a steal, because the zipper had broken off the track, but my husband fixed it for me in a jiffy. I am looking forward to so many different looks with this Jsk!

Eden Jsk

Definitely another one of my favourite Jsks. I bought it at Onicon Hawaii in 2012, the first year Atelier Pierrot came to Hawaii. I adored the green colour and had stalked it online for weeks, but it was sold out everywhere. I held on to my con savings with the faintest hope Atelier Pierrot might bring one for sale. As soon as the booth opened, I was there waiting, and watching... and there it was! I snagged it right away. I also modelled in the Atelier Pierrot fashion show that year, so this piece is also very sentimental to me. I don't think I'll ever get rid of it!

Cage Skirt

For as long as I could remember, I wanted a black cage skirt! Imagine my surprise and excitement when I found one at Closet Child in January for only about 6,000 yen. Score! 

Charcoal Capelet

A versatile mantle/capelet with faint pinstripes. I sometimes decorate it with a broach, corsage, or military-like ribbons, depending on the look. I got it in an Atelier Pierrot lucky pack last January. I got to see Yuko in Harajuku again the day I bought the pack, and she remembered me from Onicon, which made me very surprised and happy. 

Cream Pintuck Apron

A versatile and classic apron with many delicate details. It can be coordinated in many different ways, which is why I love it. I also got this from my lucky pack last year. 

White Jsk (I forget the name)

My photo honestly doesn't do this dress justice right now. I am still working on a complete coordinate.

This was my dream dress for my wedding, or post-wedding party last year, but it was always out of my budget. When it finally went on sale a few weeks ago, I decided to snag it. You never know when you can do a romantic gothic photo shoot, or vow renewal. ;D

Baby, the Stars Shine Bright

Ma Cherie Jsk

Although I've considered selling this a few times, I just can't let go of this adorable Jsk. Though normally I avoid pink, I am fond of Baby's special shade of "cherry" pink. Not to mention, I adore the heart embroidered eyelet lace on the bottom. On top of all that, it is called "Ma Cherie", almost as if it was made for me! Even though I prefer darker colours, I feel it is good to have at least one sweet Jsk in your wardrobe, just in case. 


Missing Letter, Key and Rabbit Jsk

I am not usually big into prints, but I adore the colours used in this print. It is a beautiful balance! I recently wore this out on a holiday shopping outing with my new chocolate brown mary janes.

Darkly Darling (my home-made items)

Enchanted Forest Jsk

A half-shirred Jsk with delicate pink tones and warm chocolate brown. I made it for a forest themed meet-up.

Rosemary Cream and Green Jsk and Bonnet

One of the first outfits I made when I got back into my sewing kick this year. I adore chiffon, it's my favourite material to work with! This was also my first successful bonnet that I made for myself.

Blue Lace Overlay Jsk

A fully shirred OP made of blue tafetta, fully lined with black lace overlay. It was one of my first experiments with fully shirred OPs. I wanted to make something in a bold sapphire blue colour, originally inspired by Beauty and the Beast, but it took a turn towards Moi-Meme-Moitie. 

I made a lot more items this year, but I think those are my favourites.


Green Halter Jsk

This was another dream dress, I dug it up at Closet Child for only 6,000 yen! I couldn't believe my eyes! I positively love Excentrique as a brand, and hope to collect more odds and ends from them in the coming year. I'd especially love one of their military styled jackets. 

Innocent World

Dot Shantung Jsk

I actually didn't get this in an oddment pack, I bought it by choice! As I said before, I love navy, and I also love polkadots, so this Jsk was just right for me. Not to mention, I prefer IW's longer hemlines. 

Antique Playing Cards Jsk

I love the metallic gold print, and how the pops of red surprisingly compliment the brown! The ribbon high on the bodice is also a cute touch.

Antique Cutlery Jsk

I love the reds and blues in the print. Though I am not usually a fan of prints, recently I have been coveting those from Innocent World.

Antique Tartan Jsk

Innocent World be like ANTIQUE ALL THE THINGS!

Obviously, I have become quite the fan of Innocent World, lol. I also enjoy collecting pieces with unique colours. Surprisingly enough this can be coordinated for either a Spring ot Autumn look.


Bear eared Jacket

One of the things I bought when it was freezing cold in Tokyo. It kept me surprisingly warm! I love the bear ears!

And last, but not least, some random accessory eye candy.

Welp, those are the main things I've added to my wardrobe in 2014! I feel it is a lot more cohesive this way, and reflects my personal style. It also shows how my taste has matured, and even fringed on gothic this past year. I am very satisfied with it!

Of course, I have some odds and ends such as Q-pot rings, brand necklaces given to me by friends, and one or two branded head pieces, but they're really not impressive enough to show off, haha. 

In 2015, I'd like to collect a Triple Fortune Bonnet, more Atelier Pierrot Jewel Tone Jsks, military items from Metamorphose and Excentrique, Innocent World's Rose Panel Jsk, and Btssb's Charlotte Baniran Jsk in red. Maybe I'll make a more extensive wishlist post later this week, for the Lolita Blog Carnival! 

I hope you enjoyed peeking inside my closet, and hopefully this time next year, I'll have more than twice as many handmade outfits by Darkly Darling to show you!

Xoxo, Cherie

30 Days of Loli: 10 Songs That Inspire My Inner Lolita

Hi there, Darlings!

How is everyone doing? Can you believe that it is December all ready? I am so excited to start coordinating Holiday outfits, and hopefully party a little with some Lolita friends. I think we're organizing a Secret Santa this year, so that is something to look forward to!

As usual, I'm trying to knock out this '30 Days of Loli' Challenge.

When I first saw the list of topics, there were definitely a handful that stood out, and I wanted to dive right into them. Today's was definitely one of those topics, as I love music more than... well, most things!

Today's topic is... 10 Songs That Inspire Your Inner Lolita!

The most difficult thing was narrowing down songs that are strictly "Lolita" in theme or feeling. For example, I love many visual kei bands, and some times rock out to Industrial music while driving to a meet-up or event. I have a strange mix-mash of music in my head, haha.

That being said, let's get on to my picks for songs, and why I chose them! Maybe they'll get you dancing, make you want to dress up, or inspire and outfit too!

1. "Suna no Oshiro"- Kanon Wakeshima

I used this song for my first-ever fashion show at the Hawaii Horror Ball. I loved how the ghostly vocals and deep cello brought out the gothic side in my outfits. For gothic Lolitas or Classic Lolitas who want to imagine a darker, more dramatic coordinate, this is a great song.

2. "We Are All Mad", Circus Contraption

I used this song for my second fashion show, at Raw Honolulu Presents: Scope.

It's a funny story, how I 'discovered' Circus Contraption. One of my friends, Lisa works with the Cherry Blossom Cabaret, a burlesque and performing arts group in Honolulu that puts on numerous colourful shows. I asked her and her friend, Michelle if they'd be interested in choreographing and performing something 'circus and 'ballet' inspired, to open for my Raw fashion show.

As we discussed music for the choreography and the rest of the show, one of them mentioned that Armitage Shanks from Circus Contraption would be at one of their Circus themed events the same month. They said that if I happened to find a song I liked, then I could probably do a fashion show at their event to show to Armitage.

Thus, I discovered Circus Contraption. The opening choreography was a mechanical-doll themed dance, and the main show was to this song, "We Are All Mad".

I love the whimsical feeling. I would definitely use this in another show, probably for a menswear line.

(PS: You can view my RAW Fashion show, here!)

3. "The Phantom of the Opera", Harajuku Remix

I want to use this in a fashion show someday!! (Are you sensing a theme? Haha.)

It inspires a more updated classic-gothic look, maybe with a few quirky and artistic accessories... and a venetian or opera mask.

4. "Cupid", Olivia Lufkin

Another one I wanted to use for a fashion show... :P

I've loved this song for many years. Olivia's vocals are hauntingly beautiful.

5. "私の楽団 / My Orchestra", Kokusyoku Sumire

I remember the first time I heard Kokusyoku Sumire.

I was like, "What the heck am I listening to?" But then it started to sink in, how intricate the melody was, how theatrical, and how the style of their world made the song come to life. I believe Kokusyoku Sumire embodies the spirit of Lolita- to express your own artistic world, even if it's not catering to a mainstream palette.

6. "The Love from a Dead Orchestra", Versailles

And we're back to fashion shows.

Actually, in high school, I wanted to go to school for fashion so badly, but knew I could never afford it. I fantasized about having a full ten-minute runway debut to this song, telling a story with the outfits. To this day the melody inspires me.

7. "Feed", Rose Noire

I find Rose Noire sometimes catchy, sometimes not. Their catchy songs fit the aesthetic of Lolita, and embody that ghostly, gothic, slightly melancholy sound I crave.

8. "Beast of Blood", Malice Mizer

I feel Malice Mizer was a mandatory mention.

In truth, I like Beat Blood, but it's not my favourite. My favourite is probably "Au Revoir" or "Gekka no Yasoukyoku". I'm a Gackt woman, what can I say?

Fun fact: The DJ played "Gekka no..." at my wedding. It was kind of an inside joke between me, my groom and my best friends.

9. "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", Nutcracker Suite

I've been into this song lately, and electronic mixes of classical songs. This melody is very Lolita to me. I heard it in a dream... that I dreamed about a fashion show. (I think I have a problem.)

10. "Gothic Party", Dolly

I love Dolly. I love this song. That is all.

There you have it! The songs that make my petticoats fluff and my Loli contacts sparkle. I kind of want to change out of this striped sweater and dress up right now, don't you?

But I should actually go sew. I have about 50 fantasy fashion shows to do.

Xoxo, Your one-track-mind-many-track-iPod-seamstress, Cherie

Modern Love: Ero-Guro Art at the Honolulu Museum of Art

Good evening, Darlings!

Today I ventured out to the Honolulu Museum of Art, to check out their new exhibit "Modern Love", featuring several ero and ero-guro artists. The exhibit runs until March 2015.

I have been waiting for months for this exhibit to open, since I found out they'd be featuring one of my favourite manga-ka, Suehiro Maruo.

With my copy of Shoujo Tsubaki, a Maruo cult classic.
My first exposure to Suehiro Maruo was on Tumblr about five years ago. Though I was initially repelled by the gruesome art style and scenes it depicted, it slowly entranced me. Shoujo Tsubaki became my personal favourite, and I have even cosplayed the main character, Midori.

As Midori, at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.
After my obsession with Maruo, my curiosity for guro manga led me to the cult classic "Litchi Hikari Club", theatre productions from Tokyo Grand Guignol, and various other 'grotesque' artists.

Without further ado, let me tell you a bit about the exhibit at HMA.

The exhibit is closed off by a rolling red screen door, since it is an 18+ exhibit. The walls are decorated with life-size prints from shunga paintings, with framed works by individual artists, and sometimes, related manga books in shadow boxes on display. On the walls, there are iPads loaded with the manga translated in English, so you can read the chapters.

A wall featuring the manga "Sakuran", a popular erotic manga that is also a successful film starring Anna Tsuchiya.

Aside from the Maruo collection, one of my favourite installments was this shadowbox featuring candid snapshots of girls, called "Tokyo Amour".

The artist, Yonehara Yasumasa was apparently a longtime resident of the Harajuku district of Tokyo, and has been actively involved in promoting Japanese street fashion and Harajuku culture. Some of his work will be featured in the upcoming exhibit Harajuku: Tokyo Street Fashion (November 2015-April 2016). This exhibit will also feature an original piece from the shironuri artist Minori. I can hardly wait until it finally opens! 

Yonehara Yasumasa's Tokyo Amour.
The Maruo collection left me speechless. There were eight frames of raw manga pages by the artist, mistakes, rough speech bubbles, and all.

There was also an iPad loaded with an explanation of the story, and some of the repeated symbolism in Maruo's works. It was very interesting to listen to, even as a fan familiar with his work.

After I walked around the rest of the museum, I popped into the gift shop to see if there were any Maruo goodies for sale. Though they only stocked basic books on Shunga and Ukiyo-e, I did find an interesting assortment of books on Japanese Street Fashion and Kawaii culture. I bet they're preparing for their upcoming J-fashion exhibit next year.

I picked up this one, which included a spread on the Harajuku Fashion Walks, as well as the history of Kawaii Culture.

And speaking of J-fashion, here was my outfit of the day. I decided to go casual Loli, since it was just my husband and I.

I really love my dot shantung Innocent World JSK.
Afterwards, my husband and I were really hungry, so we went to our favourite Hot Pot place on this island: Sweet Home Cafe. One of the best parts of eating at Sweet Home Cafe, is that when you're finished they treat you to a complimentary shaved ice dessert.

Yay, coffee jelly!
On the way home from our adventure, we saw a double rainbow cross right over us on the highway, and it was very bright! What better way to wrap up the day?

It's days like this that I believe the phrase, "Lucky We Live Hawaii".

Xoxo, your Kawaii in Hawaii Lolita Cherie. 

30 Days of Loli: Style Icons

We all have fashion inspirations, whether it be a band, movie star, or even a favourite blogger.

In the realm of Lolita, the latter is particularly important. There's many Lolita communities online where you can see people's daily coordinates as they post them. Some resources are Livejournal, Tumblr, and Lookbook. Often, Japanese lolitas will post on their personal blogs such as Ameblo or Yaplog.

Personally, I don't keep up much with other bloggers. Part of it is my shyness. I don't feel comfortable posting my pictures just anywhere, where my outfit is up for discussion.

As such, many of my style icons are artists, musicians, and others, rather than personal bloggers.

Without further ado, here are my current Top 10 Style Icons!

(Oddly enough, I kept this post from the last time I did this meme! You can check it out, and see how my influences have changed here.)

1. The art of Mitsukazu Mihara.

Mitsukazu Mihara has frequently illustrated covers for the Gothic Lolita Bible. Her characters have served as models for early hair and makeup tutorials. Some of her manga has also been serialized in the publication.

I love her artwork because it has an air of nostalgia, bringing me back to old school Lolita and its roots in visual kei. I enjoy her darker take on the style, and recently it has strongly influenced my aesthetic in coordinates.

Though I'd like to talk more about her, and some other Lolita artists, I'd like to save that for another post about my favourite Lolita art.

2. Sachi and Yuka of Kokusyoku Sumire.

This iconic duo comprises the enka-meets-Lolita musical group of Kokusyoku Sumire, meaning "Everlasting Violet" in Japanese. Their style ranged anywhere from stage costumes, to gothic aristocrat, to traditional Japanese coordinates harkening back to the Taisho Era. For their elegant and strange style, they are some of my fashion icons.

3. Mana of Moi Dix Moi and Malice Mizer; designer of Moi-Meme-Moitie.

Known as the 'granddaddy of Lolita', I always thought Mana was a little overrated. However, the older I get, I look back on his clean designs and bold pops of colour and find myself more and more fond of his designs. Additionally, I adore his porcelain-perfect face and crisp, clean makeup. Often, with makeup that dramatic, you can tell it is unnatural. However, with Mana, he just always seems to have a perfectly painted face! If only for his picturesque makeup, that is something I strive to emulate.

4. Uri / Oyasuminasai123

Uri is a frequent inhabitant of Harajuku, often popping up in Street Snaps and Shironuri events. When I first saw Uri, he was wearing this shironuri and kodona mashup.

This Street Snap had a huge impact on my personal style. First of all, it was the image that first pushed me to try Shironuri fashion. Later on down the line, it inspired me to try Shironuri mash-ups with Lolita...

Before an event at Kawaiikon 2014.

... As well as Kodona.

During a Hawaii Harajuku Fashion Walk.

Outside of Shironuri, Uri also coordinates a variety of kodona and decora outfits I find very inspiring. He has a keen eye for textures, colours and detail that speak to me. His passion for trying things outside of the box will always remind me why I love Harajuku culture. 

5 and 6. Akira, and Intetsu

Akira got her big break as a model for Kera magazine. She is most known for her boyish look and attitude, and her blonde highlighted visual-kei hair style. She has also modelled for Sex Pot Revenge, Boku magazine, and is the frontman in her own rock band. She often models Ouji and Aristocratic styles for Alice and the Pirates.

Intetsu is the bassist of Ayabie, now disbanded and/or on hiatus (long story). He has also modelled for Alice and the Pirates ads, and participated in fashion shows and brand-sponsored tea parties.

Both of them are absolutely fabulous in boy style, from head to toe. If I didn't have curves and could pull off boy style, I would strive to emulate their perfection. Though I don't wear boystyle as often as girl style, I still hold them highly as fashion icons.

Akira and Intetsu at a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright/ Alice and the Pirates fashion show.

7. Fairy Tale Characters

Channeling my inner "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast (left).

Often, when I am getting dressed in Lolita, I try to think of the "character" or persona I am expressing through my clothes. It may be the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, or a Witch, or a Magical Girl. 

Though not technically a fashion "icon", fairy tales play a huge inspiration in the outfits I put together.

My "White Rabbit" coordinate featuring Putumayo, Atelier Pierrot and Miho Matsuda.

8. Pop-Culture Icons

Every once in a while, I'll try to "Lolitafy" an anime or video game character. Sometimes it is to hang out with my friends, who are dressed as someone from the same series.

For example, in Nagoya I would often go out with my friend as "Miku" and I would be "Luka", two populsr Vocaloids. Though we weren't literally cosplaying, it was fun to come up with our own interpretations of the characters.

9. My Friends

When going out, I almost always consult my closest Lolita friends to see what they will be wearing. Together, we will usually decide on a theme, like "Trick or Treaters", or a brand, or a colour.

This is a great fall-back plan if you are feeling particularly uninspired that day, haha. Talking to my friends really gets my creative juices flowing!

Not to mention, my friends have impeccable taste, haha.

10. Last but not least, I feel obligated to mention Misako Aoki. 

Not only is she Japan's "Kawaii" Ambassador, but she embodies everything that I feel Lolita should be. She is mild-mannered, kind, and always perfectly coordinated from head-to-toe. She takes good care of herself, always appearing with soft, understated makeup and not a hair out of place. I also enjoy seeing her casual/"soft" Lolita and otome/"maiden" styles, with designs from brands like Milk and Emily Temple Cute.

Though personally, I don't dress in sweet very often, I try to take a page out of her book and present myself with grace while in Lolita. I try to wear the right amount of accessories and makeup without overdoing it, and always tweak my outfit until it is "just right". It is hard to explain what this level of balance is. I suppose it's when every accessory and hint of makeup serves a purpose in your outfit, without overpowering it.

For learning to recognize this balance and strive to achieve that aesthetic, I idolize Misako.

... whew, that was a little bit harder than I thought it would be! Though the world of Lolita is wider than it ever was before, that makes it harder to single out a few exceptional people that have made an impact on me. 

Lately, I have been spending more time in the Shironuri genre and mixing it with Lolita, experimenting rather than strictly following examples. Maybe for this reason too, it is harder for me to recall specific style icons. 

If anything, I hope that one day people will recognize the appeal of Shironuri and Lolita, and how it makes colours pop and drama intensify. Maybe one day, I will be someone's style inspiration... though that is not very likely, since like I said before, I never post my outfits, haha.

Me, as a Shironuri fawn in a Lolita dress I made. 

Xoxo, rambling insomniac Cherie.