Katie AW collection “Alternative Queen”

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It has been already a bit over a month since Katie released their AW collection`s lookbook, but since I adore the brand so much I still wanted to share my thoughts about this collection!

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The model of the AW collection this year is Sara Mary (instagram:saramary12). Until this year Risa Nakamura used to model Katie`s lookbook pictures for several years.

I was slightly disappointed in Katie`s SS 2016 collection (“Rebel Lolita”): somehow the collection didn`t feel very “Katie” to me, but when I saw the AW 2016 lookbook it was love at first sight. I was also happy to see re-releases of some of their signature pieces because many of the older versions have already been on my second hand wishlist (but have turned out to be hard to find…).

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Some re-releases: a dot textured “Doll Agent one-piece” and “Fluffy long cardigan” in new colours.

The AW collection this year is named “Alternative Queen” and the general feeling it gives me is a mixture of grunge and girlyness – so pretty typical Katie I guess haha. But this time they have taken the grunge side even further you could say! This autumn Katie draws inspiration from Courtney Love and the collection even includes a few pieces that are basically reproductions of Love`s iconic outfits. These pieces will surely be popular and the “Nobody`s daughter” dress that came to the stores first is already sold out.

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These two dresses called “Retard Girl courtney dress” (that really is the name of the dress…. the name comes from a song by Hole) and “Nobody´s daughter baby dress” and they are based on dresses Courtney wore.

I must admit I don`t know that much about Courtney Love but I like her style. I actually ended up listening to her band “Hole” a little inspired by Katie heh… But I still need to figure out how I feel about their music! Courtney`s style in the 90s was really girly and cool: peter pan collared dresses, leopard pattern and lingerie style satin dresses.

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original dresses that Courteny Love wore (Miss World and Retard Girl).

Actually when I googled her pictures I realised that Katie has been inspired by her for years already and I noticed Courtney wearing many very familiar looking Katie-like pieces. Katie has for example produced clothes such as t-shirts and badges with graphics that are clearly inspired by Courtney`s band “Hole”. Already several years ago they also made their first version of the “Miss World” dress which was a hit product already back then.

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Risa Nakamura and Amo wearing the first Katie “Miss World” dress from A/W 2012 collection.

Apparently Courtney Love and her personal style may be a bit topical right now because I just found out Nasty Gal made a collaboration with her around last January. Unfortunately all the best pieces seem to be already sold out, meh, but luckily Katie offers some lovely pieces inspired by her too! ; )

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These outfits are some of my favourites from the collection. I love the red “UNDER PRETTIES turtle neck”! The velvet camisole dress which comes in dark red, black and pink is also very cute.

While Katie`s AW15 collection was sweet, pink, fluffy and just super cute their AW16 seems more edgy and a little more mature. The colour palette they have used is more toned down (last autumn`s fuchsia pink is gone! snift…) and there are a few new colour additions to the typical Katie colour scheme: red and charcoal grey. Like last autumn I still have a crush on red colour so seeing some Katie “classics” now available in red is great news for me. This collection includes more sheer, lingerie style pieces than their AW15 and also several velvet pieces that are cozy and cute for autumn and winter time.

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“Dress IN VELVET” set and “Miss World courtney dress”: I have a feeling that this dress will be one of the most popular pieces in this collection.

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These two looks are also among my faves. The Fluffy short cardigan on the right is surely one of my favourite items!

I personally like this collection a lot: it is quite different from last year but I think it includes many clothes I could see myself wearing. My ultimate favourites aka the things that go to my wishlist (certainly “wish”list haha) are the Under Pretties turtle neck (red), the Miss World dress, Dress in Velvet skirt (black), the big velvet hair bow (red) and the short Fluffy cardigan (red or vanilla maybe?).

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My favourite accessories from this collections are the velvet bows that come in two sizes.

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These necklaces are really cute but I´d probably prefer them with another text. :’)

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Classical one-strap shoes and a chocolate inspired hat box. Like Sara Mari already pointed out on her blog many accessories of this collection seem have a strong chocolate theme!

 

Sara Mari also shared her thoughts about the collection on her blog right after the release of the lookbook so her post about the subject might interest you as well! The looks I shared in this posts are only some of my personal favourites, you can find the whole lookbook from here.

How do you feel about this collection? Is it a hit or miss? ; ) Which pieces are your personal favourites?

image sources: all the Katie pictures, The Courtney Love pictures

Trends and popular pieces in Japan Summer 2016

Now it has been about two weeks since I returned from Japan and I finally managed to finish my first post inspired by the trip! First I am going to ramble a little about some trendy items that caught my eye during my trip!

I am not 100% aware what are “the official mainstream trends” (in Japan or generally) this summer but these pieces/elements are something that I ended up spotting quite often. Someone else could probably pay attention to different things than I did and of course I might have even missed out some really obvious trends. My personal information is based on what I saw people wearing in Kyoto and Tokyo and I am talking only about women`s fashion. :)

two jacket styles I have spotted: U.S military style jacket and the MA-1 bomber style jacket

Jackets by Wego, Ingni and orSlow

MA-1 AND MILITARY STYLE JACKETS / KHAKI

MA-1 jacket trend seems to be really strong in Japan right now and I remember this trend being popular already last winter: now trendy girls seemed to be wearing lighter summer versions of this popular style. Even though I saw some fashionable Japanese girls wearing MA-1 jackets already a few years ago I must admit I grew to like this trend really slowly and only rather recently. After seeing so many girls wearing cute over sized khaki green jackets I suddenly realised I had started to like this look a lot too! Well, maybe MA-1 style could be considered as one kind of classic? Hehe… The funny thing is that I never realised to pay attention if MA-1 jackets are a trend in Europe too (or more specifically in Finland) and I don`t remember spotting them that much… Randomly a few days ago I happened to check out H&M`s Autumn catalog and there they were: khaki green MA-1 jackets! So apparently this style is also a global trend at the moment? : )

This summer many Japanese brands offer MA-1 jackets in several colours such as pastel pink and cream but to me it seems like the classical khaki version is still the most popular by far. Generally speaking khaki seems to be really trendy colour this summer and I saw it almost everywhere in Japan: in jackets, tops, skirts etc. Besides bomber style MA-1 jackets I spotted other khaki coloured military style coats. I think some of the jackets even had “U.S Army” patches on them so first I thought they would be vintage but it I hard to tell. I noticed that at least WEGO is making them with the U.S patches (the first image from the left)… :’)

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E hyphen world gallery BonBon / Crayme / Ingni

CULOTTE PANTS / WIDE PANTS

Besides khaki coloured clothes I noticed that one of this summer`s biggest trend in Japan was Culottes and wide pants. I think they must be pretty practical and nice in Japanese summer! Most commonly I saw these pants worn in solid, often earthly tones such as (surprise, surprise!) khaki or black but sometimes also some patterns were used such as the flower pattern on BonBon`s version.

This is a trend I don`t see myself following (at least yet, heh…) since I hardly ever wear trousers but it suits others nicely! I am curious to see if this trend is going to remain popular also next summer or not since I don`t remember seeing this style much still a few years ago (at least in Finland, unfortunately I don`t know about Japan!). Besides Culotte style pants a bit similar looking style created with a long, loose skirt appeared popular!

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Monki`s denim button skirt vs. Katie`s version.

A-LINE DENIM BUTTON SKIRT / DENIM

Third kind of mainstream trend that I spotted in Japan is denim: one of the most popular items seemed to be a-line skirt with a button row in the front! I think I saw lots of these especially in Kyoto for some reason. I actually ended up buying the same style skirt from Monki just before my trip because I felt like I didn`t have enough basic versatile skirts. Buying the skirt turned out to be a great decision since I ended up wearing my skirt a loooot. It is really easy to combine with almost any top! Maybe this is why it is such a popular piece? ; )

Besides denim skirts I spotted lots of denim jackets (often oversized) and even some “all denim” coordinates with jeans and a same shade denim jacket! Loose, a little wide 80s style jeans seemed to be one of the most popular style.

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slip dresses by Wego and Rope’ Picnic

A CAMISOLE / A SLIP DRESS OVER A SHIRT 

When talking about tops wearing a lingerie style camisole over a t-shirt seemed to be super popular and this trend has been going on for a while already. Most commonly I saw loose black camisoles worn over a loose white t-shirt but of course other combinations appeared too. Usually the camisoles worn over the top were rather minimalistic and simple but also lacy lingerie style camisoles (and slip dresses) caught me eye sometimes.

Another version of this look was to wear lingerie like slip dress over a t-shirt. The interesting thing about this kind of style to me is that you could think that wearing lingerie looking pieces as outerwear would almost automatically make the look a bit sexy or brave but I felt that most of the time this kind of combo came across just effortless and even a bit casual. In Japan it is also suprisingly common to see people wearing tops and dresses like babydolls that reveal your shoulders over a t-shirt so this type of look doesn`t feel totally new to me.

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Wonder Rocket, Katie and Wego

PUFFY TOPS

Besides a “camisole over a t-shirt” -look one of the most popular tops this summer were puffy tops. When checking out different clothing shops I noticed several brands selling this style: Katie, Wego, Wonder Rocket, Bubbles… Just to name a few! I find this style really girly and cute and last summer I also ended up getting two sheer black tops like this myself.

This summer I saw puffy tops most often in light colours such as light yellow, white and pink and they were usually worn with a mini skirt. Besides solid tops also sheer versions of this style seemed to be kind of popular and for example Katie and Rose Marie Seoir stocked tops like this.

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Supreme.La.La. and nano・universe

V-NECK PINAFORE DRESS 

This trend wasn`t probably among the most mainstream trends but I managed to spot pinafore style dresses often enough to pay attention to them so I added them into the list anyway! Somehow it was really hard for me to find pictures of the exact type of pinafore dresses I saw in Japan and first I didn`t even remember the correct term for them (vest dress? jumper dress???). In the end I managed to find something similar enough and the nano・universe`s version is kind of close to what I mean but maybe slightly longer. Most often I spotted pinafore dresses in black with a very deep V-shaped neckline and with a fitted waistline. People who wore this style were usually really stylish and seemed to prefer rather minimalistic look.

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Katie`s Pancake hat and ONSPOTZ`s fedora

LIGHT-COLOURED FEDORA STYLE HAT

This trend was something I didn`t notice until my boyfriend pointed it out for me. When he commented about it I realised that many girls indeed were wearing fedoras or hats similar to them. Once again (……erh) I must admit that first I didn`t even know what name for this style of hats was! While writing this post I noticed that Universal Doll just had a very similar post about Japanese summer trends and I was curious to read what Mitsu had spotted. By reading her post I accidentally found out the specific term for the hats I saw hahah… So yes! Just like Mitsu already reported white and light coloured summer fedoras seemed really popular! Besides fedoras other a little similar style hats appeared popular too and I often saw hats that reminded me a little of Katie`s Pancake hat from their SS16.

That was about it! ^__^ I plan to keep blogging about some things that inspired and excited me during the trip but it will take a while before I have all my material edited and posts written (I am awfully slow at writing my posts, huh!). But yes, I think you can expect a small series of Japan themed posts coming up sooner or later! : ) Thanks for reading!

How do you feel about these trends? Have you spotted the same trends in Japan or elsewhere? : )

Casual and girly outfit for a café date + Archive By Alexa Chung

It has been a while since I updated with any new content but I hope to get back to blogging more regularly now. I actually took these outfit pictures a month ago, but I had a random sickness/hospital episode (I am fine now!) soon after that so I didn`t have time to finish this post until now. But yeah, I thought it would be fun to share it with you anyway although the content is not totally recent! ^__^

This outfit presents my “casual everyday style” quite well and I think it is easy to feel comfortable while wearing these kind of outfits. : ) I ended up wearing the outfit to a café date with my boyfriend: our day consisted of walking around at the town in windy weather, visiting a few shops and then lastly sitting down in a café while planning out some stuff together. ^__^  I must add that when I plan to walk around all day I usually just wear my auntie ecco soft shoes haha (unlike in the picture, lol)! I never suffer from sore feet when I wear good walking shoes like them so unfortunately I often go for practical instead of pretty shoes these days. :’) Because of the chilly weather I actually also wore an army green jacket which I didn`t realise to include into my outfit pictures but in a month or so it should be warm enough for me wear this look out without a jacket. : ) And that is how I´d prefer to wear this outfit!

 

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hair bow: H&M / top: Marks & Spencer / cardigan: Katie /skirt: second hand / handbag: Topshop / shoes: second hand (my grandma gave them)

I am a huge fan of high waisted (especially A-line) skirts and I think I don`t even own other kind of skirts anymore… Somehow I find high waisted cut really classical, girly and just generally flattering! I keep admiring some French actresses from the 60’s so I decided to have a little fun and use a picture of the café that appears in film “Amélie” as the background. I ended up shooting the pictures at home in the middle of mess so a background switch felt like a good idea hehe… But to be honest I can`t decide if I find this edit just awful and tacky or kind of OK… Making my vision work in reality turned out harder than I thought haha..! Oh well… ;)

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Here is a picture of some of the pieces I wore as flat lay (I just couldn`t make the cardigan + shoes look good in the flat lay picture…. ught!) and I feel like saying a few things about the black t-shirt I wore. ^__^  I got it from Marks & Spencer a few days ago before wearing it (so about a month ago) and it was sold as a set with a similar white t-shirt. It is quite basic looking t-shirt but if you take a closer look you notice that the sleeves and the collar part have a cute trim detail and there is also small ribbon in front! I often wear basic black tops but I haven`t bought any new ones for about two years: when I accidentally came across this top I got really excited. It was so close to something I have been looking for: a classical black top with cute girly details that make your outfit a little more interesting than wearing just a super basic black t-shirt. Having this top in both black and white colour will be really handy and I can imagine myself wearing these two tops a lot!

The tops seem to be also available at Marks & Spencer webstore and they are actually part of a collection curated by Alexa Chung! I have never bought anything from M&S before and I must say I hadn´t heard about their Alexa Chung collection before I visited the store (that is not so surprising I guess..? :’)) but maybe some of her fans have been looking forward this collection already. The idea of the collection seems to be to bring some classical once produced M&S pieces back to stores as a small slightly modernized collection which has been curated by Alexa. I really like the idea behind this and the pieces Alexa has chosen to include into the collection are really interesting and versatile! I especially liked the tops I got (The Daphne Tee), the blue dress with puffy sleeves and the ribbon + keyhole detail (The Elsie Dress) and the black flower patterned slip dress (The Olive Slip). These two dresses would look so lovely worn together with a red cardigan and red lipstick, ah! :”’o

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The Elsie Dress: the original vintage version on left and the modern Alexa Chung version on right

I found some pictures of the original pieces (that inspired the collection) online and I must admit that I find them still cuter than the new versions..! Although I like for example The modern Elsie Dress the vintage version appears much more charming to me which makes me wish they hadn`t changed the design, heh… :’) When I read some comments about the collection I noticed some other people saying the same thing. But it depends on your taste I guess!

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The Olive Slip Sress

The Olive Slip Dress reminded me of some lingerie inspired dresses you see many Japanese brands producing at the moment. I think it could work well with Larme* inspired style for example (Larme is still my nro 1 inspiration at the moment!)! In real life the material felt really nice and like a “real dress” to me and not lingerie or nightgown like at all which was a positive thing in my opinion because pieces like that are often lovely but so delicate. When my mum saw this slip dress she first wondered if it is a dress or a nightgown though haha… But in any case I really like the style of this dress and especially how Pixie Geldof (I had to check her name since I had no idea who she is hehe… I am not very aware of celebrities I guess) wore it with a black top underneath. *o* So cute, practical and comfy!

Thanks for reading and I hope to get back to you soon again..! I also should be leaving to Japan next week and if everything goes as I have planned I´ll try to prepare some posts from my trip!

*style inspired by Larme magazine

image sources: link, link, link

Hanging out with a poodle

For me January has gone really fast and somehow I have found time to dress up nicely only a few times this far. I have been really tired and stressed but yesterday I had some spare time so I thought it would be nice to doll myself up and wear the grey puff top I got on sale. During latest two years I haven`t made many sale purchases around Christmas/new year but this year I got super lucky and managed to grab a few sale items I had been eyeing since early autumn.poodlebaglook1_4

My outfits tend to be kind of casual but these days I try to remember to wear some accessories (please note the black ribbon on the top of my head haha). I especially like badges, hair bows and vintage style hair clips.

This pink poodle bag is one of my favourite things, I think it is so so cute and I love the fact that it is inspired by vintage Barbie`s bag. The same bag in light pink is currently -40% on sale on Stylife.co.jp by the way!poodlebaglook_detail_4

Under the grey top I am actually wearing Katie`s Sweet Date dress which is suprisingly versatile piece: it even has pockets! I usually wear it over a long sleeved t-shirt or alone with a light cardigan if the weather is warm enough.poodlebaglook2_4I am still practising posing and taking better quality photos with my boyfriend`s camera + tripod. Our apartment doesn`t have any nice spots to shoot outfits so when the weather gets warmer I hope to try taking outfit photos outdoors too! I just have to find places where I can take them without other people staring at me haha… I feel way too shy and awkward about posing for my photos in front of bypassers!

Katie happy bag review

I have been curious about Japanese lucky bags aka fukubukuro for some years and this year I ended up ordering one for the very first time. Fukubukuros are basically mystery bags sold around New Year and they often include some left over items from the previous collection/s but many brands also produce special fukubukuro items just for their lucky bags. Sometimes the content of the lucky bag may be revealed beforehand, but often you will buy the bag without knowing what you will get exactly: that is part of the fun! In any case the lucky bag`s value is usually at least twice more than the price you pay so you have a great chance to get nice things for a lot cheaper price. Of course there is a risk that you will end up with things you don`t like or need, and this is one of the main reasons why I didn`t dare to try ordering one until now.

Already last year I considered grabbing a lucky bag from Katie the brand, but I missed the release time and apparently the bag sold out in 10 minutes, lol… So this year when I started to think about purchasing one I was already a lot wiser hehe!

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Some possible happy bag items Katie revealed on their Twitter and blog.

Like most of the brands Katie announced the release date and time of the lucky bag beforehand on Twitter (they actually call it a “happy bag”). The bag was released around 5AM in my local time so I had an alarm to wake me up haha… This year they apparently had quite a many bags available since when I ordered mine the website told me there were still 99 bags in stock!

At the webstore there were actually two kinds of bags available: a 10800 yen (85€) bag and a cheaper 5800 yen (45€) bag that included only accessories. I decided to order the more expensive bag since I hoped to get some clothes too. For the ordering I used a package forwarding service Tenso. Before I received my order I actively stalked on instagram what other customers got hehe….

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Some instagram pictures of the happy bag contents other customers got tagged with #katiethestore. The picture in the middle seems to have the same content I got but in different colours.

Like on the last year Katie`s happy bag consisted of pieces from their older collections. I noticed that the items of the bags also varied so all the bags didn`t include the same contents. I liked most of the things I saw but looking at the pictures made me a bit worried if I would end up getting some clothes in yellow because I know I wouldn`t have any use for them… The item I would had wanted the most was the black top with white frill collar but for some reason the other items that appeared next to it on the haul pictures were not to my taste that much.

What my happy bag included:

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I got a grey long sleeve top, lilac lacy bloomers shorts, a large frill tote bag, a white fluffy cap, a badge and a hair clip (not in picture).

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I was relieved that all the things I got came in colours I like and I actually thought everything looked cute. Well, except a hair clip I also got: the clip had some fake fruits on and a gingham ribbon on it that totally reminded me of some Christmas decoration. I ended up leaving that out of my photos…. :’ ) But overall I was quite happy with my haul! The total value of the items I got was also better than I expected: over 40 000 yen (310€).

The pieces I got are something I wouldn`t had likely bought myself but luckily they are still cute and I have some use for them. I think will wear them with black and other darker colours since even though I like how light pastel colours look I feel more comfortable when I am not wearing pastels from head to toe. When I tried to wear the top and the shorts at the same time the combination reminded me of some kind of pyjama set for some reason haha. :’D

Here are still some stock pictures I managed to find from the items (minus the hair clip again):

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The bloomer shorts and the same fluffy cap in pink.

What do you think about lucky bags? : ) Have you ever purchased one?