Best Fashion Moments of the Year!

I am constantly talking about how this year has flown because frankly it has. It’s been filled with ups and downs, a whole lot of downs and some very lovely ups. Who knows what next year will bring, but for now I’d like to look back on some of the good parts of this year – the fashion side of it at least. Here’s my five favourite looks of the year!

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsI love this look for a number of reasons; it’s quirky, it’s fun, it’s a little bit old school, it’s a bit costumey but mostly it was really creative and generally fun to wear. I spent the night before this meet gluing pearls, which I broke off a cheap necklace, onto bobby pins. Most of them broke off at the end of the day, but until then I had some really cool hair. It also reminds me a lot of Miwako from the manga Parakiss, and looking like a manga character is definitely something I’m down for because it’s just really fun.

Sometimes, when I can’t be bothered to tell people about lolita, I just tell them I wear a lot of historical, princess inspired garments. This year I bought a bonnet and even though I’ve learned that you really need a very long neck to pull them off, I still really like how it looks! This was the meet where we went to see the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at Chester Cathedral and people kept asking us questions about the exhibits because they thought we were part of the show!

I’m putting both of these looks together because the dress is just it’s own master, and they’re not too dissimilar from each other. This dress was a fun birthday gift from me to me and I always get compliments whenever I wear it. I think the colour, theme and detailing is so unique that it stands out even though it’s grey! I also really like how I was able to style it out for a fancy occasion and a more casual occasion.

Did you think they’d all be lolita looks? Nah! How can you turn down a look that has cat socks, silver sandals and a hole t-shirt please?! Lolita gives me a lot of inspiration because I work best within strict limits; you have to assemble your outfit around a particular theme with colours that all go together in proportional distribution around the outfit. This look was just a matter of black and silver and I also really wanted to wear my cat socks. This was right before I had my first haircut in over a year! I am so precious about my hair because surprisingly, not a lot of people really understand how to cut curly hair…However, my hairdresser right now also has curly hair so he gets my deal and I will probably have more regular trims now.

A photo posted by Nadina Osmani (@dindin_din_din) on Jun 10, 2015 at 4:20pm PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js My last look is a first date look, I haven’t had an exciting first date like this one for many years… I bought a new dress and put a rose in my hair; I was so nervous! It was the best first date of my life, so this outfit is always going to hold special memories – even if the dress is too big for me now. It’s lead to an amazing relationship that’s currently lasted just over 6 months. We’re still in the honeymoon period, but it’s been the provider of many of my ups over this past year!

I have some style goals for next year. Since I’ve lost so much weight, I’d really like to get a lot of my favourite pieces tailored so that they fit me perfectly again. I’d also really like to put as much effort and co-ordination into my “normal clothing” wardrobe as I do with my lolita clothes. My plan is to sit and asses my wardrobe and slowly buy up pieces over time that I can co-ordinate flexibly with various items. I guess I’m sort of trying to build a capsule wardrobe? My goal for next year in general is to get back into full time work! Currently I’ve been working part time over the Christmas season in retail, but I’ve just totally re-done my CV and I’m hitting the job search even harder in January, wish me luck!

Outfit Building Tips for Lolita Fashion

d1db4-bb-coord

Last week I saw Angelic Pretty’s British Bear special set for the first time and thought “wow, that’s an ugly dress.” I think the combination of bright yellow, wine red, navy blue, tartan, ribbon and bears in those proportions is a visual assault. The yellow is particularly offensive, and reminds me of really cheap American mustard or squeeze cheese. You don’t really want to think of condiments when your aims are cuteness and elegance.

However, as a hardcore fan of metamorphose and a general worshipper at the altar of ugliness I have a little soft spot for the dress and set about to make myself immune to it’s eye-burning qualities by putting together a cute outfit around it. My original aim was to integrate the yellow, but as you can see that didn’t happen. I went for just j-fashion brand items for this little self imposed challenge, but you could totally do this with high Street clothes and a few lolita specific items. I’m going to refer to this ugly dress throughout, so bear it in mind. Get it, BEAR it in mind?!

Continue reading

Christmas on the Coast

Our latest meet was organised by one of the youngest and newest members of the community. I’m really glad because it was actually very close to my house! Usually I travel to Manchester or into Chester, but Southport is really close to me.

I wore this outfit with red Vivienne Westwood three strap heels in red for a look I call “winter berries” despite there only really being 1 pair of Syrup cherries involved. Mostly I just wanted to wear my new red beret, oops. My makeup for the day was actually the photo I posted for my merry Christmas post. Lately I’ve been on a mad bender for skincare masks! I have a routine for my haircare and do generally attempt to make it look decent so I thought it would be time to put more effort into my skin too. I’d like to thank a Masque bar charcoal mask, Nip and Fab Glycolic fix mask and viper venom night cream for my lovely skin on this meet.

Our first stop was Mad Hatters Tea Pot in Ainsdale. We had afternoon tea which was very tasty, but I felt a bit gutted because I paid for sandwiches, tea and scones and they didn’t have a gluten free scone so we just had sandwiches and cake. I think maybe there was more cake instead? The best cake was the lime and coconut. I wasn’t really a fan of the raw cookie dough or the dark chocolate coconut slice, though. Everyone’s outfits were really cute, there was a lot of sweet styles out today; lots of pinks and lavender.I guess it makes a nice contrast when I’m always in black, black, black.

I was so happy to have Ruth home from uni and to spend time with Mo on her birthday. It was also really nice some of our regular friends and meet new girls too. I like that we have a lot of unique styles and influences coming into our community new. This cute sweet shop was in the shopping arcades in Southport. Everywhere was decorated beautifully and it was really nice to see small, local shops doing well.

 Then we took some photos over by the tree. These cute pink looks were my favourite against the festive background. Mo is also wearing “my advent calendar” by Baby the Stars Shine Bright, so it’s very appropriate.

Most importantly – selfies! While we were taking them, we noticed some women inside a furniture shop were staring at us. Nothing new, so we ignored them, but eventually they came out and made a pretty strange request. They asked us to come in so they could take a picture of us for their company Christmas card!? We said yes, but it’s definitely the strangest request we’ve had so far!

Sadly, the photo they took on my camera was blurry. This was the last meet for this year and I was really glad we could end the year in such a lovely way. Stay tuned for some fun retrospective posts as is customary towards the end of December!

Tweekend Trip to Haworth at Christmastime

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with some lolita friends from all over the place in Leeds. We went on a day trip to Haworth because it is actually the cutest place in existence. The setting was so beautiful and the people were really friendly too; we got lost, so the Vicar gave us directions and wished us a lovely day! You don’t get that in many places.


The highlight of the trip, apart from spending time with some really good friends, was seeing the Rose & Co. Apothecary. The snow fairy above was part of the Christmas window display, she was so ethereal and beautiful so she really stood out from the rest of the scene.

The whole shop was really true to the original building, with wooden windows an a hand-painted frontage and sign outside. The inside was also decorated in the traditional style of an apothecary with large wooden shelves and many drawers of various potions and tinctures.

A quick google later it turns out Zam-Buk is a herbal balm and ointment originally made in Leeds. Apparently “the ointment was advertised as being effective against a wide range of conditions, including cuts, bruises, sprains, freckles, ulcers, bleeding piles and even colds and toothache.” I love old timey cure-alls like this and I’m always kind of tempted to give them a go too. Lots of people say “oh the old way is better for this or that” and I think a lot of things we do now are probably based on old home remedies with a bit of science mixed in. The components of Zam-Buk are meant to be eucalyptus oil, camhor, thyme oil and sassafrass oil; all natural oils, I’m down for that!

I really liked their selection of hand made and local products and the care that was taken with labels and with the products themselves. I really wanted to buy something from the shop, so I ended up getting two jars of local strawberry jam as souvenirs because I don’t really like to buy people soaps or perfumed items if I’m not sure what kind of smells they like for their skincare.

My English auntie and uncle collect tin signs and hand painted signs similar to the ones in store, so that was a really nice homely moment for me.
We had lunch in the café behind the apothecary, and I think that was the actual name of it too. I had a really lovely warming tomato soup and some chips, as well as a few glasses of lemonade. I think lemonade is a really lolita thing to drink for some reason? Especially rose lemonade, because roses.
I’d really love to go to Haworth again and visit the local Bronte based attractions. I’ll admit, I’ve never really been a classic literature fan but I do like the romanticism of classic writers so I would love to learn about how Charlotte Bronte lived. I’d also really like to ride on the steam train because I’ve never done that before.

I was really happy to see that one of the bookshops had a comic about the Bronte sisters by the amazing Kate Beaton in their window! I was also really happy to see a local business that was “& Daughters” because usually you only see “& Sons.” You see it in family names too, there are plenty of Johnsons but no Johnsdaughters…. Either way, you rule feminist Hatchard! Your blue bookshop is adorable.

Carousel Nostalgia

nadinao.com

I’ve been so overwhelmed by life lately, and my brain is so fried from seasonal work, that I haven’t been able to thread two thoughts together despite having plenty of things to write about. However, lolita has really been keeping me sane. I’ve never professed to actually be good at lolita fashion or really to do anything amazing with it; but the idea of putting items together in some sort of theme, going and hunting down the items and then putting them together is really satisfying. Naturally, much like in this photo, half of it is blown to disarray by the wind, but at some point in the day this outfit was some immensely elegant lolita granny chic. I’m really inspired by mossmarchen  and I wanted to create a nice array of brooches to emulate her style, but sadly two of the brooches broke immediately.

nadinao.com

You might remember this outfit from September where I wore it to Regalia in London. For that outfit I wanted to go for a more “lady of the manor” vibe, but this time I changed the blouse, hat and accessories for a vintage/granny mood instead. I really like how changing up a few items really changes the entire mood of the outfit. Would anyone be interested if I wrote some kind of co-ordinate tutorial for making flexible outfits like this?

nadinao.com

I really needed a break and I love my local community, so the perfect solution for stress was a meet to visit the Manchester Christmas markets. We had a lot of new members and it was another big meet for us, so I was elated! A few girls felt that they didn’t have finished co-ordinates so they were very shy about coming to their first meets so nearly dropped out, but I think this should not be an issue. As an admin for my community, I feel like it’s my duty to make everyone feel welcome on their first meet up and encourage them to enjoy the fashion, so I don’t mind at all if people don’t turn up in a full co-ordinate while they still get to learn the ropes of the fashion. It was so lovely to meet people for the first time; it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job with the community when lots of people come to meets, and even more so when they come back again!

nadinao.com

I loved the different styles that were visible at this meet. We had classic, gothic, old school, mori, sweet and even more otome style outfits. I even started a furry wrist cuff trend! I’ve never felt cooler or more like Regina George in my life than when half my comm loved my furry wrist cuffs enough to bag their own. We had such an eventful day of enjoying the markets, walking around Manchester and even riding the carousel! I wont lie to you, dear reader, I went back later in the week and rode the carousel again. Turns out, I just love the whimsy and nostalgia a little bit too much.

nadinao.com

For example, I MADE someone take this photo of me elegantly riding side saddle on my lovely horse Spice because I was really giddy about riding the carousel. I spent the whole time grinning like an idiot because I had such fond memories of riding on carousels as a child. I live quite close to Southport and we used to visit a lot when I was a child so I’ve ridden the huge carousel there many times and every time I hear the music it just makes my heart happy. It really is the simple things in life.

nadinao.com
The markets were so busy that I didn’t have a lot of time to really take good photos, but I did manage to get this beautiful portrait of Mo with the back light of the carousel. I think it might be one of my favourite pictures I’ve taken to this day. I was so charmed by her outfit that I just had to get some kind of photo of her, because she was an absolute vision of Momoko from Kamikaze girls. 
Lastly, a shout out to Wagamama’s in Manchester Printworks for being really great with our large party size and having really good accessibility for wheelchairs and an absolute SLAM to Prezzo and Harvester for the exact opposite reasons.