Japanese Goth: Book review

20.5.09 - 22:59
Japanese Goth is the newest book from Tiffany Godoy author of 'Style Deficit Disorder: Harajuku Street Fashion, Tokyo'.

To be honest I'm still slightly confused about what the subject of the book is supposed to be. I understand that it's about art but there are hints that it was supposed to be specifically about its involvement with Gothic Lolita. Starting with a stack of Mana pictures even before the introduction by Novala Takemoto. There are also continued references to dolls and the 'dark side' of childhood; but if this is the case, why call it Japanese Goth? Did they just wimp out on the Lolita title? Was it due to a lack of understanding of the subject?

There are a couple of other problems I had with the book. Unfortunately some of the art has been spread over two pages - which means you miss the whole middle of the image unless you ruthlessly break the shiny black spine.

The other problem I had was specifically with this passage:

'Similarly there is also an awareness of the more primal urges or children, as intimated by the term "Lolita" which is used to describe this type of dress in Japan, while also being an overt reference to the temptress character of Vladimir Nabokov's novel about a man's obsession with a sexually precocious girl.'

Perhaps the author read the wikipedia entry rather than novel but 'Dolores' in the book is pretty much just a young girl taken advantage of by the main character. That's part of the point, Humbert is telling himself that she is 'tempting' him and 'coming on' to him, it's what makes it 'okay' in his mind.

Generally I think this book could have been improved by being a larger format with less words (creating a fantastic coffee table book) or having had a bit more research, become a more academic look at Gothic Lolita.

Having said that, the actual art in the book is superb. Juxtaposing artists such as Kira Imai with more darkly gothic imagery leads to a creative exploration of the Japanese dark/cute aesthetic which I personally find intriguing.


Kamikaze Girls on region 2 DVD

- 22:04
In this day and age most people can probably play different region DVDs but I was still really pleased to see that Kamikaze Girls has finally come out on region 2 DVD. Actually it came out in January, but I didn't notice till now!

Anyway - its only £7 on Play.com and Amazon so nows a good time if you haven't seen it/got it. I still prefer the book - but its a fun film.



Cute button storage

16.5.09 - 19:52
I can never resist cool fabrics or pretty buttons when I see them. The problem with this is finding space for them. I don't have a dedicated sewing space so everything has to live in boxes until I get to pull them out and make stuff.

So, I started putting some of my buttons in these cute jars and putting them on the bookshelf so I can see them all the time! These were £1 each from a cooking shop in town. (I've seen them online here - they are more expensive, but hey, you can use any jar.)



Google maps - Tokyo street view

14.5.09 - 22:45

Maybe I'm the only person who thinks this is extremely cool but you can now look around Tokyo on google maps.



Chocolate cake with no egg - recipe

13.5.09 - 13:18
This recipe is super easy to make and doesn't use any eggs so its great for when there's nothing in the house but you want something tasty to eat!
(I suppose it could also be pretty handy if you don't/can't eat eggs/dairy for some reason too)

I made this cake the other day and it was lovely and moist and it tasted even nicer the next day - a bit more brownie-like. I've not tried using this recipe for cupcakes yet, but I can't see a reason why it wouldn't work. The mixture is quite runny though.

Ingredients (UK notes)

- 1 3/4 cup sifted cake flour (we don't have cake flour so I just used plain- 195g)
- 1 cup sugar (used granulated, seemed okay - 225g)
- 1/4 cup cocoa (30g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (used bi-carb)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup fat (butter/marg 75g or apparently you can use 70ml of veg oil)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (mine was fine without this!)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (used red wine vinegar as thats what we had around)
- 1 cup cold water (240ml - I read somewhere you can use coffee if you like)

Basically, you mix it all together and pour it into a greased + floured 8in/20cm tin and cook it for 30mins on 305f which is about 180c (gas mark 4) I did mine on closer to 160c as we have a fan oven.

I must admit I recently bought a set of measuring 'cups' so I can do American recipes really quick, no scales required!



High street finds

10.5.09 - 21:16
Bow headbands have been popular on the high street recently and this season 'big' bows are in. Great news for lolitas!

I've seen them in several places this weekend including New Look and Topshop. (Not just in this gross coral colour either.)

Bows are getting bigger and bigger on the catwalk too - check out these monstrosities from the Louis Vuitton autumn collection.