Friday, February 13, 2015

Thoughts of a Millinery Collector: Triple Fortune Bonnets

Hey there and thanks for stopping by. Today I'm going to shed some light on some of the popular bonnets that Triple Fortune produces. I currently have two of their older full style bonnets and three of the newer crescent half style bonnets. I know since the event at Rufflecon ( you can view my experience at the convention here ),  their own event Brilliant Star, and their appearance at La Vie En Rose; Triple Fortune has become intensely popular in the Western world as well as in the Japanese lolita scene. Now not only is this duo dabbling in millinery and clothing, they also perform!

These bonnets are bit on the elusive side, but are obtainable at their physical events, Atelier Pierrieot, and KERA online as well as purchase/special order at any physical KERA. And as always, secondhand is always an option, but the competition can be fierce. I plan on doing an in depth How to Buy Tutorial but I am still waiting on a couple of items from the various ways I have procured them, before writing this up.

So lets get started! First up is the older full bonnet style. 

This is a fuller rounder style of the two. The brim measures to 13.5'/34.5 cm across not including lace and 4.5"/11.5cm tall and the depth 2.5"/6.5cm for the back covered portion of the bonnet.

The brim of the bonnet is laced with gathered chiffon and accompanied by a flower rose assortment attached to the top right corner. It is usually decorated with three different types of lace that usually drapes down over the wearer as well as on and over the top of the brim. 

The back of the brim is usually adorned with feathers of various colors depending on the bonnet color you purchase. [ I have only seen white and black ] It is most common for there to be one single feather with the older style and it is usually white. As to why they put white feathers with cream bonnets, I have no idea why but I think it has more to do with stock and what is readily available during the construction process rather than personal preference.

The back of the bonnet is plain except for the gathered chiffon covering the back hood; three roses adorn each side of the bonnet with a chiffon bow which drapes rather luxuriously when worn. The six roses have always been a color to match the particular bonnet color and can be different from the front rose.

Under the lace, you can see the exposed seam of the gathered chiffon as well as the canvas that makes up the top brim of the bonnet. It's not easily seen with the aid of the lace but I wish it were also not exposed? This is the inside of the hood. A triple fortune label is placed just inside. The seams and sewing are all straight, uniform, and clean. Depnding on the size of your head this particular bonnet might be a challenge to wear as the hood is on the shallow side and may be harder if also adorning a wig. This style is no longer in production and is usually found second hand.

It has been my experience when wearing this style to butt the back part of the bonnet against the back of your head and press forward as much as you can. From there within the holes of the overhanging lace, carefully bobbypin the bonnet to your wig and head. You will usually have to pin it at the top as well as each side to keep it firmly in place. By doing this it ensures that the bonnet stays forward and upright and does not flop forward to look like you're wearing a weird hat.

Next up is the newer half bonnet style which is a little bit more versatile.

This is the taller style of the two. The brim measures to 12"/31 cm across not including lace and 5.5"/14.5cm tall from the base to the top ridge of the bonnet.

The brim of the bonnet is laced with gathered chiffon just as the old style and accompanied by a flower rose assortment; though it is placed on the left side. On the the top right corner there is a pleated ribbon embellishment with a crown on the right side. This particular one is  decorated with three different types of lace that usually drapes down over the wearer and over the top of the brim just as the other bonnet does.

Something to note about the ribbon decoration is that it is actually glued into the bonnet so these items can't be removed or moved about on the bonnet with ease.

This bonnet has two feathers that are white and fastened to the left side. The base is similar in the aspect that it too has a bundle of three roses attached to each side of the bonnet. With all three of the new style that I own, the back flowers have been this peachy cream color and there has not been much variation in the flower colors in regards to the color of the bonnet. I think the only time they might be different is if it is black.

The back of the bonnet being a half, is open and there is an additional ribbon a well as some lace to further decorate it. I think it's a nice touch but I'm not so sold on the satin on these in comparison to the chiffon used.

These photos are of the inside of the bonnet to show the exposed bottom of the gathering of chiffon thats usually hidden under the front part of lace. All the sewing and lines are pretty clean and you can tell that someone has hand sewn the comb into the top part of the bonnet. Under the comb you can see the Triple Fortune brand tag, very similar to the previous one, just a different color. 

These bonnets are a lot easier to wear. They pop on pretty easy and the added comb helps to keep them in place if wearing them with your natural hair or with the added thickness of wearing a wig. I usually end up pinning the bonnet on the sides though just for added security and have never really had any problems with keeping this particular style rigid and upright during the course of a day given they are taller than their counterparts. 

The breakdown: 

 A notable difference between the old style and the new style are the hood portions which are nonexistent in the new, and the lack of ribbon accompaniment which is usually located on the right side with the crescent version. The newer versions when worn come down to points like a half moon while the full style ends at an abrupt angle and squares off just at the jawline. The older style is also a bit thicker so it sits higher when stored as well because of the added backing.

There is use of chiffon in the older style which is replaced by satin with the predecessor; this is also seen in the use of the bows on the back style of the bonnet. I do sort of think the satin looks cheap in comparison to the chiffon though, but I like the fact that the brim is taller with new ones so I feel that is an even trade off. The flowers of the older series have a lot more color and depth as the newer versions are much more plain.

I really feel like the newer style is a lot easier to wear but the elegant touches of the older version holds a lot of sway with me so I feel these are evenly matched. I guess it just depends on what your personal preference is with stiff brim bonnets and I'm pretty adaptable so I'm content with both.

I have included photos wearing both the new and old style. You can see with the newer bonnet it has a defined crescent shape while the other is much more rounded and blunt at the bottom that resembles more of a halo..

The old rounded style

The new crescent style

Which style do you ultimately prefer?

Bonus: Bonifide Bonnet Storage : 

In addition to this I figured it might also be interesting to show I store my bonnets, as these are not the only ones I own. A friend once asked about this on Rufflechat, if I remember correctly a while back, and I actually have a worthwhile answer now. 

It has been in my experience bonnet stacking is a rational way to store your bonnets, but if you want a more realistic approach I would strongly suggest decorative boxes. With these I can fit three Triple Fortune bonnets nicely with room for other millinery items. I usually stack two new style to every one style on top so as to give the full bonnet that added rise it needs to not smash the back during storage.

So far I have about three of these boxes just for bonnets and they've held up quite nicely. You can pick them up at your local craft store for next to nothing if you watch the sales. I have also tried looking into hat boxes, but most of the ones I'd found in stores can't accommodate the depth needed to store as many as these boxes do while still keeping the cost down. 

I hope this has been informative to those of you interested in all the rage that are Triple Fortune bonnets. Check back again with more reviews and rantings from yours truly! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Blog Carnival : Lolita Plans for 2015

With 2015 well under way, that means tea parties, lolita events and for those of us that live in the United States, conventions! Last year I was lucky enough to attend a plethora of events, so in 2015, I'm hoping to cut the fat of last year and do more quality over quantity with my lolita excursions. There are a few that are still up in the air for me ( Marthaness's Tea Party during Otakuthon or is it Otakon!, San Japan with Enchantlic Enchantilly, and visiting Canada. ) but these are the plans that are set in stone for 2015.

First on my list of events is Nightfall, located in Houston, Texas. Nightfall is the first ouji-con of it's kind and with mostly indie designers in a romantic intimate setting. It is set to be April 2nd, and while only a one day event, I'm sure the who's who of the Australian and American ouji substyle will be out in droves for this event. I hope it's the beginning of something spectacular and not commonly seen in the us; Jfashion conferences and parties put on outside of conventions and holding their own as stand alone events. I hope this does as well as Rufflecon has and will be around for years to come.

Tickets are on sale now and model applications open. To read more info about this event it's website is located here. 

I also wanted to note, that I will be attending Anime Matsuri this year but do not wish to promote them in any way shape or form; so will not be posting any sort of promotion for them this year. This will be my final year attending this convention as it it is one of my closer home cons. I will be reporting my experience at this convention however and wish to share my distaste of John and Deniece Leigh and their overall shady treatment of the lolita community ( in addition to the gaming and import car communities )  as well as their manipulation of the Houston Lolita Community as well as their moderators and known AM staff / blind supporters, Jessamyn, Becky, and Kate.

Next on my roster is Rufflecon held in New Haven,Connecticut. I can't hype this enough, as this will be the second year for this conference. This year the venue has changed and will be celebrated October 2nd to the 4th, making it a three day event and a day longer than the year before. Last year Enchantilic Chantilly graced the small event with it's appearance, and Triple Fortune stole the show. Guests have not been announced yet, but given what they brought to the table last year, I truly feel that this event will be one for the ages and quite possibly the biggest contender for best in show for 2015 stateside.

Tickets have not gone on sale yet, but hotel blocks have been released. More info can be found here.

The last on my list convention wise will be PMX which will be in Los Angeles, California. Unfortunately for me I was really just exhausted by the end of last year that I didn't get to fully appreciate how amazing this place really is. This has been a long running small potatoes kind of convention, but they have always been brought A list JFashion guests and for it's size, this is truly remarkable. Guests have not been announced yet, but given they had Innocent World last year and Juliette Justine the year before, I think it would be best to keep an eye on these guys because something amazing might be afoot.

 Dates, times and location have not yet been released for this event but I am hoping to go and spend a little bit more time to get the full experience of what this convention has to offer. To read about last year and get some info as soon as tickets and times are released you may view them here.

Lastly, I have plans to visit Japan again at the end of the year. I am hoping to have my excursion last twice as long as the year before and will be around for a whole month. I want to dedicate more time to hanging out with the lovely Japanese lolitas I met last year as my friendships with them were very precious to me. My cohorts and I will be around for New Years which is also my birthday, so I'm hoping it will be like gangbusters. If you plan to be in the Tokyo area  from the middle of December to the end of January for 2016, please let me know, I'd love to make plans. ( Sooo many fun plans and friends!! )

Thus concludes my lolita plans for 2015. I hope if you're attending any of these or in the area that you'll bum rush me; I fully intend to make the most of 2015 and what way to make it better than spending it with meeting new people and broadening my lolita horizons. This blog was a part of the Lolita Blog Carnival, if you're interested in other posts by other fellow lolitas on this subject, I strongly urge for you to check them out as well!